Ghosts dont trick or tre.., p.1
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       Ghosts Don't Trick or Treat, p.1

           Tracy Lane
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Ghosts Don't Trick or Treat

  Ghosts Don’t Trick or Treat:

  A FREE Paranormal Properties Story

  By Tracy Lane, author of Paranormal Properties


  Ghosts Don’t Trick or Treat

  Tracy Lane

  Copyright 2012 by Tracy Lane

  This is a work of fiction. All of the names, characters, places and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or, if real, are used fictitiously.

  Cover credit: © gemenacom -


  Ghosts Don’t Trick or Treat

  “Don’t you think we’re a little too old for this?”

  Jake Weir stood in front of the mirror in his homemade Ghostbusters costume and straightened the dollar store goggles on his head.

  Tank shoved him out of the way to straighten the feathers in her giant Big Bird costume. “Trick or treating? Jake, didn’t your ghost hunting parents ever teach you anything? You’re never too old to trick or treat.”

  Tank looked around the apartment. Ever since she’d come to live with them in Dusk, North Carolina after her father passed away, she’d gotten accustomed to Molly and Dennis Weir hanging out in the living room, straightening cables, doing mike checks, recording lint in the breeze to make sure their cameras were up to snuff.

  Suddenly, on the ghostliest night of the year, they were nowhere to be seen.

  “Are you kidding?” Jake asked as they grabbed their plastic trick or treat bags -- free with every five-dollar purchase down at Ginghams’ Drug Store -- hanging from the door handle and stumbled downstairs to unlock their bikes. “Halloween is like… like… Christmas for ghost hunters. They’re over at the old Meyers place trying to pick up signals for next week’s show.”

  Tank nodded, a big orange plastic beak strapped to her nose, as they sped off down the street.

  Halloween had come to Dusk, and with it a full moon and leaf covered streets filled with houses featuring flickering jack o’ lanterns on every stoop. Some had spooky faces, some had candy corn fangs, some had goofy, fun faces but all glowed from the stoops like spirits begging for release.

  Jake watched carefully, surprised his old friend -- and actual ghost -- Frank Barrone hadn’t shown his face all day. Ever since Frank showed up and introduced himself to Jake a few months earlier, Jake had realized his secret gift: he could see, even talk to, ghosts.

  Only thing was, on the one night of the year it was actually appropriate to talk to ghosts, the only ghost he knew was nowhere to be seen -- or heard!

  “Trick or treat!” Tank yelled, big as a house, standing a full foot over the older woman who’d just opened her front door. The woman leapt and offered out an orange bowl full of candy treats with trembling hands.

  “Oh my,” she said, before closing the door, “I didn’t know Big Bird costumes came quite that big.”

  Tank shoved a Gooey Bar into her mouth and harrumphed, “Shows how much YOU know, lady! This is only size XXL!”

  Tank was a big girl, no doubt about it, but ever since she’d helped Jake solve the mystery of Frank Barrone’s murder, they’d been joined at the hip.

  Now they shuffled next to each other, trick or treating down Maple Street, and even Jake was a foot taller than the oldest kids in their Avengers and Harry Potter costumes.

  Still, Tank was an expert at getting the best candy out of folks, who shoved candy bars and lollipops and licorice twists and popcorn balls aplenty at her, just to get the gentle yellow giant to go away.

  At last, bags brimming, their stomachs full of chocolate and marshmallow and nougat and taffy, they mounted their black and green mongoose bikes and pedaled out of town.

  The bikes were gifts from the local TV station, thanking them for the highest ratings they’d ever gotten due to Jake’s parents’ ghost hunting show. Jake loved the bright green dripping letters all along the frame that spelled out the show’s name: “Paranormal Properties.”

  “Where are we going?” Jake asked, teeth cracking around another pumpkin shaped lollipop, his third of the evening.

  Tank pedaled faster, not answering his question. He caught up quickly. She had longer legs, but he had better lungs. “I said, where are we going?”

  “Oh,” she laughed nervously, struggling up the hill to the spooky old house at the top. “I heard two kids in school talking about how the lady in this house gives the BEST candy.”

  Jake followed her, noting flickering and sinister looking pumpkins lining the entire drive. But then he spotted the trick or treat bag hanging, stuffed, from his handlebars.

