Saturday, June 19, 2010



Then something caught his attention:

ABSOLUTELY NO ADMITTANCE. A small white sign with tiny uppercase letters on a plain gray door.

Tom leaned forward and placed an ear against it. He decided he was going to find out what was behind this door. Hearing nothing, he gently turned the handle. Locked. Oh well. He turned to get back to the others, thinking their break long over, when a bad idea jumped into his head.

On tiptoe, he reached up, felt along the top of the door frame – yes!

A key!

It slid easily into the door. He turned the handle and slipped in.

He was in a stairwell. All was quiet. He adjusted to the darkness, then noticed a dim light originating from below.

Tom crept down a long flight of stairs, one creaking step after another, and met another door. This, though, was unlocked. Quietly he eased through, and found himself in the basement of the warehouse: same dimensions, he guessed, but absolutely barren.

Except for something which looked like a big cage at the far end of the room, dim in the distance. He began sneaking down toward the strange sight, when suddenly he sensed movement in the darkness around him –


Something screeched that weird word, minnick, as it raced past him – no! It was above him! No – it was circling him in the dark, crying “Minnick! Minnick! Minnick!”

Tom spun quickly on his heels and slammed back through the basement door. He didn’t care who heard. In fact, his heart was beating so fast he hoped his irritable bosses heard the commotion to save him.

He raced up the stairs, two at a time, and hit the first landing when the door below burst open again. “Minnick! Minnick! Minnick!”

A few seconds after he was through the first level doorway, racing in the red-lit darkness towards that oasis of light and, perhaps, safety, the truck and the small circle of his friends eating sandwiches. “Help!” Tom yelled, out-of-breath, rushing full speed forward away from the NO ADMITTANCE door.

Then the creature – whatever it was – banged through that door. Tom sensed rather than saw it speed past him, up on the upper metal shelves which made the warehouse a three-dimensional labyrinth. His first thought was that it was a monkey, but, no, that wasn’t right, because monkeys weren’t colored bright purple.

Or were they?

And they didn’t shout “Minnick!”

Or did they?

His friends heard the critter, too – they must have, because they all dropped their dinners and stood up. “Tom, what’s the matter – ” someone began, then all chaos really ensued.


An excerpt from “The Minnicks”, a neat little novella (or big short story, can’t decide which), that I just finished writing last night, aimed at a younger audience in mind than normal for me.

No comments: