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Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2018 finalist, Nathan Petchdenlarp! Nathan finished 4th grade this past school year. The story he submitted is called “The Blob.”  One of our judges stated, “I loved the mystery of the pink glob. Nathan did a fantastic job of drawing that out and revealing it little by little.” Enjoy!


Just like any normal day, I ride my bike to the bus stop. Hello! My name is Jeff Clark.

Click. That was my bike lock. I locked it to the stop sign at the bus stop.

This is me, getting on the bus. Clunk, clunk, clunk. Thump. That’s better.

“Hey, Billy! Sit here!” I see Billy in the third row. Billy is my closest friend. He lives right next to me. He slides into my seat. Billy and I don’t like the bus. #1: the smell. It smells gross! And #2: the rides are very bumpy. Sometimes, Billy and I are holding a homework assignment like a diorama and the bus just randomly jerks up and literally destroys the diorama. Then, I either have to get a tardy or I get a bad grade on the assignment. But we still have to ride the bus. Why? My dad works full time at this future tech company and mom works full time at an advanced school. Oh well. The good thing about the bus is that the bus driver is nice, and I get to talk to Billy about life. But today, something strange is going on on the bus.

“Hey Billy, do you see that pink thing? It looks odd.” I point at the big blob on the dashboard of the bus. It looks soooo weird!

“Where?”

“That thing! The thing that has a mushy surface and is spreading!” I point at a pink blob that the driver doesn’t even notice.

“I don’t see anything,” says Billy.

“IT IS RIGHT THERE!” I say as I try my hardest to point directly at the spot.

Billy squints. “I don’t see ANYTHING. I already told you. There is no squishy blob thingy-ma-jigger anywhere.”

A girl with long, blonde hair sits in front of us, and two boys sit in the seat to the side of us. The bus roars when the bus driver starts the engine.

“Oh no,” he says as he sighs. He picks up his speaker. “Attention, please. ATTENTION, PLEASE!” He shouts into the loudspeaker. The whole bus goes quiet. “Ahem. The bus has broken down,” the driver says in a loud clear voice. “I’m afraid you’ll have to walk to school.”

One by one, we leave the bus. When we’re off the bus, Billy and I talk about how to get to school. “Maybe we could ask a parent to drive us there?” suggests Billy. We look at each other.

“Nah,” we both say at the same time.

“I guess we could ride my bike to school. It has a passenger seat too,” I say.

“Okay,” replies Billy. As he gets on, I kick the ground and push off.

“Hold on tight, Billy, it is going to be a bumpy ride,” I say as I look back at him.

“Okay!” says Billy, nodding his head.

As we arrive at school, class has already started. “Ugh. I hope we don’t get a tardy,” groans Billy. He gets off the passenger seat.

As we arrive at our class, our teacher, Ms. Clay, looks at us together. “Why are you here?” she asks us.

“Um… this is our class?” Billy says as we stand there.

“Okay, then just find a seat and get to work,” she says. She goes back to teaching.

“I wonder what’s wrong with her. She didn’t recognize us,” whispers Billy as we take our seats.

When class ends, Billy and I head out of the room. It is lunch period and we have to eat. After we find a table, we sit down and discuss the problem.

“I think it’s because we came late,” says Billy.

“But we’ve been in her class all year. It’s just weird,” I exclaim.

When lunch period ends, we hurry to class. The science teacher, Mr. Fyler, greets students who enter the room. As we step in, he says, “Whoa whoa whoa! Wait a minute. Just who are you? Are you new kids or what?”

“I’m Billy, and he is Jeff,” replies Billy in confusion.

“Not again,” I say. “What’s going on?”

During class, Mr. Fyler goes to the bathroom, muttering to himself, “I must have control.”

Then I notice something. There’s pink goo on his shoe. It looks like a face with a smile. It is an evil smile.

I run up to him. “Excuse me, Mr. Fyler, ah… there is a blob on your shoe,” I say in a worried voice.

“Oh. I didn’t see that. Thanks!” He takes off his shoe and scrapes the pink blob into the garbage. He scratches his head as if he doesn’t know why he’s out here by the bathroom. “What are you doing in the hall, Jeff Clark?”

“Uh, nothing,” I say. This day is so confusing. Something is definitely going on.

+++

During the night, the blob rises. It slides out of the trashcan by melting the metal caging him with his own toxic slime. He slips into the cafeteria and starts to eat all he can. He smacks and gobbles it all up (he is a disgusting eater). He grows and grows and grows. He tries to get smaller but instead, he morphs into a cat! Then, he tries something else. He tries to morph into Albert Einstein, just like the picture on the wall in front of him. Pop! Out comes the first leg! Pop! Then the next one! Pop! Pop! Pop! He morphs into Albert Einstein! Soon enough, he figures out that he can turn into anything that he thinks of.

“MWAHAHA!!” he says in an evil voice.

Clunk clunk clunk.

Footsteps, better hide, thinks the blob. I’ll transform into a lunch table.

“Hum-de-dum-de-doo,” A man sings as he reaches the cafeteria. Along with him are a mop and a bucket of water. He starts mopping the floor.

That must be the janitor, the blob thinks, as the janitor finishes mopping the cafeteria. He enters the tech room and shuts the door behind him.

“Yes!” the blob says in a whisper-evil voice. “He is gone and now I can plot my escape.”

Wup wup wup.

