13 Ghosts

Ducks go camping… fight about who has had the most scary experience… trade stories…

Category: ,

Characters: , , , , , , , ,

Pairing: , , ,




Length: words

Awards: ,

Timeline: In their last/second last year of High School. (They’ll all be sixteen or so)

Disclaimer: Don’t own the Ducks. Blah. They belong to Disney. Julia belongs to me. Maya belongs to Victory Thru Tears. Annie and Taz both belong to Star. Q belongs to Cake Eater… actually Q is Cake Eater… They won’t be harmed. *sniggers*

Feedback: Not saying no.

Warnings: None that I can think of! *grins* You might be scared?

Dedication: Star, Vic, Q for lending me their original characters… or in Q’s case, lending me herself. And to anybody who reads this.

Notes: I just wanted to make it clear that Maya, Taz and Annie are straight in this fic. There is a gay couple, Portman and Fulton, yay! Go Bash Lovers! I read somewhere that in every ten people there is always someone gay. Thirteen kids on the team. You do the math. If you don’t like that… read it anyway, the story isn’t focused on their coupleness. Most of their stories will probably be loosely based on urban legends.

This fic is half co-written with Star: What’s a half co-writer you ask. Somebody who nags you to write more, nags for sneaky peeks, gives you ideas and sometimes guest writes. *nods* Well that’s what Star’s been doing anyway. [Star’s notes: I also wrote one chapter – Chapter Four: The Sitter]

Archivist’s Note: I had to guess when this was written, as I didn’t have the notes in my files.

13 Ghosts by Charisma
13 Ghosts by Charisma

[nextpage title=”Chapter One: This bites”]

“This bites.” Adam Banks complained, winding down the window on his side. “This bites so bad.”

Charlie turned up the radio.

“This bites.” He repeated louder. Getting none response from Charlie he slumped in his seat and glared out of the widow. He did not want to go camping. He hated camping. Camping was evil in his book. He preferred showers and warm beds. He couldn’t understand why they, the Ducks, couldn’t camp in a hotel. A five star hotel preferably. But hey.

“Banks, would you stop complaining?” Fulton called from the backseat. Fulton and his boyfriend Portman also weren’t too enthusiastic about the camping trip. But at least they weren’t complaining.

“Gay men don’t camp!” Portman had said.

“Well, it’ll be a first. Can you see the headlines? Dean Portman and Fulton Reed, first gay campers in history.” Charlie had shot back.

With that and a few days of pestering, they both finally agreed to come.

“I’ll complain all I want.” Adam crossed his arms, in a rather childish way. “This night is going to be the worst night of my life.”

“I thought breaking your wrist was the worst night of your life?” Portman asked, Adam looked thoughtful.

“Yeah. And it was only a sprain.” Adam twisted around in his seat so he could face the Bash Brothers. “I had a nightmare the other night. I dreamt that I broke my wrist and couldn’t play. It was awful.”

Charlie snorted. Adam only had two obsessions. Ice hockey and his girlfriend Maya.

“Sounds scary.” Fulton humoured Adam who nodded. “Thank God it was only a dream.”

“Yeah.” Adam answered seriously.

Meanwhile in Russ’s van, which amazing could fit nine people not counting Russ, everybody was complaining about the music. Ten different tastes, one choice of music. It wasn’t going down too well. Finally Russ finally made a decision and switched the radio over to a news station.

“I still miss Annie.” Luis moaned resting his head on the window. “I can’t believe Charlie wouldn’t let me bring her.”

Everybody exchanged looks and rolled their eyes (minus Russ of course), this was probably the seventh and fifty-eighth hundredth time that he had mentioned it. But it was at least seven minutes since he last mentioned her so they were making progress.

“How long before we get to the campsite?” Connie asked, changing the subject.

“Not long. Maybe half a hour or twenty minutes.” Russ answered.

“It’ll be at least twenty-four hours before I see Annie again. It’s just not fair!” Luis complained again.

“Cheer up. Banks has to do without his girlfriend for tonight too. You both can compete how much you miss your girlfriends.” Goldberg spoke up.

