When last we read, our dashing young hero had hidden himself beneath smelly unmentionables to hide from a police search.
As the officer lifted the hamper’s lid, Ben froze. His mouth hung open in a silent scream.
The officer blinked back tears. “Something died in here, kid.” He dropped the lid and walked, as quickly as dignity and pride allowed, out of the room.
Ben grinned. He stared into the hallway and frowned. “Died?” He scratched the back of his head. “It’s not that bad.”
Ben opened the hamper.
The cockatrice burrowed from beneath the pile of dirty laundry, its snout poking up into the fresh air of the bedroom. It warbled happily.
Ben reached into the hamper and stroked the tiny ridges above the cockatrice’s beak. He carefully lifted his pet free and tucked it into an old t-shirt.
The cockatrice struggled against the embrace.
“Just for a moment. We need to sneak out of the house. Mom’ll never let me keep you.”
The cockatrice stopped fidgeting.
“There must be someplace we can go.” Ben packed a backpack full of clothes and crept into the kitchen. He stuffed canned soup and a water bottle on top of the clothes.
He peered through the front door. The officer’s car still sat in the grass. Ben swore.
Voices carried from behind the house.
Ben tiptoed across the porch and leapt over the creaky step. He dashed across the grass, hid behind the white picket fence, and slunk away from his home. “Don’t worry, we’ll find someone who can help.”
Ben cupped the cockatrice in both hands and loosened the wrappings.
The cockatrice twisted its neck from side to side and shook free of its bindings. It stretched its wings and hissed.
Ben’s eyes widened.
The cockatrice pounced. Its wings beat the air. It soared and sailed. Dipping, bobbing, and weaving. Its jaws clacked every time it caught an insect.
Ben kept walking, but focused on his pet.
So, what do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? Was it too short? Too long? Too unfunny?
Yep, that’s right. I’m soliciting comments and suggestions. I may even use them. No matter how wacky, zany, nerdy, or weird. No matter how serious, fanciful, or sci-fi. It’s a choose your own adventure. You choose what happens next.