Drip, Drop

story & illustration © 2002 Bruce Van Patter

manda ducked behind a large tree trunk and waited. A large drop of water slid down a leaf over her and splattered on her neck.
Finally, the door closed behind the last of her classmates. She was alone in the rainforest exhibit. Or was she?

Stepping out from her hiding place, she scanned the leafy branches above her. A fine mist was hissing from vents near the high, glass roof. Birds chirped. She walked slowly, nervously. Though she couldn't see it, she knew the creature was here, hiding, watching.

It was watching. Almost invisible in the green, it came toward the girl. Each clawed foot eased silently down upon the rough branch.

Amanda felt a chill sliding down her spine. Maybe it was the drop of rain water. Maybe it was fear.

The creature looked down on the girl from the branch above her. The girl stopped, turned around. The creature crouched. The girl looked up.

All Amanda saw was a streak of green, then the heavy thud of something on her head. Claws were in her hair. She screamed as she jumped back, fumbling to get the thing off her head. Finally, she got a grip on the wriggling creature. She yanked it out in front of her.

"Nerk! Where have you been!" she growled.

The alien started to cry. "It's not my fault! That man took me! He put me here! Help me -- oh please, help me!"

"Okay," Amanda replied. "I'll try. But first -- STOP THAT BLUBBERING!"

It's Your Story - Poor Nerk! He needs to get out! Can you finish this story?

Nerk must be an alien, but who captured him and why? How does Amanda know Nerk? Can you write an ending in which Amanda both helps Nerk escape AND stops the man who took Nerk? And... what should the punishment be for Nerk-napping?

Have fun -- finish the story -- and be creative! Hey, let me see your ending... email me!