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Authors: Todd Strasser,John Hughes

Home Alone (9 page)

BOOK: Home Alone
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"Maybe, but I was a lot worse," Marv said.

Kevin peeked though the kitchen curtains. When he saw the crooks coming, he backed away and gripped the BB gun tightly. A second later there was a knock on the kitchen door.

"Merry Christmas, little feila," Harry called from outside. "We know you're in there and all alone."

"Yeah, come on," said Marv. "Open up. It's Santa and his elf."

Kevin crawled along the kitchen floor and stuck the barrel of the BB gun out though Ralphy's doggie door, Meanwhile Harry banged on the door again.

"We ain't gonna hurt you," he said.

"Yeah," said Marv. "We got some nice presents for you."

"And I've got a present for you," Kevin whispered as he aimed the BB gun at Harry's knee and squeezed the trigger.
Pop!

"Yeow!" Harry grabbed his knee and jumped away. Marv bent down and stuck his face in the doggie door to see what had happened.

Pop! Pop! Pop!
Kevin shot him in the forehead.

"Eeesshh!" Marv rolled away from the door, clutching his forehead. "The kid's armed!"

"Split up," Harry said. "I'll go around the front. You go in the basement., He started limping away.

Inside, Kevin ran toward the front door with the blowtorch. If everything went right, he wouldn't have to worry about the guy in the basement for awhile.

Marv's forehead throbbed. He snuck around to the cellar door and started down the concrete steps.
Whoops! Bang! Thud!
A moment later Marv found himself lying at the bottom of the steps. They were solid ice. His back was killing him, but he got up, grabbed the crowbar and cracked the basement door open.

It was dark inside. Marv slowly felt his way along the wall for a light switch. He saw something hanging from the ceiling. Great. A light bulb with a chain. He grabbed the chain and pulled.
Crunk!
The chain, bulb and socket came loose in his hand. Suddenly Marv heard a loud metallic clatter. What the . . . ? He looked up

and
thunk!
An iron fell down the laundry chute and hit him right in the face.

Meanwhile, Harry scampered toward the front porch. This is gonna be easy, he thought. Marv would go in the back and he'd go in the front. There was no way the kid could stop them.

Harry stepped onto the porch and immediately slipped and fell on his face. "What the . . . ?"

The whole porch was solid ice. Wait a minute, Harry thought. He'd been on this same porch just three days ago. There was no ice then and it hadn't rained since. The kid must've iced the porch!

"Wait till I get my hands on you," Harry mumbled as he held onto a pillar for balance and slowly pulled himself up. The front doorknob was just a foot away.

Inside Kevin held the torch on the doorknob. It was starting to glow red.

Outside Harry grabbed the doorknob, "Aaahhhhh!" The next thing he knew he was flying backward.
Thunk!
He hit the porch hard again. His hand felt like it was on fire and he pressed it against the ice.
Hissss!
As his scorched hand cooled, leaving a five-finger impression in the ice, Harry stared at the front door. What was going on?

Inside Kevin ran to the kitchen and placed the torch in the next booby trap. These guys hadn't seen anything yet.

In the basement Marv slowly regained conciousness. It was the kid, he thought. The kid had set up the iron. He'd probably iced the cellar steps, too. Marv's head throbbed With pain. He slowly got up.

He found the steps up into the house. In the dark he didn't see the roofing tar. He took a step. His foot stuck. What now? He looked down. Tar? Marv laughed. That dumb kid thought tar was going to stop him? Just watch. Marv stepped out of his right boot. On the next step he stepped out of his left boot. He left his socks on the next two steps. Big deal. That kid was gonna learn it took more than tar to stop Marv Murchens.

There was one step left. Marv stepped . . . right on the nails Kevin had left for him.

"Ahhhhhh!" Marv grabbed his foot and lost his balance. He fell down the stairs. Backward.

Clutching his burned hand, Harry crawled across the icy porch to the front door and jimmied it open with the crowbar. He crawled into the house and stood up.

"Okay, kid, this is where the tide turns," he yelled angrily. No one answered, but Harry knew the kid was there. Probably in the kitchen with the BB gun. The kitchen door was closed. Harry slowly pushed it open. The wire connected to the blowtorch pulled tight.
Whoosh!
A blue-and-orange flame shot out and Harry's hair burst into flames. A second later a fireball shot through the living room and out the front door.
Hissss!
Harry pressed his burning head onto the porch and melted some more ice.