Luis let out another pathetic moan and closed his eyes.

“Excuse me? What about moi?” Averman quipped. Julie patted him on the shoulder in a comforting matter.

“You’re a man. You know you don’t need your girlfriend all the time. You know you’re your own person.”

“Annie and I are one…” Luis said with his eyes still shut. Julie waved a hand towards him.


Everybody chuckled good naturally at Luis’s lovelorn state.

“Yeah! Y”all don’t need women!” Dwayne grinned. Luis opened one eye.

“I don’t need women. I need Annie.”

Adam was in hell. The closest gas station was at least fifty miles away. The fact that they all had been walking for five minutes into the bush did not bring him any level of comfort.

“I think we’ve walked far enough already.” Adam said nervously. Julie grinned shaking him from the behind..

“I don’t think we’ve walked enough already.” She teased.

“C’mon Adam, lighten up.” Luis grinned patting him on the shoulder. It was uncanny how much he had cheered up since Charlie had agreed to let him make a phone call to Annie to say a proper good-bye. “A bit of dirt won’t kill ya.”

“We’re almost there.” Charlie said cheerfully. “It’s a huge clearing. I used to camp there with Connie and Guy and Averman. I know the way.”

“And Peter and Karp and Jesse and Terry.” Guy added.

“Yeah, but we always had our parents with us.” Connie pointed out, looking up at the sky nervously. It was going to be a full moon tonight. She hoped that none of the guys would get the idea to impersonate a werewolf. All of a sudden Connie wished she was six and holding her Dad’s hand.

“Are we going to do this every ten years?” Portman asked sarcastically.

“Come on!” Julie nudged Portman. “Cheer up. It’ll be fun! I went camping with my old school. It was tons of fun.”

“Why must you look on the bright side of everything?” Portman asked moodily.

“Because I’m blonde! Because I’m cute… and popular!” Julie said in a cheerleading voice. That cracked a smile from Portman.

“That’s scary!” Goldberg joked then, from years of practice, ducked a punch from Julie.

“Hey is that it?” Dwayne asked, looking over his shoulder and pointing through a cluster of bushes.

“Yeah!” Charlie said excitedly. He followed Dwayne, Ken and Russ through the cluster of buses. It hadn’t changed much. A few trees had started growing and grass was growing over the little fireplace that stood in the middle of the clearing. But it was still the same clearing.

“Let’s set up!” Connie grinned forgetting about the full moon. Adam looked sheepish.

“I forgot my tent.” He admitted. Charlie spun around.

“When I asked if everyone had their tents, you said “check”.” Charlie spoke slowly and calmly.

“I probably put it down before we went into the bushes. Relax Charlie. Just give me the keys and I’ll go back and get it.” He out his hand.

“Oh ho ho.” Charlie shook his head. “I see what you’re trying to do Banksie. It’s not going to work. I’m coming with you.”

“There’s no need really.” Adam rushed on. Charlie shook his head.

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Portman asked, smacking himself in the head. Everyone didn’t know whether to laugh or groan.

After sorting out everybody’s tents, building a fire after seven unsuccessful tries and trading crappy horror stories that only had everyone tearing it to pieces, Russ decided he had enough.

“Dudes.” He said poking at the fire. “A truly scary story is one that has actually happened to you.”

“Rooming with Banks is nightmare enough for me.” Charlie joked. Everyone snickered.

“No. Hasn’t anything scary ever happened to you?” Russ asked seriously. Everybody looked thoughtful.

“Well, yeah.” Julie answered first. “But it’s something I promised I would never talk about…”

“Same!” Adam agreed with Julie. Everybody chucked in their yeah’s.

“The mood’s perfect. Full moon.” Russ pointed at the sky. “Camping in the middle of the bushes. Thirteen of us. And we all know what a unlucky number thirteen is.”

“Thanks for reminding us.” Connie snorted. Russ grinned and nodded towards Portman who was watching Julie closely. Julie was in deep thought. She had the same look on her face before she took a test. (She took tests seriously, even those one in magazines)

“Something tells me that Dean Portman is up to no good.” Averman said stating the obvious.

