The following is a product of the Central Middle School Writer’s Workshop run by teacher Guy Campeau and former Red Deer Author Gerry Bast. The workshop combined 30 students from Grade 6 through 8 as they came up with the following original story called “The Red Deer Mutant Butterfly Incident.” Enjoy.
Katherine, the Grade 7 student swam over to the edge of the pool, “Hey my dudes what did you think of that math test?”
Carly scratched her head, “It was super difficult.”
“OMG it was totes easy. I, like, literally aced it.” Juevos was the top science and math genius in Grade 8.
Harold got up and spoke over his shoulder while walking away from the group, “Uh, why are we talking about math at the pool? You guys are lame!”
“Well I’m pretty sure I failed the test. I just don’t get it.”
“Let’s go to the hot tub, Katherine, this is boring.”
“Okay. Carly, are you coming?”
That Tuesday, at the Red Deer Central Middle School, the same students were working on their major science project for the year.
Juevos was very excited, “I can’t believe we’re going to change butterflies back into caterpillars.”
Lily didn’t like the idea, “Why would we do that?”
“We’re going to reverse evolution.”
James spoke next. “I’m still with Lily. Why would you want to do that?”
“Just agree with Juevos and learn about it!” Katherine wanted to get some work done.
Harold smiled and laid his head down on the desk, “I want to see how we can go back to being monkeys.” He had been up late and it didn’t take long to fall asleep while listening to them talk. As a genius, Juevos felt this was an important discussion. He slammed his text book closed and Harold jumped. Swinging his arm, he hit a beaker. It almost rolled off the desk, but some of the chemical solution poured into the butterflies’ drinking water.
Lily grabbed his arm, “Why did you fall asleep?”
The bell rang telling them it was the end of the day. James grabbed Harold’s backpack and they chased out of the room.
At the next science class, instead of butterflies they found caterpillars. Students thought they were successful but they didn’t notice what had gone into the butterflies’ drinking water. They had created mutant caterpillars.
Everything looked fine, but that night the caterpillars began to move together to leave.
Later, on a field trip they hiked to the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Butterflies the size of the Huey helicopters swooped overhead. Rushing back to the school, they found that the police were already there. Buildings had been damaged and the town offices were under siege.
Juevos sat calmly at his desk reading the Red Deer Advocate online. He began to snicker, “My plan has finally worked.”
A voice over the intercom interrupted them, “All of the people of Red Deer have been ordered to evacuate the city.”
At home, Juevos found one of the mutant butterflies had crashed into his house and his mother was missing.
A police officer tried to explain what had happened. “It looks like one of the mutants forced it’s way into your house.” She continued, “I’m sorry, but I think they have taken your mother.”
The young student lost his balance and leaned against his kitchen wall. “Why would they take my mother?”
“I think it’s just random, Juevos.”
“No. It’s not!” he shouted. “They know who I am.”
At the police station on 58th Avenue, he told his science teacher, a psychologist and the chief of police how he had made a solution to drastically enlarge the size of the butterflies.
“It’s mostly steroids from the pharmacy, but I can fix it! They have my mother. I have the formula. Maybe we can reverse the extreme growth.”
The psychologist looked at Juevos to see if he was being honest, “Do you really believe they are holding your mother because of what you did to them?”
“Listen,” the officer interrupted. “We need to make that solution. We can discuss other things later.”
The seven students were ordered back to the school lab. Juevos gazed out at the city street. “I wonder where my mother is.”
Suddenly the butterflies crashed through the window. One stood to block the door and another grabbed Juevos. He panicked and feared for his life. He struggled to retrieve the antidote but he couldn’t get to it. Harold reached for it, only to find Juevos near collapse. He poured the antidote from Juevos water bottle over the butterfly. But another one grabbed his arm.
“Ouch! You’re hurting me!” He felt his body shaking.
“Harold, wake up!” Lily yelled, shaking him again. “Harold! The class is over.” Harold woke up dazed and confused. He raised his head from the desk.
“What happened? Is Juevos okay? Where are the mutant butterflies?”
Everyone laughed and James grabbed his backpack and they chased out the door.