Chuck lay there motionless on the ground. He heard a large moan close by and a faint buzzing sound. He stirred, but only a little bit. Then, with a sudden jolt of energy, and his head pounding, he sat straight up screaming.
He slowly came to his senses. His head felt like someone had hit it with a two by four. He could barely remember anything. He slowly tried to remember. He remembered his name was Chuck of Derik. He was born May 17, 1997. He lives in Notgnirrab, Erihspmah Wen. He tried to stand but his head hurt too much. He sits in the same spot for a while.
Then he heard another groan. This time it was louder. He was very scared now. He tried to crawl into a corner, but he couldn’t find it. There were dimly lit lanterns in the hall but he can’t see very well. He looked up, realizing that there was no ceiling and he could see the stars.
Chuck saw a bench nearby. He tilted it on its end and climbed up the bench. The wall was so high that even stretching up he could barely reach the top. Using all of his strength, he pulled himself. When he finally got up to the top, all that he saw was thousands of corridors and sealed doorways.
Still hanging on the wall, he heard another groan. Looking in the direction of the sounds, he couldn’t believe his eyes: Before him was the Nasty Extra Crabby Agitated Porcupine (NECAP).
He quickly thought back to earlier in the day. He remembered hearing Friendly Little Intense Porcupine (FLIP) tell him that NECAP likes to box. The NECAP was three corridors away, staring at him and growling. He also still heard that annoying but very faint buzz. “What is that sound? It is driving me nuts,” thought Chuck.
He noticed a platform and pulled himself up. He looked around, looking for anything that may help him defeat the NECAP. He jumped off the platform into a new corridor.
When he landed, he landed on something soft that made him roll and fall. He looked at what he landed on. He thought they looked like boxing gloves. They were gold in color. Chuck thought, “These must be the gloves of a champion.”
He tried to get his left hand into the glove, but something was blocking his ring finger. He took his hand out and shook the glove. Out fell a finger bone. Looking around the corridor, he then noticed all of the skeletons laying there. He thought to himself, “So many people have tried to defeat the NECAP, but all have failed. I need to come up with a plan to defeat the NECAP.”
Chuck started running down the corridor. He heard a funny sound coming from his right boot. He sat, took off his boot, and pulled out a piece of paper.
Straining to read the paper, he made out a story about a hockey team and how they didn’t have much time to get prepared. The normal starters weren’t ready so the bench players got to play. He thought back to earlier in the day and remembered that this was his NECAP practice test. He read his answer to the question and saw that the teacher gave him a 1, in red ink.
He heard the NECAP getting closer and closer. He could feel the pounding of his headache. He still heard that stupid buzzing sound. The NECAP came around the corner, its red eyes glaring at Chuck. His quills stood straight up, ready for a strike.
The NECAP started charging at Chuck. Chuck, even though he was panicking, remembered something else FLIP told him. The NECAP loves 1’s and drops down laughing to the ground almost crying. Chuck looked at his 1 on the paper. He didn’t think this was enough to stop the NECAP.
Really panicking now, he turned the other way and started to run. He tripped over a skeleton. The finger bone that had fallen out of the boxing gloves stabbed him right in the palm. Chuck looked at the paper and realized, “I can defeat the NECAP now.” He took the finger bone and dipped it into his blood. On his NECAP practice exam he changed his 1 to a 4, now written in blood.
Bravely turning around to face the NECAP, Chuck put on the boxing gloves. He held up his newly changed grade and yelled to the NECAP, “Choke on this 4, NECAP.” The NECAP fell to the ground crying, just like you would from an upper cut to the chin and a jab to the stomach. The NECAP stopped moving. He was paralyzed.
Chuck ran away down to the end of the corridor. He found 3 sets of doors. There was a sign above the doors. The sign read, “If you answer this question right, you will leave this horrid place. If you get it wrong, prepare to face more NECAPs.” The question was, “Which one of the signs above the doorway is a word that will help you defeat the NECAP?” Above the left door was the sign, “Contract.” Above the middle door was a sign reading, “Explain.” Above the right door was a sign: “Compromise.” There was yet another sign that reads, “Choose wisely. The other NECAPs are even tougher than the first. They get tougher and tougher the more you get wrong.” Chuck thought back to earlier in the day when FLIP talked about the powerful words that would help you on the test. Let’s see, first there was trace, then analyze, infer, evaluate, formulate, describe, support, explain, summarize… “Hey! Wait a minute–the answer is explain,” shouted Chuck. He walked though the middle door and blacked out.
Chuck woke up all disoriented. He lifted his head out of the puddle of drool that was soaking his paper. The alarm on his watch is buzzing. The next words he heard were, “Ok, students you may begin Session 2 of the reading NECAP test.”