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Box of Shocks

168 pages
Oliver has helicopter parents-they love him, but they seriously cramp his style. He decides to fill an old wooden box with souvenirs from some of his outrageous and daring exploits. That way, he'll never forget the zombies, the killer dogs and the crazy cows, and his parents will never know that he once jumped from a bridge with the police in hot pursuit. But the biggest shock comes when Oliver realizes that the most terrifying things of all can't be controlled or contained.
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ChriS McMahen
of Box shockS
Box of shockS ChriS McMahen
Text copyright ©2011Chris McMahen All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
McMahen, Chris Box of shocks [electronic resource] / Chris McMahen.
Type of computer file: Electronic monograph in PDF format. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781554699186
I. Title. ps8575.m24B69 2011a jc813’.54 c20119033372
First published in the United States,2011Library of Congress Control Number:2011929398
Summary: Oliver, a pampered only child, collects souvenirs from his daring exploits, but discovers that the most shocking things of all can’t be catalogued or contained.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed ® this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit. Cover design by Teresa Bubela Cover image by Getty Images Author photo by Ben McMahen
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Stn. B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
For my brothers, John and Ivor.
ony îe o Mom and Dad wen ï ave o. Lîke now. l ï’s a raîny Saurday aternoon în Ocober, and ï’m down în e basemen o our ouse dîggîng în e dîr loor wî a rusy od sove. he basemen îs e ony pace în e ouse Mom won’ go. Se’s araîd o mîce, spîders, snakes—a sor o îng. Rîg now, se’s a e op o e saîrs. “You beer no come down ere, Mom,” ï ca up o er. “ï jus saw wo spîders, and a mînue ago, a mouse ran rîg pas me. ï was beîng cased by a snake.” ï dîdn’ acuay see e spîders or e mouse, and ï’ve never seen a snake down ere. Sure, î’s a bî o a îe, bu î’s e ony way ï can keep Mom rom comîng down ere and eîng me wa o do.
ChriS McMahen
As or Dad, e’s no araîd o mîce, spîders, or even snakes, bu e does ave a dus aergy. Wen e goes îno e basemen, e ends up cougîng and sneezîng or abou a week, so ï’m prey sae rom Dad. ha’s wy ï îke î down ere. ï’s e ony pace în e ouse were ey can’ bug me. “ï ope you were careu on e saîrs, Oîver,” Mom says. Se’s worrîed abou me and e basemen saîrs ever sînce e îme wen ï was Ive and Deedee, e babysîer, was akîng care o me. ï dîd a ew somersaus down e saîrs and ended up breakîng my arm. Sure, î ur, bu î wasn’ suc a bîg dea. Mom and Dad were prey reaked ou oug. Now ey Igure every îme ï wak down e basemen saîrs, ï’m goîng o do a repea perormance. “Yes, ï was careu on e saîrs, Mom,” ï say. “ï made î a e way down sae and sound. No broken arms, bo my egs are sî aaced and my braîn îs sî însîde my sku. You don’ ave o worry.” Besîdes beîng et aone, ere’s anoer reason wy ï îke î down în e basemen: ï ove o dîg în dîr. Especîay îs dîr. Our ouse îs so od, e basemen loor îs jus dîr. And ï îke dîr, because dîr as possî-bîîîes. You never know wa you mîg dîg up. Wo knows? Maybe ï’ înd a sas o money. Maybe a gang robbed a bank, used îs ouse as a îdeou and îd mîîons o doars under e dîr oor.
