Read Philip and the Haunted House (9781619500020) Online

Authors: John Paulits

Tags: #humor, #haunted house, #chapter book, #gypsy shadow, #john paulits, #philip, #childrens novel, #emery

Philip and the Haunted House (9781619500020)

BOOK: Philip and the Haunted House (9781619500020)
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Philip and the Haunted House

by

John Paulits

 

 

All rights reserved

Copyright © September 2011, John Paulits

Cover Art Copyright © 2011, Charlotte
Holley

 

 

Gypsy Shadow Publishing

Lockhart, TX

www.gypsyshadow.com

 

 

Names, characters and incidents depicted in
this book are products of the author’s imagination, or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales,
organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental
and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced or
shared by any electronic or mechanical means, including but not
limited to printing, file sharing, and email, without prior written
permission from Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

 

 

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

 

This eBook is licensed for your personal
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respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

DEDICATION

 

For Aunt Marie

 

 

Chapter One

 

The rumble of a heavy truck caused
Philip to turn in his bed and open his eyes. He felt his heart
pounding. He had been trapped in some dark, awful house. He
immediately recognized his own bedroom and sighed in relief. Only a
dream! The sound of the truck stopped briefly and started up
again.
Turning a corner
,
thought Philip. As he listened, the truck noise ended suddenly,
instead of fading little by little. Philip guessed the truck had
stopped somewhere in his neighborhood.

He sat up in bed, turned, put his feet
on the floor, and stretched. A long Saturday loomed ahead of him.
No school. What a great feeling! Philip thought of his dream again.
Yesterday, his teacher Mr. Ware read the class the part of
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
where
Tom and Huck look for treasure in the haunted house. While they’re
looking, they hear someone coming and run upstairs to hide. One of
the two men who enter the haunted house turns out to be Injun Joe,
who wants to kill Tom for identifying him as Doc Robinson’s
murderer at Muff Potter’s trial. Injun Joe gets suspicious, takes
out his knife, and starts to climb the stairs. Tom and Huck lie
frozen in fear on the floor, peeking through a chink in the wood as
Injun Joe, step by step, gets nearer and nearer. Then, CRASH! The
old, rotten stairway collapses and tumbles Injun Joe to the
floor.

When Mr. Ware read it, he’d shouted the word
“crash” as loud as he could. Everyone, including Philip, jumped out
of their chairs. For once he’d been paying close attention, and the
teacher rewarded him by almost giving him a heart attack. Philip
blamed Mr. Ware for his frightful dream.

How could Tom and Huck even
want
to go inside a haunted house,
Philip wondered, even if they thought they’d find some buried
treasure? Buried treasure. Philip thought he
might
go into a haunted house to get rich, but
not for fun. No way. He decided he’d go back to daydreaming in
school next week and stop listening to the teacher’s heart-attack
reading lessons.

Philip dressed and went downstairs. His
father lay on the sofa reading the newspaper.


Well, look who’s awake,” his father
said, sitting up. “Your mother went to the supermarket. Becky’s
still sleeping.” Becky was Philip’s baby sister. “Emery called
twice already.”


What time is it, Dad?”


A little after ten.”

He
had
slept a long time. Maybe if he’d gotten up earlier he
wouldn’t have had the dream about the haunted house.
Stupid reading lesson
.


Give Emery a call, and I’ll get your
cereal.”

Philip called Emery, who said he’d be right
over.

As Philip dropped his cereal bowl into the
sink, Emery walked into the kitchen.


Are you sick?” said Emery.


No, I’m not sick. Why?”


You slept so long. I only sleep long
if I’m sick. My two baby sisters cry so much I can’t sleep late
anyway.”


No, I’m not sick. I had this weird
dream, though.” Philip led Emery into the living room.


You, too, eh?”


Me, too? You had a dream?” Philip
asked in alarm.
Maybe something’s
going
around
, he
thought.


No, I mean putting the dishes in the
sink.”


Oh. Yeah, something new.”


My mother, too. She must have talked
to your mother. They do these things together sometimes. What did
you dream about?”


The haunted house Mr. Ware read about
yesterday.”


Oh, yeah. When the stairs crashed, and
he made everybody jump. Cool!”


I didn’t jump,” Philip
lied.


Well, everybody else did. Haunted
houses are spooky.”


Only around Halloween,” Philip said
boldly.


All
the time,”
Emery replied with a sharp nod.

Philip felt he’d established his bravery, so
he dropped the topic.


Weird, though,” said Emery.


What’s weird?”


A big truck pulled up around the
corner, and they’re taking everything out of the junky, empty
house.”


The one with all the grass growing
around it?”


Yeah. It’s still got a “Sale” sign on
it so I guess nobody bought it yet.
That’ll
be an empty house now and look even
more
haunted.”

Philip pictured the house—dark, empty,
and surrounded by tall weeds. It
could
be haunted for all he and Emery knew; and
there it sat—right around the corner from where they
lived.


