The Search for

Chalkboard Man

A CLMOOC COLLABORATIVE STORY ADVENTURE
C H AP TE R 1

By Jeannie Bennett
Our hero was born of plastic and metal.
But he wasn't a hero then. He was a sol-
dier. I didn't know him them, so I can't
say what use his large blade arm was, but
I'm sure it came in handy killing things.
Probably space aliens.

When I met him, at the bottom of a box
filled with a bunch of second-hand toys
I'd rather throw away than give to my
kids (but I didn't because "reuse" is the
best R of all), he was ready for a change.
For a life of peace, of learning, of mak-
ing? It was a CLMOOC cycle after all.
"Sure," he said, "as long as I get out of
this box." And so, using the skills my fa-
ther taught me (in his carpenter's studio,
scary. I spray painted him in Chalkboard
during the summers when I was really
Paint, because it's always useful to write
bored, he'd let me play with tools), I
notes to yourself on your body. Finally, I
made Chalkboard Man anew.
gave him a cool repelling backpack, be-
With his new, diggy arm thing he could cause toys are always happier when they
do more than just chop off space alien possess potential energy.
heads. Now he could dig stuff. Or maybe
He was ready for mischief....the learning
pile stuff. Or collect things. And with his
kind! We had many fun days together,
lion paw in lieu of a gun hand, he could
making vines of Chalkboard man crawl-
do other kinds of digging, or pawing.
ing up grocery carts or repelling down
That's gotta be useful. Plus it was soft
the curtains. He was a big hit with the
and furry, which made him seem less
1
kids and the cats. But he needed more.
He had been trapped for so long in that
box, and had so much alien-head-
chopping-off to make up for. He needed
to see the world and collaborate. So I
sent him off in a lowly cardboard box,
taking one last photo as a memento of
our time together. What adventures
might he have? What might he learn?
What cats would he freak out? When
would he come home? Would he?

That was four long years ago.  

Help me, Miss Direction. As I hope I
have demonstrated, Chalkboard Man is a
very important toy to me. We miss him
dearly and want him to return home. I've
heard such good things about your
Lunchroom Detective Agency. I must say
I was a bit taken aback at the idea of a  y-
outh sleuth, but who better to under-
stand the secret lives of toys?

Bring him home, Miss Direction. Please.

2
C H AP TE R 2

By Kevin Hodgson

A clue came in over the wires! would ferret out the truth of this mys-
tery, one way or another.
An anonymous source via her Detective
Text Messaging App -- she called her She found the construction site in the
self-made encryption system The Red backyard of a house on the map, just a
Herring -- claimed to have seen Chalk- mere bus ride and three stops away by
board Man at a construction site, just public transit, and the truck in question
some days ago. seemed as if it had not been in pristine
running condition for some time.
It seemed farfetched. But Miss Direction
was never one to pass up a clue, even one Still, Miss D was nothing is not thor-
without a source. Fake news, indeed! She ough, and so she approached the truck
was smart, determined and fearless. She cautiously, as any youth sleuth might.
3
“Chalkboard Man? Are you there?” she
called out.

Nothing. Nothing, but crickets.

She decided to investigate anyway, and
climbed up the top of the truck.

“These rusted parts and these creepy
crawlies give me the sense that no one
has been here for a long time,” she mut-
tered to herself. Herself agreed. She sat
for some time, huddled in the shade of
the shovel, and pondered her next move.

4
C H AP TE R 3

By Sheri Edwards
In the shade of the shovel beneath the
sycamore tree just beyond the construc-
tion site, Miss Direction slouched in de-
spair. What could possibly have hap-
pened to Chalkman? She pondered. She
glanced around. She just can’t see much
from this construction site.

