This past week I gave my teen writers an opening line and then they had to write what happened next. Of course, I participated in the writing exercise as well and I didn’t expect to go Jurassic Park on everybody, but here we are. The opening line is italicized to distinguish what I came up with.

I crouched behind the car, trying not to make a sound. Blood dripped from the cut on my arm, each drop splattering the asphalt next to my sneaker. I cupped my hand over my mouth to keep the scream from coming up my throat. Tears burned in my eyes, but I didn’t dare close them.

That thing–that monster–stalked down the row of cars. Its steps heavy as it shuffled toward me. A single claw on each foot clicked against the ground, sending shivers down my spine.

I hoped Johnny was okay. That he escaped before it got out. That he wasn’t trampled beneath the debris of the paddock walls when the beast rammed down its cell.

I should have expected this. I should have known something like this–a secret this big and dangerous–couldn’t stay hidden forever. IT was bound to be released. I just didn’t think it would happen like this.

A cry builds up in my throat, bile blistering the skin, but I suppress it, shuddering I press my free hand against the side of the car to steady myself, prepared at any moment to flee.

The metal squeaks beneath my fingers, and I jerk away as if it burned me. The creature stops. I suck in a gulp of air. And then it turns its black head toward me, one beady yellow eye staring straight at me.

I run.