Authors: R. L. Stine
Tags: #Children's Books
There I was, two hundred feet under the sea.
I was on the hunt of my life. The hunt for the Great White Stingray.
That’s what they called him at Coast Guard Headquarters. But, me, I called
The giant stingray had already stung ten swimmers. People were afraid to step
into the water. Panic spread all up and down the coast.
That’s why they sent for me.
William Deep, Jr., of Baltimore, Maryland.
Yes, William Deep, Jr., world-famous twelve-year-old undersea explorer.
Solver of scary ocean problems.
I captured the Great White Shark that terrorized Myrtle Beach. I proved he
wasn’t so great!
I fought the giant octopus that ate the entire California Championship
I unplugged the electric eel that sent shock waves all over Miami.
But now I faced the fight of my life. Joe, the Great White Stingray.
Somewhere down deep under the sea, he lurked.
I had everything I needed: scuba suit, flippers, mask, oxygen tank, and
Wait—did something move? Just behind that giant clam?
I raised my dart gun and waited for an attack.
Then, suddenly, my mask clouded. I couldn’t breathe.
I strained for breath. No air came.
My oxygen tank! Someone must have tampered with it!
There was no time to lose. Two hundred feet down—and no air! I had to
I kicked my legs, desperately trying to pull myself to the surface.
Holding my breath. My lungs about to burst. I was losing strength, getting
Would I make it? Or would I die right here, deep under the ocean, Joe the
Panic swept over me like an ocean tide. I searched through the fogged mask
for my diving partner. Where was she when I needed her?
Finally, I spotted her swimming up at the surface, near the boat.
Help me! Save me! No air! I tried to tell her, waving my arms like a maniac.
Finally she noticed me. She swam toward me and dragged my dazed and limp body to the surface.
I ripped off my mask and sucked in mouthfuls of air.
“What’s your problem, Aqua Man?” she cried. “Did a jellyfish sting you?”
My diving partner is very brave. She laughs in the face of danger.
I struggled to catch my breath. “No air. Someone—cut off—tank—”
Then everything went black.
My diving partner shoved my head back under the water. I opened my eyes and
came up sputtering.
“Get real, Billy,” she said. “Can’t you snorkel without acting like a total
I sighed. She was no fun.
My “diving partner” was really just my bratty sister, Sheena. I was only
pretending to be William Deep, Jr., undersea explorer.
But would it kill Sheena to go along with it just once?
My name actually
William Deep, Jr., but everybody calls me Billy.
I’m twelve—I think I mentioned that already.
Sheena is ten. She looks like me. We both have straight black hair, but mine
is short and hers goes down to her shoulders. We’re both skinny, with knobby
knees and elbows, and long, narrow feet. We both have dark blue eyes and thick,
Other than that, we’re not alike at all.
Sheena has no imagination. She was never afraid of monsters in her closet
when she was little. She didn’t believe in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy,
either. She loves to say, “There’s no such thing.”
I dove underwater and pinched Sheena’s leg.
Attack of the Giant Lobster
“Stop it!” she screamed. She kicked me in the shoulder. I came up for air.
“Hey, you two,” my uncle said. “Be careful down there.”
My uncle stood on the deck of his sea lab boat, the
peered down at Sheena and me snorkeling nearby.
My uncle’s name is George Deep, but everybody calls him Dr. D. Even my dad,
who is his brother, calls him Dr. D. Maybe that’s because he looks just the way
a scientist should.
Dr. D. is short, thin, wears glasses and a very serious, thoughtful
expression. He has curly brown hair and a bald spot at the back of his head.
Anyone who saw him would say, “I bet you’re a scientist.”
Sheena and I were visiting Dr. D. on the
Every year our
parents let us spend our summer vacation with Dr. D. It sure beats hanging out
at home. This summer, we were anchored just off a tiny island called Ilandra, in
the Caribbean Sea.
Dr. D. is a marine biologist. He specializes in tropical marine life. He
studies the habits of tropical fish and looks for new kinds of ocean plants and
fish that haven’t been discovered yet.
is a big and sturdy boat. It is about fifty feet long.
Dr. D. uses most of the space for labs and research rooms. Up on deck is a
cockpit, where he steers the boat. He keeps a dinghy tied to the starboard, or
right side of the deck, and a huge glass tank on the port, or left side.
Sometimes Dr. D. catches very big fish and keeps them temporarily in the
glass tank—usually just long enough to tag the fish for research, or care for
them if they are sick or injured.
The rest of the deck is open space, good for playing catch or sunbathing.
Dr. D.’s research takes him all over the world. He isn’t married and doesn’t
have any kids. He says he’s too busy staring at fish.
But he likes kids. That’s why he invites me and Sheena to visit him every
“Stick close together, kids,” Dr. D. said. “And don’t swim off too far.
Especially you, Billy.”
He narrowed his eyes at me. That’s his “I mean it” look. He never narrows his
eyes at Sheena.
“There’ve been reports of some shark sightings in the area,” he said.
“Sharks! Wow!” I cried.
Dr. D. frowned at me. “Billy,” he said. “This is serious. Don’t leave the boat. And don’t go near the reef.”
I knew he was going to say that.
Clamshell Reef is a long, red coral reef just a few hundred yards away from
where we were anchored. I’d been dying to explore it ever since we got there.
“Don’t worry about me, Dr. D.,” I called up to him. “I won’t get into
Sheena muttered under her breath, “Yeah, right.”
