So Ray’s trying to dare me on to making up stories for her. Making up kids’ stories is pretty durned primal, though, so I struggle. Ray picked out the character names, the subject material, and specified that it was supposed to be exciting. We’ll see. Today’s installment. I’m trying not to edit too much from what I actually told her.

It was the first day of school, and Rachael had had a weird day. All of her friends were in a different class, so she’d had a new teacher and no friends, until she’d met a new friend, Rafe. All last year, she’d told her mom about her day after she’d walked home from school, so she was looking forward to telling her all about her day.

But when she got to her house, her mother wasn’t home. She wasn’t upstairs, she wasn’t downstairs, she wasn’t in the basement, she wasn’t in the garage. And the dog, Fluffy, was locked outside, even though she was usually in the house all day with mom.

Rachael unlocked the back door and let Fluffy in. At first, Fluffy barked and barked, but then she just whined. Rachael didn’t know what that meant, but it didn’t sound good.

Rachael did exactly what she was supposed to do in an emergency: she called her dad at work.

“Hello?” he asked.

“Hi, Dad,” she said.

“Rachael? Is that you? Is everything all right? Let me talk to your mom.”

“Dad, listen. Mom’s gone. I can’t find her anywhere.”

“That’s strange. She didn’t leave me a message.”

“Can you come home?”

“I’ll be right there,” he said. Before he hung up, he told her he loved her and she should be good.

“I won’t do anything,” she promised.

But as soon as she turned off the phone–beep!–it started ringing again. Ring…Ring…

Rachael knew she wasn’t supposed to answer the phone, but she thought it might be her mother. Beep!

“Hello?” she said.

But instead of her mother’s voice, a stranger’s voice said, “The Queen Bee’s stinger has been pulled.” And then he hung up.

Hmmmm…., the phone hummed.