Read Halloween Party Online

Authors: R.L. Stine

Halloween Party

BOOK: Halloween Party
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Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

The Stepsister excerpt

About the Author

chapter

1

T
he tombstone loomed gray in the moonlight, its edges eroded into irregular shapes. Thick moss covered the words etched into its surface, except for a line at the bottom.

DIED OCTOBER 31, 1884

Terry Ryan tried to step quickly past the ancient monument, but his girlfriend, Niki Meyer, pulled on his hand to stop him. “Look, Terry,” she said. “The person in this grave died on this same day over a hundred years ago.”

Niki stepped closer, her flashlight casting a dim yellow arc of light on the gravestone. Terry pulled his jacket tighter. The wind howled, sounding like the wail of a creature long dead. Somewhere something scratched and rattled against stone.

I don't believe I'm standing in the middle of the Fear Street Cemetery at night, Terry thought. He took Niki's hand again and gave it a gentle squeeze. She turned to him, her beautiful dark eyes bright with excitement. In her red gown and black cape she looked like a medieval princess.

“I wonder who all these people were,” she said, gesturing at the crumbling gravestones.

“Early settlers of Shadyside, probably,” said Terry. “Nobody's been buried here for years.”

“It's spooky here,” Niki said. “But kind of beautiful too. How do you suppose all those stories got started, about the living dead coming out of their graves?”

“Just stories,” he said. “Come on. Let's go.”

The wind gusted, and Terry saw Niki shiver inside her cape. They began walking again, and Terry picked a path through the weed-choked lanes between the grave markers. With their every step, the ground creaked, a sound like breaking bones. Somewhere above them the wind shrieked, tearing at a branch. Terry stole a glance at Niki. Her eyes were sparkling with excitement.

The howling wind doesn't bother Niki, Terry thought. Niki had been nearly deaf since an accident in second grade. But she spoke so clearly and read lips so well, most people didn't even realize she had a handicap.

Niki herself never acted as if she was different from other kids. She never wanted special treatment at all. In fact—just the opposite. Niki was always ready for adventure.

But was she ready for tonight?

They were almost at the end of the shortcut that led to the edge of the graveyard. Beyond the cemetery's
stone wall Terry could see the outline of the old Cameron mansion. The tall trees around it were whipping from side to side. From this distance it looked as if the house were slowly shaking itself.

The wooden gate at the edge of the wall hung open. Without realizing it, Terry began to walk a little faster. Niki tugged on his hand again. “I dropped my mask back there,” she said. “It'll just take a second to get it.”

Holding the flashlight on her feet, Niki quickly retraced her steps. “Not so fast,” Terry called, then he remembered she couldn't hear him. She ducked behind the tombstone she'd been examining. “I've got it!” she called.

Terry slipped on a moss-covered rock, then quickly pulled himself up and headed to the tombstone. Even if the scary stories weren't true, he didn't want to let Niki out of his sight. He had almost reached the tombstone when a sudden high-pitched scream split the air.

“Niki!” he called. His heart thudding, he lunged behind the tombstone. Niki was there, brushing the dirt off her black silk mask. “What's wrong?” she asked when she saw his face.

“I heard a—” The scream was repeated. “There it is again!” he said. He put his arm around Niki and held her tight.

The sound had come from the direction of the gate. He thought of going back the way they had come and walking
around
the cemetery. But it would take too long. Besides, he wanted to get out of the graveyard as soon as possible.

With the flashlight in one hand and his other arm around Niki, Terry walked cautiously toward the gate.
They had nearly reached it when a tall, dark figure suddenly jumped into the path in front of them.

Niki let out a shriek and pressed tighter against Terry.

Blocking the path was a figure from a nightmare. The thing's black clothing hung in tatters. Its face—or what was left of it—seemed to be rotting away. And the flesh on its hands was peeling off the bones.

This isn't happening, Terry thought. That thing can't be real.

His hands shaking, he pushed Niki behind him and raised the flashlight threateningly. Can a weapon hurt the living dead? he wondered.

But before he could find out, the figure suddenly reached up and ripped its head off, revealing the grinning face of Murphy Carter. It took Terry a moment to realize that the gruesome head was only a mask.

“Gotcha!” Murphy said. “Boy, you two were scared to death! You should have seen your faces.”

“Yeah, sure,” said Terry, hoping his voice wasn't shaking. “We knew it was you all along.”

