Written by the grandchildren in Oma’s Scribbler Squad
Four grandchildren arrived Friday for five days of learning to write and illustrate at Oma’s Camp. A lot of things can happen––some of them unexpected. Here is how each one described what happened the first night.
Chapter One – It All Started with Dinner
By Alyssa Boldt, aged 15 in September
It all started off with a perfect day. My sister Ashley and I packed all of our stuff and headed off to Oma’s house for some new adventures during our first ever writer’s camp.
We started right away with working on our “big cheese” characters for our story. After a lot of brain storming and stories about our own mannerisms, bad habits and flaws, we got ready to have a delicious dinner and even more fun in the evening. Or maybe not. We had amazing spaghetti and meatballs. After dinner I went to go read a book. Suddenly I got a pain in my stomach. At first it wasn’t that bad, but it continuously got worse. Suddenly a pain stabbed me like a sharp knife. It became unbearable.
I quickly told Oma what was wrong and she said that she had a stomachache, too. Maybe it was something we ate. The cookie dough? The meatballs? The pudding for dessert? Little did we know mine was about to get even worse! I lay down on the couch and Oma offered me some tums, but I couldn’t take them because I kept feeling worse! I suddenly ran to the bathroom and threw up. I felt better after, that but then I felt dizzy. I told Oma that I needed juice.
She called my parents to pick me up and I went home right away. I had some soup while watching the Phineas and Ferb show. Then I headed off to bed.
I wondered what they were doing at Oma’s house while I was gone. “Probably nothing too eventful”, I said to myself as I quietly dozed off. But was it?
Chapter Two – Equilibrium
By Melanie Boldt, aged 15
I’ve often thought that good and bad have to be balanced. Neither one nor the other lasts forever. Oma’s camp yesterday was a wonderful, awesome, marvelous experience. It stands to reason that last night was just the opposite.
I finished brushing my teeth and was about to rinse my minty toothbrush when I suddenly leapt backwards and let out a screech. Right there, not two feet away was one of the largest bugs I’ve ever seen, crawling out of the overflow hole in the sink. It was at least five centimeters long with countless fuzzy legs and looked drenched. In other words: terrifying, humungous, soon-to-be-squished.
The only problem was, no one was doing the squishing. Ashley walked into the washroom but didn’t seem concerned about the bug. How could she be so calm? I’m deathly afraid of bugs, but I guess she isn’t. Ashley started untying her braids and told me, “Look at my pretty hair!” I laughed, but it was a breathless laugh, because I couldn’t stop glancing at the monstrosity in the sink out of the corner of my eye. We screamed for Oma to come help us, but she didn’t come.
It moved! I squealed again. Ashley tried to wash it down the drain, but the bug only scuttered more. I fled the washroom. My brother Vincent yelled from behind his closed bedroom door, “Stop shouting! I’m trying to sleep!”
“There’s a huge bug in the sink! You go kill it!” I yelled back, but my brother didn’t answer.
Finally, Oma arrived and asked, “What’s all this screaming about?” We explained about the bug and she courageously strode into the washroom, took a piece of paper towel and squashed the offending creature.
Whew. It was over. I could sleep now. I heaved a great sigh of relief. I rinsed my toothbrush and my mouth and got ready for bed.
Meanwhile, Ashley went back to our room. She screamed! She ran out shouting, “There’s a mouse in Alyssa’s black bag!”
“A mouse?” I asked as I took a hasty step away from our doorway. Ashley’s screams brought Oma and Opa running. Ashley and I hurried upstairs. Two frights were too much! I would never be able to sleep again. I almost expected a raccoon or a skunk to jump out at me next.
I never saw the mouse, but Ashley told me it was small, black and had beady eyes. Apparently, it ran out of our room and into Vincent’s room, where Opa chased it then killed it with Oma’s shoe.
After that, Oma and Opa set all the mousetraps with peanut butter. Vincent went back to his room. Ashley and I, however, refused to sleep downstairs. Oma brought Ashley’s inflatable mattress up; I decided to sleep on a couch, rather than anywhere near the sites of trauma. One incident would have been easy enough to get over, but two! Ashley was still wide-awake and jittery. I’ve had pet mice before, so I wasn’t as scared, but even so, those mice were in a cage.
I was exhausted, having slept only six hours the night before, but falling asleep was difficult. The washing machine hummed, the clock ticked and the cricket chirped. The cricket was worst because it wasn’t a constant noise. It sounded as if it were in the curtains. I told myself my imagination was running wild after the previous events.
To fall asleep, I tried thinking of nothing, but of course that didn’t work, so I counted until I fell into a not-so-deep slumber. The couch wasn’t the most comfortable of beds, but it was a hundred times better than being downstairs, terrified that more creatures would pop out at me.
Oma’s camp is definitely exciting. I hope my theory of balance is wrong, because that would mean that more bad things are to come. What will tomorrow bring?
Chapter Three – Shock, Fear and No Sleep
By Ashley Boldt, aged 12 in September
It all started on a perfect camp day when one thing went wrong; there was still more to come.
I was sitting on my bed, waiting for Melanie, when I heard a scream. I had to figure out what it was, so I walked into the bathroom and saw an enormous bug with about a thousand little legs. I wasn’t too scared, so I turned and to look in the mirror. Melanie looked at me and screeched, “There’s a bug in the sink! Kill it.”
