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Series 2000 the miummy.., p.1
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       Series 2000- The Miummy Walks, p.1

           R. L. Stine
 
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Series 2000- The Miummy Walks


  Series 2000- The Miummy Walks

  R. L. Stine

  (2012)

  * * *

  Goosebumps (R)

  Series 2000

  No. 16

  THE MUMMY WALKS

  by

  R.l. STINE

  Copyright 1999 by Parachute Press, Inc.

  BOOK JACKET INFORMATION

  Goosebumps

  No. 16

  APPLE FICTION

  One small step for mummy …

  Welcome to the new

  millennium of fear

  Goosebumps (R)

  SERIES 2000

  I didn’t see a flight attendant as I stepped into the plane. But my seat was easy to find. It was the very first seat in the front row of the first-class section.

  I fiddled with the seat belt. Then I remembered the envelope my mom had given me. Did my mom and dad write me a letter?

  I tore open the envelope and pulled out a sheet of paper. My heart skipped a beat as I gazed in shock at the short message: WE ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS.

  SCHOLASTIC INC. RL4 008-012

  THE MUMMY WALKS

  “You’ll be fine, Michael,” Mom said. It was the hundredth time she said it!

  We walked past the lines of people in front of the ticket counters. Everyone in the airport seemed to be in a desperate hurry.

  I watched a young couple run toward the gates. Their suitcases bounced on tiny wheels behind them.

  A man and woman stood near the security station, pawing through their carry-on bags, arguing loudly.

  “I thought you had the tickets. I gave them to you this morning!”

  “No. You idiot—I told you to bring them!”

  As Mom, Dad, and I hurried past, I saw a little girl sitting on top of a stack of suitcases, crying. Her parents were pleading with her, begging her to stop.

  Dad carried my canvas duffel bag. He turned to talk to me—and stumbled over a luggage cart.

  I laughed.

  Dad looked so funny.

  Why did everyone have to be so tense?

  Dad dropped my duffel bag onto the conveyor belt. We walked through the security gate. Dad set off the buzzer.

  Rolling his eyes, he took his keys from his pocket and tried again. This time he made it through.

  I watched my bag on the TV screen. When it went through the X ray, I could see everything in the bag. It was totally cool!

  He picked up my bag, and we walked down the long hall to the gate. Mom and Dad were walking so fast, I had to jog to keep up.

  “Aunt Sandra will be there to meet you in Orlando,” Mom said. “You’ll see her as soon as you get off the plane.”

  “I know, I know,” I groaned.

  How many times had we gone over this plan? At least a thousand!

  I’d spent the last two weeks thinking about all the things I wanted to do in Orlando. Of course, Disney World was at the top of the list. But I wanted to spend a lot of time at Sea World too.

  I’m really into fish and life under the sea. When Mom and Dad took me snorkeling in the Bahamas last summer, I totally freaked. I mean, there’s this whole beautiful world down there with all these amazing creatures! It was like traveling to another planet.

  Dad says I’d make a good astronaut. He says I’m a real explorer. And he’s right. I love going to new places, discovering new things.

  So why are they making such a big deal about me flying to Orlando by myself?

  We reached the gate. Dad set down the bag. He glanced nervously at his watch.

  Mom squeezed my arm. “Don’t worry,” she said.

  “I’m not worrying!” I insisted. “What is your problem? I’m twelve years old, you know!”

  Mom and Dad exchanged glances. Mom bit her bottom lip. She had already chewed all her lipstick off.

  “Last boarding call for Flight 501 to Pittsburgh,” a woman’s voice blared on the loudspeaker. “Flight 501 is boarding through Gate 45.”

  “You’ve never flown by yourself before,” Dad said. “We’ve always been with you.”

  “I’m not worried,” I assured them again. “It’s not too hard. I just sit in my seat, and in a couple of hours I’ll be in Orlando.”

  I laughed. “The pilots have to do all the work. Not me.”

