Below is a story I wrote years ago as part of a modeling project for my students descriptive, narrative writing assignment. The writing assignment was a type that was required, but that I had no intention of starting on that day. However, when the first student walked into my sixth period inclusion class, put his backpack on the desk, looked at me and said, “A wolverine attacked my backpack,” I was inspired. The boy was embarrassed because his backpack broke and he was using his younger sister’s. The image on the vinyl pack was from the movie The Wolverine. My students were required to use the phrase, “a wolverine attacked my backpack” in their writing. I wrote and revised with them. After all my kids finished their rough drafts, they read them outloud, the class critiqued, and then the students revised. I also read my rough draft and had my students critique mine.
“The Wolverines” by Marianne Tomasic
Wolverines attacked my backpack. It just happened to be one of those days where everything went wrong. You know the kind of morning when you go outside and Zeus’ storm cloud perches itself atop your head, the rain drenches you, and the lightning bolts flash a brilliance of pain right behind your left eye socket. That was the kind of day I was having when the wolverine and his pack of bandits entered my life.
I should have known never to get out of bed when my alarm clock, which usually wakes me to the soothing sounds of my all Led Zeppelin Sirrus radio station, instead hammered out voices of Menudo in Spanish. I threw the closest heavy object I could find to silence the shrill voices of the prepubescent boys. The object just happened to be my backpack, a cool plaid Land’s End with an insulated compartment to keep my lunch cool and with a zippered shoulder strap pocket for my I-Phone. Snicker bars flew out of my bag and one of them ricocheted off the snooze button of my alarm clock and landed squarely on my upper lip.
At that moment I heard the scrambling noises of padded paws scurry across my hardwood floors. I didn’t think anything of the sound at first; after all I was nursing a swollen lip while jumping into a pair of skinny jeans. This is no easy task, and as a result, it required all of my concentration: concentration, which I surely lacked, since I slipped on my favorite pair of bright orange fuzzy socks.
I banged my head on my dresser.
It was then while I laid in a contorted mess on my bedroom floor that I saw the devilish hollow eyes looking at me. I screamed. It hissed. Its sharp carnivorous teeth projected an image in my mind of Dracula sucking Mina’s blood. I got up and only partly dressed, stumbled towards my door.
However, before I could exit my room more of those creatures ran out of my closet and encircled me. There I stood with my pants down around my ankles, a swollen upper lip, and blood dripping from my forehead. They each bared their teeth and growled, ready to pounce on my three-month old pedicured toes. I braced myself for the onslaught of rabid animals gnawing at my bones, when there was another sound.
A low guttural gut-wrenching cry emanated from the corner of my bedroom. It was the battle hymn of the wolverines, a song I only knew because of last week’s web-quest assignment for biology. At the end of the hymn the animals encircling me, lined up and marched, yes I said marched, straight to my backpack. The head wolverine tore into my bag first. His claws ripped at the outer pocket and with his mouth he grabbed the remaining snickers and offered each of his mates a bar. They sat on their haunches and ceremoniously munched away at the caramel nugget delight – wrapper and all. Afterwards, as if on some strange cue they all jumped up on my bed, turned to me, and gave me that ever so familiar weasly rodent smile, and then pounced on my bag. Claws and teeth attacked my backpack until only shreds of it were strewn all over my room.
I stood watching the unfolding scene in the same horrified manner as I’ve watched grade B sci-fi chiller thriller movies on late night television. All my homework, all my snicker bars, and my favorite backpack – all of it destroyed by large rodents and none of them even resembled Hugh Jackman. When they finished, the leader of the pack opened my bedroom window and the bandits leapt out one by one. At this point I knew school was not in my near future, so I crawled back into my bed, covered my head with the blankets, and hummed myself to sleep.