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The Fright Stuff // A broken body

"Recess time!" the latchkey supervisor screamed.

As soon as those two words ran through my ears, I sprinted out my door and to my favorite thing on the entire playground, the monkey bars.

It was raining earlier that day so the bars were slippery, but that didn't stop me. I jumped for the first bar. Then I reached for the second, then the third.

I had made it halfway before ... ahh! ... crack ... thudup. That sound gave me goose-bumps because it sounded like an overweight Sumo wrestler stepping on an oversized rat from New Jersey.

I lay there on the ground screaming, "Ouch! It hurts!" in a horrible bloody-murder voice.

One of the latchkey helpers ran to where I was. When he saw that my arm looked like a "Z," he picked me up and carried me to the office. My dad was already there because he was contacted as soon as they saw my arm.

My dad carried me to the back seat of the car and hurried me as fast as he could to the hospital. What seemed like eternity was actually a 10-minute drive from my school to Bayfront Hospital.

When I got there, I sat down and waited for the doctor. When he was able to see me, he walked me into a small room to straighten out my arm. Crunch! The sound of my arm raced out of the door and down the hallway. That sound gave me the shivers because it sounded like someone stepping on a New York cockroach, which is about half the size of a New Jersey rat.

"Ahh!" The scream of a little boy with a now straightened yet painful arm screeched down the hall, putting terror into the eyes of everyone who heard it.

After another bone-chilling crack and two shots to the arm, the doctor led me to another room down the hallway with my mom by my side.

"What color cast would you like, Michael?" the doctor said in a cheerful voice.

I stared down at the tray, trying to figure out the color cast I wanted. For some strange reason, I was attracted to the neon purple color in the middle. I guess it was because the other colors were yellow and hot pink. The doctor slapped the cast on me and I was on my way.

This story has two lessons to it. Lesson No. 1: Never, ever swing on the monkey bars after a rainy day. Lesson No. 2: New Jersey rats and New York cockroaches are huge.

Mike is a student at Southside Fundamental Middle School in St. Petersburg.