Read Danger at the Fair Online
Authors: Peg Kehret
“Who are you with today?” asked The Great Sybil.
“My friend Caitlin. We’re looking at the exhibits and going on the rides and . . .” Ellen stopped. “My brother came, too,” she said. “Corey.”
“Your younger brother? A small boy?” asked the fortune teller.
“He’s nine. He came with his friend Nicholas, and his friend’s mom.”
“Perhaps there is danger ahead for Corey.”
Despite the warm room, Ellen shivered slightly. She remembered her mother saying, “Trouble always comes in threes.”
“I advise you to keep a close watch on Corey for a few days.”
Ellen thought, that’ll be a switch; usually he spies on me. Aloud she said, “I’ll try.”
“Good. The spirits occasionally use automatic writing when they have an urgent message to communicate,” The Great Sybil said. “It is not wise to ignore the spirits.”
“What spirits?” Ellen asked. “Who sent this message?”
“A gripping sequel to
Terror at the Zoo
Horror at the Haunted House.
School Library Journal
BOOKS BY PEG KEHRET
Danger at the Fair
Don’t Tell Anyone
Horror at the Haunted House
I’m Not Who You Think I Am
Searching for Candlestick Park
Terror at the Zoo
AT THE FAIR
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers,
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia
Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2
Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182–190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England
First published in the United States of America by Cobblehill Books, an affiliate of Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1995
Published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc., 1997
Published by Puffin Books,
a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 2002
Copyright © Peg Kehret, 1995
All rights reserved
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HAS CATALOGED THE COBBLEHILL EDITION AS FOLLOWS
Danger at the fair / Peg Kehret.
Summary: Ellen receives a spirit message during a séance at the county fair, warning that her brother Corey is in danger and that she must rescue him.
[1. Fairs—Fiction. 2. Extrasensory perception—Fiction. 3. Criminals—Fiction. 4. Brothers and sisters—Fiction.]
PZ7.K2518Dan 1995 [Fic]—dc20 94-16873 CIP AC
Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that
it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise
circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover
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including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
September 21, 1992
stared into the darkness as the hall clock struck twelve.
Midnight. The perfect time for ghosts and spirits, she thought. If he’s ever going to hear me, it will be now.
She sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed, searching with her toes for her slippers. Silently, she moved to her dresser, feeling along the top until her hand closed over the small silver elephant.
It was the first time she had intentionally touched the elephant since the night of the accident. Then, overcome with rage and grief, she had unfastened the chain and flung the elephant into the wastebasket. “You didn’t bring good luck,” she had said. “You brought terrible, horrible luck.”
The next day, someone—Ellen assumed it had been her mother—retrieved the elephant and put it on Ellen’s dresser. It had lain there all these months, growing dusty, a reminder of the worst day of her life.
It was not what Grandpa had intended, when he gave it to her.
“I know how much you like the elephants,” he had told her, “and an elephant with its trunk curled up is a symbol of good luck. When you wear this, you’ll remember our fun trips to the zoo.”
It had been a special gift, chosen especially for her. Now, as she stood in the midnight blackness, Ellen hoped the silver elephant might somehow help her make the connection she longed for. More than anything, she wanted her words to be heard and understood.
Cupping the elephant and its slender silver chain in her left hand, she held it close to her heart and whispered, “Grandpa? Wherever your spirit is, I hope you can hear me. I want to tell you what happened today. Maybe you already know. Maybe you were part of it.”
She paused briefly, wondering where to begin. With the strange message? With the Tunnel of Terror? With the realization that someone wanted to kill her?
Ellen took a deep breath, squeezed the silver elephant, and began with breakfast that morning.
The Gruesome Green Ghoul!” Corey Streater, with his arms above his head and his fingers spread like claws, lurched into the kitchen.
His sister, Ellen, took another bite of toast and ignored him.
“Eat your breakfast, Corey,” Mrs. Streater said, “or you won’t be ready to go to the fair when Nicholas and Mrs. Warren get here.”
“I’m ready now,” Corey declared. “I’ll eat breakfast at the fair, as soon as I ride the Tilt-a-Whirl and The River of Fear.”
“You’ll eat breakfast right here,” Mrs. Streater said. “It’s probably the only decent food you’ll get all day.”
“The Gruesome Green Ghoul eats people,” Corey said. He grabbed Ellen’s arm and pretended to take bites from her wrist to her elbow, as if her arm was corn on the cob.
Ellen jerked her arm away, glad that she was going to the fair with Caitlin and would not have to put up with her little
brother’s nonsense. “I wouldn’t go on that River of Fear ride if you paid me,” Ellen said.
“Is that the big enclosed ride that stays on the fairgrounds year-round?” Mrs. Streater asked.
“That’s the one,” Ellen said. “Some kids that rode it last year told me it’s the scariest ride they were ever on.”
“Good,” Corey said, as he spread peanut butter on a slice of toast. “When I grow up,” he continued, “I’m going to invent The Gruesome Green Ghoul ride and I’ll go to all the fairs and run it and pretend to eat people.”
you ever grow up,” Ellen said.
“My ride will fly upside down and rotate in circles and whip back and forth, all at the same time, and you’ll have to ride it standing on your head with bare feet. You’ll get strapped down so you don’t fall off and there’ll be this huge green blob, like a giant amoeba, that bites at your toes and then . . .”
“Don’t expect me to ride on it,” Ellen said.
“The Gruesome Green Ghoul ride will be the scariest ride ever invented,” Corey said. “Even scarier than The River of Fear. I’ll make a trillion zillion dollars, and spend it all on corn dogs.”
“You forgot to take the bandage off your face,” Mrs. Streater said.
“I didn’t forget,” Corey said. “I like it. It’s the best Batman bandage I ever saw. I’m going to wear it for a whole year.” He took a drink of orange juice and then screamed as loudly as he could.
Ellen dropped her toast.
“What’s wrong?” cried Mrs. Streater.
“Just practicing,” Corey said. “I plan to go on every ride and I’m going to scream and scream and scream.”
“Don’t overdo it,” Mrs. Streater said. “You’re still hoarse from that throat infection. If you scream all day, you’ll lose your voice altogether.”
“Hallelujah!” said Ellen.
A horn beeped in front of the Streaters’ house.
“It’s Nicholas!” Corey yelled. “I’m leaving!”
“Good,” said Ellen.
“Be careful,” Mrs. Streater said. “Stay with Mrs. Warren and do exactly what she tells you.”
Corey dashed out the door.
His mother called after him, “Don’t eat too much junk!” but Corey did not hear her. He was lurching toward the Warrens’ car, shouting, “Here comes The Gruesome Green Ghoul.”