Read 08 - The Girl Who Cried Monster Online

Authors: R.L. Stine - (ebook by Undead)

08 - The Girl Who Cried Monster

BOOK: 08 - The Girl Who Cried Monster
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THE GIRL WHO
CRIED MONSTER

 

Goosebumps - 08
R.L. Stine
(An Undead Scan v1.5)

 

 
1

 

 

I love to scare my little brother, Randy. I tell him scary stories about
monsters until he begs me to stop. And I’m always teasing him by pretending to
see monsters everywhere.

I guess that’s why no one believed me the day I saw a
real
monster.

I guess that’s why no one believed me until it was too late, and the monster
was right in my own house.

But I’d better not tell the ending of my story at the beginning.

My name is Lucy Dark. I’m twelve. I live with my brother, Randy, who is six,
and my parents in a medium-sized house in a medium-sized town called Timberland
Falls.

I don’t know why it’s called Timberland Falls. There are a few forests
outside of town, but no one cuts the trees down for timber. And there aren’t any
falls.

So, why Timberland Falls?

It’s a mystery.

We have a redbrick house at the end of our street. There’s a tall, overgrown
hedge that runs along the side of our house and separates our yard from the
Killeens’ yard next door. Dad’s always talking about how he should trim the
hedge, but he never does.

We have a small front yard and a pretty big back yard with a lot of tall, old
trees in it. There’s an old sassafras tree in the middle of the yard. It’s cool
and shady under the tree. That’s where I like to sit with Randy when there’s
nothing better to do, and see if I can scare the socks off of him!

It isn’t very hard. Randy scares easy.

He looks a lot like me, even though he’s a boy. He’s got straight black hair
just like me, only I wear mine longer. He’s short for his age, like me, and just
a little bit chubby.

He has a round face, rounder than mine, and big black eyes, which really
stand out since we both have such pale white skin.

Mom says Randy has longer eyelashes than mine, which makes me kind of
jealous. But my nose is straighter, and my teeth don’t stick out as much when I
smile. So I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Anyway, on a hot afternoon a couple of weeks ago, Randy and I were sitting under the old sassafras tree, and I was getting
ready to scare him to death.

I really didn’t have anything better to do. As soon as summer came around
this year and school let out, most of my really good friends went away for the
summer. I was stuck at home, and so I was pretty lonely.

Randy is usually a total pain. But at least he is somebody to talk to. And
someone I can
scare.

I have a really good imagination. I can dream up the most amazing monsters.
And I can make them sound really real.

Mom says with my imagination, maybe I’ll be a writer when I grow up.

I really don’t know about that.

I
do
know that it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to frighten
Randy.

Usually all I have to do is tell him there’s a monster trying on his clothes
upstairs in his closet, and Randy turns even whiter than normal and starts
shaking all over.

The poor kid. I can even make his teeth chatter. It’s unbelievable.

I leaned back against the smooth part of the tree trunk and rested my hands
on the grass, and closed my eyes. I was dreaming up a good story to tell my
brother.

The grass felt soft and moist against my bare feet. I dug my toes into the
dirt.

Randy was wearing denim shorts and a plain white sleeveless T-shirt. He was
lying on his side, plucking up blades of grass with one hand.

“Did you ever hear about the Timberland Falls toe-biter?” I asked him,
brushing a spider off my white tennis shorts.

“Huh?” He kept pulling up blades of grass one by one, making a little pile.

“There was this monster called the Timberland Falls toe-biter,” I told Randy.

“Aw, please, Lucy,” he whined. “You said you wouldn’t make up any more
monster stories.”

“No, I’m not!” I told him. “This story isn’t made up. It’s true.”

He looked up at me and made a face. “Yeah. Sure.”

“No. Really,” I insisted, staring hard into his round, black eyes so he’d
know I was sincere. “This is a true story. It really happened. Here. In
Timberland Falls.”

Randy pulled himself up to a sitting position. “I think I’ll go inside and
read comic books,” he said, tossing down a handful of grass.

