The morning of September 14th 2000, I woke early to find a brand new bright pink pushbike wrapped in shiny silver paper. It was my birthday and like all seven-year-old girls, I was desperate for a bike like all the older children. Finally I had got one. At seven o’clock, I began begging my dad to take me for a ride.
‘Not now, love, go back to bed,’ he replied drowsily. How could I sleep when my brand new bike was sitting downstairs waiting for me? Every five minutes I returned to his bedroom to force him to take me out. Finally at 8.30, he gave up and agreed to do it.
It was not a particularly warm day so I put on my brand new pale blue jumper and my navy leggings. As we rode down the steep grassy hill towards the canal, the dew glistened in the sunlight like diamonds hanging from a pure green chain. The cool autumn breeze rushed through the holes in my matching pink helmet. We raced alongside the deep blue waters for miles.
My legs were aching, shrieking out for me to stop and give them a rest but was I going to give in to them? Never! As the slope up to a bridge began, my muscles started to give up. ‘If only I could stop,’ I thought miserably. Suddenly I could feel myself falling backwards downhill slowly at first but then picking up speed quite noticeably. I began to feel panic building inside of me.
‘Dad! Dad, help me!’ I called. My chest felt as though someone was hammering from the inside. All I could think was, ‘My mum’s going to kill me if I get my new jersey dirty.’ As I reached the water’s edge, I saw my dad sprint down from the top of the bridge. ‘Ellie,’ he shouted, ‘use your brakes!’
It was the last thing I remember hearing before hitting the icy cold water. Water bubbles filled my ears as though someone was gurgling mouthwash into them. I opened my mouth to scream when foul tasting liquid flooded in, blocking my speech from coming out. All of a sudden I realised I could not breathe. I wasn’t rising to the surface and I physically didn’t have the strength to push myself up. I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, I am going to die!’
Suddenly big hands were around my waist, tugging me upwards. I was being rescued! But my oxygen supply was fast running out, everything went still and my eyelids became too heavy to hold open.
The next thing I knew I was lying on the canal bank deep in the long grass, soaked to the skin and freezing. I had so much to say but only two words escaped from my lips, ‘My bike!’
I later found out that my dad has seen my downhill ride by the bridge and had raced down to save me. However, I’d fallen into the icy blue canal, so he was forced to dive in after his seven-year-old daughter.
My bike was save too, thankfully. Unfortunately though the same could not be said about my pale blue jumper! I rode that shiny pink bike for years to come but I never went back to the canal bank.
This self-contained narrative has life and energy and the experience is related in an immediate and engaging fashion. The details are well chosen and story progresses with some pace. Paragraphing is accurate as are other technical aspects though there is not a great deal of ambition in the vocabulary choices. This deserves a mid Band 3 mark for the Content and Organisation aspect and a low Band 4 mark for the SSPS element, giving a mark of 14.