Authors: R. L. Stine
Tags: #Children's Books.3-5
“I used to believe in monsters,” Alex said. She pushed her glasses up on her
nose. Her nose twitched. With her pink face and round cheeks, she looked like a
tall, blonde bunny rabbit.
“When I was little, I thought that a monster lived in my sock drawer,” Alex
told me. “You won’t believe this, Zackie. But I never opened that drawer. I used
to wear my sneakers without socks. Sometimes I tried to go barefoot to
kindergarten. I was too scared to open that drawer. I knew the sock monster
would bite my hand off!”
She laughed. Alex has the strangest laugh. It sounds more like a whistle than
She shook her head, and her blonde ponytail shook with her. “Now that I’m
twelve, I’m a lot smarter,” she said. “Now I know that there is no such thing as
That’s what Alex said to me
before we were attacked by the
* * *
It was spring vacation, and Alex and I were out collecting things. That’s
what we do when we can’t think of anything better.
Sometimes we collect weird-looking weeds. Sometimes we collect bugs. Or
Once, we collected stones that looked like famous people. That didn’t last
long. We couldn’t find too many.
If you get the idea that Norwood Village is a boring town—you’re right!
I mean, it
boring until the monster attacked.
Alex Iarocci lives next door to me. And she is my best friend.
Adam Levin, who lives across town, is my best friend too. I think a person
should have a
of best friends!
I’m not sure why Alex has a boy’s name. I think it’s short for Alexandria.
But she won’t tell me.
She complains about her name all the time. It gives her a lot of trouble.
Last year at school, Alex was assigned to a boys’ gym class. And she gets
mail addressed to
Sometimes people have trouble with my name too. Zackie Beauchamp. My last
name is pronounced BEECH-am. But no one ever knows how to say it.
Why am I going on about names like this? I think I know why.
You see, when the Blob Monster attacked, I was so scared, I forgot my own
Alex and I had decided to collect worms. Only purple worms—no brown ones.
That made the search more interesting.
It had rained the day before, a long, steady, spring rain. Our backyards were
still soft and spongy.
The worms were coming up for air. They poked through the wet grass. And
wriggled onto the driveway.
We were both crouched down, searching for purple ones—when I heard a loud,
squishy sound behind me.
I spun around quickly.
And gasped when I saw the monster. “Alex—look!”
She turned too. And a whistling sound escaped her mouth.
time, she wasn’t laughing.
I dropped the worm I had been carrying and took a
“It—it looks like a giant human heart!” Alex cried.
She was right.
The monster made another loud
as it bounced over the grass
toward us. It bounced like a giant beach ball, taller than Alex and me. Nearly as tall as the garage!
It was pink and wet. And throbbing.
BRUM BRRUUM BRUMMM.
It pulsed like a heart.
It had two tiny black eyes. The eyes glowed and stared straight ahead.
On top of the pink blob, I thought I saw curled-up snakes. But as I stared in
horror, I realized they weren’t snakes. They were thick, purple veins—arteries
tied together in a knot.
BRRUUUM BRUM BRUMM.
The monster throbbed and bounced.
“Ohhhhhh!” I groaned as I saw the sticky trail of white slime it left behind
on the grass.
Alex and I were taking giant steps—backwards. We didn’t want to turn our
backs on the ugly thing.
“Unh unh unh!” Terrified groans escaped my throat. My heart had to be
pounding at a hundred miles an hour!
I took another step back. Then another.
And as I backed away, I saw a crack open up in the creature’s middle.
At first I thought the pink blob was cracking apart.
But as the crack grew wider, I realized I was staring at its mouth.
The mouth opened wider. Wider.
Wide enough to swallow a human!
And then a fat purple tongue plopped out. The tongue made a wet
as it hit the grass.
I groaned again. My stomach lurched. I nearly lost my lunch.
The end of the tongue was shaped like a shovel. A fat, sticky, purple shovel.
To shovel people into the gaping mouth?
Thick, white slime poured from the monster’s mouth. “It—it’s
!” I choked out.
“Run!” Alex cried.
I turned—and tripped on the edge of the driveway.
I landed hard on my elbows and knees.
And looked back—in time to see the drooling, pink mouth open wider as the
tongue wrapped around me… pulling me, pulling me in.
Alex stared at me, her mouth open wide. “Zackie, that is
Adam scratched his curly, black hair and made a face. “You call that scary?”
He rolled his eyes. “That’s about as scary as
Goldilocks and the Three
I held the pages of my story in one hand. I rolled them up and took a swing
at Adam with them.
He laughed and ducked out of my reach.
“That is an awesome story!” Alex repeated. “What do you call it?”
“ ‘Adventure of the Blob Monster’,” I told her.
“Oh, wow,” Adam exclaimed sarcastically. “Did you think that up all by
Alex gave Adam a hard shove that sent him tumbling onto the couch. “Give
Zackie a break,” she muttered.
The three of us were hanging out in Adam’s house. We were squeezed into what
his parents call the rec room.
The room is so small. Only a couch and a TV fit.
It was spring vacation, and we were hanging out because we didn’t know what
else to do. The night before, I stayed up till midnight, working on my scary
story about the Blob Monster.
I want to be a writer when I grow up. I write scary stories all the time.