Randy has a big comic book collection. But they’re all Disney comics and
Archie
comics because the superhero comics are too scary for him.

“The toe-biter showed up one day right next door,” I told Randy. I knew once I started the story, he wouldn’t leave.

“At the Killeens’?” he asked, his eyes growing wide.

“Yeah. He arrived in the middle of the afternoon. The toe-biter isn’t a night
monster, you see. He’s a day monster. He strikes when the sun is high in the
sky. Just like now.”

I pointed up through the shimmering tree leaves to the sun, which was high
overhead in a clear summer-blue sky.

“A d-day monster?” Randy asked. He turned his head to look at the Killeens’
house rising up on the other side of the hedge.

“Don’t be scared. It happened a couple of summers ago,” I continued. “Becky
and Lilah were over there. They were swimming. You know. In that plastic pool
their mom inflates for them. The one that half the water always spills out.”

“And a monster came?” Randy asked.

“A toe-biter,” I told him, keeping my expression very serious and lowering my
voice nearly to a whisper. “A toe-biter came crawling across their back yard.”

“Where’d he come from?” Randy asked, leaning forward.

I shrugged. “No one knows. You see, the thing about toe-biters is they’re
very hard to see when they crawl across grass. Because they make themselves the exact color of the grass.”

“You mean they’re green?” Randy asked, rubbing his pudgy nose.

I shook my head. “They’re only green when they creep and crawl over the
grass,” I replied. “They change their color to match what they’re walking on. So
you can’t see them.”

“Well, how big is it?” Randy asked thoughtfully.

“Big,” I said. “Bigger than a dog.” I watched an ant crawl up my leg, then
flicked if off. “No one really knows how big because this monster blends in so
well.”

“So what happened?” Randy asked, sounding a little breathless. “I mean to
Becky and Lilah.” Again he glanced over at the Killeens’ gray-shingle house.

“Well, they were in their little plastic pool,” I continued. “You know.
Splashing around. And I guess Becky was lying on her back and had her feet
hanging over the side of the pool. And the monster scampered over the grass,
nearly invisible. And it saw Becky’s toes dangling in the air.”

“And—and Becky didn’t see the monster?” Randy asked.

I could see he was starting to get real pale and trembly.

“Toe-biters are just so hard to see,” I said, keeping my eyes locked on
Randy’s, keeping my face very straight and solemn.

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Just to build up suspense. Then I
continued the story.

“Becky didn’t notice anything at first. Then she felt a kind of
tickling
feeling. She thought it was the dog licking at her toes. She kicked a little
and told the dog to go away.

“But then it didn’t tickle so much. It started to hurt. Becky shouted for the
dog to stop. But the hurting got even worse. It felt like the dog was chewing on
her toes, with very sharp teeth.

“It started to hurt a whole lot. So Becky sat up and pulled her feet into the
pool. And… when she looked down at her left foot, she saw it.”

I stopped and waited for Randy to ask.

“Wh-what?” he asked finally, in a shaky voice. “What did she see?”

I leaned forward and brought my mouth close to his ear. “All the toes were
missing from her left foot,” I whispered.

“No!” Randy screamed. He jumped to his feet. He was as pale as a ghost, and
he looked really scared. “That’s not true!”

I shook my head solemnly. I forced myself not to crack a smile. “Ask Becky to
take off her left shoe,” I told him. “You’ll see.”

“No! You’re lying!” Randy wailed.

“Ask her,” I said softly.

And then I glanced down at my feet, and my eyes popped wide with horror.
“R-R-Randy—look!” I stammered and pointed with a trembling hand down to my feet.

Randy uttered a deafening scream when he saw what I was pointing at.

All the toes on my left foot were missing.

 

 
2

 

 

“Waaaaiiiii!”

Randy let out another terrified wail. Then he took off, running full speed to
the house, crying for Mom.

I took off after him. I didn’t want to get in trouble for scaring him again.