  Mom and Dad didn’t laugh. “You’re sitting in First Class,” Mom said. “So you’ll be comfortable.”

  “That’s cool,” I replied. “This guy at school told me they serve ice cream sundaes in First Class.”

  “Maybe,” Dad said, glancing at his watch again. He raised his eyes to the gate. “Time for you to board.”

  Mom let out a little cry and wrapped her arms around me. “Have a good, safe trip, Michael,” she whispered, pressing her cheek against mine. When she pulled back, I saw that she had tears in her eyes.

  Dad hugged me too. He cleared his throat, but he didn’t say anything.

  “I’ll be fine,” I told them again. “I’ll call you from Aunt Sandra’s.”

  Mom handed me a white envelope. Dad picked up my duffel bag and walked me up to the gate. “You’re in seat 1-A,” he told me. He gave me the duffel bag and patted me on the shoulder.

  I turned and waved to them. Mom was wiping tears off her cheeks with both hands.

  “I’ll be fine. Really!” I called to her. Then I turned and headed down the boarding tunnel to the plane.

  Wow, I thought. Why are they so weird? Am I the first kid in history to fly to Orlando by himself?

  I didn’t see any flight attendants as I stepped into the plane. But my seat was easy to find. It was the very first seat in the front row of the First Class section.

  I jammed my duffel bag into the overhead compartment. Then I dropped into the seat.

  Wow. Comfortable.

  I’m going to enjoy this, I decided.

  I leaned into the aisle, searching for a flight attendant. I wanted to ask if they were going to show a movie.

  No one there yet.

  I fiddled with the seatbelt, trying to loosen it. Finally, I got it right and clicked it into place. I settled back against the soft leather seat.

  And remembered the envelope my mom had given me. I had jammed it into my jeans pocket.

  I pulled it out and studied it. A plain white envelope.

  Was it a letter? Did Mom and Dad write me a note or something?

  I tore the envelope open and pulled out a sheet of paper.

  I unfolded it, brought it close to my face —and my heart skipped a beat as I gazed in shock at the short message:

  WE ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS.

  “Huh?”

  I gripped the paper between my two hands and stared at the words until they blurred.

  “This is a joke—right?” I murmured to myself.

  Mom and Dad were always teasing me because I don’t look like them. They’re both tall and blond. And I have dark-brown hair and brown eyes, and I’m kind of short and kind of chubby.

  But this was a very strange joke.

  I read the short note again. Then I read it out loud: “We are not your parents.”

  It was written in blue ink in a large, looping script. My dad’s handwriting.

  I realized that my hands were suddenly trembling.

  I folded up the note and shoved it into my pocket.

  “Weird,” I muttered. “Weird.”

  Why would Mom and Dad write that? What does it mean?

  “We are not your parents.”

  If it was a joke, I didn’t get it.

  I’ll ask Aunt Sandra about it, I decided. Or maybe I’ll call Mom and Dad as soon as I get to Orlando and ask them what it meant.

  “We are not your parents.”

  My stomach felt a little queasy
. My heart fluttered.

  I leaned into the aisle again. Still no flight attendants.

  I raised myself in the seat and glanced around the cabin.

  No one else in First Class. I counted four rows of empty gray seats.

  Am I the only one flying First Class? I wondered.

  Orlando is a popular place. Where is everyone?

  My throat suddenly felt dry. I wanted a glass of water. But there was no one to ask.

  I unclasped the seatbelt, let the belt drop to the cushion, and stood up. The floor vibrated beneath me. I could hear the engine warming up.

  A heavy red curtain separated First Class from Coach. I made my way to the curtain and pushed it aside.

  I poked my head into the Coach cabin. Shafts of sunlight poured through the double rows of windows.

  Empty. No one there.

  No one.

  “Hey—” I called out, squeezing the curtain in my hand. “Hey—anyone here?”

  My voice sounded tiny in the big, empty cabin. The rumble and whine of the jet engine was the only other sound.

  “Hey—”

  I let the curtain drop back into place and turned back to the front. “Anybody here?” I called. “What’s going on?”