Fortunately, her repelling backpack is
good for more than just repelling danger:
she repelled the ground and soared up
with her energy power to the top of the
sycamore tree, the tallest tree in the area
and looked across the country-side for
other possible construction sites. But
there in front of her, clinging to a leaf, as he must have leaped down the tree
was the fur of the lion’s paw of Chalk- back to the ground.
man! She had found the trail.
But wait! What’s this? A clue?
The fur blew away in the breeze, falling
Chalked into a bare spot on the tree,
down, but not with the breeze, but per-
shone the image of a hand and a flower.
haps by the hope Chalkman lived by
What could it mean?
now: to dig and paw to better the world.
Miss Direction continued her descent
She dug into her backpack for her rappel-
into the brush, pondering this, forgetting
ling gear, to abseil down the sycamore
that the number one rule of a detective is
following the path of the Chalkman’s fur.
“Watch Out!” She landed beside a wait-
The path down the trunk of the tree took
ing cougar whose jaws began to open.
her past obvious places he had dug into
Quickly, she pulled out her magnifying

5
glass, caught the glint of sunshine shim- Orienting herself, she headed into the
mering through the canopy, and blazed deeper woods, pushing aside the nettles
the light into the cougar’s eyes. He and vines, discovering an ancient
roared and bounded off into the wood- wooden fence with hollowed out logs
lands. Rule number 2: “Be ever ready.” standing up, facing south, lined up
against it, hidden partially by raspberry
As she gathered her gear and wandered
bushes, now fresh with fruit. As Miss Di-
through the underbrush, looking for
rection followed the fence, stopping at
whatever that chalked clue meant, she
each log, she helped herself to the deli-
found not a construction site, but an ar-
cious berries.
cheological site and a small statue of the
Buddha: hand clasping the lotus flower, Each log was different. Some had carv-
his smile emanating a thought of “Be ings of shapes that looked like water,
aware.” fire, wind, all on a base, probably the
earth. Some were lined with moss and
“Be aware,” she wondered. “Chalkman,”
pine needles. Others were piled with
she called in her thoughts. “Chalkman,
round, flat rocks.
are you here?”
As she pulled a branch of a raspberry
In the other hand of the Buddha rested a
bush from the last log, she jumped back.
painted rock -- of lavender, which Miss
There staring at her was a Kachina, a
Direction had seen earlier at the edge or
teaching doll, a representation of the
the woodland. Turning towards the laven-
force of life in all of us. What was Chalk-
der, she tripped on another painted rock.
man searching for?
Hmmmm. Was Chalkman collecting arti-
facts? This rock seemed to have the
shape of New Mexico and Arizona.

She did not think she could repel all the
way to the Southwest. She stood and
walked around the rock, looking in all di-
rections until she found another, a
painted sunset. Time to look west, she
guessed.

6
C H AP TE R 4

By Charlene Doland

“Be still,” whispered Kachina. “Think breeze caught it? East! Chalkboard Man
carefully about the clues you’ve seen. must have headed east!
You think you should be trudging west to
Maybe he chose to go east because he
find Chalkboard Man, but where else
wants to be connected with others! He’s
could he be headed? Or been kidnapped
undoubtedly curious about CLMOOCers
to? Where do I have relatives?”
living elsewhere. Miss Direction mur-
“Think, think, think…” Miss Direction mured to herself some more, “Hmmmm,
muttered to herself. She retraced her Kachina also hinted at her relatives.
steps, arriving back at the lavender. As Where does she have relatives?”
she rested there, inhaling the calming
Returning to the Lunchroom Detective
scent, she pondered Kachina’s words.
Agency headquarters, Miss Direction
Then it struck her. The lion’s paw fur!
fired up her fancy-pants computer and
Which direction had it blown when the
started searching. Relatives of Kachina.
What could she mean by that? Kachina

7
came from the American Southwest, but “Miss Direction. And yours?”
the fur had traveled east. Hmmmm. As
“Corny.”
she continued her search, it clicked into
place. “Well, Corny, I’m on a quest to find
Chalkboard Man. Do you want to join
“Got it!” Racing out the door, she used
me?”
The Red Herring to ask her travel agency
to book the next flight to Chicago. Happy to be a living being again, Corny
waved her silky arms and danced about.
Never having visited Chicago, Miss Direc-
tion was amazed by all the people, and “Of course I’ll join you. Let’s go!”
the crazy traffic! She climbed into an
Uber car and asked the driver to take her
out of the city, as she was feeling claustro-
phobic.