“Shush!” Portman snapped and quickly scooted over next to Julie. He slowly reached around her shoulders and clammed a hand tightly onto her shoulder. She yelped and jumped. Seeing that nobody was on her right she screamed and jumped up. Everybody fell over themselves laughing and Portman quickly scooted away with an innocent look on his face.

“I know that look mister!” Julie pointed at Portman. “Don’t you dare talk to me for the rest of the night!”

“What did I do?!” He exclaimed, still with his innocent look on his face.

“If you wipe that look off your face she might believe you.” Fulton teased, Julie glared at the Bashes and scooted over next to Connie. Everybody knew that Julie and Portman had a strong friendship and were forever teasing and playing pranks on each another. Unfortunately either of them took to pranks very well. In a slightly twisted way it made their friendship stronger.

“Alright!” Russ called out to the group. “Who wants to go first?”

“Why don’t you? It was your idea.” Ken said after a few moments of silence.

“Because mine is a really good one. And I always save the best for last.” Russ grinned.

“Charlie should go first, it was his idea to come out here after all.” Luis suggested.

“Yeah.” Guy agreed. “Captain Duck goes first.”

“Whatcha waiting for?” Adam asked, shoving Charlie. Adam was still sore that Charlie didn’t trust him to go back by himself.

“Alright, cut it out. I’ll go first.” Charlie glanced around. “It was a dark and stormy night…

[nextpage title=”Chapter Two: Detention”]

Notes: This story is based on a legend that Star told me. She also came up with the slogan CUTN.

It was not a dark and stormy night when Taz bounded into Charlie’s room after being let in by his roommate. She headed over to Charlie’s bathroom and switched the tap on. She was very pleased to note that Charlie was sitting up in bed when she bounced back into his room.

“Hey Charles!” She exclaimed, her voice way too perky for Charlie’s liking. She leapt onto his bed, landing on Charlie like a ton of bricks.

“One of those days I’m going to wake up so freakin” early you won’t know what hit you.” Charlie grumbled, pushing his girlfriend off him. “With a huge pitcher of icy water.”

“Ooh. I’m so scared!” Taz grinned as she tossed him a top. “I made you a present. You’re going to wear it because you appreciate my artwork.”

“It better not have a rainbow on it.” Charlie warned, shuddering at the memory.

“It’s not my fault you’re insecure about your sexuality.”

“Taz, it was pink.” Charlie reminded her, shaking out his new tee shirt to see whatever, in no doubt embarrassing, Taz had put on the front of it. He frowned slightly as he read the slogan. “CUTN”. “Purple, are you trying to tell me something?”

Taz looked thoughtful then shrugged. “Not really. Put it on.”

“Wait. This isn’t about the other day is it?” He asked, suspiciously.

“What other day?” Taz asked innocently.

“The other day where you had your little passionate rant about all of the slogans everyone had on their tee’s.” Charlie reminded her.

“I have no clue what you’re on about.” Taz said, prodding Charlie in his ribs. “You can figure what it stands for on the way to class.”

“I need pants.” Charlie pointed out, Taz stared at him for a while.

“Oh. Right. Wear some blue jeans. Like me.”

“Why?” Charlie asked narrowing his eyes at her. She pulled off her jumper revealing a tee-shirt similar to Charlie’s, only his was white and Taz’s was…

“Purple. Should have known.”

“The look on Mr. Curry’s face was priceless. I am going to paint it after we get out of detention.” Taz grinned, doing a little skip.

“And so were half of the chicks in the room.” Charlie mused. “I don’t think you’ll be popular for a while with them. Especially Traci.”

“I don’t like her anyway. Who in their right mind wears those tops with “Angel” on the front and “As if” on the back? Especially when everyone wears it. Doesn’t she have her own identity?” Taz grinned proudly at her top. “Clothes United Teenybopper Nonces.”

“And I figured it out!”

“After I gave you thousands of hints. I had to spell it out and everything.” Taz snorted.


“I try.” Taz frowned. “How come Luis gets out of detention and you don’t?”

“Because somehow you can’t manage to keep your huge mouth shut.” Charlie answered. “And he also is smart enough to not hang out with you.”

