64 pages 2 hours read

Watt Key

Terror at Bottle Creek

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2016

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Chapters 1-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

Cort is a young boy who lives with his father on a houseboat in Alabama. A hurricane is approaching the region, but Cort has no time to think about it. His father, who works as a guide on the river and the surrounding swamps, is late returning home to take two men out to hunt alligators.

Cort knows that his father is away visiting Cort’s mother, who left them six months ago and moved into town. He is still trying to convince her to come back, but Cort believes it is hopeless and that his father is making a fool of himself by trying. He resents his mother and, when his father returns, he thinks of how skinny he looks, reflecting, “She’d sucked the life out of him in more ways than one” (5). 

Chapter 2 Summary

Cort helps his father on weekends and joins him on the hunting expedition with his dog, Catfish. They are trying to find a large, old alligator called No-name that lives in the middle of the swamp near the ruins of an ancient Native American settlement known as the mounds. Although they are not supposed to, they travel without navigation lights to allow their night vision to improve, relying on Cort’s father’s intimate knowledge of the river.