“Sure you did,” said Murphy. “And my grandmother's the mayor of Shadyside.” He grinned at Niki, then gestured with one of the gloves that looked like a rotting hand. “Come on, let's go,” he said. “We wouldn't want to be late for
this
party.”

chapter

2
Two Weeks Earlier

S
ometimes Terry thought he tried to do too many things. Sometimes he knew he did. That week alone, in addition to his regular schoolwork and after-school job, he had to turn in a science project and chair a student council meeting. He also promised his little sister he'd help her learn to ride her new bicycle.

His head was so full of his projects, he had to twirl the combination on his locker twice before he could get it to open. And after he did, he realized he'd been meaning to clean out his locker.

It was hard to believe so much junk could fit inside such a small space. Carefully Terry began to push aside his jacket, his tennis racket, half a dozen books, and the props for his science project. “It's here somewhere,” he told himself. “I know it is.”

“What's somewhere?” asked a voice behind him. Terry turned, startled, to see Trisha McCormick
standing behind him. Trisha was a short brunette with wiry hair and a bit of a weight problem. She was also the most friendly and enthusiastic person Terry knew.

“Hi, Trisha,” he said. “What did you say?”

“Who were you talking to?” asked Trisha.

“Uh—myself,” said Terry. “I'm a real good listener.”

“Sorry,” said Trisha, giggling. “I didn't mean to eavesdrop.”

“I was looking for my lunch,” Terry explained. “Aha! There it is!” Triumphantly he pulled the rumpled brown bag from the jumble, noting with dismay that one whole side of it was wet. Shoving the rest of the stuff back in his locker, he slammed the door. As he did, a piece of paper fluttered to the floor.

“What's that?” said Trisha.

“I don't know,” said Terry. He picked it up and examined it. It was a plain white envelope with a black border. On the front, in ornate lettering, was his name: Terry Ryan.

“Would you hold my lunch?” he asked Trisha. Curious, he opened the envelope. Inside was a stiff white card with a picture of a coffin on it. Beneath the coffin was written, “Reserved for YOU.”

“A coffin?” Terry said, starting to laugh. “What is this—an ad for a funeral parlor?”

“Turn it over,” Trisha said.

Terry did as she suggested. The other side was filled with writing. “Hey,” he said.

“It's an invitation to a Halloween party at Justine Cameron's place, right?” said Trisha.

“Yeah,” said Terry. “How did you know?”

“I got one too,” said Trisha. “Probably everyone in
school did. But read what the invitation says. It's really weird.”

“‘All-Night Halloween Costume Party,' ” Terry read. “All night. Hey, that's cool! Where's the weird part?”

“Keep going,” said Trisha.

“‘Special surprises,' ” Terry read. “‘Dancing, games.' I don't see what's so—”

“Did you read
where
it is?” said Trisha.

“‘Cameron mansion, eight
P.M.
Friday night, October thirty-first,' ” Terry read. “So?”

“So that's the old Cameron mansion,” said Trisha. “The one that's out behind the cemetery on Fear Street.”

“You're kidding! How can anyone have a party there? No one's lived in that place for years,” said Terry.

“Justine and her uncle live there now,” said Trisha. “They're fixing it up. I know because my father's firm is doing the electrical work.”

“Wasn't that house supposed to be haunted?” Terry asked.

“Everything on Fear Street is supposed to be haunted,” said Trisha. “Here's your squashed lunch back.”

“Thanks,” said Terry. As he and Trisha walked to the lunchroom, he thought about some of the things he'd heard about Fear Street. Although perfectly ordinary people lived in some of its beautiful old houses, other homes were deserted and rumored to harbor evil spirits. Terrible things had happened on Fear Street—murders, mysterious disappearances. It seemed like the perfect spot for a Halloween party.

“Why do you suppose Justine invited us to her party?” Trisha asked Terry at the cafeteria door.

Terry shrugged. “Beats me,” he said. “I don't even know her. I just know what she looks like.”

Everyone in the school knew what Justine looked like, Terry thought. She was the most beautiful girl at Shadyside High—maybe in the whole town. Even the girls thought so. She was tall and slim, and looked more like a model than a student, with her long shiny blond hair and eyes as green as jade. Justine was a transfer student, new to Shadyside High, and so far, hardly anyone had gotten to know her—though most of the boys had tried.

Terry was about to ask Trisha more about Justine when he spotted Niki sitting at a table by the door. He excused himself and slid in across from Niki so she'd be able to read his lips. “Hi, Funny Face,” he said, calling her by his special pet name.

“Hi, Terry,” Niki said, giving him a big smile. Terry suddenly felt like the most important person in the world. Niki always had that effect on him. He'd been going with her six months now, and he still couldn't believe his good fortune. Niki wasn't the prettiest girl at Shadyside, or the smartest, but she was definitely the most special.

BOOK: Halloween Party
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