“Be quiet Conway! “Cause, look who you’re hanging out with!” Taz exclaimed, stomping on his feet.

“Ouch! You’re so vicious!” Charlie cried out, limping the rest of the way to detention with Taz gleefully looking on.

“Enid and Julian?” An unfamiliar looking teacher from behind her desk asked as they entered the room.

“Come again?” Charlie asked, the teacher suddenly became flustered and picked up her keys.

“You know Enid, I’m not surprised to see you here.” The teacher said giving Taz a stern look. “Good heavens, what have you done to your hair? Never mind that, I will speak to you both when I come back from the office.”

“Ooookay.” Taz exhaled after she rushed out, locking the door. “Guess she hasn’t arrived in the 20th century, full of wonderful purple hair dye.”

“Julian?” Charlie snorted. “Who’s Julian?”

“Maybe she got you mixed up with that dude.” Taz said, not very subtly, pointing at a shy looking boy dressed in old-fashioned clothes.

Charlie frowned. “What is up with those clothes?”

“At least he has his own style. Unlike all those guys who wears the same designer jeans and shirts.” Taz grinned. “I think I like this guy.” She bounced over to the guy.

“Stay away!” He exclaimed, jumping out of his seat. “Leave me alone Enid!”

“Why does everyone keep calling me Enid?” Taz asked, slightly insulted. Then a look of horror crossed her face as she turned to Charlie. “Charles! What if there’s another girl at this school with the same shade of purple as me? Only me has purple hair!”

“Nobody has purple hair!” The boy said, his voice growing higher. Taz calmed down slightly.

“Whoever this Enid was, she sure tormented him.” Taz said, losing interest in the boy as she whipped out her sketchbook.

“You’re not supposed to draw!” He complained, however his words fell on deaf ears as Taz started to draw.

“Uh, buddy.” Charlie sat down. “There’s no use trying to talk to her if she’s drawing. But plus side, I get to watch her. So you must be Julian.”

“No… no!” He jumped up and ran to the window. “There’s a fire!”

“Fire?” Charlie asked, quickly following the boy to the window. Boy held up a quivering finger as he pointed behind Charlie. Charlie quickly spun around to see flames burst out of the recess behind the blackboard. Smoke started to stream into the room.

“We’re going to die!” The boy wailed, running past Taz and knocking her sketchbook off her lap.

“Feic!” Taz shouted as her pencil made a neat line across her drawing. “You moron!”

“It was you!” Boy shouted at Taz, who had started to realize there was smoke in the room.

“Me?” Taz asked. “That’s right! It was me, I lit a match and threw it… Oooh fire.”

While Taz and Boy had been fighting about who started the fire, Charlie had figured a way out of the room.

“Taz!” He called over his shoulder, trying to drag the teacher’s heavy desk to the door. He groaned as Taz picked up her sketchbook and started sketching furiously. “Julian!”

“We’re going to die! We’re going to die!” He crumpled onto the ground clutching his hair. Charlie was deciding whether or not he should slap him when he realized Taz was inching closer to the fire.

“Taz, would you get away from the fire and help me?” Charlie snapped, pulling her away from the fire.

“Fire, must draw. Want to paint it onto my wall!” Taz yelled, continuing to draw.

Charlie looked beat. Then shouted into Taz’s ear: “TARYN ANNE McDONALD! THE SCHOOL IS ON FIRE!”

Taz dropped her sketchbook in fright.

“Jeez!” Taz glanced around, seeming to finally realize that fire was pretty but dangerous. Then started to cough due to all the smoke.

“Grab a desk!” Charlie turned away, though Charlie could be an insensitive nonce, he noticed Taz was coughing in a bad way. “Tazzie, go to the door and stay on the floor, ok?”

“Ok.” She whimpered, crawling to the door, pausing on the way to grab a still wailing boy.

After building a pretty sturdy way out of the room, Charlie offered that Boy go first.

“No! No!” He said, tears streaming down his cheeks. “We’re going to die! I don’t want to die!”

