A.N.: This is an assignment for my English class – we just studied To Kill a Mockingbird and then watched The 'Burbs because it parallels To Kill a Mockingbird. This is an assignment where we rewrite the ending so that it parallels the ending of To Kill a Mockingbird. I didn't really enjoy this movie, this is just an English assignment. Enjoy!

Art and I were in the Klopek's basement. I was digging in the pile of dirt and dust we found, and Art was watching. He was acting very…different. I wonder.

"Why don't you come and help a guy, eh? Be a friendly neighbor?" I suggested. This digging was hard work. I had already hit water and blisters were exploding all over my now calloused hands. How do miners do it?

"Nah, I'm looking at something over here," Art lied. I could tell. I looked over, and he was studying me with an odd glint in his eye. It was almost…malicious. Decided not to question his motives.

I sighed and kept digging. This was tiring.

This continued for the better part of an hour. I started to work even more fervently, conscious of Art's piercing eyes on my back. Digging some more, my shovel struck a hard, metal object with a high *ping!* sound.

"Art! I've hit something!" I cried. Art rushed over. We both were staring at a pipe labeled, "CAUTION: GAS PIPE. DO NOT MESS WITH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE." We looked at each other with different expressions. Mine panicked; his with glee.

"RUN!" I screamed.

We both started sprinting out of the house in a fury. Art was ahead by a few feet, then when I least expected it, he turned around and shoved me into the hole I had dug. I landing with a painful thud, wincing.

I stared at Art in shock. His crazed eyes said it all. Art killed the Knapps. Art killed Walter. Art was the murderer. Art was murdering me.

He turned and ran away for his life. I realized how much time I had left and in my peripheral vision saw big movements to my right. I looked over and saw Dr. Klopek's head peeking out of a trapdoor and decided it was either blow up or go with him. I decided to go with the latter option.

Dr. Klopek let me through and shut the door, right as the house exploded. We were tossed around in the…hallway? room? chamber? from the impact. As soon as the explosions ceased, Dr. Klopek and I stood up shakily. We were both pretty banged up. Dr. Klopek's usually perfectly quaffed hair stood up in tufts. He had cuts and the starts of bruises everywhere. I figured I was no different.

Dr. Klopek's wounds weren't affecting his proper personality. "Let's get out of here. I'm guessing you do not want to stay, yes?"

I nodded, the shock of the explosion not quite wearing off.

We started down the tunnel. I decided the time was right to apologize to Dr. Klopek.

"Dr. Klopek, sir? I'm really sorry about your house, you see we, well, Art, Mark and I thought you Klopek's were—"

"Murderers?"

I looked at him. I didn't expect him to finish my apology, and with what I was about to say anyways.

Dr. Klopek sighed. "I guess you deserve an explanation, especially with all you've been through today."

I chuckled at this. "I suppose."

Dr. Klopek took a deep breath, and then started to explain everything to me. "To start, you must know that I study thermodynamics – basically I study the transfer of heat."

That makes sense. I guess that explains the steam and explosions coming out of his basement.

"These tunnels are explosive-proof because my experiments may go wrong, and I may need to make an escape at a second's notice. I use the furnace for my various experiments. Do you have any questions so far?"

I shook my head no.

"I found out that your friend Art is a murderer by accident. I am not going to go into details, but he used this house when nobody was living in it to store his tools and unfortunate victims. Then we moved in. I came down in the basement to put some boxes down here, and found Art storing bodies in a hole in the floor. He then tried to murder me. I escaped, but just barely. Then, of course, Art found out that I studied thermodynamics and like to experiment. He decided to strike up a bargain – I would not tell anybody about him being a murderer, and Art would let me use this basement for my experiments. I didn't have any choice but to accept these terms, otherwise he would kill me." Dr. Klopek shivered.

I was stunned. I never knew Art was such a crazed lunatic.

"So what is with the bones in your backyard? My dog was digging them up!" I asked.

Dr. Klopek laughed. "Oh, those are for our dog – it was trained by its last trainer to dig, that's why you can see us three digging holes to put bones from the pet store in the ground at night."

I laughed along with him. That's who the grim reaper people are!

We emerged from behind a bush in Ricky's yard. The fire department, ambulance, and police are parked up and down the street. Sirens are wailing. There are firefighters, paramedics, and officers scurrying around like chickens with their heads cut off. The neighborhood has been evacuated, all except for Art who is in front of two policemen waving his arms around, trying to tell them something.

"YES the Klopeks KILLED RAY! In the explosion! Well…YES why else would the house blow up? They were trying to kill him! And…UGH WHY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND? When you go through the remains of the house you will find Ray! Among many others the Klopeks killed!"

Dr. Klopek and I looked at each other. I was all the evidence we needed to finally put a stop to Art's maniacal rant.

We walked up to Art and the policemen. When they recognize me, the reactions are immediate. The officers are shell-shocked. Art's expression goes from shocked to furious to downright terrified, like his head is on a chopping block. Which, metaphorically, it was.

I decided to break the tension in the air. "Well, seeing I'm alive, I suppose that's all the evidence we need. Art is lying." Dr. Klopek nodded solemnly.

The policemen pulled it together and cuffed Art's wrists. "Mr. Weingartner, you are under arrest. We are taking you down to the courthouse for an immediate trial," one said.

Art struggled on the way to the police car. Two other officers had to help to restrain him. When they finally shoved him in the car I took a sigh of exhaustion.

A paramedic appeared in front of Dr. Klopek and I asking if we were ready to go to the hospital. We gladly consented.

When we got into the ambulance one of the paramedics told me he was going to knock me out. I welcomed the blackness.

When I came to I was in a hospital bed. I looked at the armchair next to the bed and saw Carol.

"Are you awake?" she asked. I grunted a reply.

Carol chuckled. "Are you feeling ok?" I grunted a reply.

She laughed. It sounded like the tinkling of bells.

"If you want to know what happened, just say so," she said.

I sat up. "What happened to Art?"

"It took some probing, but he eventually confessed to his murders!"

"No!"

"Yes! He has a life-long sentence in jail."

"Wow. What happened to the Klopeks?"

"The City Council found out about Dr. Klopek's experiments. He's not allowed to do them anymore in his house, so they are giving him his own lab to conduct his experiments in!"

"That's fantastic!"

Carol was quiet for a second afterward. I asked her why.

"Well, it came as a shock to everyone that Art was a murderer. I don't feel safe anymore," she whispered.

I reached out and grabbed Carol's hand. She held it tight.

"We'll think about that later. After I get out of the hospital, let's go up to the lake. Everything is right. The real murderer has been captured. The Klopeks were proven innocent. We're safe. Let's take Dave up to the lake house."

Carol sighed. "That sounds great."

Looks like there won't be much more chaos for a while.

A.N.: Thanks for reading! Please review!