Authors: One Night in Doom House
Tags: #Ghost Stories, #Juvenile Fiction, #Fiction, #Horror & Ghost Stories, #Horror Stories, #Ghosts, #Horror Tales, #Body; Mind & Spirit, #Haunted Houses, #Supernatural, #Social Issues, #Friendship, #Horror
Mostly Ghostly #1:
Who Let the Ghosts Out?
Mostly Ghostly #2:
Have You Met My Ghoulfriend?
Mostly Ghostly #3:
One Night in Doom House
Mostly Ghostly #4:
Little Camp of Horrors
NICKY, REMEMBER THE TIME
we were all having dinner at Scruffy's? And you squeezed the ketchup dispenser and accidentally squirted Dad in the face?”
I grinned at my sister, Tara. “What made you think it was an accident?”
“Because you wouldn’t do a thing like that on purpose,” Tara said. “You’re always such a
boy.” She pinched my cheek. She knows I hate that.
I shoved her hand away.
“Remember? The waitress saw Dad and screamed. She thought his head was bleeding. She started to call 911.”
“Of course I remember,” I said. My voice broke. Sometimes it was hard to think about those days.
Tara and I crossed Main Street. Snow was falling in big soft flakes. Our shoes didn’t make a sound as we hurried over the snowy sidewalk. I glanced down and saw that we weren’t leaving any footprints.
Town was crowded with Saturday afternoon shoppers. But no one noticed Tara and me.
No one noticed us because we are ghosts—which means we are invisible.
Tara tugged her red wool ski cap down over her dark hair. “You know what I hate about being dead?” she asked.
“Everything,” she said.
I didn’t answer. What could I say?
Two boys came running out of Sweets ’N’ Treats on the corner, carrying big bags of Gummi Worms. One of them ran right into me. He knocked me off my feet, and I stumbled into a parked car.
“Hey, watch where you’re going!” Tara shouted.
Of course the boys couldn’t hear her. They continued on, boots crunching the snow, slurping red and yellow worms into their mouths one at a time.
Tara scooped some snow into her mittens, made a snowball—and heaved it hard. It made a nice
as it hit the boy in the back of the neck.
His bag of Gummis went flying into the snow. He spun around. “Who threw that?” he shouted.
Oops. No one there.
I laughed. “See? There are
good things about being a ghost.”
“It's the pits,” Tara muttered. “I tried phoning some of my friends yesterday. They just kept
saying, ‘Hello? Hello? Hello?’ They couldn’t hear me. How do you think that made me feel?”
She shoved me. “Don’t make fun of me, Nicky. It isn’t funny.”
“I know,” I said. “But I have a really good feeling about today. I don’t know why, but I think we’re going to find Mom and Dad.”
Last October, as soon as Tara and I realized we were ghosts, we hurried to our house. We expected to find Mom and Dad waiting for us.
But we had a shock in store for us. Another family—the Doyle family—had moved in. Wow. That was a bad moment. To come home and find strangers living in your house!
How creepy is
Where were our parents? What had happened to us?
Tara and I were bursting with questions. But we couldn’t ask them. You see, Mr. and Mrs. Doyle and their older son, Colin, couldn’t see or hear us.
But to our surprise, Max Doyle—who is my age, eleven—could see and hear us just fine.
Poor Max was terrified at first.
did he want to be haunted by two ghosts. He didn’t have any answers for Tara and me. He didn’t have a clue about what happened to us or where our parents went.
Max begged us to leave. He tried to chase us away. But then he saw how frightened Tara and I were. And how sad. And he promised to help us.
Now it was January, and Tara and I were still hunting for our parents.
We were wearing old sweaters and winter parkas that Max had dug up for us. The snowflakes continued to fall, dancing in the wind, as we made our way to Scruffy's Diner at the end of Main Street.
Tara and I had a desperate plan. But I had a really good feeling about it.
we’d find Mom and Dad today.
THE SKY DARKENED AS
Tara and I stepped up to the little restaurant. Yellow light poured onto the snow from the big front window. We tried to peek in, but the window was totally steamed up.
Scruffy's Diner looks like a train car. It's long and low with a shiny metal front. A sign on the flat roof blinks
on and off in bright blue neon.
As I pulled open the glass front door, we were greeted by the aroma of French fries and hamburgers sizzling on the grill. I took a deep breath. Sweet!
“Wow! It's crowded,” Tara said, glancing down the long row of blue and red booths. She slapped her mittens together, trying to warm up her hands.
Just because we’re ghosts doesn’t mean we don’t get cold.
I stomped my boots to get the snow off.
“Look out!” I cried.
Tara and I leaped out of the way as a blue-uniformed waitress hurried past carrying a platter of sandwiches and shakes.
I grabbed the coatrack to catch my balance. It tipped a little and a few coats fell on the floor. I picked them up quickly. I hoped no one saw the coats floating by themselves back onto the hooks.
Tara pointed to the booth in back by the kitchen. “Our old booth—it's empty. Race you!”
We took off, running full speed down the narrow aisle between the booths.
“Whoa!” I slipped in a puddle on the floor and fell into a booth jammed with high school kids. They all cried out in surprise as their hamburgers and fries went sliding off the table.
Of course they didn’t hear me. They started arguing about who did it. “Maybe it was an earthquake!” a boy said.