“You won’t!” Charlie snapped, “Just climb onto those desks and jump out of the window.”

“You’re going to die too!” He turned to Taz, who slapped him across the face.

“Shut up!” She shouted. “I’m not going to die! Neither are you! Now go up!”

“It won’t work!” He started tearing at his hair.

“Tazzie, you go first.” He said, lifting her up onto the first desk. “Hang on.” He ripped a piece of material off his shirt and handed it to Taz. “Hold that over your mouth and try not to breathe.”

“Promise you’ll come out.” Taz demanded, throwing her arms around Charlie’s neck. “Promise!”

“Yeah. I promise! Yeah, go!” He said slightly shoving her. The unmistakable sound of glass breaking and a loud thud on the ground outside the door confirmed that Taz had gotten out safety.

“Charlie!” She called out.

“Hey!” Charlie turned to Boy and tried to shove him toward the desks. He pushed him away and ran to the other side of the room. “Screw you then! Die! See if I care!”

“I always die!”

“Not if you follow me.” Charlie pointed out and started to climb his way out of the room. Like Taz, he landed on the ground with a loud thud. They both stood up slowly, their legs shaking slightly.

“Urgh.” Taz moaned. “I don’t feel too good.”

“Yeah.” Charlie looked around. “Let’s get out of here.”

Before they could take a step further, fire burst around them and everything went black.

“Taryn? Charlie?” Mrs. Hooker asked, as they both rubbed their eyes. “You’re both early.”

“Where… what?” Taz asked, still clutching onto the piece from Charlie’s shirt.

“Are you both okay?” She asked, then noticing soot on them, she added; “Do you want to get cleaned up a bit?”

“There was this fire…” Charlie trailed off, looking around realizing there was no signs of a fire. Taz nodded.

“There was this guy in the room.” Taz slowly stood up. “And then there was a fire…”

“It must have been a dream. You both were asleep when I arrived.” Mrs. Hooker said, looking slightly worried.

“No. No. No.” Taz shook her head furiously. “There was a fire. Look!” She held out the soot-covered cloth at Mrs. Hooker.

“There was no fire.” Mrs. Hooker unlocked the door. “If this is a way to get out of detention…”

“No it’s not!” Taz answered truthfully. Charlie nodded along with her. They both followed her inside.

“My book!” Taz ran over to a desk, grabbing her sketchbook and holding it close to her chest. She then flipped through it, making sure nobody stole any of her artwork. The last ten pages were all sketches of a fire in the classroom she was in now.

[nextpage title=”Chapter Three: Girlfriends”]

“I remember that day!” Fulton exclaimed. “Taz was oddly silent all night.”

“Yeah, I thought butterflies and drawing was the only way to keep her quiet.” Portman grinned, ripping open a packet of sherbet lollies. “I thought I was going to die from shock when she drank that can of coke and she didn’t get all buzzed.”

“She’s not that bad!” Charlie snapped. Everyone looked towards him. “So? She gets a little hyper! It’s not a bad thing!”

“It was just a huge difference to see Taz being so quiet, because she’s so… Tazlike.” Ken explained. Charlie sent him a glare.

“You expect us to believe that story?” Russ asked.

“Oh yeah, Taz and I watched a horror movie and decided to play a prank on you all so I could tell you this tale when something like this pops up. Taz isn’t that good an actress. She got kicked out of that play last year.” Charlie frowned, starting to wish he never told this story. “And leave Taz alone. This means you two!”

“Who? Us?” Fulton asked giving Charlie a wounded look. “We both adore Tazzie.”

“We love her so much we call her Tazzie!” Portman grinned.

“She’d kill you both if she knew you were calling her that.” Charlie warned. “You’ve seen her mad. Remember?”

“Oh. Not a pretty sight.” Luis winced.

“Anyway, you don’t see me picking on Annie do you?” Charlie asked, Luis tossed a rock into the fire.

“Don’t get me started on that one!”

“Are we done talking about your girlfriends?” Russ butted in.

“You’re jealous because you don’t have one.” Luis mumbled, then brightened up. “I could set you up with one of Annie’s friends.”

