[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.And I can tell you for a fact that this really happened.”“Nice try, Barron,” Andy Hosten, one of Barron’s friends, called out.“But you can’t scare us.”Barron gave him a sly smile.“Really?” he said.“Well, let’s just see shall we.”He sat back down on his log and leaned forward.As he began to tell his story, the firelight flickered on his face.“My grandfather was just a little boy when one summer day his mother told him to go out and weed the garden,” he began.“Grandpa Joe did as he was told, but he was a little nervous.You see, the family farm sat on land that had been settled by people who had moved into the area a hundred years before.The garden was on a section of land that had been used as a burial ground.Of course, his parents had been told that all the buried bodies had been moved before the land was sold for farming.but Grandpa Joe still felt weird when he was out there picking tomatoes or hoeing the ground.”“Oooh.” Tess shivered, more mocking than sincere.“Gardening! This is worse than any horror movie, Barron!”There were a few chuckles around the fire.Barron smiled and shrugged.“But isn’t this how all scary stories start?” he asked.“With a seemingly ordinary day, a seemingly ordinary chore—”“And a seemingly obvious plot twist,” Peggy Dupree interrupted, a teasing note in her voice.“Come on, I’m guessing that there’s at least one body still buried in the garden, Barron.Am I right?”He pointed to her and grinned.“You got it!” he said, undeterred by the skepticism.“In fact, Grandpa Joe had only been hoeing a few minutes when he saw something unusual appear in the dirt.It was a fleshy object, about two inches long.He picked it up and brushed the dirt off.That’s when he realized—”Barron raised his voice slightly and said in a spooky voice, “It was a human toe!”“Oooh!”“Gross!”“Yuck!”As the campers groaned and laughed, Mitchie caught Shane’s eye and grinned.It figured that Barron would be a great storyteller; he had a definite flair for the dramatic—as evidenced by his always-creative dance moves.“So far, I feel more grossed out than scared,” Shane whispered to her.“I mean, come on.a big toe?”“Shhh,” Mitchie whispered back.“Barron’s just getting started.”They turned back to watch Barron as he continued with his story.“Grandpa didn’t like touching that big toe, but he also didn’t want to leave it out there in the yard.So he took it back to the house and showed it to his mother.As one might expect, it worried her, so she told him to put it on the ground outside the kitchen door and that they would figure out what to do with it later when his father got home.”Barron stopped to take a sip out of his water bottle.“Well, Grandpa Joe was a little surprised that she seemed so calm.But he thought maybe it would all be okay.Still, he had a hard time enjoying his dinner that night,” he went on.“And it was his favorite meal, too! Chicken and dumplings! But he choked down every bite, his mind constantly turning to that toe, sitting on the ground outside.It made him feel nervous for some reason.But then his mother served chocolate cake for dessert, and he finally forgot about it.”“I can tell where you got your appetite, Barron!” Andy yelled.“You’re right.” Barron laughed.“I’ve always said my passion for pie was hereditary.But enough about me.Guess what happened next?”“Hmmm.just a guess—the ghost of the toe started haunting them?” Shane suggested.“Very funny,” Barron said.“No, my grandpa Joe went to bed.”Peggy yawned.She was ready for more.“And then what? He had a good night’s sleep?”“As a matter of fact,” Barron said, “no.”“Here it comes,” Shane said, grinning.“The big finish.”Barron smiled slightly as he took another sip of water.“Grandpa Joe did doze off, but then”—Barron’s face got serious as he looked around at the circle of listeners—“suddenly, he woke up.His heart was thumping wildly, although he didn’t know why.He tried to remain calm, listening hard to see what had awakened him.At first, he heard only the usual sounds of the night: a tree branch scratching against the window, the wind rattling a loose shutter, a clock chiming twelve from the living room downstairs.And then.”Barron lowered his voice.“He heard footsteps walking across the floor downstairs! They were slow, dragging footsteps.and they were heading toward the stairs—and his room!“Grandpa Joe held his breath.He knew that his mom and dad were asleep in their bedroom.He could hear his dad snoring and his mom talking in her sleep.So who else was in the house? And why was the intruder heading for the stairs?”Mitchie glanced around at the audience.Every camper was sitting forward now, their eyes glued to Barron’s face.“He knew he should get out of bed and wake up his parents,” Barron went on.“Or maybe grab his baseball bat and go after the intruder himself.But he couldn’t move! He felt as if he were paralyzed! He just lay there and listened as the footsteps got closer.And closer.And closer.And that’s when he noticed that these weren’t normal footsteps—thump, thump, thump.They sounded more like thump.draaag.Thump.draaag.It was almost as if the person were walking with a limp—the way you would walk.if someone had cut off your big toe!“Just as Grandpa Joe realized that, he heard a voice saying something.He strained to hear the words.As the footsteps got closer, he could just make out the words.‘Who has my big toe?’ the voice was muttering.”Barron looked intensely from one face to the next as he mimicked the sound of the moaning voice.“‘Who has my big toe?’” he said, his voice getting louder.“‘WHO HAS MY BIG TOE?’”“YOU DO!” someone screamed, jumping out of the bushes and pointing at Tess.“Aaaggh!” Tess yelled, jumping away from the accusing finger and promptly falling backward off her log.The audience burst into laughter, both at the sight of Tess lying flat on her back and at Sander, who was grinning broadly at the success of his sudden and dramatic entrance.“That’s so not funny!” Tess pouted as her two bunkmates, Ella Pador and Lorraine Burgess, brushed the dirt off the back of Tess’s shirt, trying to calm her down.It didn’t work.“This isn’t fun, it’s life-threatening! I practically had a heart attack!”“Excellent!” Brown responded.“That’s the sign of a really scary story.Great job, Barron.And Sander, too, of course.”“Hey, no big deal.All I had to do was hide behind that bush until the big finale,” Sander said with a shrug.Mitchie shook her head in admiration.“I’ve heard that story before, so I was just waiting for Barron to yell the ending,” she admitted.“Having someone else do it was a great twist.”“Yeah, we’re rockin’ and rollin’ now,” Brown said, rubbing his hands together with satisfaction.“So”—he looked around at the other campers—“who’s next?”CHAPTERSIXThere was a brief moment of anticipation as everyone looked at each other [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]