Then I read them to Alex and Adam.
They always react in the same way. Alex always likes my stories. She thinks
they’re really scary. She says that my stories are so good, they give her
Adam always says my stories aren’t scary at all. He says he can write better
stories with one hand tied behind his back.
But he never does.
Adam is big and red-cheeked and chubby. He looks a little like a bear. He
likes to punch people and wrestle around. Just for fun. He’s actually a good
He just never likes my stories.
“What’s wrong with this story?” I asked him.
The three of us were crammed onto the couch now. There was nowhere else to
“Stories never scare me,” Adam replied. He picked an ant off the couch arm,
put it between his thumb and finger, and shot it at me.
“I thought the story was
scary,” Alex said. “I thought you had
really good description.”
get scared by books or stories,” Adam insisted. “Especially
stories about dumb monsters.”
scare you?” Alex demanded.
“Nothing,” Adam bragged. “I don’t get scared by movies, either. Nothing ever
And then he opened his mouth wide in a scream of horror.
All three of us did.
We leaped off the couch—as a terrifying
rang through the
And a black shadow swept over the floor.
The shadow swooped by our feet, so fast I could barely see it.
I felt something brush my ankle. Something soft—and ghostlike.
“Whoooa!” Adam cried.
I heard hurried footsteps from the living room. Mr. Levin—Adam’s dad—burst into the doorway. With his curly black hair and bearlike, round body, Mr.
Levin looks a lot like Adam.
“Sorry about that!” he exclaimed. “I stepped on the cat. Did it run past
We didn’t answer him.
We were so stunned, we all burst out laughing.
Mr. Levin frowned at us. “I don’t see what’s so funny,” he muttered. He
spotted the cat, hiding beside the couch. He picked it up and hurried away.
The three of us dropped back onto the couch. I was still breathing hard. And
I could still feel the brush of the cat on my ankle.
“See, Zackie?” Adam cried. He slapped me hard on the back—so hard I nearly
fell off the couch. “That was a lot scarier than any story you could write.”
“No way!” I insisted. “I can write a scarier story than that. The dumb cat
just surprised us.”
Alex pulled off her glasses and wiped the lenses on her T-shirt. “What a
that cat made!” she exclaimed, shaking her head.
“I wasn’t scared at all,” Adam claimed. “I was just trying to scare you
guys.” He reached over and rubbed the palm of his hand back and forth over my
it when people do that?
I slugged him as hard as I could.
He only laughed.
Alex and I stayed for dinner. Mrs. Levin is a great cook. We always try to be
around Adam’s house at dinnertime because she always invites us to stay.
It was dark by the time Alex and I started to walk home. We’d had
thunderstorms the day before and most of today. The lawns glistened from the
rain. The wet street reflected the glow of street lights.
I could hear the crackle of thunder somewhere faraway. As Alex and I made our
way along the sidewalk, cold rainwater dripped on us from the trees.
Adam lives on the other side of Norwood Village. But it isn’t a very long
walk—only about fifteen minutes.
We walked for about five minutes when we came to a row of little shops.
“Hey—!” I cried out when the antique store on the corner came into view. “It—it’s been totaled!”
“It looks as if a
hit it!” Alex exclaimed.
We stayed on the corner, staring across the street at it. Part of the roof
had fallen in. All the windows were shattered. One wall had nearly caved in. The
shingles on the walls and the roof had been burned black.
“Was it a fire?” I wondered, leading the way across the street.
“Lightning,” a woman’s voice replied.
I turned to see two young women on the sidewalk beside the store. “It was
struck by lightning,” one of them said. “Yesterday. During the big storm. The
lightning started a huge fire.”
“What a mess,” the other woman sighed. She pulled car keys from her
The two women disappeared around the corner,
Alex and I stepped up to the front.
“Ooh, it stinks,” Alex groaned, holding her nose.
“It just smells burned,” I replied. I glanced down and saw that I had stepped
into a deep puddle.
I jumped back.
“It’s soaked everywhere,” Alex murmured. “From the fire hoses, I guess.”
A gust of wind made the front door bang.
“It’s open!” I exclaimed.
The door had been taped shut. But the tape had broken off. A large yellow
sign on the door declared in big black letters: DANGER—KEEP OUT.
“Alex—let’s take a peek,” I urged.
“No way! Zackie—stop!” Alex cried.
Too late. I was already inside.
I took a couple of steps into the shop and waited for my eyes to adjust to
the darkness. Water dripped everywhere. An entire wall of shelves had toppled
over. Broken vases, and lamps, and small statues lay scattered over the puddled
“Zackie—!” Alex grabbed my shoulder. “Zackie—get
of here!” she
whispered. “This is really dangerous.”
“Leave the door open,” I told her. “We need the light from the street.”
“But what do you want to
?” Her voice echoed over the
of dripping water.
She grabbed my other arm and started to tug me out. “Come on. You saw the
sign. The whole building may fall in on us.”
I jerked my arm away. My sneakers squished as I walked. The carpet was
“I just want to look around for one second,” I told Alex impatiently. “This
“It isn’t cool,” she argued. “It’s really stupid.”
A row of ugly antique masks stared at us from one wall. The masks were tilted
at odd angles. Other masks stared up from where they had fallen on the floor.