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Mystery May
Weird as Blackbeard, Part 1



Weird as Blackbeard, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.35

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aground, alas, alias, amok, doubloon, dreadlocks, floundering, hand-picked, hefty, hitched, inlet, lighted, midlife, opening, pillage, scheme
     content words:    Matter Transporter, North Carolina, Edward Teach, Stede Bonnet, British Navy


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Weird as Blackbeard, Part 1
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     The Matter Transporter thumped down on a soft surface of some kind. I grabbed whatever was handy to keep from falling. When you land, your cells are all coming together again. While odd scraps of your matter are sorting each other out, you're a little dizzy.
 
2     As my head cleared, I pushed open the curved door of the MTP. I'm always careful about this. There's no telling what you might have plunked down in the middle of.
 
3     Mr. Sniggle told us the story of when he dropped in on Lewis and Clark. He was a little too quick that time about opening the door. When he stepped out, he nearly got mowed down by about a million tons of huge, hairy beast. He had plopped smack in the middle of a buffalo stampede.
 
4     "I just got the door closed," he said. "For a while there, I got booted around like an ant inside a soccer ball."
 
5     This time, though, things seemed quiet. The first thing I noticed was lots of sand and water. The sun was edging down in the west. Sand, waves, and sun—I was at the beach! Cool! It was early evening. Swaths of red and purple were beginning to spread across the edge of the sky. This place looked like paradise to me.
 
6     "Hey!" Rocky exclaimed as he hopped out onto the warm sand. "Where's the volleyball net? Are there any girls?" Rocky's a social kind of guy.
 
7     Rusty stumbled out and gazed at the waves. "We're marooned!" he said. Rusty's got a gift for worst case scenarios. He can see disaster in any given setting.
 
8     "We're not marooned," Prunella's voice came from the MTP. "And volleyball hasn't been invented yet." She stepped out into the sun, shading her eyes.
 
9     "We're right where we're supposed to be," she said briskly. "June 1718 — the coast of North Carolina. The time and place where Blackbeard's ship ran aground on a sand bar."

Paragraphs 10 to 23:
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