She began to relax, and breathed a sigh
of relief as she traveled into the quieter
suburbs and farmland. Upon spying a
farmstand with fresh corn, Miss Direc-
tion asked the driver to let her out. She
realized she was starving, so purchased
as much corn as she could carry.

After eating her fill, Miss Direction sat
down with the corn husks and fashioned
a doll. She was astonished when the
doll’s body began to rustle, and she
stretched her limbs, yawning. As the doll
opened her eyes, she smiled at Miss Di-
rection.

“My goodness, you’re alive!”

“Of course I’m alive! Who are you?
What’s your name?”

8
C H AP TE R 5

By Wendy Taleo

As she stepped off my shoe, Miss Direc- across the rugged landscape while calling
tion landed neatly on the sand. Surely he out to her servants.
could be found in the playground?
Was that a black head poking out?
Maybe it was like a dog that buried a
bone and she would need to use her mag- Could he be in the treetops? Carried to
nifying glass to dig in the sand. The set- a nest by a butcher bird? Lounging in the
ting sun recreated the vast sand hills like nest with some young feathered friends.
an Arabian Desert. She pretended she
was a princess and stepped daintily

9
She searched on the monkey bars,
across the wonky bridge and the red plas-
tic stepping stones.

She climbed on the swing and swung as
high as she could, scanning the far hori-
zons and the rooftops for any sign.

In the fading light she searched behind
the gum tree and tested the peeling paint
for any signs of toy like scratches. She
spun on the whirly gig, balanced on the
bridge and checked each corner of the
sandpit.

Nothing.

He would stay hidden for another day.

At least she'd had a good play.

10
C H AP TE R 6

By Ron Leunissen

The lion growled. Big white teeth flick- nearby. She searched for the city where
ered in the sunlight. Huge fangs, sharp she left her new friend Corny. If only the
as razors, snapped. Huge jaws opened lion didn’t get her, she worried. I’ve only
and closed over and over. met her just now. I don’t want to lose a
dear friend so quickly.
Miss Direction crawled back into the
shrubs. Hoping the lion would loose in- While she stood still, thinking of her
terest in her and go on in search of an- friend, something grabbed the magnify-
other prey. As she got deeper into the ing glass she was holding in her hand.
vegetation, she turned around, ready to
‘Hey!’ she yelled, ‘let go!’
run.
But the big bird that got hold of her mag-
Just in time … she stopped. One more
nifying glass didn’t let go. And neither
step and she would have stepped into the
did she.
gaping mouth of a giant Venus flytrap!
Oh, no, baby, she thought, you’re not get- The bird flapped its wings and took off.
ting me for lunch. Miss Direction held on to her magnifying
glass while she went higher and higher
She followed a small path for some time,
into the air. Scared to fall down if the
hiding whenever she heard some animal
bird would open its beak, she kept quiet.
11
The bird flew eastwards, away from
where Corny was left behind. Miss Direc-
tion had to act now.

‘Please, bird! Could you bring me back,
please?’ she asked.

The bird didn’t respond and kept on fly-
ing.

‘Hey you!’ Miss Direction now yelled at
the bird. ‘Will you let me go! NOW!’

The bird now reacted to her voice and
started to answer to her. But as she
opened her beak, she unintentionally let
go of the magnifying glass. Miss Direc-
tion started to fall. Faster and faster.

‘Help! Help!’ she cried.

‘Miss Direction, Miss Direction!’ Corny
was shaking Miss Direction trying to
wake her up. ‘Miss Direction, wake up!
You are having a nightmare.’

