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HomeNewsSpecial Reports "How I Wrecked My Summer Vacation"

This summer, The Day ran a serialized a work of fiction by enterprise editor Kenton Robinson. "How I Wrecked My Summer Vacation" was published in The Daybreak section and on www.theday.com.


Chapter 40: Sleepy Lagoon

 September 6, 2009; Updated: 10:43 am

As soon as my parents left the next evening, I jumped on my bike and rode upriver. It wasn't far. A mile or two maybe. I'd see Minerva and get back to Eddy's, and they would never know. I rode past the river and beyond, into flowing fields...


Chapter 39: The Moral of My Story

 September 5, 2009; Updated: 9:53 am

They say that when you tell a story like this, you're supposed to end it by saying what the lesson is. You know, like: "The moral to this story is that you should never fall for skinny girls who want to steal seals from the aquarium."But...


Chapter 38: Do Me a Favor

 September 4, 2009; Updated: 12:29 pm

During the next week, Eddy and I spent all our free time together. We fixed up the clubhouse, hunted snakes and added to our rock collections. It was just like old times, except ...Except sometimes Eddy...


Chapter 37: Reunion

 September 1, 2009; Updated: 11:56 am

"Police suspect the boy had an accomplice, but they have no clues as to his identity," the end of the newspaper story said. "The boy has refused to name his accomplice."Was it really possible that her own mother didn't suspect her?I...


Chapter 36: Home Sour Home

 August 31, 2009; Updated: 2:12 pm

For the next hour, I sat alone and shivered, watching the minutes tick by on the clock outside my cell.Finally, the tall cop came down the hall and unlocked the door. "C'mon." He led the way back to the police chief's office. Everyone was...


Chapter 35: The Big Lie

 August 30, 2009; Updated: 11:53 am

The first cop came back and unlocked my cell."Let's go see the chief," he said.I plodded after him down the hall to the police chief's office. There stood my father, looking older than he'd ever looked before, his rumpled pajamas...


Chapter 34: The Prisoner

 August 29, 2009; Updated: 9:53 am

We tore down the road in the white Cadillac, a dozen cruisers howling on our tail."We're doomed!" I cried. "They're catching up!""Ark! Ark! Ark!" said the seals from the back seat. "Ark! Ark! Ark!"I woke with a start. My face...


Chapter 33: Stop! You're Under Arrest!

 August 28, 2009; Updated: 9:03 am

We ran for the river, the sounds of yelling and screaming and sirens behind us.When we got to the boat, I tore the stocking from my head and started pulling off my shirt."C'mon, we've got to change clothes! People have seen...


Chapter 32: Night of the Living Seals

 August 25, 2009; Updated: 10:43 am

We huddled in the hedge, waiting to make a break for the river, but now the whole neighborhood was panicked. Lights flashed on in all the houses. Windows and doors opened and slammed. Heads popped out, shrieked "Aliens!" and popped in...


Chapter 31: Run!

 August 24, 2009; Updated: 11:42 am

I couldn't believe it. The fearless Minerva Wimberly was frozen with fear.What could I do? I had to snap her out of it. We had to get out of here. She turned her head and stared out the windshield, her hands locked on the steering...


Chapter 30: P-P-P-Paralyzed

 August 23, 2009; Updated: 9:49 am

The seals were not impressed. They laid their heads back down and blinked.I climbed to the low wall dividing the seal pond from the duck pond. I laid a ramp from the seal pond up the wall. Minerva laid her ramp down the other...


Chapter 29: Rescue Night

 August 22, 2009; Updated: 9:19 am

I squatted next to the rowboat at the edge of the marsh, my heart fluttering like a nervous bird. The moon was a huge ball rolling up to the top of the sky. I looked at my watch. Twenty-five minutes to midnight. It was time.I took a deep...


Chapter 28: Paging Dr. Wimberly

 August 21, 2009; Updated: 8:21 am

"Hey, W. You home?"The growly voice slipped into my dreams. I lifted my head. How long had I been asleep?I pushed myself up - Yow! That hurt! - and rolled over to sit up on the bed. I held my glasses to my face and discovered that...


