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DOOR1    6' The door to adventure

Michaela's family rented a house in the country for their
vacation. There were lakes and rivers nearby. There were water
falls and rope swings. There were caves to explore and cliffs to
climb.

"There's lots to do around here and I know your family will have
a lot of fun." said the rental agent as he handed over the keys.
"But I have just one warning."

"A warning?" asked Michaela's mom.

"Yes," replied the agent, "It's about the woods behind the
house."

"What about the woods?" asked Michaela's mom.

"Well, some say that the woods are haunted. Some say there's
monsters out there. I really don't think that either of those
things is true. But if I were you, I'd steer clear of the woods
just to be on the safe side."

"Why?" asked Michaela's mom, "Why would anyone think that those
woods are haunted?"

"Well," explained the agent, "There's a rumor that about a
hundred years ago, someone walked into those woods and was never
heard from again."

Michaela's family quickly forgot about the warning as they
settled into the house and began their summer fun. But Michaela,
who was very adventurous, couldn't keep her mind off of the
woods.

First of all, she didn't believe in ghosts or monsters. And she
loved a good mystery. She was anxious to explore the woods and
possibly discover how that man disappeared.

So, while the rest of the family sat around the kitchen table
playing monopoly, Michaela went out the back door and into the
woods. But she wasn't more than a hundred steps from the house
when something hit her in the face without warning and knocked
her out.

When she woke up, she looked around and tried to remember what
hit her, but there was nothing nearby that she could have walked
into -- No branches that fell from the trees. No rocks. Nothing.

So, she stood up and continued walking. But on her first step,
she bumped into something... something invisible. This time she
wasn't walking fast enough for it to hurt her, so she reached
out an touched it... whatever it was.

It was flat. Like a wall. But she could see through it.

She felt in all directions.

No, it wasn't a wall. It was flat like a wall. But there was a
frame around it... and a door knob... all invisible. It was a
door.

She turned the knob. The door opened. But behind the door was
water.

She stepped through the door and looked around. Suddenly, she
was no longer in the woods. She was in the middle of the ocean.
She could tell by the wind in her hair and the spray in the air
that she was moving. She was on the deck of a small motor boat.
She turned to see where the boat was going. It was headed toward
land at high speed.

When she let go of the door, the wind blew it shut. The door was
invisible from this side too. She reached out to touch it just
to make sure it was still there. She made note of where the door
was so she could go back home after her adventure on the fast
moving boat.

But who was driving the boat? She looked at the steering wheel.
Noone was there. Michaela was alone on a boat that was speeding
toward shore.

It was then that she noticed what was on the shore. There were
large gas tanks on the shore. And the boat she was on was headed
right for the tanks.

Michaela stepped toward the steering wheel to see if she could
turn it to keep the boat from crashing into those big gas tanks.
But the steering wheel was tied with two ropes to both sides of
the boat. There was no way to turn the steering wheel unless she
could untie the ropes.

So, she looked around for a way to turn off the engine, but
someone had broken off the key in the key hole.

Michaela said to herself, "Someone WANTS this boat to crash into
those big gas tanks!"

So, she looked around for some other way to stop the boat from
crashing. That's when she noticed a pile of something in
the back of the boat covered by a piece of canvas. When she
lifted the cloth, she gasped, "It's a bomb!"

Indeed, there were about a hundred sticks of dynamite with wires
running to what looked like a microwave oven timer. The timer
was counting down from thirty seconds.

Michaela now had a boat that was about to crash and a bomb that
would explode in thirty seconds!

She looked around for tools she could use to stop the boat and
turn off the bomb. But all she could find was a pocket knife and
a pair of scissors.

Now, Michaela had to decide whether she should stop the boat and
turn off the bomb or go back through the door and be safe.

She decided to stop the boat and turn off the bomb. A few
minutes later Michaela walked out of the woods and into the
house just in time to watch the evening news on television.

The reporter said, "Noone knows who stopped the boat and turned
off the bomb or how he got on and off the boat. But whoever it
was saved the lives of at least ten men who were working near
the gas tanks."

Can you tell how Michaela stopped the boat and turned off the
bomb?

Here's how she actually did it:

She pulled out the biggest blade of the pocket knife and cut the
ropes holding the steering wheel. Then she turned the
steering wheel and steered the boat away from shore and away
from the gas tanks. After she knew the boat wouldn't crash, she
used the scissors to cut the wires between the timer and the
bomb. With the wired cut, the bomb couldn't explode.

Then, to keep the boat from going miles out to see, she stuck
the point of the pocket knife into the keyhole beside the broken
key. The knife point only sank into the keyhole a tiny bit. But
it was enough to let her turn the engine off.

Then, Michaela found the door and went back through it and back
home.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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