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Writing magical realism while island hopping the Galapagos

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While traveling in the Galapagos, World Literature teacher Irene Krugman asked her students to develop a creative writing essay utilizing elements of magical realism and influence from their time in the islands. Written below you can find Yuan Yuan’s response.

A barren path lay before me, as the fog hovered underneath the sliver of moon that could pass as a clipped toenail. The fog crawled towards me, daring me to start ahead. I couldn’t see past its charcoal haze nor what lay ahead, but I tentatively took my first step; like I was attached to an invisible rope, drawing me towards the unknown. The skinny trees were soldiers, lining up parallel on each side of the road. The army was silent and unmoving, but one whisper from the wind made them shudder. Their branches were as bony as an old woman’s fingers.

Auburn and crimson leaves formed a blanket off the path, shielding parts of the forest floor from succumbing to the harshness of winter. Frost nipped at my nose, as I listened to the hoots and howls of nature’s beasts that blended into eerie silence. The scent of other animals distracted me from my purpose as dirt squelched beneath my rubber boots. Pungent aromas of raw, fresh meat and warm, bloody flesh wafted up my nostrils and filled my mouth with saliva, making my stomach growl. I could smell them. They were near. I was trained for this moment, and was not going to fail my island nor let them throw me back to the unforgiving streets. I sniffed the air once again to determine how far they were. Probably just beyond the fog I would see their greed filled, beady little eyes, but the fog stored hidden secrets that I wasn’t sure I was ready to face. Anything could happen in the mysterious islands of the Galapagos, which was terrifying yet intriguing at the same time.

Their innocent baa‘s taunted me and left my mental state in disarray. The sound of their clicking hooves rang through my ears, eating me up from the inside out. Their horns, as vile and threatening as the Devils’s, haunted me in my nightmares. Wasn’t I in one right in this very moment?

I almost didn’t recognize the gentle thudding of his footsteps as my master caught up to me, breaking my train of thought. His forced breaths created miniature clouds in the chilled air. He waited anxiously, eyeing me in his typical condescending manner. No turning back now. Shoving my doubt to the side, I leaped towards my fate. Adrenaline pumping and ready to attack, I slammed into the mist at full force. I focused on footwork while my rubber boots protected my paws from jagged rocks. I let a growl slip through my teeth and barked furiously to announce my presence, pouncing when my master hollered “Attack!”.

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