Spooksville 26 – At Death's Door…Again

Chapter 1

It would be a long night for Watch. For the whole gang.

This long night began just three days after they had saved two towns: Spooksville and a village beyond the Secret Path. Three places including the forest that was being attacked by a greedy man named Van de Ryn. It had been the toughest adventure they had ever faced, so three days didn't seem like enough time to recoup.

But the gang had no choice. Though they had started some adventures themselves, this particular one was not one of them. It had been the same when the skeletons had come the last time for Watch. Death was such a sore loser. And now Ann Templeton was out of the picture.

Watch was in his kitchen getting a glass of water when he heard them trying to get into his house. The clicking of bone on glass began in the front of his home – the window in his living room. Since Watch lived alone he had no one to help him, and since he lived in Spooksville his neighbours would not call for help for him. Though even if they did, the police would not come. No, Watch was on his own to get out of this jam. At least until he could reach his friends.

"What the-?" Watch whispered to himself as he peeked around the corner, confirming that there was at least one skeleton trying to get into his home. He thought he could hear another at the back of the house; it would not be a surprise if there were more. It was a surprise, however, that they had returned.

Watch reasoned that the best way to get out of his house was to just to exit through the kitchen window. Instead of a fence, his neighbours had planted bushes along the property line. They would be easier to get through than over the eight-foot fence lining the back of his yard. So, in pajamas and without shoes, Watch jumped out his kitchen window and landed on the ground with a thump.

"You again," something hissed.

"Oh, no," Watch muttered, looking towards the skeleton that had come from his backyard. So there were two.

He practically dived into the bush ahead of him. Ignoring the dry, dead twigs scratching against his arms and his face, Watch was through before the skeleton reached him, and in the next street neighbour's yard before the skeleton was even out of the bush. Its skeletal structure was skewered with twigs and branches; it was stuck.

It took only minutes to get to Bryce's house. Since it was the closest, Watch started there.

"You're kidding me," was Bryce's reaction when Watch explained to him what had just occurred not eight minutes before.

"It would be nice if I was," Watch said, checking his slightly scratched face in the mirror. He turned to Bryce. "But it told me: 'you again.'"

Bryce's house was where the newcomer Amy was staying as well, so she was also present while Watch explained the bad news. Watch had made it very clear in the last adventure that he did not trust the new girl, but with the gang's track record with strangers, who could blame him? In fact, Watch would have avoided her if he could, but Bryce was his friend and someone Death would seek out to get to him.

"I can't believe he'd pull this after four years," Bryce said. "He probably doesn't think we can hold our own without Ann Templeton here."

"No one said it out loud, but we were discussing how weird it was that Spooksville was nearly devoid of the supernatural the last four years. Maybe something was blocking it," Watch said. "Impeding him even though Ann was gone."

"Yes, it's an interesting thought," Bryce agreed. "But right now we need to get moving."