Slowly Miss Direction woke up.

‘What, what happened?’

‘It was only a nightmare. Nothing hap-
pened. Come let us go now and go on
with our search for Chalkman.’

‘Okay, okay. I’m coming’ said Miss Direc-
tion as she followed Corny outside.

12
C H AP TE R 7

By Susan Watson
The air had darkened as Corny led Miss
Direction outside.  They heard a brief
squawk and looked up to see a shiny ob-
sidian crow looking down at them from a
granite wall.

The crow had a glint in her eye. She nod-
ded to the two adventurers. It was obvi-
ous that she had some information about
Chalkboard Man.  She flew three feet to-
ward the east, then hovered to look back
and make sure they were following her.

A strong wind was stirring as the sky con-
tinued to darken.  The crow carefully led the large tree nearby to find a sword.  It
them through a field to a rocky outcrop- is absolutely critical that you bring both
ping, always checking to make sure they of these into the next part of your jour-
were still following her.  She landed on a ney. Also, you must make NO sound in
small bronze box and pointed her beak the cave, so you will need to tie this red
at it.   bandanna around your mouth while you
are inside. Always remember: Occam's
Miss Direction opened it up. Inside, a Razor is your guide now."
message read, "You have done well on
your journey thus far.  However, things Miss Direction was stunned and a bit
from here on out will become more diffi- frightened, but determined to find Chalk-
cult.  Follow the path eastward to the board Man.  She put the note and Corny
mouth of a cave.  You will need to take in her pocket, tied the bandanna around
the torch that is hidden behind a tapes- her mouth, and headed east down the
try next to the cave opening. Dig under path.

13
C H AP TE R 8

By Angela Brown

Miss Direction arrived at the mouth of Miss Direction sank to her knees, and be-
the cave, barred by an ancient iron door - gan to dig for a buried sword, as the note
and there, just as the mysterious note in had hinted at.  Due to having her mouth
the bronze box had promised, she saw covered in a red bandana, her glasses
that a vivid tapestry had been hung, skill- had been fogged up completely, render-
fully disguising that a torch was con- ing her digging attempts quite archaeo-
cealed behind it. Miss Direction turned logically awkward. She felt for the thresh-
to find the large tree, conveniently lo- old of where soil became metal, her fin-
cated not far from the tapestry. It was all gers expecting to find the sword at any
so simple. minute.

14
Hours passed as she fossicked amongst She walked through a long dark cham-
the roots of the tree. The full moon rose, ber. The walls were adorned with strange
illuminating the vastness of her excava- and curious objects.
tions.
And then, on the far wall, she saw a
She faltered, exhausted. Just then,  a stone, with an etching that made her pa-
moon-ray illuminated a nearby tree, pery body crinkle.
slightly smaller than the tree she had
She ran her fingers over the writing.
been digging under for hours. She
blinked and realised it enjoyed much White dust and a  powdery substance
closer proximity to the tapestry. wafted up into her face.

“Oh for goodness sake!” she exclaimed Her connectomes connected and deter-
 “Maybe that’s the large tree! It depends mined that it was indeed written in
on your perspective!  Never mind Oc- chalk!
cam’s Razor, I need Occulus Rift to find It said, simply #chalkboardman
this sword!” she sighed.
From her pocket, Corny said “Hm. Could
Corny woke from inside her pocket and that hashtag be  some sort of clue, look it
jumped out. “Oh, hello, did I miss some- up Miss Direction tion tion tion …”.
thing? Hey, there’s a sword poking out Corny’s grainy voice began echoing off
from the roots of that tree over there.” the cave walls.
Miss Direction glared at Corny. She ran “Ssshhh” Miss Direction urged. We were
over to the tree and pulled the sword eas- told to stay silent!”
ily from the soil.
Suddenly, the cave walls began to shake
The iron door on the cave mouth rattled violently…
and the sound of metal and stone
screeched and grated together, as the
door slid open.

