Spooksville 17: The Thing in the Closet

BOOK: Spooksville 17: The Thing in the Closet
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Christopher Pike: Spooksville #17 — The Thing in the Closet One

Cindy Makey awoke with a start. But she hadn't heard a noise. Apart from the soft pounding of her heart, her bedroom was completely quiet Turning her head, she glanced at her clock. It was three in the morning, and outside it was dark. Briefly, she wondered why she had woken up at all. She was pretty sure she had been sleeping deeply. She was just about to roll over and go back to sleep when she noticed the faint green glow coming from her closet door.

Cindy sat up and stared at it.

Like most people, Cindy had always been a little afraid of a dark closet. Especially now, in the middle of the night, when the closet door was slightly ajar. There was just something about the darkness inside the closet — it was as if it were a portal into horrors unimagined.

At the same time, she didn't much like getting into bed in the dark. She was always worried a hand would reach out and grab her ankle and drag her under the bed. What would happen next would be just too awful to contemplate.

Of course Cindy was twelve years old, a big girl, and she knew these fears were ridiculous.

There was nothing either in her closet or under her bed that could hurt her. Really, she should have outgrown these fears long ago.

Then again, this was Spooksville.

Where kids disappeared without warning all the time.

And there was something strange glowing in her closet.

That was a fact Not imagination.

Cindy rubbed her eyes and leaned forward on her bed and studied the light further. It was the weirdest green colour. Not like grass or trees, more like something sickly — the green-tinted skin of a dying patient. For a moment Cindy almost believed there was an odour of decay in the room, but then she realised that was her imagination.

'But what could it be?' she whispered aloud.

There was really nothing she could do but examine it closer.

Get out of bed and walk over to the closet.

But she didn't want to do that.

Not this second at least

Cindy hoped it was her flashlight That somehow it had slipped off the shelf in the closet and turned itself on. Of course the flashlight did not give off a green beam, but she wondered if the light could be shining through a green sweater or something. The only trouble was, she didn't own a green sweater. And her one and only green shirt was in her chest of drawers, not in the closet For that matter, she didn't even think her flashlight was still in the closet. She had used it a couple of days ago in the garage, looking for loose change, and she thought she had left it there. No, this weird glow had to be something else.

'Like what?' she muttered.

Cindy reached over and tried to turn on the lamp beside her bed. For some reason it wouldn't come on. She fiddled with the switch for a few moments before giving up. Was it possible, she asked herself, that the green glow was somehow affecting her lamp? It seemed unlikely, and yet her lamp had been working a few hours ago when she had gone to bed. She wondered if the green glow liked the dark. If it needed the dark.

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She wondered what it wanted with her.

'This is stupid,' she chided herself aloud. 'It is just a light. It is not alive. It can't hurt me.'

She hoped it couldn't, boy did she. Now that she had mentally exhausted everything that it could be, she knew she finally had to have a closer look at it. How could she go back to sleep without checking it out? For all she knew the green glow would transform itself into a green hungry monster while she was asleep and then eat her alive. Things like that happened in Spooksville, at least according to her friend, Sally Wilcox. Ordinarily Cindy didn't believe most of what Sally said but at the moment even Sally's darkest and most disturbing ravings seemed possible.

For a second Cindy considered calling Sally.

Or Adam Freeman, another best friend.

But she was afraid they might think she was a chicken.

'I am a chicken,' Cindy said to herself. 'Adam would have jumped out of bed the moment he saw the glow. He's not afraid of anything.'

Cindy sort of liked Adam.

Quite a bit, really, even though he didn't know it Cindy slowly climbed out of her bed. The floor was cold. She trembled as she walked towards the closet The green glow seemed to brighten slightly at her approach.

'Please don't hurt me,' Cindy whispered as she drew close to the closet The door was only slightly ajar. She could just see inside the closet. The green glow had turned her clothes all green, as well as her shoes and hats. Cindy was a big hat lover. Usually, she couldn't wait till the weather turned cold so that she could wear one. But seeing how sickly green they were right now, through the crack in the door, she wondered if she would ever wear them again. It seemed as if this glow was actually sinking into the material. Into her skin, even, as she stood outside the closet. The light itself felt cold, as if it were being generated by a huge block of alien ice.

