The Scariest Haunted House Project - Ever!

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Chapter 4: Count Me Out!

“She was really creepy,” said Alice, when they were back in the classroom.

Tim nodded. “I think she’s a vampire.”

“Don’t be silly,” said Ben. “She’s just tall, and thin, with dark hair and pale skin… and has long bony fingers with red nails… and sharp, white teeth… and a long black jacket…” he paused. “OK, maybe she looks like a vampire, but that doesn’t mean she is one.”

“Why else do you think she wants us to do Halloween displays? Vampires love Halloween, they don’t even need to hide!” added Alice. “Why not do a Christmas project, or Thanksgiving or something?”

Tom shrugged. “It doesn’t matter if she is a vampire or not. We need to think about what we want to do for this contest. First place or Third is what I am going for - I don’t want to have to eat Mystery Meat again!”

“Don’t forget we need to include people from the middle school too,” reminded Alice. “And I have just the people in mind…”

“No!” protested Ben. “No no no no no no! I don’t want to work with my sister!”

Tim patted Ben on the shoulder. “C’mon, it’s not that bad. She was pretty cool to work with on the Tree House.”

Ben shook his head. “You may think that, but I live in the same house. She’s annoying and keeps telling me what to do, like she has the right or something.”

“Tim, remember Ben didn’t actually work with us on the Tree House because of the accident. So he doesn’t really know Amanda like we do,” reminded Tom.

“Didn’t…didn’t…didn’t work on the tree house?!?” sputtered Ben. His face had turned a dark shade of red. “I started the tree house in the first place! I found the tree! It was my idea!”

“Well, sure, you started the old tree house, but we gave up on that one. We meant the real tree house that we finished together with the girls,” corrected Tom.

“Remember, you played in it all summer with us?” said Tim.

Ben looked like he was going to explode. “But it was my idea!” He stomped over to his desk and sat down just as the teacher walked into the room. “She must have brainwashed you all,” he muttered under his breath, scowling.

He pulled out his workbook and slapped it down on the desk. The teacher turned to look at him and frowned. “I am not going to work with her!” Ben muttered to himself.

At noon, Tim, Tom and Alice sat together at a picnic table on the side of the playground. They had decided to discuss ideas for the Halloween display while they ate lunch. James came over and sat down with them.

“Where’s Ben?” he asked.

“Over there.” Tom pointed to where Ben was sitting by himself on the opposite side of the playground.

“What’s he doing over there?” frowned James.

“Sulking,” said Alice. “He doesn’t want to work with his sister on the Halloween project.”

“I see,” said James. “Why wouldn’t he…oh, right. I almost forgot he didn’t finish the tree house with us.”

“He’s pretty upset about that,” said Tim. “Seeing as he says the whole tree house thing was his idea in the first place.”

“That’s silly. Every kid wants to build a tree house, he just found the tree.” James thought it over for a few moments and then sighed. “Well, I guess this tree house was his idea. Do you want me to go talk to him?”

“If you think it will help,” replied Alice.

James closed up his lunch box and walked over towards Ben. “Have you got over the top of the bars yet?” asked James, referring to Ben’s goal of loop-de-loop with the swings. He came to a stop in front of where Ben was sitting.

“Not yet,” Ben grunted. “Getting closer though.”

“What are you doing eating lunch over here?” asked James. He settled down onto the grass beside Ben and opened his lunch box. He pulled out his sandwich and a juice box.

“I don’t feel like eating over there,” Ben frowned. “I don’t want to have to do anything with Amanda.”

James looked around, confused. “Amanda isn’t here, she is in the Middle School.”

“Yah, but she might as well be,” Ben gestured towards the picnic table. “If they want to work with her so bad, then let them. But I don’t have to. I have some great ideas that I am going to do on my own.”

James unwrapped a straw and poked it into his juice box. He looked sideways at Ben, then took a sip. “You have to work with a Middle School kid, remember?”

Ben shrugged. “Sure, I’ll find somebody. In fact, I already have an idea. Amanda keeps talking about some of the kids in her class, so I may ask one of them.” He gave James a sly smile.

James raised an eyebrow, but Ben just bit into his sandwich and shook his head. James took a bite out of his own sandwich and studied the grass between his feet. What was Ben up to?

Contents | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3

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