Miss Direction, adjusted her bandana,
stuffed Corny back into her pocket, and
entered the cave, sword held aloft and
torch brightly lit. Silent.

15
C H AP TE R 9

By Susan VanGelder

There was a lot of rumbling, followed by her. “Sorry,” she mouthed. And then she
bellowing and then all went silent.  The stopped cold in her tracks.
walls had disappeared and dust was waft-
By the water there was a giant dog, sit-
ing all around. Could Chalkboard Man
ting without moving. They approached
have disappeared into this powdery
cautiously. Then Miss Direction waved
chalky place?
the sword. Still nothing. She gently
As the dust settled she began to make touched the creature and its nose began
out the outline of a lake. The chalky dust to twitch.
seemed to have turned into mist which
Corny trembled even harder
was rising from the lake. She felt a little
tremble as Corny emerged from behind Miss Direction addressed the dog, “Par-
don, great creature, but how did I get

16
here. And have you seen Chalkboard “Well here we are now and we still need
Man? He has disappeared and we are try- to find Chalkboard Man. Can your nose
ing to find him.” Suddenly she noticed lead us to his trail?” Miss Direction in-
that a piece of the lion fluff was on her quired.
shirt. “He has one hand like a lion’s paw.
The dog sniffed the lion fur and then
Maybe if you sniff this you could tell us
started darting this way and that. He
what direction he has headed towards.”
stopped, pointed east and said, “I think I
The dog’s nose twitched a little more. He have caught his scent. Use that sword of
tried to bark and finally succeeded in yours and touch me again.”
somehow letting Miss Direction know
Miss Direction did as directed and the
that he needed another touch of her
dog shrank. “Get on my back – you and
sword. She reached out and then the dog
your corny friend.”
began to wiggle and shake its great head.
With great difficulty, they managed to
“Thank you,” he barked. “I was frozen in
climb up. The dog regained his great
place. Your sword must have some magic
height and then with a bound he was off
powers to bring me back to life. You
and running…
might want to test what else it can do.
Now as to how you got here… It’s Floo
Powder. The cave you were in (I know be-
cause I was once there) released the Floo
Powder when you bounced an echo off
its walls. That allowed you to travel away
from it to this lovely spot. You were
lucky to get out. Many get lured into the
cave. Few survive!”

“But the note said to make NO sound!”

“That’s right,” barked the dog. “You were
supposed to call out ‘NO’. Whatever you
said must have worked.”

17
C H AP TE R 10

By Sarah
Honeychurch
… except, when Miss Direction looked
more closely, she realised it was not a
dog at all – it was a large, black cat. And
Miss D hates cats. Luckily she spotted a
comfy looking sofa in the distance and
managed to coax the cat down to sleep.
As it started to snore gently she wriggled
off its back and tried to make her escape.
 The cat opened one eye and looked up at
her, but Miss D managed to wriggle into
the next room, which was filled with mu-
sical instruments. I know, she said, I’ll
play it a lullaby. She tried the uke, but be-
cause somehow her magnifying glass had board? A song by Ron – could that be a

got glued to her hand she couldn’t strum CLUE?

it properly, so she put it down and As Miss D played the beautiful tune she
climbed up onto the giant keyboard. heard words clearly in her head telling

EEK! There was ANOTHER cat! And this her that she was many, many miles from

one wanted to play. Oh dear, our brave where she needed to be. After consulting

heroine is really in trouble now! Luckily a map to find where to go next she

that cat had the attention span of a flea, stepped into the Tardis and off she span