Kevin watched the whole thing from the top of the stairs. "See what happens to hotheads?" he yelled.

Marv finished pulling the nails out of his foot just about the same time Harry lifted his singed head from the icy porch. This is war, they both thought furiously. If two grown crooks couldn't take a seven-year-old kid, they didn't belong in the profession. Harry charged back through the front door just as Marv burst into the living room.

"Where are you, twerp?" Harry shouted.

"I'm here, Harry," shouted Marv.

"Not you, the kid!" yelled Harry. He looked around the dark foyer. "It's too late for you, kid! We're coming for ya!"

"Great!" Kevin called back. "Come and get me."

Harry stormed into the kitchen and straight into a sheet of Saran Wrap covered with epoxy glue. As he pulled it off his face, he heard a whirring noise and turned around. A fan started to turn, blowing a pile of pillow feathers at him. "Oh, no!" Harry yelled. But it was too late.

Marv heard Harry's cry and started toward the kitchen. In his path were a dozen little Christmas ornaments made of the thinnest glass imaginable. And Marv wasn't wearing shoes.

"
Yaaaahhhhhh!
" he screamed.

At the top of the stairs Kevin smiled and picked up his BB gun. Things were going well.

A few moments later Harry bumped into Marv in the living room. Harry was still pulling feathers out of his eyes. Marv was pulling glass from the bottoms of his feet.

"Why'd you take off your shoes?" Harry asked.

"Why'd you set your head on fire?" Marv replied.

"You guys give up yet?" Kevin shouted.

Harry and Marv stared at each other.

"I can't believe the kid's taunting us,' " Harry said.

"Where is he?" Marv asked. "I'm gonna murder that kid."

"I'm at the top of the stairs," Kevin yelled.

Both crooks dashed into the foyer, where Kevin had left his Micromachines neatly lined up.

"Aaaaahhhhhh!"
Crash!
Both crooks went flying. Kevin aimed the BB gun and started firing.

"Hey, stay still," he yelled. "It's not easy hitting moving targets."

"I'll kill him!" Harry shrieked. The crooks jumped to their feet and headed for the stairs. They were so enraged they hardly felt the BBs Kevin was firing.

But Kevin had something they would feel. Old paint cans. Full of paint.

Marv saw the first can coming and ducked. It hit Harry right in the face and knocked him back down the stairs. While Marv watched his buddy hit the floor, Kevin threw the second paint can. It hit Marv in the head. A moment later both crooks lay still on the floor. Kevin sat at the top of the stairs.

"This is the way Christmas Eve should be," he said. "Nice and quiet."

December 24
Oak Park
10 P.M.

Harry opened his eyes. He was lying at the bottom of the steps. Every part of his body throbbed with pain and his mouth felt different.

Next to him, Marv moved and groaned. "I don't get it. He's only a kid."

"Shut up," Harry mumbled as he got on his hands and knees.

"Hey, Harry?" Marv said. "You're missing some teeth."

"Well, you're missing some brains," Harry said. "Now let's get that kid. I'm gonna grind him into hamburger."

Upstairs Kevin heard them and his eyes went wide with fear. He'd hoped that after the paint can bombing the crooks would give up. If they actually came up the stairs he didn't have many booby traps left.

Kevin hsd to make a quick decision. He knew the police wanted him for toothbrush theft, but wouldn't it be better to spend time in jail than be ground into a hamburger? He ran into his mother's room and quickly dialed 911.

"Oak Park police department."

"Listen," Kevin whispered. "My house is being robbed. I live on Rivard Street. The house number's one, one, three—"

Before he could finish he heard the steps creak. The crooks were coming up the stairs!

"You throw another can, kid," Harry shouted. "And I'll boil you in oil
before
I grind you into hamburger."

"One, one, three what?" the switchboard operator asked. But Kevin never heard her. He had to get up to the attic.

Just as Kevin crept out of his parents' bedroom, the crooks came down the hall. Harry lunged at him, but hit the wire Kevin had strung through the doorway. Marv fell on top of Harry.

Kevin ran for the attic stairs, but a hand went around his left ankle!

"Help!" Kevin screamed, kicking Marv in the head with his right foot. "Help! Help!"

Marv held tight and tried to fend off Kevin's kicks. He wasn't about to let this kid go now.

