The following are "beginnings of stories" constructed under the inspiration of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg by students in Children's Literature Class, Spring 1999

Under the Rug
Two weeks passed and then it happened again. The rug once again began to rise. Tom noticed it rise and fall out of the corner of his eye. At first it startled him, but then, realizing what it was, he exclaimed, "Honey, it's happening again." From the kitchen, his wife replied, "Really, I thought we took care of it last time." The rug began to move once again--up, down, up, down--pulsing like a beating heart. Tom walked quietly over to it and on the way picked up a chair. He raised the chair high above his head and came down and hit the rug with a thump. All of a sudden, there was a loud pop. Tom yelled to his wife, "That should do until next time."

A Strange Day in July

He threw with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back. He was trying to throw the stone all the way across the pond until it
vanished out of sight, but each time he threw a stone it came skipping back. It was on the third stone that he figured out what was going on. He had been throwing the stone so hard that the stone skipped all around the world and returned to the boy. Once he realized this, he was pleased.


A Strange Day in July

He threw the stone with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back. The stone came back slowly as the boy carefully watched it approach. The skipped in the air just as it skipped when it was thrown. As it got closer and closer, the boy noticed something very
strange: a fish bopping its head in and out of the water with the stone on top of its head.


Archie Smith, Boy Wonder

Archie Smith, Boy Wonder, was in front of them, and then they asked, "is
he the one?" The two fired lasers at the boy point blank, killing him
instantly. Then they left.


Under the Rug

Two weeks passed and it happened again. The rug suddenly drew up from the floor due to some sort of round object. It made mysterious noises--"Lubdub, Lubdub"--just like your heart. It pulsed like nothing I had seen ebfore. It strarted to break through the strong rug. The object shot through the rug and onto the ceiling where it planted itself. Two hours late, it melted and what was left was a pile of slime.


A Strange Day in July: Destiny


Sarah had always known that she and Danny were meant to be together forever (even though Danny only thought of her as a silly girl). She and Danny were always playing together and laughing together so she knew that deep inside he felt the same way she did. "Danny just needs a little pushing," she said. One day, the pushing he needed came. Sarah and Danny were down by the river. Sarah was dreaming of her life with Danny, and Danny was skipping rocks and dreaming of a life of hunting and playing ball. While all of this dreaing was going on, something amazing happened. Sarah said to Danny, "If the next rock you throw comes back to you, then
you have to be with me forever." Of course, Sarah was joking. Danny threw his rock, and, to both of their surprise, the rock came skipping back to Danny's feet.
Part II Coming Soon.