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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

The Gloomy Ghost

A Monsterrific Tale

Monsterrific Tales

David Lubar





Being little stinks. Adults act like I don't exist. Even when I'm in the room, they act like I'm not there. They talk about me right in front of me. Maybe they think their words just shoot across the room and don't reach down to me. It's amazing. I can be sitting right there—right under their noses—and they'll start talking about me. Rory this and Rory that. Rory had a bad day today or Rory shouldn't be playing with that boy down the street. Sometimes I want to shout at them, "Hey, I'm right here!"

They all do it. Mom and Dad, Mr. Nordy next door, Dr. Bugwitz, my teacher Mrs. Rubric, everyone.

Being little stinks. But it's better than being dead. Being dead can really stink. No joke. I don't mean you start to stink. Well, I guess you do if you're really dead. But I'm just sort of dead, so I don't stink. Maybe I'm just almost dead. But I know I'm dead enough to be a ghost.

I'm skipping over a bunch of stuff. I've got to go back, so it makes sense. It's like Mom says when I get excited. "Slow down. Just tell one thing at a time." Okay, I'm going to slow down and tell one thing at a time.

First, who am I? I'm Rory. But that doesn't tell you a lot. I'm in kindergarten. I've got a brother, Sebastian, who is really great. He's my big buddy. He lets me look at his monster books. I've got a sister, Angelina. She's the oldest. She's getting close to being a big person, so sometimes she treats me like I'm not there. But she also makes me cookies sometimes. And she was a witch for a while. Not a nasty witch, but a fun one. Angelina and Sebastian fight all the time. Not hit and punch fight, but with words. Sebastian usually wins. He's cool. His friends call him Splat. That's a funny story. I'll tell it later if I remember.

I like soldiers and monsters and trucks—especially monster trucks. I like guns, but Mom doesn't. I don't have a lot of guns. I used to not have any, but I made guns out of sticks, so Mom gave up and let me have some toy guns. Dad doesn't mind if I have toy guns. I don't point them at any real people or animals—just at enemy soldiers and monsters.

Wow, I'm really chattering. If I keep talking about me, this story won't go anywhere. I'd better hurry through the rest. So, there's Sebastian and Angelina. I told you about them. I have a friend, Becky, who lives down the street. She's great. She can bend her thumb back so it touches her wrist. And she can do that trick with her eyes where she makes them go all white. Her mom hates that. I think Sebastian has a crush on Becky's big sister, Dawn. He acts real goofy when she's around.

I have another friend, Tony, who lives down the street, but the other way. Becky and Tony hate each other right now. Oh, and I've got parents. Mom and Dad. That's what I call them.

Before I got dead, I guess I was just a normal kid. I'm still a normal kid, except I'm a ghost kid. That would be cool, if I was alive. But I guess you can't be alive and be a ghost. It's like when Dad says, "You can't have it both ways." My parents are always saying things. Most of the time, I'm not really sure what they mean. Like, what does "Someday you'll thank me for this" mean? It's more like "Someday I'll spank you for this." That, I understand.

So anyhow, now you know enough about me. And—oh, yeah—I live in Lewington and I go to morning kindergarten at Washington Irving Elementary School. I don't know if I'll be going there anymore, since I'm dead.

Now you know everything about me except how I got into this mess. Well, I guess it really started when I broke the television.

Copyright © 1998 by David Lubar
The Bully Bug excerpt copyright © 2014 by David Lubar