“Randy—wait! Wait! I’m okay!” I shouted, laughing.

Of course I had my toes buried in the dirt.

He should’ve been able to figure that out.

But he was too scared to think straight.

“Wait!” I called after him. “I didn’t get to show you the monster in the
tree!”

He heard that. He stopped and turned around, his face still all twisted up in
fright. “Huh?”

“There’s a monster up in the tree,” I said, pointing to the sassafras tree
we’d just been sitting under. “A tree monster. I saw it!”

“No way!” he screamed, and started running again to the house.

“I’ll show it to you!” I called, cupping my hands around my mouth so he’d
hear me.

He didn’t look back. I watched him stumble up the steps to the back stoop and
disappear into the house. The screen door slammed hard behind him.

I stood staring at the back of the house, waiting for Randy to poke his
frightened head out again. But he didn’t.

I burst out laughing. I mean, the toe-biter was one of my best creations. And
then digging my toes into the dirt and pretending the monster had gotten me, too—
what a riot!

Poor Randy. He was just too easy a victim.

And now he was probably in the kitchen, squealing on me to Mom. That meant
that real soon I’d be in for another lecture about how it wasn’t nice to scare
my little brother and fill him full of scary monster stories.

But what else was there to do?

I stood there staring at the house, waiting for one of them to call me in.
Suddenly a hand grabbed my shoulder hard from behind.
“Gotcha!”
a voice
growled.

“Oh!” I cried out and nearly jumped out of my skin.

A monster!

I spun around—and stared at the laughing face of my friend Aaron Messer.

Aaron giggled his high-pitched giggle till he had tears in his eyes.

I shook my head, frowning. “You didn’t scare me,” I insisted.

“Oh. Sure,” he replied, rolling his blue eyes. “That’s why you screamed for
help!”

“I
didn’t
scream for help,” I protested. “I just cried out a little.
In surprise. That’s all.”

Aaron chuckled. “You thought it was a monster. Admit it.”

“A monster?” I said, sneering. “Why would I think that?”

“Because that’s all you think about,” he said smugly. “You’re obsessed.”

“Oooh. Big word!” I teased him.

He made a face at me. Aaron is my only friend who stuck around this summer.
His parents are taking him somewhere out west in a few months. But in the
meantime he’s stuck like me, just hanging out, trying to fill the time.

Aaron is about a foot taller than me. But who isn’t? He has curly red hair
and freckles all over his face. He’s very skinny, and he wears long, baggy
shorts that make him look even skinnier.

“I just saw Randy run into the house. Why was he crying like that?” Aaron
asked, glancing to the house.

I could see Randy at the kitchen window, staring out at us.

“I think he saw a monster,” I told Aaron.

“Huh? Not monsters again!” Aaron cried. He gave me a playful shove. “Get out
of here, Lucy!”

“There’s one up in that tree,” I said seriously, pointing.

Aaron turned around to look. “You’re so dumb,” he said, grinning.

“No. Really,” I insisted. “There’s a real ugly monster. I think it’s trapped
up there in that tree.”

“Lucy, stop it,” Aaron said.

“That’s what Randy saw,” I continued. “That’s what made him run screaming
into the house.”

“You see monsters everywhere,” Aaron said. “Don’t you ever get tired of it?”

“I’m not kidding this time,” I told him. My chin trembled, and my expression
turned to outright fear as I gazed over Aaron’s shoulder at the broad, leafy
sassafras tree. “I’ll prove it to you.”

“Yeah. Sure,” Aaron replied with his usual sarcasm.

“Really. Go get that broom.” I motioned to the broom leaning against the back
of the house.

“Huh? What for?” Aaron asked.

“Go get the broom,” I insisted. “We’ll see if we can get the monster down
from the tree.”

“Uh… why do we want to do
that
?” Aaron asked. He sounded very
hesitant. I could see that he was starting to wonder if I was being serious or
not.

BOOK: 08 - The Girl Who Cried Monster
10.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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