Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)
TITLE: Summer Camp Adventure
By Seema Bagai
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“But, recess is almost over.” Ike tried to pull his hand free, but Issy held on tight. It was the first day of church summer camp. Both children wore new camp shirts with “Wild Kingdom” printed across the front.
“Come on. There’s lots of time.”
Issy pulled open the church’s side door. It was dark, except for faint light from the window. They crept past rows of empty chairs.
“What are we doing?” Ike whispered.
Issy pointed across the room. “I want to see what’s behind that door.”
“No way! I’m going back.”
“Fine. I’ll go myself. I’m not a chicken.” She opened the door and disappeared.
Ike froze, wondering what to do. He was afraid of getting in trouble. However, he knew he’d have a hard time explaining where Issy was if he went back alone. With his heart pounding, Ike trudged after Issy.
Issy stood in the middle of the room. An open book and a shiny ball sat on a wooden table. The ball was the size of a baseball and had a bluish-green glow. Her eyes grew wide as she snatched the ball.
“Issy, don’t!” The glow became brighter and the room shook. Ike tried to grab the ball, but it was too late. They felt themselves being sucked through a giant, invisible tube.
They landed on a rough, wooden floor. Issy still held the ball, but it had stopped glowing. Wherever they were, it was dark and smelled strange. The floor rocked back and forth.
“Where are we?” Ike whispered.
“I don’t know. Why did you make a monkey noise?”
“I didn’t. Why are you growling?”
“I’m not.” Issy paused. They heard howling and hooting.
“Let’s get out of here!”
They scrambled to their feet. Issy held out her hand along the wall to try to find a door. Ike saw a crack of light and pulled Issy toward it. They discovered a hole barely big enough for them to crawl through.
Once outside, they looked around. Rain poured around them. They were on an enormous boat. There was no land in sight.
Issy bent over and peeked back into the hole. “It’s like a zoo in there. That’s where all those noises came from.”
“Animals. Boat. Rain. We must be on Noah’s Ark.” Ike smiled, pleased he had figured this out.
“Let’s go find the giraffes.” She headed toward the end of the ark. Ike ran after her.
They looked around but didn’t see any animals. Issy shrugged. “They must all be inside.”
“I’m <i>not</i> going back in there. What if the lions are hungry? Besides, we have to figure out how to get back to camp.” Ike crossed his arms, stuck out his bottom lip and frowned.
“How will we get back?”
“You got us here in the first place.” It rained harder and the ark rocked more.
Issy paced back and forth. “We got here when I grabbed the ball, right? So it must be how we get home.” She stared at the ball. Ike took it and squeezed it several times. Nothing happened. He threw it and Issy caught it. Still nothing. Issy threw it back, but Ike missed. The ball bounced and landed on the wooden deck.
“Look, it’s glowing.” They ran over and snatched the ball. Once again, they were sucked through the invisible tube back to the church.
Issy put the ball carefully on the table. Ike noticed the book on the table was a Bible opened to Genesis chapter 6. They dashed out of the church and over to the playground. They were just in time to join everyone going back inside.
“Looks like you guys got in a water fight. What happened?” their friend, Alex, asked.
Ike and Issy looked at each other nervously. Ike started to say something, but Issy spoke first.
“We rode on Noah’s Ark.”
“Yeah, right.” Alex snorted. “Did you see any giraffes?” He laughed and walked away.
Issy called after him, “We tried, but-”
Ike interrupted, “Issy, don’t say anything else.”
In the classroom, Ike and Issy slid into their seats. “Kids, let’s finish reading the story of Noah and the flood,” their teacher said.
Ike and Issy smiled. Camp was turning out to be more exciting than they expected.
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