"Will the storm last long?" Andrew asked through quivering lips.
"Try not to worry, " mom answered. "The weatherman promised it would pass over Truro quickly. Now get some sleep."
"Pretend you're tenting outside," dad said bravely. Then both parents hurried downstairs.
Andrew tried to chase away the shivers.
Outside his window the night was alive with booming sounds. And brilliant flashes lit up the sky.
"TickTickTick" seemed to go on forever, from Andrew's alarm clock.
Above the house, the crash of lightning convinced the boy to crawl further under the blankets. His window rattled.
He bumped into his backpack hiding with him under the covers. It was filled with favorite toys, games and comic books. Andrew didn't forget "Panda" his friend since the age of two.
A huge bag of popcorn was close to his right side. And rippled chips too.
Everything was here---what's moving around his toes? "Ouch, that hurt," he whispered. What else was under his blanket? He rummaged through his backpack.
"OMIGOSH," Andrew said. "I forgot to pack my flashlight."
He slid out of bed and hurled himself across the floor. Then hunted around until he found it in the top dresser drawer.
Moving quickly he jumped back into bed, forcing cold feet to the very end of his blankets. Bare toes rested on something rough. Something was crawling around his ankles.
Yikes! He wasn't alone in bed!
Under the covers it was black as coal, almost like looking up at a dark blanket of sky. Instead of gleaming stars, he was sure a pair of eyes looked back.
Growling sounds continued from behind his left leg.
Chewing his thumb Andrew turned on the flashlight. The sound had been terrifying. It couldn't be?" his voice moaned.
Impossible, wasn't it? A dinosaur couldn't fit under bed covers belonging to a little boy. Right?
Staring back at him was a Stegosaurus. It was munching on an open bag of Andrew's Hostess vinegar chips. The boy watched in fascination as the animal licked up the last few crumbs.
"Get away, you!" Andrew bellowed. The animal grumbled something under the blanket-sky, leaving the boy's toes alone for now.
New noises rumbled forth from lurking shadows. His flashlight pointed like a menacing finger into both corners. What is happening? How did he get into this cave of creatures?
Yes, that's a Triceratops and a Deinonychus.
And a Tyranosaurus!
"Run!" Andrew yelled into the darkness. Above him was a sky, stretching far into the night.
It was like being in an alien world under his blankets. Andrew's heart bumped against his chest. Now lightning zapped under his blanket-sky.
And large animals began to chase smaller ones.
Racing toward him was a Dicraeosaurus. He knew it was a plant eater and wouldn't hurt him. But, Andrew couldn't afford to take any chances.
Pulling a fire engine from his backpack, he jumped into the front seat. And turned the siren on full. All it did was mostly hurt his ears.
A Ceratosaurus and Albertosaurus bounded after him. They were more like friendly dogs wanting to play. But Andrew didn't wish to get squashed like a ripe tomato.
He stomped on the gas pedal and the fire engine leaped forward.
Soon, the road came to a stop by a narrow path leading into a forest. Andrew parked, then laced on new sneakers from his backpack.
Blowing his whistle, he warned anything moving to get out of his way. A pair of boy's feet escaped down the trail, each step trying to outrun the other.
One arm held tightly to 'Panda.'
The wind blew off his cap. Branches brushed against his face. There was no way he would let those dinosaurs catch, or eat him. Growls and pounding feet kept pace behind.
Reaching into his backpack Andrew grabbed a pair of roller blades. He knew he could easily skate away to safety. But, a sneaky tree root sent him diving headfirst into the mud.
Right now was a good time to climb a tree.
Skinny legs scrambled up the trunk. "Mom, where are you?" Andrew shouted. "Daddd!" Like a monkey he climbed higher and higher.
Suddenly peeking between two limbs was the head of a Brontosaurus. It smiled as it chewed a mouthful of leaves. "What's your problem?" the tall animal seemed to say.
The boy almost burst out laughing. This couldn't be happening.
"ANDREWWW!" was from a voice sounding far away. The sound moved back and forth like an echo. Yes, someone was shouting his name!
The boy flung off his blankets, sat up, and stared at mom and dad. He blinked as morning's sun streamed through Venetian blinds.
"Panda" was tucked under his arm.
"I see you found our surprises under your blankets," mom smiled.
Andrew stared blankly at his mom.
"Remember the dinosaur models you asked for last week?" she asked.
Dad said, "I see they're spread across your pillow."
Andrew felt weird as dad pointed.
In a neat row he saw a variety of colorful dinosaurs. There was the friendly green Dicraeosaurus, and a ferocious looking red Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Right in the middle was the figure of a little boy holding
Andrew knew it was a Panda bear.
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2007
NOTE: One day, Richard and Esther would like to see this story published by an E-publisher, as a picture book.
All messages for Richard or Esther can be sent directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org. They enjoy reading comments on their work. Readers are welcome to visit their website at: www.wsprog.com/rp/. Free downloads also available. They live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Many blessings on your loved ones.