Story Excerpts

Monday, December 5, 2011

Midweek Writing Challenge: Strange Footprints

"The children were playing on the beach when they found the strange footprints in the sand.  Their curiosity got the best of them and they decided to follow the tracks along the shore..."

Finish this story in 300 words or less.


“Sure, it looks like a duck’s print,” eight-year-old Trey Bradley acknowledged as he and Alex trailed the footprints, “but it can’t be a duck.  Ducks aren’t that big, and they don’t have claws.  Maybe…”  He wiggled his eyebrows under a shock of curly blonde bangs, his blue eyes twinkling with mischief.  “Maybe it’s the Loch Ness Monster!”
Five-year-old Alex Seth paled, then shook his head and narrowed dark brows at his friend.  “There’s no such thing, Trey!  Quit trying to scare me!”
“There is too.”
“Then how come I’ve never heard of a Loch Ness Monster?”
Trey shot him a crooked grin.  “Cause no one wants you to get scared.”
“I’m not scared!”
“Shhh!” Trey hissed, stopping at the edge of the sandy bank.  “I think I see it!”
Alex ducked behind Trey, his eyes darting wildly.  “Where?”
Trey pointed at the river and whispered in Alex’s ear for effect.  “There’s something in the water.”
Alex saw it.  Two dark lumps broke the surface of the water.  Dark, wet fur.  Small.  At least it was small.  He began to relax and squinted for a better look.
It started moving.  Gliding through the water. 
“That’s not a Loch Ness Monster!” Alex exclaimed, realizing.  “That’s a platypus!"

The platypus was startled by his voice, and splashed in a jerky dive. 
Trey laughed.
 “It’s not funny!”  Alex crossed his arms and frowned angrily.  “You knew it was a platypus!  I’m telling your mum that you tricked me!”
“Sorry, mate.  I was just having a bit of fun.  Here, you can have my chocolate bar.”  Trey pulled a squishy, messy candy wrapper out of his pocket.  
Alex accepted the peace offering, his frown vanishing.  “Thanks!”
“Wanna see if we can find more tracks?”
“Okay!  But I get to say what it is this time!”


Amber S. said...

Awww, that's so cute! :) Love the twist at the end with the Aussie flavor. ;)

Nice job!


Gwendolyn Gage said...

Thanks Amber! This was a challenge since I don't usually write about kids...but I did have have fun with it. Trey is the hero of my Crossroads of Time and For The Sake of One Lost books, and it was interesting to imagine him as an eight-year-old. Still a jokester -- nothing's changed. :-)

Shannon Milholland said...

Scottish snipe hunters...and here I thought we only did the in the States. :)

Gwendolyn Gage said...

LOL, Shannon! I did mean for them to be Australian, figuring that a in a kid's imagination, the fabled Loch Ness monster wouldn't be confined to Scotland. ;-)

Rhonda (Ritty) said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this short story. Excellent job, Gwen. :-) As always, thanks for participating!

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Thanks, Rhonda! Always a pleasure to participate in your writing challenges! :-)