When I was a kid, we were required each year in school (starting at about age 6) to write a story and turn it into a book. Our parents had to type the story on their old-fashioned typewriters in “landscape” orientation and we had to fold the pages and sew them together. We then had to attach it to some cardstock using rubber cement and cover the cardstock in cloth before illustrating our work by hand. Every year we had to do that and every book in our school was entered into a local competition (and ultimately every school in the district competed).
While digging through the attic a couple of weeks ago, I found one of those books. Just remember, my age in years was single digits. When you’re done reading this, you’ll wonder how folks didn’t look at me back then and instantly recognize me as somebody who will some day sell a trillion copies of his books. Really. (or maybe not) Any way, I think that the requirement to actually manufacture a book did influence me to want to write in some small way. Without further ado, I present to you a book I wrote back in the early 1980s when I was in grade school.
By Scott Biddle
Chapter One. The Journey
“Those lights are so bright,” Golden Bird exclaimed, jumping to her feet, “and the noise is mind-boggling. I can’t hear myself think!”
“We must leave now,” said Herb (urb), the eighty-year-old medicine man.
As they crossed the desert wasteland, they had many hardships. They went for days without food. No, it wasn’t water that saved them, believe it or not. It was a diamondback rattlesnake.
It started with their seeing the legless lizard slide to the outside of a hole and stop. It was waiting in line. Reptiles were going in parched and coming out drenched, clasping a cottontail in their jaws. All three humans did the same, and on the rest of the journey ate nothing.
Chapter Two. Project Plateau
“There!” shouted Herb, half-stumbling, half-running to a steep, rough-sided cliff where the lights were faster and the noise was louder.
“What do you mean?” questioned Silver Arrow.
“I mean we shall camp here, oh curious one,” Herb replied sarcastically.
(there is a pencil drawing of a mesa with a ragged cliff drawn in the book here)
“We won’t survive, but okay, we’ll do what you say,” said Golden Bird.
“Silver, scout the area and gather kindling for the fire. Golden, you do the rest, including setting a fire pit,” ordered Herb.
“Yes sir,” they chimed methodically. When they completed their tasks, they ate coral snakes, and their famine-like period was terminated.
Herb was sleepless, for he knew what should transpire. The man slowly started to rise toward a hole in the sky.
Chapter Three. The Wrath of the Gods
Silver Arrow ran toward the rising man and held onto him. “You dare defy the God of Death!” a voice bellowed. “You both shall die!” Lightning, slashes, and echoic explosive noises rang through the crisp night air.
(there is a pencil drawing of a cloud with three lightning bolts above it here)
In the morning, Golden Bird awoke. The camp, firespot, lights, and the hole of menace in the sky were gone. Was she dreaming? Maybe, but she was on that same plateau. Suddenly she stumbled clumsily into an open pit.
She looked up and saw two skeletons of male humans with rotty skin hanging off by a hair.
“It’s, it’s us,” one of them said in a weak voice. “Get revenge – Snake-in-Grass.” They then fell sprawled on the desert floor. “I’ll do it!” she thought as she climbed out of the pit and across the desert.
Chapter Four. A Venomous Snake
The rage that she has been holding onto so long must have driven her on through the night because in the morning she found out that she had walked (or run) seventy-five miles – halfway to Flagstaff, Arizona. The girl was now in Peewee – Population:101 plus prairie dogs.
“What can I buy for $15.20 in 1984?” Golden Bird thought as she entered the local hole-in-the-wall.
(there is a sign here that someone must have drawn for me that says “Welcome to PEEWEE Pop. 101)
“I’ll have a Diet Coke, the one and only,” she said.
“That’ll be $0.76, please,” replied the clerk. “I said, that’s 76 cents!”
“Oh, sorry about that,” Golden Bird replied still thinking about her finances, including food and lodgings. She ended up sleeping in a red chevy that night. The next morning she awoke to an Indian with an uzi submachine gun. It was Snake-in-Grass!
Chapter Five. The Tables Turn
“So you’re Golden Bird, sister of Silver Arrow. I framed him and Herb so that they died, and I’ll hold you for a ransom of $100 and kill you afterwards. No, I’ll torture you until you die. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!” said the plump, red husky man. “No!” she screamed, jumping out of the convertible. But before she could attack, he smashed her down against the ground.
When she next awoke, she was in a gigantic rolling-pin-like cage with food set in front. She ran towards the food, tripped a wire, and the cage spun around until she felt a sharp pain as she was running. She jumped into the axle and fell in. It was hollow!
She crawled through and wondered how long it would take her to crawl through the tunnel. She popped off the end, and a voice said, “You’ve gained your freedom, almost.” Soon he came, and she jumped on him from above. She grabbed his gun and said, “You’re a goner.”