Wait what? What is that noise? Oh no! I’m melting! His table shape transforms back into a blob. He slides to the ground. I melt in heat! I forgot! I better move to the ceiling before it’s too late.

But it is already too late. The janitor steps out of the tech room and sees the melted blob of goo.

“What in the world is that hunk of junk!?” exclaims the janitor, looking at the pink puddle.

The blob can’t do anything else, so without thinking, he wraps himself around the janitor and locks him in the tech room. Then he transforms into the janitor.

+++

As a bright sun rises into the rosy pink sky, the buses roll in. Oddly, the janitor is outside to greet the students. That’s never happened before.

“Hello?” I say. The janitor doesn’t reply when Billy and I enter the building.

“I wonder if he was up all night. He’s just waving and not talking to us,” says Billy as we look back at him. He is waving to somebody else with a silly smile on his face. When he sees us looking at them, his smile changes into a frown. We head to class.

In the classroom, I notice that the clock in the room has stopped. The teacher notices too.

“Oh no. I better call the janitor.” She dials the janitor’s number and he appears in the doorway right away. Strange!

As he fixes the clock, he looks around. His eyes fall on me but I don’t take my eyes off him either. His skin looks very pink. Kind of like the…the blob?

I see that he puts some kind of device into the clock. Something that shouldn’t be in a regular clock. What is the janitor up to? Why does he remind me of the pink blob?

+++

The janitor puts a mind control device in the clock. He will be able to take control of the students! The problem is that it would only work for 12 hours, but it is worth a try. The janitor is worried about Jeff. He knows that Jeff is suspicious because Jeff has been watching him all day. Even now, his forehead looks a little sweaty. It comes from the effort of thinking about a mystery. He remembers Jeff from the bus and from the classes, where he, as the blob was observing humans. He also sees that Jeff is drawing a picture of the mind-control device. The one he put in the clock.

“Whatcha doing?” Jeff walks up to the janitor, staring hard at him. “It doesn’t look like you’re fixing the clock.”

Dang it! thinks the janitor.

He starts removing the device. “Ummm…just fixing the clock,” replies the janitor. He climbs down the ladder he’s on. He stares at the gum in Jeff’s pocket.

“What’s that?” He turns pale pink.

“Gum,” Jeff says, pulling the packet out of his pocket. “Want some?”

The janitor doesn’t even say anything. He disappears out of the class as fast as he appeared.

+++

Jeff and Billy start down the hallway to their next class (well, lunch period).

“The janitor doesn’t look okay,” says Billy, looking at the pinkish-looking janitor walking toward the cafeteria.

“I agree,” Jeff says. “I think he might be an alien or something. That’s why he’s so pink.”

“That is like, IMPOSSIBLE, but maybe. There is no human being on earth that is that pink.”

“Let’s follow him around when we move from class to class.”

“Okie-dokie,” Billy says, getting up from the table.

This afternoon, they have art class. And strangely, the janitor is walking in the direction of the art wing of the school.

“Good. He’s following us,” whispers Billy in Jeff’s ear.

“He can’t notice us,” Jeff replies.

When the janitor, Billy, and Jeff get to the art wing, the janitor turns left and goes through these double doors that say “EXIT” in big, bold, green letters. Billy and Jeff decide to meet up at the art wing at the end of the day. Jeff learns about blending colors. At the end of the day, they head out of the double doors and look around.

Nobody.

Nobody is here. In the courtyard, the grass sways. A big bus appears out of nowhere and the duo hop on. They are so freaked out by the janitor, they don’t care where the bus is headed. It drives away to their unknown destination.

They finally end up at a drugstore. Since they are bored, they buy some gum to share. Jeff picks bright pink gum. They walk the rest of the way home.

“This looks like the pink goo,” Jeff says, looking at the gum in his hands. His brain is whirring. “I wonder…”

“Do you think we could play a trick on the pink janitor with this gum?” Billy asks. “It’s the same color as his skin.”

“You might have an idea there,” Jeff says.

+++

The next morning, they got to school and they arrived at their class. This time, they sat at different tables to share the gum. Strangely, the janitor came to their class again, and asked Jeff, “What are you doing?”

“Ummm… nothing! Just sharing some gum! Want some?” I say as I toss him a stick.

“I don’t know,” says the janitor as he tries to catch it but, his hand dissolves!

“I better go,” he says, walking away really fast, clutching his wrist.

After, I meet up with Billy to tell him about the discovery that I made about the janitor. “Guess what! I’m right! He IS an alien! I tried to give him a piece of gum and his hand dissolved!”

“Really!? Then I have a plan. We try to find him and we toss all of our gum on him! Then, he will dissolve and disappear out of the existence!”

“Great idea! All we need to do is find him.”

As we sneak around, we can’t find him. Our new night-shift custodian, Mr. Decker, can’t find him.

“He left yesterday in the middle of the day,” our principle, Ms. Fest, says.

After a long, hard, and hot day at school and sneaking around the schoolyard, we are exhausted.

“Where in the world did he go?!” I remark, trudging to my bus.

“I don’t know either! He kinda like, just disappeared!” Billy replies, looking at me.

“Then we don’t have to waste our gum!”

The end! Or is it?

+++

The real janitor has now broken free from the tech room where the blob trapped him. He is in critical health after being trapped in the tech room for 3 days. The real blob is on the run.

 

The end. Until the blob strikes back!