"Come on, Harry!" he shouted. "Get up. Grab, him!"

But Harry didn't move. He was lying on the floor pinned under Marv. His eyes were open wide with horror because on the floor about a foot away, racing toward him was . . . Axl the tarantula!

Axl jumped on Harry's face.

"
Whhaaaa!
" Harry jumped up, throwing Marv off him. Kevin broke free and ran for the attic stairs. Harry peeled the spider off his face and threw it . . . right into Marv's face! Marv pulled the spider off. Axl started to run across the floor. Harry grabbed the crowbar and swung at Axl. Instead he hit Marv in the shin. Marv grabbed the crowbar and started to swing it at Harry.

"Wait!" Harry shouted.

"What?" Marv shouted back.

"Who are we fighting?" Marv looked at Harry then at the crowbar, then at Kevin, who was climbing the attic stairs. "Get him!"

They ran up into the attic. Twenty feet away, Kevin stood next to the open attic window, trying to catch his breath. The metal hook was lodged in the windowsill and the escape rope already hung down off the roof.

The crooks grinned at him. The one who'd gotten burned had no hair left on his head and gaps in his mouth where his teeth used to be. The one who still had hair was limping on his shredded feet.

"Dead end, kid," Harry said with a nasty smile. "Now where you gonna go?"

"Yeah," said Marv, "Before we were just gonna kidnap you. Now we're gonna kidnap you and feed you to the fishes."

"Fish don't like hamburger," Kevin said. "And besides, you guys can go kiss a dog on the lips."

The crooks looked at each other.

"Can I shoot him?" Marv asked. "Please?"

"Sure," said Harry. "Right after I strangle him."

Kevin dove out the window.

"Hey!" Harry shouted.

Kevin quickly climbed to the edge of the roof. He could see his breath. It was cold out. His tree house was in the shadows one story down. Kevin grabbed the rope and started to lower himself toward the big oak branch the tree house sat on.

Harry stuck his head out the window. All he could see was the rope disappearing off the edge of the roof.

"Where'd he go?" Marv asked.

"I don't know. Maybe he committed suicide."

"I'm down here, you big jerk," Kevin yelled from his tree house. "Come and get me before I call the police!"

In the attic Marv turned and limped back toward the stairs.

"Come on!" he shouted at Harry.

"Wait!" Harry yelled. Marv stopped.

"What?"

"That's exactly what he wants us to do," Harry said. "Go back down through his fun house and get tore up again."

"If we don't he'll call the cops!" Marv argued.

Harry pulled a bandana out of his pocket and wrapped it around his scorched hand.

"You're not goin' out the window," Marv gasped.

"It's the last thing the kid expects," Harry said. "Now come on!"

Kevin squatted in the tree house and watched Harry crawl to the edge of the roof and start to lower himself down the rope. Marv followed behind him.

"Boy, these guys are dumb," Kevin whispered as he picked up his father's hedge trimmers. He waited until the two crooks had slid down the rope past the tree house. Then he crawled out on the branch.

"Hey, guys," Kevin said with a smile as he opened the hedge cutters. The two crooks looked up at him with horrified expressions on their faces. They were still two stories off the ground. Kevin started to close the hedge cutters on the rope.

"Uh, kid," Harry said. "Let's make a deal. Suppose we just go—"

"Down," Kevin said as he closed the hedge trimmers.

Whomp! Whomp!
Two crooks bounced against the side of the house and hit the ground.

A second later Kevin climbed out of the tree. Nearby the crooks lay in a pile. That had to be the end for them. They'd been through more agony in one night than Kevin had been through in his whole life. And these guys didn't have four brothers and sisters dumping on them either.

Then one of the crooks started to move. Kevin couldn't believe it. These guys took more abuse than Wile E. Coyote took from the Road Runner! Kevin looked around. It was no use going back into his house. He'd used up all his booby traps. He had to find a phone to call the police. Where could he go? The only person home on the block was old man Marley.

Kevin. raced across the street. As he reached old man Marley's front lawn he looked back and saw the two crooks hobbling after him. Kevin rounded the front corner of the house and headed for the backyard. In the dark he saw the cellar steps.

Real . . . dead . . . bodies!
Buzz's words rang in his ears. Kevin stopped. What if his brother was right?

BOOK: Home Alone
6.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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