Mysterious Prints

story & illustration © 2003 Bruce Van Patter

he final test of my summer detective class didn't sound hard. I just had to find my teacher's lunch.
But there were two problems. The first was that I wasn't really a very good detective. I wasn't the brightest in the class. The second problem was that someone had stolen the paper bag lunch, and nobody knew who. That's what made it a test.

As I got out my dusting kit, I knew I had to solve this crime first if I wanted a good grade. Just find the fingerprints, then find the thief, I told myself. Simple as that.

I sprinkled the powder onto the back step of the school. All the other students were off searching in other places. They would probably solve the mystery first. I didn't know why I was even trying. I thought of my own sandwich in my back pocket and for a moment, thought of giving up, eating my lunch and waiting for my bad grade.

Then I saw the huge dog print take shape under my brush. Oh no, I thought, it's FANG! Fang was the huge dog that roamed the woods behind the school. Nobody knew who kept him. Nobody but me. I'd been in there once, and seen the old, creepy shack. I didn't want to go back.

But if I wanted that grade, I was going to have to find that Fang. And somehow, I'd have to talk him into giving me back the teacher's lunch!

It's Your Story - Wow! This story is taking shape, but it needs a finish!

How will our hero get back the lunch? What do you think Fang will do? Who lives in the creepy shack and how will they come into the story? And... do you think there's really a lunch in the teacher's bag, or is this test just a bunch of baloney?

Have fun -- finish the story -- and be creative! When you finish it, email me!