Yet Cindy could see no source of the light.

It just seemed to come from the back of the closet.

To get a better look she needed to open the door all the way. And she didn't want to do that. She didn't want to let whatever was inside out into her bedroom.

'But it's not alive,' she told herself again. 'It can't hurt me.'

Cindy took hold of the door knob.

With trembling fingers, she pulled the door open a little bit further.

The green glow went out

Cindy yanked the door all the way open.

The closet was completely dark. The way it was supposed to be.

'Hello?' Cindy called, feeling stupid.

No one called back.

Behind her, beside the bed, her lamp popped on.

The light made her jump. Thank goodness it wasn't green. Cindy used the light from the lamp to explore the closet further. Her clothes, her shoes, her hats — nothing seemed out of place. Yet there must have been something that gave off the light, she thought. She just couldn't figure out what it was.

Cindy left her bedroom and peeked in on her sleeping brother and mother. There didn't seem to be any green glow in their closets. Returning to her bedroom, she checked her closet one more time. Still nothing, and she was glad there wasn't Yet the mystery remained and that disturbed her even more.

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Eventually Cindy returned to bed and turned off the light.

It was not long before she was asleep.

Too fast asleep to notice that the closet door she had so carefully closed had popped open.

Too fast asleep to see the green glow return.

Too fast asleep to see the faint face form in the middle of the glow.

A face that was definitely not human.

Two

The next morning, Saturday, Cindy sat with her friends in their favourite doughnut shop.

It was their custom, now that term had started again, to eat breakfast together each Saturday and Sunday morning. Adam and Sally were there, and so were Watch and Bryce Pool. Adam was the shortest one in the group, as well as their leader. He was very smart and full of good ideas. Sally was practically as tall as the other guys, and was always talking. Her wit was biting. Watch was perhaps the quietest He was called Watch because he always wore four watches at the same time. No one knew his real name. Bryce was the most dynamic one in the group, or maybe just the most arrogant. Cindy loved them all very much.

Plus they had a newcomer at breakfast, Tira Jones. They had only met her when the No Ones had tried to invade Spooksville. The No Ones had actually been ancient souls from a distant planet who had got trapped on earth. They had floated around like huge balls of light. They had been wiped out in an electric storm the gang had helped create with a magic potion from the town witch.

One of these No Ones had possessed Tira's body two hundred years ago. As a result, she had not aged in all that time. Together they had managed to drive the invading soul from her body, but to this day Tira had no memory of every being fused with the No Ones. For her, it seemed as if two hundred years had passed in a moment. She was still adjusting to life in modern-day Spooksville. She lived with a foster family that Watch had found for her. Because this couple didn't have children, they had been overjoyed to meet Tira. She seemed to like them as well. Besides being incredibly beautiful, with long dark hair and deep blue eyes, Tira was very sweet. She was so kind that even Sally had to like her, and Sally did not readily warm to pretty girls.

Cindy was trying to explain to all of them the green glow.

'It seemed to come from the back of the closet,' she said. 'It was unlike any light I have seen before. The green was like something an alien ship might give off. It wasn't even that bright, but it seemed to sink into all my clothes.'

'What do you mean sink into them?' Adam asked, chewing on a doughnut.

'The light seemed to stain the clothes is what I mean,' Cindy said.

'But were they stained?' Watch asked, sipping a carton of milk.

'No,' Cindy said. 'When I stepped to the closet door and opened it all the way, the light went off. Then everything was as it had always been. But I couldn't find a source for the light.'

'You might have just been dreaming,' Sally said.

'I know the difference between a dream and reality,' Cindy said.

'In this town there often isn't much difference,' Sally said.

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BOOK: Spooksville 17: The Thing in the Closet
9.8Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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