I reached out to give her another lobster pinch, but she dove under water.
“Good,” said Dr. D. “Now don’t forget—if you see a shark fin, try not to
splash around a lot. Movement will attract it. Just slowly, steadily return to
“We won’t forget,” said Sheena, who had come up behind me, splashing like
I couldn’t help feeling just a little bit excited. I’d always wanted to see a
real, live shark.
I’d seen sharks at the aquarium, of course. But they were trapped in a glass
tank, where they just swam around restlessly, perfectly harmless.
Not very exciting.
I wanted to spot a shark’s fin on the horizon, floating over the water,
closer, closer, heading right for us….
In other words, I wanted adventure.
was anchored out in the ocean, a few hundred yards away
from Clamshell Reef. The reef surrounded the island. Between the reef and the
island stretched a beautiful lagoon.
Nothing was going to stop me from exploring that lagoon—no matter what Dr.
“Come on, Billy,” Sheena called, adjusting her mask. “Let’s check out that
school of fish.”
She pointed to a patch of tiny ripples in the water near the bow of the boat.
She slid the mouthpiece into her mouth and lowered her head into the water. I
followed her to the ripples.
Soon Sheena and I were surrounded by hundreds of tiny, neon-blue fish.
Underwater, I always felt as if I were in a faraway world. Breathing through
the snorkel, I could live down here with the fish and the dolphins, I thought.
After a while, maybe I would grow flippers and a fin.
The tiny blue fish began to swim away, and I swam with them. They were so
great-looking! I didn’t want them to leave me behind.
Suddenly, the fish all darted from view. I tried to follow, but they were too
They had vanished!
Had something scared them away?
I glanced around. Clumps of seaweed floated near the surface. Then I saw a
flash of red.
I floated closer, peering through the mask. A few yards ahead of me I saw bumpy red formations. Red coral.
Oh, no, I thought. Clamshell Reef. Dr. D. told me not to swim this far.
I began to turn around. I knew I should swim back to the boat.
But I was tempted to stay and explore a little. After all, I was already
The reef looked like a red sand castle, filled with underwater caves and
tunnels. Small fish darted in and out of them. The fish were bright yellow and
Maybe I could swim over and explore one of those tunnels, I thought. How
dangerous could it be?
Suddenly, I felt something brush against my leg. It tickled and sent a tingle
up my leg.
I glanced around, but I didn’t see anything.
Then I felt it again.
A tingling against my leg.
And then it clutched me.
Again I turned to see what it was. Again I saw nothing.
My heart began to race. I knew it was probably nothing dangerous. But I
wished I could see it.
I turned and started back for the boat, kicking hard.
But something grabbed my right leg—and held on!
I froze in fear. Then I frantically kicked my leg as hard as I could.
Let go! Let go of me!
I couldn’t see it—and I couldn’t pull free!
The water churned and tossed as I kicked with all my strength.
Overcome with terror, I lifted my head out of the water and choked out a weak
But it was no use.
Whatever it was, it kept pulling me down. Down.
Down to the bottom of the sea.
“Help!” I cried out again. “Sheena! Dr. D.!”
I was dragged below the surface again. I felt the slimy tentacle tighten
around my ankle.
As I sank underwater, I turned—and saw it.
It loomed huge and dark.
A sea monster!
Through the churning waters, it glared at me with one giant brown eye. The
terrifying creature floated underwater like an enormous, dark green balloon. Its
mouth opened in a silent cry, revealing two rows of jagged, sharp teeth.
An enormous octopus! But it had at least
Twelve long, slimy tentacles. One was wrapped around my ankle. Another one
slid toward me.
My arms thrashed the water.
I gulped in mouthfuls of air.
I struggled to the surface—but the huge creature dragged me down again.
I couldn’t believe it. As I sank, scenes from my life actually flashed before
I saw my parents, waving to me as I boarded the yellow school bus for my
first day of school.
Mom and Dad! I’ll never see them again!
What a way to go, I thought. Killed by a sea monster!
No one will believe it.
Everything started to turn red. I felt dizzy, weak.
But something was pulling me, pulling me up.
Up to the surface. Away from the tentacled monster.
I opened my eyes, choking and sputtering.
I stared up at Dr. D!
“Billy! Are you all right?” Dr. D. studied me with concern.
I coughed and nodded. I kicked my right leg. The slimy tentacle was gone.
The dark creature had vanished.
“I heard you screaming and saw you thrashing about,” said Dr. D. “I swam over
from the boat as fast as I could. What happened?”
Dr. D. had a yellow life jacket over his shoulders. He slipped a rubber
lifesaver ring over my head. I floated easily now, the life ring under my arms.
I had lost my flippers in the struggle. My mask and snorkel dangled around my
Sheena swam over and floated beside me, treading water.
“It grabbed my leg!” I cried breathlessly. “It tried to pull me under!”
“What grabbed your leg, Billy?” asked Dr. D. “I don’t see anything around
“It was a sea monster,” I told him. “A huge one! I felt its slimy tentacle
grabbing my leg….
Something pinched my toe.
“It’s back!” I shrieked in horror.
Sheena popped out of the water and shook her wet hair, laughing.
“That was me, you dork!” she cried.
“Billy, Billy,” Dr. D. murmured. “You and your wild imagination.” He shook
his head. “You nearly scared me to death. Please—don’t ever do that again.
Your leg probably got tangled in a piece of seaweed, that’s all.”
“But—but—!” I sputtered.