“Mom, Ashley is here, I’m leaving now.”
“Be home by three.”
“Okay,” and with that Cassie ran out the back door and gave her friend a high-five.
Ashley and Cassie have been best friends since they were five. Now aged eleven, they loved adventure. Ashley was especially good at finding unusual, mischievous things for the two of them to do. Today was going to be no different.
“What you got planned for today,” asked Cassie.
“You know that abandoned house over on Fourth? Well, I want to do a little exploring inside that old house,” said Ashley
“Say what?” exclaimed Cassie. “No way am I going inside that old house. People say it’s haunted.”
Ashley couldn’t help but laugh at this statement. “Are you serious Cassie? You don’t really believe that stuff do you?” asked Ashley incredulously.
“Why do we have to check it out anyway?” asked Cassie.
“I’ll let you in on a little secret. I was over there the other day, you know, just kind of snooping around. I happened to look at the second floor bedroom window and I could have sworn I saw the curtain move. Now, I don’t really believe in ghosts, but if there is one there I want to go see for myself.”
Cassie stopped dead in her tracts. “Are you nuts Ashley? No way am I going into that house, and you can’t make me.”
“Chicken,” countered Ashley.
“I am not!”
“Wellllllll, then I guess you’ll be coming with me, right?”
Cassie really didn’t want to, but she didn’t want Ashley to call her chicken either. Besides, ghosts were not real and what Ashley saw was probably just the wind blowing through a broken window. She’d go, and be courageous through it all. No one was calling her ‘chicken’.
There it stood. The ‘haunted house’ as it had been nicknamed. The paint was peeling. Windows were broken. A mouse ran under the porch. The girls approached the metal gate and pushed it open. It squeaked on its hinges, sounding rather eerie. They carefully stepped up the porch steps, each step creaking as they did. Cassie's stomach had butterflies and her legs felt like jello. Ashley turned the doorknob and pushed the door open. Cobwebs were everywhere, and it appeared dark and musty inside. Leaving the door open, they stepped inside.
“This is creepy,” whispered Cassie. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“No!” stated Ashley. “I came to look around, and I’m going to look around.”
As the girls walked from room to room, Cassie was becoming more and more apprehensive. Suddenly the upstairs floor creaked. “What was that? It sounds like someone is here. Come on Ashley, I want to go home,” cried Cassie.
“That was just the wind. You really are chicken aren’t you Cassie,” challenged Ashley.
As they reached the den, they heard a soft ‘Grrrrrrrr.’
Cassie grabbed Ashley, “Did you hear that?”
“Yes,” said Ashley. “Maybe it’s just an animal.”
By this time Cassie was trying very hard not to cry. She looked to see where the front door was and noticed it was now closed. “Odd,” she thought. “I know we left it open.”
There was that noise again, only this time a little louder. “Ashley, I’m leaving. You can stay, but I want out of here,” and with these words Cassie turned toward the door.
Ashley grabbed her arm, “No, you can’t leave. We have to find out what that noise is.”
“We. I don’t think so Ashley.”
And then they heard it. A door opened upstairs. They heard footsteps coming down the steps, and the sound of Grrrr, Grrrr with each step.
The girls stood motionless. Cassie was certain they would both die. Ashley was actually crying. “Oh great,” thought Cassie. My best friend just turned chicken on me.
They could hear the footsteps walking across the living room floor. Grrrrr. Footsteps came closer to the den. Cassie thought about running over to shut and lock the den door, but as she was contemplating doing this she saw a shadow in the living room and those frightening words, Grrrrr.
“We’re dead,” Ashley whispered.
Just then someone burst into the room and shouted, “Boooo!” laughing hysterically. There stood Jimmy, Ashley’s brother.
“Jimmy, what are you doing here?”
“Me and the guys come here every Saturday. This is our club-house. We’re having a meeting and you’re intruding. Our plan to scare you was grrrrrrrrreat!”
Through tears of relief, two girls laughed at their haunted-house adventure.
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