“I’ll be right.” Russ gave Luis an odd look. “Anyway, who’s next?”

“Not me.” Connie answered. “After the way you all torn apart Charlie’s story, no way in Hell am I telling you mine.”

“Oh no! Did you break a nail?” Averman teased. She shot him a glare. “I think Goldie should be next. He has a terrific tale. It’s true. I swear to God.”

“You kissed him?” Fulton asked, slightly in a hyper mood. “Slut!”

“Shut up.” Averman blushed, which made everyone laugh harder. Minus Goldberg and Russ.

“Sorry.” Fulton grinned, not at all sorry. He popped a Fizzball into his mouth, keeping it well hidden from Portman.

“Leave Ave alone.” Portman nudged Fulton. Everyone knew how much Fulton loved to tease him, especially since he blushed so easily. “Go on, Goldberg, tell us your spo-oooky story.”

“It all started with a baby sitting job…” Goldberg began.

[nextpage title=”Chapter Four: The Sitter (by Star)”]

“You have my cell phone number, there’s fruit in the bowl in the living room, the fire extinguisher is in the hall…” Mrs Harris said nervously as her husband shuffled her out of the door.

“So I will be able to call you and let you know if the fruit bursts into flames.” Goldberg grinned. “I’ll be fine, the kids will be fine, you’ll both be fine. Have a great night.”

“Thank you, Greg.” Mr Harris said with a smile. “Have a great night.”

“You too.” Goldberg shut the door thankfully. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t like babysitting, it was just that Mrs Harris was a pain in the neck when it came to leaving her children. It didn’t seem to help calm her down that she had known Greg since he was a toddler.

He went upstairs and checked on the kids, James, Hannah and Louise. Triplets. He winced, imagining how much noise Mrs Harris would have made while giving birth. She had a shrill nasal voice at the best of times.

The three of them were sleeping peacefully, so he went back downstairs and settled in front of the TV armed with a bag of popcorn and a book should nothing catch his interest.

He briefly cursed the Harris’s for not having cable and flicked quickly through the channels, finally settling on an old looking horror film, not usually his cup of tea, but the only other options were Wheel of Fortune or a couple of nature programmes.

The story of the film began to bother him. Some freak was stalking monks and killing them. Why kill monks? They were men of god. Not that it was his particular religion, but fundamentally…

Urgh! He winced as a monk got a bag over his face, suffocating him.

At least it wasn’t blood and guts. He really didn’t like that and was quite baffled by people like Taz and Charlie who adored slasher movies.

Suddenly the picture fuzzed up and then vanished in a cloud of static snow.

“I’m not going on the roof to fix the aerial.” He muttered. “I’d rather read.”

He moved forwards to hit the TV—hey it worked when his Mom did it—when the phone rang. Probably Mrs Harris making sure he hadn’t given the kids knives to run with or invited strangers into the house and taken candy from them.

He got to his feet and wandered into the hall where the phone was.

“Hello?” He said on picking up.

“One down, two to go.” A deep voice replied.

“Ha ha, Averman, very funny.” He responded. “Should have known you were watching the movie too. How did you disguise your voice?”

He got no answer except a soft click and the hum of an open line.

He shrugged and went back to the living room, wondering if too many viewings of Scream had warped his friend’s mind. He was relieved to note that the TV was working once more as he took his seat, and that he didn’t seem to have missed much.

A short while later he clapped his hands over his eyes, knowing that the next monk was about to bite it.

He moved his hands a fraction too soon, just in time to see the monk get stabbed in the back.

“Nasty.” He said to himself, then wished he hadn’t. When he spoke it seemed to amplify the silence around him.

Once more the picture fritzed out. “Damn it!” It wasn’t really that he was enjoying the film, but he was the type of person who read the last page of a book just in case he died before he finished it. He hated things to be unresolved in his mind.

He was distracted by the ringing of the phone once more.


“Two down, one to go.”

“Averman, this isn’t funny. Go watch the rest of the movie in peace.” Goldberg replied in exasperation.

Once more the caller hung up.

“Moron.” Goldberg decided and headed back to the living room. Once more the TV had righted itself.

