DUDES, THE SCHOOL IS HAUNTED!
THE GHOST WALKS AT NIGHT!
Warning: If you’re afraid of ghosts, you’d better stop here.
Because, dudes, Rotten School is haunted!
I should know. I’m the one who is haunting it.
You’ve probably heard of me. I’m Bernie Bridges, fourth-grade superstar. I don’t like to brag. But how else can I describe myself?
Catch these dimples when I smile. Killer—right?
If you’ve heard of me, you’ve probably heard of Joe Sweety, too. Sweety is the biggest, meanest, fiercest, bulliest, smackdown kid at Rotten School. If he bites you, you definitely get rabies. No joke.
We call him The Big Sweety. He works out thirty hours a day. Really. Joe can bruise you with his hair!
He’s huge! He even has muscles on his teeth! The fronts of his T-shirts all say EXTRA-WIDE LOAD.
Get the picture? Sweety is not a sweetie.
Good kid, Belzer.
So, what does this have to do with the school being haunted? Who set the evil ghost loose? And why has it chosen Joe Sweety as its next victim?
Well, don’t get your boxers in a knot. You’ll find out soon. I can’t tell you everything in the first chapter—can I?
Let’s start at the beginning. Our field trip to the zoo .
Those are my friends, Feenman and Crench, making bird sounds. Ha-ha. They’re a riot. Now they’re bending over, flapping their arms, and marching around like storks.
Oops. Feenman just swallowed his gum.
These two guys are my best buddies because they like to have fun. Feenman can make forty-two different disgusting noises by cracking his knuckles. And Crench collects dead flies. He has a drawerful of them.
Fun dudes, right?
Why are they imitating birds today? Well, I told you—this is where our ghost story starts. In the Bird House at the Lousy Town Zoo.
Mr. I. B. Rotten is the man who opened the Rotten School a hundred years ago. He had a rich friend named Louie B. Lousy. And Louie B. Lousy built the zoo.
He had a rich friend named Louie B. Lousy. And Louie B. Lousy built the zoo.
The Lousy Town Zoo is small and not too thrilling. I mean, they have a three-legged elephant. How sad is that?
Feenman, Crench, and I went into the Panda House. At first we thought the pandas were sleeping. Then we realized they were all stuffed!
“Dudes, let’s check out the Bird House,” I said. “It’s gotta be more interesting than this!”
BIRDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
That’s what the sign said. But the first cage had a turkey in it. And the second cage had a sick little yellow canary clinging to its perch.
Our friend Beast stood staring into the canary cage. He kept shoving white, fluffy stuff into his mouth.
“Beast, where’d you get the popcorn?” Crench asked.
“It’s not popcorn,” he said. “I got it off the bottom of that birdcage.” He held out a handful. “Want some?”
“Ulllp . . . no thanks,” Crench said. “Why don’t I just go throw up in the corner over there?”
Feenman let out a groan. “What stinks? Oh, wow. I just stepped in something really gross.” He started scraping the bottom of his shoe against a birdcage.
I slapped my buddies on the back. “Are we having an awesome time, or what?”
You probably think we hated the Lousy Town Zoo. But you’re wrong.
We all loved it when our teacher, Mrs. Heinie, took the whole fourth grade on a field trip into town.
No classes! No schoolwork!
Going into town is a big deal for us. You see, the Rotten School is a boarding school. We live at school. We can’t get out unless someone lets us out.
So we were having an excellent time at the zoo. And we all groaned when Mrs. Heinie poked her head into the Bird House and shouted it was time to leave.
I turned to Beast. “Hey, where’s that canary?”
He grinned at me. He had feathers stuck in his teeth.
Beast loves field trips, too.
But we had to leave. We lined up and started walking two by two to the yellow school bus. I moved next to my friend Chipmunk. He walked with his eyes down on the sidewalk.
Chipmunk is the shiest, most timid kid in school. He’s so shy, he never looks up. He stares at his shoes all day.
“What’s up, Chipper?” I asked. “How’d you like the zoo?”
He shivered. “A squirrel really scared me, Bernie.”
“Huh?” I stared at him. “You were afraid of a squirrel?”
He lowered his head. “Well, it kinda sneaked up on me.”
He pulled a red-and-yellow juice box from his backpack. He shoved in the straw and began sucking on it frantically.
“Thirsty?” I asked.
He shook his head. “It’s apple juice. Sometimes it helps me. I get carsick. Real bad.”
I shoved the straw back in his mouth. “Keep drinking!” I said. “And don’t sit next to me!”
“MOVE IT!” a voice boomed behind us. Joe Sweety’s voice. “OUT OF MY WAY!” Joe Sweety yelled.
“AWK! AWK! AWK!”
Those were not bird cries. Those were the squawks of a kid who didn’t get out of The Big Sweety’s way fast enough. Sweety stepped on him and walked right over him.
And now he clumped up behind Chipmunk and me.
“Yo, Big Sweety!” I said. “Lookin’ good. You punch out any mailboxes lately?”
On our last trip to town, a mailbox got into Sweety’s way. He decided to fight it.
The mailbox lost.
“MOVE IT!” Sweety boomed again.
“Yikes!” Chipmunk got so scared, he squeezed his juice box. And squirted apple juice into The Big Sweety’s face!
And believe it or not, that’s where our ghost story started.
Here come some SCREAMS. Stick with me, dudes. Now it starts to get way SCARY.
Dudes, the School Is Haunted!, Copyright © 2006 by Parachute Publishing, L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. HarperCollins Publishers