Thursday, July 7, 2011

Critique is Missing by Alexis Zimmer-Chu

Alexis was also a participant in the writing camp taught by Barbara Simpson Carducci. Here is her version of Critique is Missing. Unfortunately, Alexis didn't have time to write chapter five.  Can you provide an ending for her story?  

Chapter 1 –Where O  Where Did My Little Cat Go? 

“Critique! Where are you?” eight-year-old Storee Wryter called.  Ten minutes ago Critique, Storee’s black and white cat had been happily looking for mice or grasshoppers in the backyard. Storee had just looked up and realized Critique was gone.

“Critique!” Storee called again.

Just then her parents came out. “What’s wrong Storee?” asked Storee’s dad.

“Critique is missing!” Storee cried. “She was right here a few minutes ago.”

“Calm down, honey. I’m sure Critique will be back soon, “soothed her mom.

Can’t we at least put up posters?” Storee said. Both her parents agreed that was a good idea. They went inside to make them. While they made the posters, the Wryters went over possible ideas. She could have wandered, gotten hurt, been catnapped, or stuck.

‘What if she were kidnapped?’ thought Storee. Wouldn’t that make an interesting story?

Chapter 2 – Grumpy Grumpis  Interferes.

Critique had been gone for three days. Mr. and Mrs. Wryter went out to put up posters with Storee. They put them on every tree and post they could find.

CAT MISSING, said the posters.

“Do you think someone will find her?” Storee asked her mom.

                “I hope so. But we’ll get her back one way or another,” she replied.

“I guess,” said Storee, hoping her mom was right. They did all the trees on the Wryter’s side and then crossed the street to the home of Mrs. Grumpis. As they were putting a poster on a tree in front of Mrs. Grumpis’ house, she came out to stop them.

“Don’t you put them ugly posters up anyplace near this home of mine!” she cried. Her old leathery skin made her seem very tough. She peered down at Storee through her spectacles and said, “Git away from here. Do y’all here me?”

Storee and her mom said they were sorry and went to put posters on the next house down.
“That’s right! Git gone, y’hear?” Mrs. Grumpis called after them, waving her fist in the air.

What is she took Critique? Storee speculated. What if…?

Chapter 3 –  Storee Suspects Jake

The next day Storee took a walk to look for Critique. She peered under bushes and behind houses. She even asked neighbors if they had seen Critique, though she avoided Mrs. Grumpis’ house.

She was heading home very disheartened, when she saw a boy in the backyard of Mrs. Grumpis’ house. He looked slightly older than Storee and had jet -black hair. He was practicing something in the backyard but Storee couldn’t tell what it was. She went closer and saw him kicking and punching.

“What are you doing? Storee asked.

                “Aya! Karate! I’m a black belt you know,” he answered. “And my name’s Jake. I’m here for the summer.”

Storee was trying not to giggle. Jake looked so concentrated on doing his karate and talking that he looked rather comical.

“I’m Storee,” she giggled.

“You know, karate isn’t funny!” yelled jake. “But your name is!”

That made Storee stop laughing.

“You be quiet about my name!” she said, on the verge of tears. She turned and walked home crying.

“Mom! You know Mrs. Grumpis across the street?”

“Yes, why?”

“She has a grandson named Jake!”

“Well that’s nice. Is he your age?”

“About. But he said I have a funny name.”

“That was very mean of him,” Mrs. Wryter told Storee. Storee nodded. Her mom gave her a big hug.

“You shouldn’t listen to what people like that say, though, Storee. You have a beautiful name,” her mom said, stroking Storee’s hair. Storee nodded again.

What if Jake’s in on Critique’s disappearance, Storee thought. What a story that would make.
Chapter 4 – Critique Gone for Good?

Critique had been gone for a week. Storee had almost given up hope, even though she still asked the neighbors. One day, Storee decided to as Mrs. Grumpis.

Well, here goes nothing, she thought, knocking on the door.  The door opened. Storee found herself looking into Jake’s face.

“Uh, hi,” he said.

“Hey,” Storee said.  “You haven’t seen a cat around, have you?”

Jake grunted.

“What?” Storee asked.

“I don’t think so. Grandma hates cats,” Jake answered.

“Oh. You know, I’m sorry I laughed at your karate. I don’t know what I was thinking,“ mumbled Storee.

“It’s okay. I’m sorry I made fun of your name. I actually think it’s pretty cool,” Jake said.

“Don’t worry about it. What’s on your sofa?” Storee said. She had just seen black and white fur on the sofa. It looked like cat fur!

“Oh, uh, nothing,” Jake said hurriedly.

Yeah right, Storee thought.  “See ya,” Storee said.

“Yeah,” said Jake. So Storee left

As she was leaving an idea came to her. Animal Control! She ran home to tell her parents. As she rounded the corner she saw an Animal Control truck. Storee ran up and asked the man in the truck if he’d seen a black and white cat.

“Excuse me, uh, Trapper!” Storee called, reading the name on his uniform. “You haven’t picked up a black and white female cat, have you?”

“Yes, actually. Earlier in the week. She was put to sleep though,” said Trapper, his long arms gesticulating.

“NO!” cried Storee, running as fast as she could. Critique could be dead? Imagine a story about how a girl copes with losing her cat, she thought.

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