Chapter 27: Good Riddance

 August 18, 2009; Updated: 10:25 am

I woke up the next morning feeling doomed. Tonight's the night, I thought, and my stomach turned over. I looked out my window, searching for a cloud. We couldn't go if it rained. But the sky was pure blue.I slogged down to the kitchen and...


Chapter 26: The S.L.F.

 August 17, 2009; Updated: 4:30 pm

"Frimhaus, you're a genius! A genuine, 100 percent genius! It's brilliant! It's beautiful! It's truly inspired!"We sat on my bed, the book open before us. Minerva kicked out her long legs and, stretching her arms above her head, fell back...


Chapter 25: The Night Balloon

 August 16, 2009; Updated: 1:00 pm

I didn't sleep much that night. Every time I began to drift off, I felt like I was falling. I would wake with a jolt, my sheets stuck to my skin. What was I going to do?I liked Minerva. A lot. Was this what people meant when they...


Chapter 24: Step 9

 August 15, 2009; Updated: 11:20 am

When we rode into the empty lot of the aquarium that night, it was as brightly lit as a baseball field. Even though we weren't actually going to do anything, my heart was walloping in my chest."I don't see anyone," Minerva said. Her voice...


Chapter 23: E-Mail

 August 14, 2009; Updated: 10:32 am

"so i heard u were downtown on a d8 w yr grrlfriend. =(;-)) e.""u oughta know. u were there 2. w.""what's that sposed 2 mean? e.""u know what it means. u were SPYING on us the whole time. w.""gimme a break! i've got...


Chapter 22: Eight Steps to Catastrophe

 August 11, 2009; Updated: 10:31 am

Step 1: Fool Yourself.OK, so I would help her bust out the seals. That didn't mean we'd really DO it. Once she saw that it was impossible, she'd forget all about it. Right?


Chapter 21: The Plan

 August 10, 2009; Updated: 10:56 am

That night, I lay in bed and thought about the day. The last thing Minerva had said was, "Someone has to rescue those seals, and I'm going to figure out how to do it." I knew she wasn't kidding.THUMP!What was...


Chapter 20: Seal Island

 August 9, 2009; Updated: 10:35 pm

"C'mon," I said. "We haven't gone out to Seal Island yet.""Seal Island?""Yeah. It's my favorite part."We walked to an outdoor walkway with a pond on either side. In the pond to our right, enormous goldfish floated up and...


Chapter 19: The Fish Museum

 August 9, 2009; Updated: 10:35 pm

The "fish museum." If I had known what that visit would lead to, I never would have taken her there.We parked our bikes and walked to the main entrance. Next to the door was a pond surrounded by a high iron fence. Basking in the sun on a...


Chapter 18: Sightings

 August 8, 2009; Updated: 12:11 pm

We pedaled down the road along the river, past the shallow flats where the herons hunted dinner, past the black-hulled whaling ships docked across the water, their white spars stabbing into the sky. A stiff, salty breeze blew into our faces off...


Chapter 17: The Law of Stupidity

 August 7, 2009; Updated: 12:26 pm

I felt like a wimp to be blubbering on the side of the road where the whole world could see, but I was too heartsick to care."Come on, W.," said Minerva. She laid her slender hand on my shoulder. "He'll get over it. It's not that big a...


Chapter 16: The Worst Moment of My Life

 August 4, 2009; Updated: 9:48 am

I guess I was still lying then. I acted like I was being Minerva's friend because I felt sorry for her. I hadn't told Eddy the truth. Just like I didn't tell him I kept one lock of her hair.I tied it up with a piece of string and folded it...


Chapter 15: E-mail

 August 3, 2009; Updated: 10:31 am

"so my rents told me y yr grounded. y, wump? y didn't u tell me? i thot we were friends? =(:-"i COULDN'T tell u. u probably wdn't even have believed me. w.""how cn i believe ANY thing u tell me from now on? u LIED 2 me.


Chapter 14: The Birds and the Bees

 August 2, 2009; Updated: 10:34 am

I didn't see Minerva again for another week, but this time I knew why. She was grounded. Just like me.


Chapter 13: The Haircut

 August 2, 2009; Updated: 12:50 am

Minerva leaned back her head, lifting her hair and spreading it over the back of the sofa."Jeez, it's hot. Did I ever tell you what a pain it is having all this hair?""No.""Well, it is. I have to spend half an hour every...