  “Don’t we have enough candy already?” he asked.

  “Speak for yourself.” Tank held hers up with one hand as she pedaled toward the front door. It was half empty already!!!

  The front stoop of the big, old house was lined with even more pumpkins and yards of fake -- at least, he hoped they were fake -- cobwebs around the door and hanging from the arches.

  Lights flickered inside when, suddenly, Jake remembered the house from his research for his parents’ TV show. “This is Hampton House, Tank. I’m… I’m pretty sure it’s haunted.”

  Tank waved her hand, a natural skeptic. “You and your crazy family. You know, not everything is about ghosts, Jake.”

  “Yeah, well, Halloween sure is!” he huffed.

  They stood, bickering, on the front stoop. Even through the door, Jake could hear eerie music playing inside; like an old timey organ or tinny piano. And strings; lots of eerie strings.

  Tank ruffled her feathers, found her finger and pressed the doorbell. Loud chimes rang out and, as if by magic, the door creaked open by itself. Tank stumbled back, spilling her trick or treat bag all over the floor.

  She must have been pretty scared since she left it all there! Jake peered in, leaving his bag by the door. “Uh, hello? Is anyone--”

  Before he could finish, a ghostly presence flew by his face! He stumbled back, shielding his face, something itching his nose. He looked up to find himself holding onto to Tank’s big yellow bird costume for dear life.

  “Do you mind?” she hissed, shoving him away. He stumbled into the foyer of the house, tripping on spider webs and righting himself by grabbing a long, dusty curtain. The music was louder now; eerier, too.

  Tank stood next to him, looking around. The house was old but well-lit, with candles flickering in all the corners. A giant table stood in the middle of the vast main hallway, featuring the biggest jack o’ lantern Jake had ever seen.

  It was four times as big as any of the pumpkins back on the front porch, bigger even than the GIANT one on display in the town square!

  “Look at that!” said Jake, inching forward.

  “It looks tasty,” Tank wheezed, taking off her fake beak. He looked up from her grinning face and back to the table, where she was literally drooling over a silver bowl filled with candy.

  Good candy, too; the best of the best. Taffy Twirls, Rocket Bars, Gooey Grapes and even Fudge Bombs. She filled her bag to the brim, until it was overflowing, and there was still more left in the bowl.

  Then, just when she had started shoving Cherry Mounds down the neck of her costume, an eerie voice called out: “Jake. Tank. Leave. This. House!”

  It got louder and louder as Tank reached out, grabbing Jake’s hand.

  “Jake!” she whispered, backing away from the precious candy. (She must really be scared, Jake thought to himself.) “What… who is that?”

  “I… I dunno.”

  She looked down at him, shoving down the head of her costume, which was really just a big yellow hoodie covered in fake yellow flowers she’d bought at the craf
t shop and Mrs. Weir had sewn on.

  “Well, do you see anybody?”

  He shook his head, dropping his fake Ghostbusters ray gun, which was really just a nozzle from the vacuum cleaner his Dad had painted brown before sticking a whole roll of green colored plastic wrap in the top, to look like “flowing ectoplasm.”

  She grunted, stepping on his foot. “What’s the good of being the only kid in town who can see and talk to ghosts if you never see any?!?!”

  Jake frowned. If only Frank was around. He’d help Jake get to the bottom of this.

  “Well, it’s not my fault Frank decides to show up whenever he wants. I don’t own the guy, he just--”

  The lights from the giant candelabras flickered out with a hissing whiff of smoke, leaving them in darkness save for the giant jack o’ lantern on the foyer table. The voice got louder, booming through the house as it repeated its earlier message: “Jake. Tank. Leave. This. House!”

  Tank and Jake were eagerly clutching each other now. He’d never seen her this scared before. “How… how do they know our names?”

  “I don’t know,” whispered Jake, just as a flash of ghostly white zoomed past his face. Its “skin” was silky and soft, tickling his ear as it brushed past and then disappeared.

  Behind them, the front door slammed shut and still, wind whipped through the foyer, the giant pumpkin in front of them threatening to go out as its giant, hand-carved face mocked them.

  Jake pushed himself away from Tank and stood his
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