Yesterday we announced the arrival of Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren’t as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures From the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn’t Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out, a collection of stories for wise young people and immature old people. The book is filled with bells and whistles galore, the loudest of which comes from Mr. Snicket: a half-finished story, appearing on the inside of the dust jacket. You finish the story in the space provided, fold up the jacket into a special aerogram, and mail it in. The best ending will receive a fabulous prize of some sort, as well as public adoration. (There will be separate competitions for entrants above and below 18.)

Today we present two endings for Mr. Snicket’s story. Both were written by current 826NYC students.

- - -

Recently, while searching through a pile of papers in order to find out where that whimpering noise was coming from, I found the beginning of a story. It is only the very beginning, and scarcely anything interesting has happened—in fact, without some sort of interference, I feared the story might become quite tedious. Therefore I am inviting all interested parties to interfere and continue the story, and whoever continues the story in the least tedious way will win the contest and receive some sort of nontedious prize.
—Lemony Snicket

It was February, and five children, all of whom were more or less healthy, were sitting on the ground in a lazy circle. It was quite dark, and the children had to squint to see one another’s frowning faces.

“I wish we were ice skating,” said Robin.

“I wish we were eating Mexican food,” said Apu.

“I wish we were wearing boots,” said Alastair.

“I wish we were playing percussion instruments,” said Lillian.

Miranda sighed. She was the youngest of the five children, but nevertheless she was often the leader of the group. She tried not to be bossy about it, but it is difficult not to be bossy from time to time. “We can’t do any of those things,” she said. “We’re not at a skating rink, and we don’t have any skates. We’re not in Mexico, and there’s not an enchilada in sight. We’re not wearing boots, and there’s not a department store for miles around. And we’re not playing percussion instruments, because it wouldn’t be wise to make so much noise. After all, we’re in a puzzling and possibly dangerous situation. I know it’s difficult to believe, but we may have to face the fact that we’re on our own.”

“But how can that be?” Robin asked. "Just a few hours ago we were on a picnic with Madame Blatavsky, when all of a sudden

- - -

By Nalani Daniels
Age 9

… we passed three parks and were heading into the woods. We saw creepy eyes in the bushes and slithery snakes having their lunch. Suddenly we stopped at a cave.

“Lillian, where are we?” said Robin.

“I don’t know,” said Lillian.

We got out of the car and entered the cave. The cave had jagged-edged cliffs. It seemed like we were entering the end of our lives. Three snakes chased six rats all along the cave.

“Ah!” screamed Apu.

We went up two flights of stairs.

“This isn’t like any other cave,” said Alastair.

We stayed in the cave for a week, until their uncle Marty found us when he was looking for snakes.

“Yay!” we screamed.

Soon we were fed and were nursed back to health. And as for Madame Blatavsky, she was never seen again.

- - -

By Alex Casimir
Age 6

… a big fire burned the forest down and caught Madame Blatavsky on fire. We made it out alive, but alone."

“I’ll call our driver to take us to Uncle Mers’ house,” said Alastair.

“But Uncle Mers lives at the top of Mount Skull, the most evil, evil, evil mountain in the whole world!” said Apu. “There are werewolves, lava monsters, and zombies all over the mountain!”

“No, those only come out if you touch the Deadly Stone on the top of Mount Skull,” replied Alastair. “We’ll be fine.”

They all agreed and called Mistro, their driver (and piano singer), from a pay phone. Mistro arrived in a black stretch limo and took them directly to the base of Mount Skull.

“This is where I stop,” said Mistro.

“What?” said Robin. “How’re we supposed to get to Uncle Mers’ house?”

The five children turned and stared at the enormous, evil mountain.

“I guess we have to climb,” said Alastair.

It was thundering and lightening and so dark they couldn’t see. Part of the way up the mountain, as they hiked in the mud, they came to a giant field of rocks. Right as Robin began to climb the rocks, Alastair yelled, “Wait! Don’t touch that rock!”

“Why?” said Robin.

“Because that’s the Deadly Stone!” said Alastair. He pointed to the bright blue spots that covered a small rock. “Whoever touches the rock releases the dead from the mountain.”

“And the lava monsters!” said Apu.

“And the werewolves!” said Lillian.

“Then I’ll just hold onto it for safekeeping,” said Robin and put on a glove and put the rock in her backpack.

Lillian was distracted by something moving deep in the forest. “What was that?” she said. “I just saw something move in the forest.”

“It’s a werewolf!” said Apu.

“Uh-oh,” said Alastair. “The stone is glowing! That means the zombies have been released!”

Just then a zombie crawled out of the forest and chased them to the highest tower of the mountain. Alastair tripped and hit a boulder, which rolled and hit the zombie. And the zombie went tumbling down the mountain.

“Hey, look,” said Lillian, “it’s Uncle Mers’ house!”

The children ran to Uncle Mers’ house and opened the door. The zombie had crawled his way back.

“Quick!” said Robin. “Close the door!”

They slammed the door in the zombie’s face. It was quiet. They turned around to face Uncle Mers. He had rotten teeth, yellow toenails, nasty long fingernails, and long, dried-up hair.

“Hello, children,” said Uncle Mers. He sounded like Dracula. “Don’t you love my home?”

Uncle Mers started down the stairs and tripped, falling all the way to the bottom.

“What are your names, children?” he asked, brushing himself off from the fall.

“I’m Robin, that’s Alastair, he’s Apu, she’s Miranda, and the tiny one is Lillian.”

“Don’t hurt us,” said Alastair in a tiny, scared voice.

“I won’t,” said Uncle Mers and pushed the five children into their new room, which was a cell.

After an hour of waiting alone in the dark, the door opened.

The children were horrified.

“What do you want?” said Apu.

Just then, Uncle Mers poked his head into the room with a giant tray of food. “It’s dinnertime!” he said, and they all ate a delicious turkey dinner.

The End