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This Party Tip submitted by BizGirl - Aug 25th, 2008

    • Short Campfire Ghost Stories 5

    • The Gourmet Ghost By Janet E. Gill

      Go Back to Short Campfire Ghost Stories

      My mom handed me a plate of pancakes. “Go eat with your sister in the dining room, Mark.”
      I drowned them in syrup. “Dining room?” I didn’t like that room.
      “Sally insisted on eating there. Something about an imaginary friend.” Mom shrugged. “Ahber, I think she called him.”
      I started for the room.
      “Some women are coming by to see the furniture I’m selling, : Mom went on. “Mrs. Carr from down the street and later, Mrs. Glades and her son. Said he goes to your school.”
      My heart flip-flopped. Ricky Glades, meanest kid in the whole school. Last week, he stole my three best baseball cards. Yesterday, he followed my friend and me home, calling us names all the way. And he was coming here. I’d better hide out.
      I shivered as I stepped into the dining room. It was always cold. And dark, because of the heavy curtains. My sister was sitting on the hardwood floor, a plate of pancakes before her. We’d just moved into this house. Lots of old furniture came with it, but no dining room table.
      I started to sit by Sally.
      “No, Mark!” she said “Ahber dair.”
      The invisible friend. I sat across from her. “You’re silly.”
      She gave me the smile everyone calls angelic. Her blond curls just added to the look. Mom told me even my blond hair couldn’t make me look like an angel.
      “Ahber hungee, Mark,” Sally said. “Ahber eat.” She waved her fork with a piece of pancake on it.
      The pancake disappeared!
      “How’d you do that?” I asked.
      “Ahber hungee. Ahber eat.”
      Feeling dumb, I held out a pancake. Cold air rushed past my hand, then, no pancake. My scalp prickled.
      “Ahber eat!” Giggling, Sally bounced up and down.
      I tossed an orange wedge. The fruit vanished. Another. Gone, too. Squealing with excitement, Sally threw her plate.
      “No, it’ll break!” I cried.
      But instead of a crash, I heard a small gulp.
      The dish had disappeared, too.
      Mom came in. “What’s going on?”
      “We’re just talking,” I said.
      “Don’t leave a mess. Mrs. Carr wants to see the chandelier.”
      I gazed up at the huge crystal chandelier. It hung, all glittery, like a frozen fountain. Mom’s walking had made it sway, because the wires holding it up were weak. Since it cost a lot to get them fixed, my parents had decided to sell it.
      Mom left, and I trailed Sally to the far end of the room. Arms spread wide, she leaned forward and hugged the air. She looked like she should tip over, but she didn’t.
      “Ahber go night-night.” She patted the floor in the corner.
      “What’s he look like?” I asked.
      Stretching her arms up, she stood on tiptoe. “Ahber big.”
      “Like Dad? Grandpa?” I wished she could talk more.
      She pointed at a large, scenic painting on the wall. “Dat.”
      Ahber looked like a waterfall? A wide short waterfall? Like a fat ghost.
      A ghost! No wonder this room was creepy. But shouldn’t he be rattling chains? Making scary noises? I never heard of a ghost who ate breakfast.
      Sally went into the kitchen, leaving me alone with our ghost. What if he only liked little kids? Maybe he wouldn’t want me in his bedroom.
      “Ahber,” I whispered. “It’s me, Mark. I’m the one who fed you breakfast. Remember?”
      No creaks. No moans.
      In case he was asleep, I tiptoed around, humming softly so he wouldn’t think I was spying. Stopping at the huge chest Mom calls an armoire, I slid the drawers out, in, out, in. One stuck, and I worked it open. Crumpled inside was a white apron big enough to wrap a large Humpty Dumpty. Red initials on it said A. A. As I held it up, a piece of paper drifted out. On it was a photograph of a man. His cheeks were so fat, they looked as though he’d puffed them out. Three chins hid his neck. Beside the picture it said

      Albert Anders died suddenly Tuesday. Anders, a gourmet, spent his life searching for the perfect meal. He stated he was always hungry and always had room for one more bite. His death occurred during a dinner party at his home. Anders leaves no family.

      Albert. Ahber in baby talk. And he’d died here, in this room. I shuffled my feet. I could be standing on the exact spot.
      Was he hanging around waiting for that perfect meal? Well, Mom’s cooking was all right, but not gourmet.
      The doorbell rang.
      “It’s Mrs. Carr,” Mom said. She brought my sister into the room. I shoved the apron and paper back. Sally headed for the corner where we left Ahber.
      Voices sounded in the kitchen, then a dog yipped.
      Tap, tap, tap. The dog trotted into the dining room. I knew this dog. It always nipped at me when I rode my bike. Yesterday, I had to kick it away. The dog remembered, too. Eyes on me, it crouched, growling. I stepped back.
      “Goggy!” Sally rushed towards it.
      The dog leaped at her - and then, it vanished. Just disappeared, as though it had never been. The gulp this time was loud.
      Sally laughed. “Bye-bye, Goggy. Ahber hungee.”
      Chills ran down my back as I stared at the nothing beside me. Was that dog Ahber’s idea of the perfect meal?
      “The chandelier’s in here.” Mom led a large woman in.
      She looked up, then around. “Where’s my dog?” she asked.
      “He wanted to go out,” I told her.
      Her face turned red. “How could you have done that? He’ll get lost!” She stomped from the room, Mom following.
      Tinkle. Tinkle, tinkle. The footsteps had set the chandelier swinging. My eyes tracked it back and forth. The sound, growing louder, was like a flock of twittering birds.
      Snap! Crack! Snap!
      The chandelier dropped, right at Sally and me. Grabbing her hand, I rushed for the door.
      The chandelier disappeared.
      Sally looked up, her eyes big. “Ahber berry hungee, Mark.”
      A chandelier! A whole giant chandelier. A dog a plate. This ghost would eat anything!
      Before I could think of how to explain this to my mom, another woman’s voice came from the kitchen. “I’m interested in your four-poster bed.”
      “Fine,” Mom said. “Your son can wait in the dining room with my children.”
      Then, Ricky Glades, looking as big and mean as ever, stood in the doorway. I’d forgotten he was coming! He planted himself right in front of me. My hands clenched.
      “Little Markie having fun with his baby sister,” he sneered.
      Eat anything, I suddenly thought. Always hungry.
      Ricky’s red face came so close I could count his eyelashes. One finger jabbed my shoulder. “Sissy.” Jab. “Weirdo.” Jab. “Little bitty weeny.” Jab, jab.
      And always room for one more bite.
      I raised my fists. “Bug off, creep.”
      His mouth dropped open. Then, he charged. I waited for Ahber to react. Instead, Ricky piled into me and punched me hard on the nose.
      “Sally, where’s Ahber?” I cried, holding my nose.
      “Oh, Mark,” she said. “Ahber not hungee anymore.”

      Go Back to Short Campfire Ghost Stories

    • Tags: halloween ghost stories scary short campfire
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