Chapter 12: 'Dubya'

 August 1, 2009; Updated: 1:20 am

"It was beautiful!" Minerva said. "She actually jumped on a chair and screamed! I only wish I had a camera."We sat on my sofa. Her skinny arms flew around her head, and her fingers fluttered as she talked."Didn't you get into...


Chapter 11: A Face Defaced

 July 31, 2009; Updated: 1:20 am

The first thing I saw when I woke up the next morning was Eddy's sleeping face. But it looked a whole lot different than it did the night before.I was so surprised that, for a moment, I just stared. And then I exploded into...


Chapter 10: Different Brains

 July 28, 2009; Updated: 1:20 am

Eddy sat up like he'd been shot. "What did you say?"I felt my face turn red, and I was glad it was too dark for Eddy to see."I said girls are like stars."Eddy pushed his face up to mine."What do you mean by...


Chapter 9: Girls and Stars

 July 27, 2009; Updated: 1:05 am

"That was HER! That was the girl I told you about."I was telling Eddy about my battle with Miss Stiletto, and I'd just gotten to the part where I turned to look for Minerva and she was gone."Man," Eddy said, "that's just like her...


Chapter 8: The Longest Day

 July 26, 2009; Updated: 4:16 pm

It was as if with that single kiss Minerva Wimberly had jangled my nerves forever. When I woke up that morning, I lay in bed and thought about it. It had to have been a dream.But no. It had been real. I looked at the empty space on the...


Chapter 7: The Stuffed Mouse

 July 25, 2009; Updated: 4:16 pm

Minerva picked up the mouse and stroked its head with one of her long fingers."I know just how this mouse feels. Here he is nailed down on this board, stuck forever, and there's nothing he can do about it. He just has to sit there and be...


Chapter 6: On Purpose

 July 24, 2009; Updated: 7:55 am

"Hey, Wumpy," her voice boomed down the stairs. "Where'd you get this thing?"My room! What was she doing in my room? I stumbled up the stairs, sloshing lemonade.Minerva Wimberly was draped across my bed, propped on her long elbows,...


Chapter 5: True Tales of Terror

 July 21, 2009; Updated: 9:54 am

I should have kicked her out when I had the chance.But there were three reasons I couldn't. First, she probably could beat me up. Second, she was a girl. Third, well, it had been kind of quiet around the house, anyway.Actually,...


Chapter 4: Minerva Snowdenstoke Wimberly

 July 20, 2009; Updated: 9:57 am

"That's the nicest thing anybody ever said to me. You know, I'm sorry I said you weren't sophisticated looking. Actually, you ARE rather distinguished looking. Perhaps it's your glasses. Anyway, I really want to thank you for bailing me out...


Chapter 3: The Visitor

 July 19, 2009; Updated: 10:37 am

The next day was the Fourth of July, and everyone but me was out having fun.Because of what I did to Miss Stiletto, I had to stay home alone while my parents went off to a picnic. No friends. No fireworks. No Fourth of July.


Chapter 2: Mississippi!

 July 18, 2009; Updated: 4:21 pm

It was the day before the Fourth of July.That morning, I had to run errands with my mother. We took Mrs. Zippy in for a checkup. Then Mrs. Zippy and I waited in the car while my mom picked up some things at the supermarket.


Chapter 1: A Perfectly Normal Summer

 July 17, 2009; Updated: 4:21 pm

The sirens are silent now. I strain my ears to listen. No more footsteps. No more crashing and cursing in the brush below. Now, all I can hear is the whine of mosquitoes as they divebomb my flesh.Oh man, she's ruined my life.


How I wrote 'How I Wrecked My Summer Vacation'

 July 16, 2009; Updated: 4:26 pm

On the morning of July 4th, 1984, I woke from a curious dream.There was a boy stuck in a treetop and, somehow, I knew his name: He was Walter Frimhaus, and all of his friends called him Wumpy.But how did I know this? And why was he...


This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters in this story to real people, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Neither the author nor The Day endorses the release of seals from the aquarium. Indeed, because they have been ill, injured or inured to human contact, many of these animals would not survive in the wild. Since 1976, the Mystic Aquarium has rescued stranded marine mammals, treating more than 300 and releasing more than 160 that would have died had they been left on shore.

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