  Silence.

  No sign of anyone.

  There’s some mistake, I decided. I’m on the wrong plane or something.

  I’ve got to get off this plane.

  I reached up and started to tug my duffel bag from the overhead bin.

  I was still tugging when I heard a loud, scraping sound—then a WHOOSH of air.

  I gasped as the airplane door slammed shut.

  “Wait! Let me out of here!” I cried. “Let me out!”

  I dropped my bag and lurched to the door.

  “Let me out!” I cried again, shouting over the roar of the engine. “Hey—somebody!”

  I pounded on the door.

  And fell back against the bathroom as the plane began to move.

  We’re backing up, I realized. Backing away from the gate.

  “No, wait!” I screamed.

  I spun toward the cockpit door.

  I have to tell the pilot that no one else is onboard, I decided.

  I have to make him stop the plane!

  It’s a mistake. A big mistake!

  I knocked on the door, softly at first. Then harder.

  “Hey—” I called in. “You’ve got to stop! There’s no one here! Hey—can you hear me?”

  No reply.

  I pressed a hand against the wall to steady myself as the plane turned, backing up.

  “Can you hear me?” I shrieked. “I’m all alone back here!”

  My dry throat ached from screaming. I swallowed hard. Took a deep breath. And then pounded with both fists on the cockpit door.

  “Listen to me! Stop the plane! Stop it!”

  No reply. Not a sound.

  Someone has to be in there, I knew.

  Someone is piloting this plane.

  I grabbed the cockpit door handle. Frantically tried to pull it open.

  The door wouldn’t budge.

  I leaned my shoulder against it. Tried to push it open.

  No.

  Was it locked?

  Why would the pilots lock themselves inside?

  My heart thudded in my chest. I swallowed again, my throat as dry and scratchy as steel

  wool.

  “Please!” I called in to the cockpit. “Why won’t you listen to me?”

  The plane lurched and I tumbled against the bathroom door again.

  As I pulled myself up, I heard a loudspeaker crackle to life.

  “Please take your seat for takeoff.”

  A man’s voice.

  “No! You don’t understand!” I wailed. I pounded again on the cockpit door. “There’s been a mistake!”

  Loud static made me cover my ears. Then through the static, the man’s voice repeated his order: “Please take your seat. We cannot take off until you are in your seat.”

  I hesitated.

  They aren’t going to listen to me, I realized.

  They aren’t going to talk to me.

  With a weary sigh, I slumped into my seat. I was still buckling the seatbelt when I felt the plane take off.

  “I don’t believe this,” I muttered.

  I turned to the window and saw the ground slant away.

  Up, up. The blue sky filled the round window.

  I peered down at the airport, the surrounding trees, the square blocks of houses, tiny like dollhouses now.

  This isn’t happening, I told myself.

  I’m all alone. All alone on this huge jet plane.

  I could feel the air pressure change as the plane began to climb.

  It turned sharply. I heard the engines whine louder.

  The plane tilted slowly. Dipped to one side. Then straightened out. Turning … turning …

  Peering down, I saw that the square blocks of houses had vanished.

  I saw green treetops. Empty fields. Then more treetops.

  Then a long, narrow strip of yellow.

  Beach? Yes. The long, sandy beach along the Atlantic.

  I stared down, frozen in place.

  We were heading out over the ocean now. Sunlight sparkled, casting sheets of gold over the rolling blue-green waters, making the whole ocean shimmer and gleam.

  Why are we flying over the ocean? I wondered.

  And then I realized: We’re not flying to Orlando.

  This can’t be the way to Orlando.

  I slumped down in the seat, my hands clammy and wet, clasped tightly together in my lap. I took a long, deep breath and held it, trying to slow down my racing heart.

  Where are we going?

  Where?

  And then, as I took another deep breath, I saw the pilot’s door slowly open. …

  A man stepped out from the cockpit. His dark eyes narrowed, examining me coldly.