and once it realised that Miss D was not …

an exciting toy it jumped down and went
to sleep. But what was this on the key-

18
C H AP TE R 11

By Karon Bielenda

Now, dear friends, we must take a mo- Ms. Direction thought , I’m in the Tardis,
ment to reflect on Ms. Direction’s verb The Doctor is speaking in 16th Century
choice: “span”.  Did she span a distance English and I’m wearing a farthingale.
like a bridge?  Was she trying to order  Maybe that explains the archaic “span”
spanakopita? Maybe she was still think- verb my narration chose.
ing of that form changing span-iel?
“No I am not hurt physically,” Ms D.
When Ms. Direction stepped into that sighed lightly as she looked into The Doc-
Public Telephone box and “span”, she tor’s dark glasses,  “but I am concerned
found herself face-to-face with the new- about my quest.” She looked around. The
est incarnation of The Doctor—a hand- Tardis was indeed bigger on the inside
some fellow as always, but a little flatter than the outside. This Doctor had re-re-
than his past “selves”.   He offered his re-re decorated into a kind of shabby
hand to help her rise, and asked, “Art chic.
thou hurt?”

19
The Doctor observed Ms. D’s magnifiy- Library. Those creatures really scared
ing glass, sword and Corny was peaking her.
out her pocket. “What doest thou  pur-
“The Tardis misunderstood and thought
sue?”
you wanted 400 years! We need to get
“Chalkboardman,” she said quickly hop- you back to America 2000-what date did
ing she would not have to speak with all you need?”
those “thee’s” and “thou’s”.
“2013,” Ms. D.
“Oh, thou refers to Raphael’s newest
“I have to get back to 1613 to help Shake-
painting?” The Doctor was apparently
speare. He’s rather distraught about his
phasing out his regional time dialect.
Globe Theater burning down last month
“The School of Athens has a chalkboard
and all.” The Doctor bounced to the con-
man-I think Raphael is referring to Archi-
sole and flung levers to their upright posi-
medes, but in the future, people will de-
tions and turned knobs. “I’ll drop you
bate that.” His lip curled in a knowing
off. . . Let’s see, you were headed east of
smirk.
Chicago?
“No, I don’t think so. Here is a picture of
Lights flashed, the Tardis shook, and Ms.
him. I think he is east of Chicago in
Direction found herself on the floor of
America,” Ms. D. handed The Doctor the
the Tardis again.
image she was given. “He has a fur arm,
a digging arm and he went missing four
years ago.”

“That explains everything!” The Doctor
leaped up.  “When you span in here, you
were thinking something like ‘I have to
go back 4 years’ didn’t you? The Tardis
has had a bit of hearing problems since
running into the Daleks back in season
10.”

Ms. D nodded knowingly even though
she was just hoping not to end up at the

20
C H AP TE R 12

By Bryan Murley
Miss Direction awoke to find herself
amidst the cornfields and Interstate
Highways of central Illinois. She met
some new companions - a man, Bryan,
and his dog, Murphy. She explained
some of her previous adventures by help-
ing Bryan log on to the padlet, where he
read such fascinating, imaginative
things.

"Well, Miss Direction, you must be tired.
How about we go and get some coffee
and you can tell me more?"

So they headed to the local coffee shop.
tions of some members of society who
Bryan explained that college was about
had caused this chaos and destruction.
to start up again in Charleston, and so
the town square was quiet this week. Some of Bryan's friends were organizing
Miss Direction admired the colorful cac- a vigil for locals to stand and support
tus plants outside on the sidewalk tables peace and stand against hate. Bryan,
for coffee shop customers. Murphy and Miss Direction went to the
local park. Bryan worked on the lettering
Not long after they returned to Bryan's
of the sign while Miss Direction dodged
home, they began hearing reports of terri-
Murphy's paws as he wanted to play but
ble news out of Charlottesville, Virginia.
didn't understand her delicate skin-type.
Both Bryan and Miss Direction wanted
In the end, they all three joined others to
to do something to register their disap-
stand by the main road in town holding
pointment (to put it mildly) with the ac-
their signs and hoping that, in some
21
small way, they'd helped strengthen the
fight against hatred in the U.S.

The next morning, Miss Direction
wished Bryan and Murphy a good semes-
ter and caught a breeze flying out of
town on to her next adventure.

