t slithered slowly across the cornfields, sucking up everything in its path. Power lines disappeared like spaghetti slurped into a child's mouth. Telephone poles became nothing more than toothpicks bit in half and swallowed, sliding deep, deep into the belly of the monster.

It devoured a yellow tractor, an old wooden shed. It ripped corn stalks from the earth and swallowed the roots and dirt, the water and irrigation pipe.
And it grew larger and larger, leaving a trail of darkness as it circled Kinetic, California.

No one in town knew it was coming. No one in town realized that they would soon be food for the monster. It needed energy. It needed power. And when it devoured everything, it would move on.

Collin stared at the big fat "F" on his science test. He picked up his pen and added another red line to the right hand side of the "F," the grade that would make his dad shake his head and utter those words he'd heard over and over again: "Another F, huh Collin?" One of his dad's bushy eyebrows would raise and one eye would squint. It was the evil eye, and Collin saw it every time he took a science test. "One of these days you're going to regret how little attention you pay in class," his dad would say in that deep, lecturing tone. "One of these days you just might need to know about photosynthesis and thermodynamics. You might even need to know about potential energy or why this town was named Kinetic."


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