  He looked about forty, older than my dad. He had straight, shiny black hair streaked with white, pulled back in a long ponytail. His black mustache came down around the sides of his mouth and was also streaked with white.

  He was very tanned. A tiny diamond stud sparkled in one earlobe.

  He wore a green-and-black camouflage jacket over baggy khakis. He had two rows of silver medals pinned to the right breast of his jacket.

  “Which-who are you?” I managed to choke out.

  He continued to study me with those jet-black eyes. He didn’t reply.

  “What’s going on?” I demanded. “Where is everybody? Where is this plane going?”

  He raised both hands and motioned for me to relax. “All in good time,” he said. He had a surprisingly soft voice with a hint of a foreign accent.

  “But—I don’t understand!” I sputtered.

  Again, he motioned for me to relax. His hands were as tanned as his face.

  He turned to the small galley and pulled a plastic tray from a shelf. “It is a long flight. I will prepare a lunch for you.”

  I jumped to my feet, my heart pounding. My knees suddenly felt weak, as if they were about to collapse.

  “I don’t want lunch!” I screamed in a high, shrill voice. “I want out of here! Turn this plane around! There’s been a terrible mistake!”

  He raised a finger to his lips. “Shhh.” He opened a refrigerator and pulled out a sandwich wrapped in foil. “What would you like to drink?”

  “I don’t want a drink!” I shrieked. “I want to get off this plane! I want to go home! This is a mistake!”

  “It is no mistake,” he said softly. He placed a can of Coke on the tray.

  “It has to be a mistake!” I insisted. “I’m supposed to meet my aunt in Orlando! Who are you? What is this flight? Where are we going?”

  He set down the tray and turned to me. “My name is Lieutenant Henry,” he replied, bowing his head slightly. “I am sorry. That is all I am allowed to tell you, Excellency.”

  “Huh? Excellency?” I frowned a
t him. “Why did you call me that?”

  He didn’t answer.

  He’s crazy! I decided.

  He’s some kind of lunatic. He and a pilot have hijacked this plane. I’m being kidnapped or something!

  My knees gave way. I dropped back into the seat. I took a deep breath, trying to slow my racing heart.

  “Do not be frightened,” Lieutenant Henry said. “You will be told all, Excellency. You will learn everything in due time.”

  Excellency?

  What was he talking about?

  “Here.” He set the tray in my lap. “Have some lunch. It’s a very long flight.”

  Lieutenant Henry disappeared back into the cockpit and didn’t return.

  We flew all night. I tilted the seat back and tried to sleep. But I was too frightened.

  What is going on? I asked myself. That weird note from my parents … the empty plane … this man calling me Excellency

  …

  I stared out the window. I could see a pale half-moon, trails of gray mist curling over it. Dark ocean below. Endless ocean, gleaming brightly in the moonlight.

  I finally fell into a deep, dreamless sleep. When I awoke, red sunlight was streaming through the small, round window.

  I peered out. The ocean had been replaced by another kind of sea—a sea of yellow and white sand.

  “Desert,” I murmured.

  The pilot’s door opened. I saw the back of a man’s head in the pilot’s seat. Red hair falling out from under a black baseball cap.

  Lieutenant Henry stepped out and closed the door, blocking my view.

  “Did you sleep, Excellency?” he asked, nodding his head in another short bow.

  The plane bounced. He steadied himself with one hand against the cabin wall. As he raised his arm, I glimpsed a brown leather gun holster under his jacket.

  Oh, wow, I thought.

  The plane really is being hijacked.

  Does he plan to shoot me when we land? Is he going to hold me for ransom?

  He’s in for a surprise. My parents both work. They don’t have much ransom money.

  “Did you sleep?” he repeated.

  “I guess,” I replied, stretching my hands over my head. “Where are we? What desert is that down there?”

  He turned into the galley. “We will be landing soon,” he replied. He gave me breakfast —orange juice, an apple, and a bowl of cornflakes with milk. Then he disappeared back into the cockpit.

 
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