A girl called to the waitress. “Miss? Miss? There's something wrong with this table!”
I pulled myself up quickly, wiping coleslaw off my coat, and made my way to our booth. Tara was already sitting down, gazing at the menu.
“Nicky, the menu is exactly the same,” she said as I climbed in across from her. “And here we are in our old booth. Nothing has changed. Except…Except…”
Except Mom and Dad aren’t here.
Tara hid her face behind the menu. She didn’t want me to see her crying.
She's only nine, but she's very tough. She hardly ever cries.
But being in Scruffy's without Mom and Dad was really hard—for both of us.
You see, our parents took us to Scruffy's every Saturday afternoon. We always loaded up on burgers and fries and Scruffy Shakes—thick shakes with lumps of ice cream in them. Then we’d go to the mall or to the movies.
Every Saturday afternoon.
And we always sat in this booth.
So, this is our big idea. … If we sit in this same booth on a Saturday afternoon at the same time we always came here—maybe…just
…Mom and Dad will show up.
Of course it's crazy.
Crazy and sad at the same time.
But Tara and I are desperate. It's been four months, and we still don’t have a clue about how to find Mom and Dad.
So we’ll try
Even sitting in this booth and waiting.
“I think I’m really hungry,” Tara said.
Ghosts get cold. And they get hungry, too. At least
“I don’t think the waitress will take our order,” I said. “You know. Since she can’t see us and can’t hear us.”
“No problem.” Tara slid out of the booth.
“Hey, wait!” I called. “Tara—what are you
But it was a waste of breath. You can’t stop my sister when she wants to do something.
I watched her trot up to the booth with all the high school kids. They were still arguing about who spilled their food. Tara picked up two plates of French fries and started back to our booth with them.
A hush fell over the table. The teenagers stared at the two plates floating in midair. Then they scrambled out of the booth, pulling on their coats and hats.
“Whoa, dude—too weird! I’m outta here!”
“Outta my way!”
Tara and I watched them run out the door as we helped ourselves to the French fries. They were hot and greasy and really salty. Excellent!
But before we could finish, a waitress stepped in front of our table. “This booth is free,” she called to a man and woman behind her. “Let me just clear away these French fries.”
The waitress grabbed our plates and stepped back to let the man and woman slide into our booth. They both wore jeans and black leather jackets and carried white motorcycle helmets. The man dropped his helmet on the seat next to me.
“Nicky, help me!” Tara screamed. “She's sitting on my lap!”
“What do you expect
to do?” I cried. “
He's sitting on me! And he weighs a ton!”
me!” Tara wailed.
I couldn’t see Tara at all. The woman had her totally covered.
“Tickle her!” I said.
The guy leaned back on me, and I groaned. Pain shot up and down my whole body. He had his dark hair tied in a ponytail, and the ponytail swished back and forth in my eyes.
“I’m tickling her ribs,” Tara said. “But she doesn’t feel it. Maybe she isn’t ticklish.”
“Bad news,” I groaned. “This big geek is sitting on my hands. I can’t even
to tickle him.”
The man and woman leaned over the table, holding hands.
“What’ll it be?” the waitress asked them.
“I’ll have the vegetable soup,” the woman said.
“I’ll have the same,” the man said. “And bring a lot of crackers.”
“I’m crushed. I’m totally crushed,” Tara wailed.
The guy leaned back again, pushing his greasy ponytail into my face. I let out another groan. “Tara—remind me to breathe later.”
A few minutes later, the waitress set two large blue bowls of soup on the table. The guy dug his
elbow into my chest as he reached for a package of crackers.
I slipped my arms free as he crushed the crackers in his hand and dumped them into his soup. “Tara, what do you think?” I asked. “We pick up the bowls and dump the soup in their laps?”
Tara let out another groan. “Do we have a choice?”
TARA AND I PUSHED
open the front door of the diner. We could still hear the screams of the man and woman from the booth in the back. We stepped out onto the snow and took deep breaths of the cold fresh air.
Tara pulled down her ski cap and I slid the parka hood over my head. The snowflakes had stopped falling. The wind gusted in our faces. We ducked our heads and started for home.
“What a waste of good vegetable soup,” I said.
Tara shook her head sadly. “This was such a bad-news idea. What made us think Mom and Dad would show up at the diner?” Her voice shook.
“It seemed like a good plan,” I muttered. An SUV roared past, splashing slush on us.
Tara turned to me. “What if we never find them, Nicky? What if we never see Mom and Dad again?” Her chin trembled. Tears made her dark eyes shimmer.
I slapped her on the back. “We’ll find them,” I said. “Remember that note we found? It fell out
from the back of the framed photo of Mom and Dad? It said we shouldn’t worry. That they were really close.”
“But if they’re so close,
where are they?
” Tara cried.
I didn’t know how to answer. I just let out a long sigh.
We’d been searching for Mom and Dad ever since we got home. And we weren’t the only ones looking for them. Some evil ghosts were searching for them too.
to find them before those ghosts did. We had to keep trying new ways. We couldn’t give up.
Tara and I stepped into the house. Our old house—143 Bleek Street. But it didn’t feel much like home with the Doyle family living in it.
“The Doyles are out,” Tara said. “The place is empty.”
We started up the stairs to Max's room. But a loud crash from the kitchen made us stop. Tara turned to me, her eyes wide with fear. “Who—?”