22
C H AP TE R 13

By Sally Wilson

After several hours of being buffeted she saw it – the fabled Tim Horton’s
about by the wind, Miss Direction was Doughnut Shop.  She must be in Canada.
able to spy land through a gap in the
Miss Direction gathered her pencil, back-
clouds.  She was above a large city on an
pack and magnifying glass and took
even larger lake.  Maybe she was back in
stock of the situation.  Canada was a
Chicago.  The wind dropped and Miss Di-
pretty big place to be looking for Chalk-
rection tumbled safely on the ground.
board Man.  She would need help and
 All around she could hear people talking
needed it fast.  Miss Direction hitched a
in a wide variety of languages, but the
ride on the TTC (Toronto Transit Com-
store signs were mostly in English.  Then
mission) and headed into the centre of
town.  After a little searching she found a
23
building with photos of some Canadian here invisibly until you return.  The ma-
luminaries.  Perhaps one of them could ple leaf button is yours to keep.”
help with her search or at least provide
“Thank you, Nelvana.  I will be back in a
some suggestions.  Before Miss Direction
flash,” said Miss Direction.
was able to pursue this further, she was
blinded by a brilliant flash of shimmer- Miss Direction blasted off in a orange
ing green light.  Standing before her was puff of smoke and jetted across the coun-
a strange figure try from sea to sea to sea before spiraling
back to Toronto.  She looked high and
“Well, hi,” squeaked Miss Direction.
low but found no sign of Chalkboard
 “Who are you?”
Man.  As soon as Miss Direction re-
“Hi, I am Nelvana of the Northern moved the cloak and cap, Nelvana re-
Lights,” she said.  “You may not have appeared.
heard of me, but I am Canada’s first fe-
“How was your search?” asked Nelvana.
male superhero. Looks like you could use
 “Did you find any sign of Chalkboard
some assistance.  I have many superpow-
Man?”
ers – invisibility, telepathy and the abil-
ity to travel at the speed of light.  Would “Thanks to your help, Canada has been
any of these be of use to you?” thoroughly searched.  If Chalkboard Man
is here, he doesn’t want to be found,”
“I am in search of Chalkboard Man and
said Miss Direction. “I am now ready to
facing the task of scouring the entire
continue my search elsewhere.  Are you
country in search of clues as to his where-
able to send me on my way?”
abouts.  If I could travel at the speed of
light, I would be able to check the whole With that request Nelvana launched
country and be back in time for dinner,” Miss Direction to the next chapter.
enthused Miss Direction.

“Sounds like a great plan.  You will need
to use my green cape and winged cap.
 Also attach this maple leaf button to
your magnifying glass for improved vi-
sion.  Without my cape and cap I am vul-
nerable to my enemies, so I will wait

24
C H AP TE R 14

By Christina And Tia
DiMicelli

When Miss Direction touched down, all tion pulled out her sword and hacked her
she could see was the color green. Liter- way closer, until she was finally released
ally. It would seem she had fallen into an from the verdant jungle she’d been in.
overgrown garden of sorts. Looking
Taking in her surroundings, Miss Direc-
around, it seemed all possible directions
tion saw a large house just feet away
she could walk in had an equal chance of
from the garden, surrounded by a forest
releasing her from the lush maze, so she
of trees. But, more importantly, there
picked a direction and trekked on, won-
was a large treehouse just to her right
dering why she was dropped here until
with a big steel ladder leading to the top,
something caught her eye. Something
where she saw a bright orange sticky
brightly colored, flickering high above
note fluttering in the wind. Ever the
her and far ahead. Curious, and hoping it
sleuth, she made her way to the bottom
was a sign as to where to go, Miss Direc-
of the ladder, but discovered she was
25
much too small to climb her way up. She for a very long time, and wrote himself a
reached for her trusty grappling hook, note and stuck it to the tree to remem-
only to discover it wasn’t there. She must ber. Then they left, but they left the
have forgotten to grab it last time she note!” Miss Direction nodded, then eyed
used it! Maybe there were alternate op- the ladder. “Can you help me get up
tions, she thought. there and take a look?”

