Sample: Mind over Anti-Matter

It was problematical for a super-dense animal, being stuck on a rock surrounded by water. But that was exactly where Stitch was.

For the alien, water meant a high risk of drowning. Not absolute certainty of death but almost. Perhaps it was his own individual psychological conditioning or maybe it was a quirk of his carelessly thrown-together genes, but he didn't like the feel of water. It was trickly, insubstantial and smelly - especially the mineral-rich water he was surrounded by on this island. He didn't like its clarity either - if he looked over the edge of the surfboard he could see down to the bottom, to the rippling sand and the dark slipping shapes of dolphins and turtles and primitive star-animals that didn't seem to move. It gave him vertigo and a feeling of fear his creator hadn't meant him to feel. In fact, the huge amount of water on Earth made Stitch a far weaker animal than he'd been made to be.

If he ever fell over the edge into the water and had to try and run for shore so that he could breathe, he'd prefer clear water over murky. But would he be able to make the distance?

That was another thing: water may have been insubstantial but it was thicker than air. He'd watched Nani and David walking through it. It slowed them down. So how would it affect Stitch? He shivered and linked his hands in front of his belly. And shuffled back a little just to be sure.

And yet... there was so much fun to be had with water. Don't forget! said the calculating part of his brain that'd got him through a lot of tough situations in the past. Fear clouded your mind enough to stop you seeing it, that it can be fun. You need all the happiness you can get in this place.

It took an effort of will on Stitch's part not to try to destroy the water. After all, he couldn't. Any other danger he could bite - except for water. But then, he'd been created with a cunning mind and not only strong destructive instincts. Could he get rid of the water?

How did you destroy water?

Turn it to steam, came one possible answer.

Even Stitch himself goggled at the prospect. He felt his big black eyes stretch wide as he looked at the huge amount of water beyond the beach and his mind tried to calculate how much heat he'd have to generate.

Then his common sense came back into play and the whole idea was just collapsing like a house of cards when Lilo came bounding up to him.

"Stitch!" she called excitedly, her eyes shining and black hair bouncing in the sun. "Come and play catch with me!"

She had a striped inflatable ball in her hands, almost too big for her to hold. She hugged it inadequately and it dropped out of her grasp, bounced, and rolled up to Stitch.

He stopped it with one hand and noticed that he had a smile on his face. The human youngster always managed to cheer him up. Maybe one day he'd be able to explain to her how much.

He gurgled out a laugh and batted it down to the flatter part of the beach. "Lilo..." he gathered himself to punch it in her direction - he was even less able to hold the ball and throw it. "Catch!" He punched and watched her scamper for it.

She laughed and threw it back to him with a high-pitched grunt. He ran to head it off but it bounced away from his claws and down towards the sea where it floated on the surface.

"Ooh..." he muttered to himself and jogged down to the sea's edge before it sailed out of his reach.