I ignored Melanie by untying my braids. I turned to Melanie and said, “Look at my pretty hair.”
“I can’t believe you’re messing with your hair while there’s a big bug in the sink,” Melanie whimpered.
“You’re still worried about the bug?” I asked. I picked up a glass of water and poured it on it to wash it back down the drain, but it kept climbing up the sink. By that time I was scared, too. “Oma! There’s a bug in the sink,” I shouted. After that I heard Vincent scream something about not be able to sleep. Everyone was hollering and screaming. Finally Oma came downstairs and squished the bug and put it in the garbage.
I was walking back to our room and was about to check the black bag that Alyssa left behind when she went home sick. Suddenly, I saw was a black mouse with dark eyes crawling into that bag. I freaked out and ran upstairs screaming, “Mouse! There’s a mouse!” To calm down, I drank a glass of water and sat down.
Soon I saw Opa come upstairs with a squished mouse in his hand. I yelled back, “I don’t want to see it!” But Opa showed it to me anyway. Then he threw it into the forest and washed his hands.
I decided to sleep upstairs to avoid any mice and bug attacks. Then I went to bed, but not for long. I pushed off the covers and worried about a mouse hiding in my pillowcase or covers. I sat there with no covers, listening to Oma type on her computer. When she finished, I asked her to keep the lights when she left.
I tried to sleep, but I heard a cricket chirping. I thought for sure it was in the bookcase beside my bed, but soon the sound seemed to have moved to another room. Also, because I had pulled off my covers, I started to freeze. I no longer cared about the mouse and put my covers back on. Then I accidentally nudged my pillow off the bed and had to get out of bed and pick it up. From all the movement, I hadn’t noticed the ticking of the clock, but now I did. It lasted all night. Besides, my air mattress started deflating, so I slept with a collapsing mattress, covers bunched up around me, and my pillow over my head.
Was this all a nightmare, or was it real? That’s for you to determine.
Chapter Four – Eek!
By Vincent Boldt, aged 11
The longer you stay up, the more that can happen. They can be good things…or not!
Last night, they weren’t.
“EEK!” I heard Melanie scream from the washroom. I stirred in my bed and tried to sleep again.
“EEK!” I heard her scream again. I tried to fall asleep, but I couldn’t.
“EEK!” I heard her scream once more. I couldn’t sleep with all that noise.
“CAN YOU STOP SCREAMING PLEASE?” I yelled at her. “I CAN’T SLEEP!”
“THERE’S A GIANT BUG IN THE SINK!” she screamed.
I tried to ignore the screeches, but I couldn’t.
“EEK!” Ashley squealed.
“CAN YOU STOP SCREAMING PLEASE?” I shouted to her.
“THERE’S A MOUSE IN ALYSSA’S BLACK BAG!” I heard. Really, Alyssa went home sick, anyway.
I got up, opened the door, and a mouse scurried into my room. I saw Oma hand Opa her shoe. I watched the mouse hide behind my suitcase. I wasn’t scared of the mouse! It was tiny! It scurried away and Opa chased it. Finally, he hit it with Oma’s shoe. He picked up the dead mouse with his bare hand and said, “The mouse is dead. Come and see!” but no one wanted to see it. Then he threw the mouse outside.
“I want to sleep upstairs!” Ashley said.
“I want to sleep on the couch!” Melanie said.
I eventually fell asleep that night without any more “eeks.”
Chapter 5 – A Fitful Night
By Fern Boldt, the tired old grandmother
I had given the kids a goodnight hug and went upstairs to tuck my weary bones into bed when I heard a horrendous scream. “A bug! A bug!”
I flew back down the stairs to check it out. Sure enough! An ugly bug with a gazillion legs had come up out of the drain and had frightened two of my granddaughters. I grabbed a paper towel and squished it.
I left instructions for how to close the drain for the night and went back upstairs. Now I could finally sleep, right? Wrong!
Then I heard them scream, “A mouse! A mouse!” I tore down the stairs again. Ashley said, “A mouse crawled into Alyssa’s bag!” I wasn’t’ about to investigate myself, so I called for Opa to come to the rescue. When he moved the bag, out jumped the mouse. It ran into the hallway where I was standing. I pulled off my sandal and gave it to Opa. He chased the mouse into Vincent’s bedroom. It ran back and forth across the room until he was finally able to whop it. He picked it up by the scruff of the neck and threw it outside.
Now I could go to bed, right? Wrong! The girls refused to sleep downstairs with bugs and mice lurking in the dark, waiting for an opportunity to frighten them again. Vincent hopped back into his bed; he didn’t care, but the girls asked to sleep upstairs.
I dragged Ashley’s blowup mattress upstairs, calmed her down, and tucked her in. I made Melanie a place to sleep on the sofa. Ashley begged to have a light left on, so she could keep vigil over Oma’s “house guests.”
Now I could finally sleep, right? Wrong! I tossed and turned for hours. I mercifully fell asleep and dreamed I heard little children’s voices. No, it’s not a dream. It’s 6:30 in the morning and they’re all awake! Maybe I’ll be able to sleep tonight, right?