Suddenly, she heard something move in She and the bear made their way to the
the bushes behind her. Turning around, ladder, where it helped her up to the top,
she couldn’t see what made the noise. where she grabbed the note. “To-Do:
She was about to write it off as a squirrel Take Mister Chalkboard Man to… Oh my
or any other woodland creature, (after gosh! Someone nabbed Mister Chalk-
all, they were in the woods), but then she board Man? There’s an address as to
heard it again. Creeping closer to a patch where they took him and everything!
of vines and leaves, she saw what the This is perfect! Thank you Mr….” “Camo”
noise was attached to. A clump of leaves The bear finished for her, helping her
shaking, rustling. Curious as to why they down. “But who’s ‘Mr. Chalkboard Man?’
were shaking without any wind, she
“A missing friend I’m investigating. Ms.
reached forward to push them aside, but
Direction, Camo, nice to meet you, but I
when her hand made contact, it felt like
have to go find him!” Rushing away to
she was petting a coat of fur. Frozen with
hail a cab, she passed a car parked in the
fear, she pulled back to see she had just
driveway with a license plate hailing
pet a shivering camouflage teddy bear!
from New Hampshire. Well, then first or-
“Hello? Are you alright?” She asked in der of business is to hit up the best place
shock. The bear peeked up through shak- in New Hampshire to get a grappling
ing paws, saw her, and noticeably re- hook. Then the address on the list!
laxed. “There was someone scary here be-
fore, very mysterious, I had never seen
them before, so I hid!” Miss Direction
hoped this was a clue, and asked, “What
was this person doing?” The bear
thought for a moment before pointing at
the treehouse. “They climbed up there
26
C H AP TE R 15

By Anna Smith And T

Miss Direction thought she should check maybe Mr. Chalkboard Man just needed
the chalkboard first! When some of the a home to come home to. So she built
purple dust turned her shirt purple, she him one!
thought she should check the next most
The whole time a song of searching
colorful place she could think of--an ea-
drifted through her mind, "Where are
sel! But no luck! Now her shorts were
you Chalkboard?" she sung, she whis-
covered with red dots and pink maker.
pered, she sighed into the night...
So, that was fun. She checked the next
most colorful place she could think of, a
bright colorful painting. There she found
a hammer (and some brown spots on her
shoes!), which got her thinking, that
27
C H AP TE R 16

Epilogue
And so, the search continues. Chalkboard Man is still out on
some vast adventure in the world and Miss Direction remains on
the case, searching high and low and across the globe with her
many friends offering her shelter, advice and clues.
Where will Miss Direction go next?
Only the wind knows … and that story hasn’t been written yet
….

28
About This Book
This collaborative story was launched We want to thank the writers who took
during the Connected Learning MOOC part in this collaboration:
of 2017. It was sparked by a question by
Jeannie Bennett

CLMOOCer Jeannie Bennett. Five years
Kevin Hodgson

prior, during the first years of CLMOOC,
Sheri Edwards

Jeannie had taken part in the “toy hack”
Charlene Doland

and made ChalkBoard Man. She then
Wendy Taleo

mailed out her hacked toy to volunteers
Ron Leunissen

in CLMOOC. Those who received the toy
Susan Watson

took Vine videos or images.
Angela Brown

And then ... Chalkboard Man disap- Susan VanGelder

peared. He never returned home. Sarah Honeychurch

Karon Bielenda

This collaborative story was sparked by
Bryan Murley

the mystery of Chalkboard Man. The
Sally Wilson

creation of Miss Direction, a CLMOOC
Christina DiMicelli

youth sleuth, helped move the story
Tia DiMicelli

along from one person to another
Anna Smith and T

through the mail via collaborative writ-
ing.

Chalkboard Man, if you
read this, please come
back home!

xxix