Want to go watch them take stuff out?”
Emery asked.


They’re still there?”


Yeah. They only got there a little
while ago.”

Philip thought of the truck that woke him
up.


Okay,” Philip said. He’d go now, but
once they’d emptied the house and left it empty and lonely and
scary looking, he planned to stay away from it. Far
away.

 

 

Chapter Two

 


What a boring morning,” Philip said as
he got behind Emery in the lunchroom line to get his milk on
Monday.


Are you getting chocolate or white
milk?” asked Emery.


You know I never get white milk,”
Philip said, bending into the refrigerated bin to take a milk
carton.


My mother makes me get white milk,”
Emery reported sadly.


How’ll she know?”

Emery shrugged. “She finds out
everything.”

Philip ignored Emery’s complaint and slid
next to him on the bench of their lunch table. “We’re partners in
the project, right?”


Yeah, but what are we going to do? It
doesn’t sound very interesting. I have the list. We’ll look at it
after we eat.” Emery opened his lunch box. “Peanut butter and jelly
again. I wish my mother wasn’t so busy in the morning with the two
babies.”


Why don’t you pack your own lunch?”
Philip asked as he opened his. “Hey! Where’s my sandwich?” He
emptied his lunch box onto the cardboard tray the lunch ladies had
given him with his milk.


All you have is an apple and two fig
bars?” said Emery, biting into his peanut butter and jelly sandwich
and moaning. “Grape jelly, as usual.”


Where’s my sandwich?” Philip said,
louder than before.


You sure you had one?”


Of course I had one.” Philip
remembered watching his mother make the sandwich. She wrapped it up
and handed it to him. He put it into his metal lunch box himself.
He left the house and walked to Emery’s. He went inside to wait for
Emery and left his heavy book bag and the lunch box next to the big
bush near the sidewalk. It took about five minutes for Emery and
him to come out. He picked up his lunch box and book bag and went
to school. He put his lunch box on the shelf in the coat closet,
along with everybody else’s. Mr. Ware never let anybody go to the
closet until lunchtime, and now his sandwich was gone.


You know,” said Emery, “I can see the
empty house, a little of it, from my bedroom window.”

Hmmmm,
Philip
mused. The haunted house.


Emery, I put my lunch box down outside
your house today when I went in to get you, and now my sandwich is
gone. I never lost a sandwich when people
lived
in the house.”


How could an empty house steal your
sandwich?”


Then you tell me where it
went.”


It’s probably still at home on your
kitchen table. Want half of this?” Emery held out the peanut butter
and jelly sandwich. “You can have it for your fig bars.”


Both of them?”


Well. Okay, one. I don’t like it much
anyway.” They made the exchange and finished their lunches in
silence, Philip trying in vain to figure out what happened to his
cracked pepper turkey sandwich.

The two boys found a spot in the schoolyard
out of the chilly November wind, and Emery took the project list
from his back pocket. He unfolded the wrinkled paper.


So what’ll we do?”

Philip still had his mind on his missing
sandwich. Thinking about it made him hungry again. Half of Emery’s
sandwich didn’t fill him up. He’d make another sandwich when he got
home if he could find any cracked pepper turkey in the
refrigerator.


Mr. Ware said this Community Service
project is half our social studies mark, and he spent an awful long
time talking about it,” said Emery. “My mother’s fussy about
marks.”


Of course. So’s mine. So’s
everybody’s.” Philip had sunk into a bad mood because of his
missing sandwich. “What’s on the list?”


Okay, listen. Visit sick people in the
hospital.”


Yuck. We might catch something, and
besides, they didn’t even let me in once when my mom and dad went
to visit somebody. I had to sit in the lobby and look at a
hundred-year-old magazine about furniture.”


All right. Skip the hospital.
Hospitals are scary anyway. Visit a homebound elderly.”


A what?”


A homebound elderly.”

They looked at one another in silence.


Did Mr. Ware explain this one?” Philip
wanted to know.


I think he did. I think it’s like some
old person who lives alone and never goes out of the
house.”


Never?”


I don’t think so.”


So what do they do all
day?”

Emery shrugged. “Look out the window, I
guess.”

Philip paused. “You want to sit and look out
a window for social studies?”


Not much. Sounds pretty easy, but I
guess it’d be boring.”


Way
boring. I
don’t want to sit and look out a window. What else is
there?”


Raise money for a charity.”


You mean like sell cupcakes or
candy.”


I guess.”


Do they give us the candy?”


I don’t think it’s a good idea to have
you sell candy.”


Why not?”


Remember you got in trouble before
when you sold the candy and kept it after it came. You didn’t give
it to the people who bought it. You hid it and wanted to eat it
all.”


What else is there?” said Philip
impatiently, not wanting to be reminded. He hated to eliminate
something so promising, though.

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