Box of shockS
And maybe ey were caug în a sooou beore ey coud dîg up e money. You never know. “Oîver!” Mom agaîn, caîng rom e op o e saîrs. “Wa îs î?” “Your unc îs ready.” Lunc! Wy woud ï care abou unc wen ï’m abou o dîg up a suîcase u o undred-doar bîs or a runk u o god bars? “ï’s okay, Mom. ï don’ wan any unc,” ï ca back. “Bu î’s aready on e abe. And î’s your avorîe.” “My avorîe? You made me cocoae-covered jey-beans or unc?” “No, Oîver. ï’s macaronî and ceese. Your avorîe ood în e woe word.” ï ae î wen se says someîng îs my “avorîe ood în e woe word.” Macaronî and ceese îsnotmy avor-îe ood în e woe word! My avorîe ood în e woe word îs acuay marsmaow pîzza. ï’m no expecîng Mom o serve up marsmaow pîzza anyîme soon uness someone dîscovers a marsmaow pîzza îs în e same ood group as broccoî, Brusses sprous and spînac.For some reason, ï don’ înk a’s ever goîng o appen. “Okay. ï’ be up în a mînue,” ï say. hîs îs anoer îe. ï won’ be up în a mînue, because ï wan o dîg. Even oug ï aven’ dîscovered any îdden
ChriS McMahen
oo ye, ere’s a cance ï mîg dîg up someîng ese— îke some od bones. No a ï’d be crazy abou dîggîng up an od skeeon, bu î ï aued a sku upsaîrs, my mom woud reak ou. ï’d enjoy a. A ew mînues aer, ï ear, “Oîver! Your unc îs geîng cod!” “ï’s okay,” ï repy. “Macaronî and ceese aways ases beer wen î’s cod. ïn ac, î ases bes wen î’s compeey rozen!” “Don’ be sîy, Oîver.” “ï’m no beîng sîy, Mom.” ha’s wen my sove îs someîng. Someîng ard. ï jab a î a coupe more îmes. ï’s no ard îke rock. ï ees wooden and oow. Treasure cess are wooden and oow. Bu so are coins! he back door opens, and ï ear ooseps crossîng e kîcen. ï recognîze ose ooseps. ï’s Dad. Dad doesn’ care î ï dîg în e basemen. ï ï’m ucky, maybe e’ dîsrac Mom or a wîe so ï can keep dîggîng. ï dîg aser. Coud îs acuay be a reasure ces? hen ï înk, Skus are aso oow and sor o wooden. ï sop dîggîng. Bu wa î î’s no a sku? Wa î î’s a reasure ces u o undred-doar bîs or bars o god or dîamonds? ï sar dîggîng agaîn, a îe aser, unî ï can see e ouîne o someîng wî our corners.
Box of shockS
Upsaîrs, e mîcrowavepings. Mom mus be warmîng up my macaronî. ï dîg a bî more and brus e res o e dîr away wî my Ingers. Now ï can see wa ooks îke a wooden box. ï’s oo sma o be a coin. ha’s a reîe. he op îs a scraced and scraped îke î’s been î wî a sove. Probaby my sove. ï dîg around e ousîde edges wî my Ingers unî ï can wrîgge em undernea and pu e box up ou o e dîr. ï’s saped îke a soe box, bu a bî bîgger. here’s no wrîîng on e box—jus some squîggy back desîgns on e sîdes. ï ees îg. ha’s no good. God bars or even îgy packed bundes o undred-doar bîs woud weîg more an îs. Bu erehas o be someîng good însîde. Boxes ge burîed or a reason. “Oîver! ï warmed up your macaronî.” “Jus gîve me a mînue!” ï sou. “We don’ ave muc îme, Oîe!” Dad says.“We ave o eave or your denîs appoînmen în weny mînues.” he denîs? Las week, ï ad o ge my eyes cecked. he week beore a, ï ad o see e docor because Mom was worrîed abou a ras on my ebow. “And be careu on ose saîrs,” Dad adds. Be careu goîng up e saîrs? Wo’s ever eard o anyone aîng UP saîrs?
ChriS McMahen
“Yea, ï’ be careu, Dad,” ï say, opîng e’ eave me aone or a ew more mînues. ï can’ waî o Ind ou wa’s însîde îs reasure box. here are înges on one sîde o e box. Very care-uy, ï pu e edge o e îd. As î swîngs open,ï od my brea, ready o be amazed by wa’s însîde e box. ï open e îd and see…noîng!No god bars. No undred-doar bîs. No dîamonds—noîng excep dead, sae aîr! Wa kînd o a burîed reasure îs îs? Wy în e word woud someone bury an empy box în e basemen o our ouse? here soud be a aw a î you Ind a burîed box, ere’s go o be someîng însîde î. And waever’s însîde soud make you sînkîng rîc or a eas amous. Or ere soud be someîng magîca a wî cange your îe—maybe a rîng a makes you bueproo, or a a a gîves you e power o soo îgnîng bos ou o your eyes. No jus sae aîr! he grea burîed reasure în e basemen loor îs an empy box. Woop-dee-doo! “Oîe! Ge a move on! We don’ wan o be ae!” Dad cas. “Yea! ï’m on my way up. Jus gîve me a mînue.”ï ear îs ooseps movîng across e ouse o îs ome oice.