"Those were the days when the gang was together."
My eyes trailed off the page, hoping to find more of the story in midair just right of the paper. There was nothing. My cousin had drawn me into this world of hers and then left me hanging, pining for more. I looked at her across the room, watching me with a wicked grin. She knew all too well what she'd done, for she'd done it a hundred times over before. She had started a story - a very good story! - and handed it to me unfinished.
I folded the piece of paper quietly, trying to decide how to proceed. I wish I could say two can play at this game, and maybe that is the case, but I'm not nearly as good at it as she.
"So," I said at last, "you're a dude."
"Yep," she answered readily. "The character is, anyway. Boys are so much more fun to write about, I think. They don't mind it so much when you throw them into mud pits and dragon's lairs."
"You wouldn't mind," I pointed out.
"True," she responded proudly. "Me and Chelsea wouldn't mind at all. In fact..." - and lightning struck us both then and there. Not actual lightning, of course, but something much worse; an idea!
Without further ado, we leapt to our feet, strapped on our shovels and headed for the Potato Zoo. Chelsea met us there, suited up and ready to go. She looked like she'd been waiting a while, though it'd only been five minutes since we had the idea. Before we entered the Zoo, Hannah covered our faces with war paint. Everyone knows, after all, you can't enter wild potato habitats without war paint - or, you really shouldn't, anyway. Once we had our paint applied, it was into the darkness with us, we three unafraid and ready for anything.
But why the Zoo? Because the Zoo is the gateway to catacombs (where Hannah found our Lemon Jelly river) and catacombs lead to lairs and where there are lairs dragons must be with. This is pretty common knowledge in the typography world, which Hannah is an expert in (being a gardener and all), so we were venturing deep with great assumption and shovels, just in case.
I'm sad to say, due to my neglect, Chelsea nearly lost an arm when a volary of spuds caught us off guard. Our shovels came in handy then, and our dear Chelsea still has two arms to this day, as far as I know. Besides this brief scare, our trek through the Potato Zoo was filled with uneventful suspense.
It took us a good afternoon to find satisfactory catacombs (Hannah knew what she was looking for), and down we went into a deeper darkness.
"How far down do you think the lair will be?" I asked in a tremulous whisper.
"A few years," answered my cousin.
"At least three days," added her friend.
Then we heard the rumble. Pillars fell from high above and we rolled to dodge them. Dust, too, fell and stung our eyes but there was no need or use in rolling to dodge it all for its blanketing effect. We took off running, not toward our exit - there were only arm-eating potatoes back there - but straight ahead into darkness upon darkness upon darkness, etc. As we ran, we argued about what the rumble was. Cannon fire up topside. Giants finally come to claim our sheep and cattle. Elephants close on our very heels. But we all knew in our souls what it was.