He took a seat and got back into the story.

“No, don’t do that!” He whispered to the hapless monk on TV. “He’ll get you!”

The hapless monk continued on his journey, heedless of Goldberg’s advice. Goldberg knew the death scene was coming, however, he still jumped when the killer looped a rope around the monk’s neck and threw him out of the window.

“That was horrible.” Goldberg muttered, torn between turning off the TV and a desperate urge to find out what happened next.

His decision never got made because once more the screen fuzzed up. “Damn their cheap aerials!” He glared at the static-filled screen.

The phone rang again. “Damn it, Averman!” He snapped as he picked up.

“Three down, none to go. You’re alone.” Said the voice.

“Screw you!” Goldberg slammed down the phone in annoyance.

He paused staring up the stairs. The kids had been unusually quiet tonight. Most nights one would wake up wanting a drink and the other two would quickly wake up with demands of their own.

Strange that they were quiet tonight, he decided to check on them—not only that, the film was freaking him out and he would be glad to get away from it. He no longer cared how it ended, and if he did Averman was a veritable well of movie information.

He reached the door to the bedroom and went in. He didn’t flick on the light in case it woke them up (from years of experience, he know how long it took to get all three of them back to sleep again) and had to wait for his eyes to adjust to the dark.

He blinked several times, not really believing what he was seeing.

Tears slid down his face as he took in the sight of James with a pillow over his face, Hannah with a knife in her back and little Louise’s lifeless body hanging by a rope from the curtain rail.

“No!” He whispered, his mind reeling in horror. How could this have happened? How could someone do this? How could someone murder anyone as young and innocent as these children? And how could they have done it while he was there and he not notice?

He ran downstairs for the phone and picked up, as his shaking hands reached out to dial 911 he realised that he couldn’t hear the tone for an open line.

He could hear breathing.

“I’m behind you.”

Goldberg felt a sharp pain in the back of his head, then everything went black.

“Greg? Greg, are you ok?”

Goldberg slowly opened his eyes, blinking several times until the person in front of him came into focus.

“Mrs Harris?”

“Are you ok?” She asked, her voice filled with concern. “We found you passed out in our hallway.”

Goldberg rubbed his eyes and slowly got to his feet. Then it all came rushing back. “I’m sorry, Mrs Harris!” He apologised frantically. “I’m so sorry, I hate myself, I’m so sorry about…” He couldn’t bring himself to finish the sentence.

“About what, dear?”

“The children.” He replied softly.

“What about them? They’re sleeping soundly.”

“They’re not… sleeping.” His voice came out as a tight squeak.

She laughed lightly. “Probably not, my husband is up there with them. They always seem to know when he’s around and wake up.”

“No, you don’t understand… They’re not…” He couldn’t find the words to tell her that James, Hannah and Louise had died while in his care. He felt sick to his stomach. “I’ll show you.” He decided.

He went upstairs and pushed the door open.

The three children were sleeping soundly in their beds, very much alive.

Author’s Notes: I was deeply uncomfortable writing about the children’s deaths in this, but it’s an age-old urban legend from my town. Don’t flame me or Charisma for our choice to put that in the fic. If you must flame, flame me direct

[nextpage title=”Chapter Five: Girly”]

“You passed out in the middle of a babysitting job?” Connie exclaimed. “That’s so—”

“Irresponsible.” Ken finished.

“I’m surprised they didn’t fire you on the spot.” Charlie added.

“He didn’t pass out! Someone knocked him out!” Averman said, coming to Goldberg’s defence.

“Whatever.” Russ chuckled. “We’re out of marshmallows.”

Everyone glanced at Goldberg. To Goldberg’s shock, they didn’t have the decency to look away.

“I didn’t eat them all alright!” Goldberg exclaimed. “Adam ate one whole packet in one go.”

“Liar!” He crossed his arms. “I’m watching my weight.”

“It’s cool.” Russ said before Goldberg could open his mouth. “I’ll go buy some more.”

“Can I come with you?” Adam asked.

“I know you want my body, but face it, you’re meant to be with Maya.” Russ shook his head laughing. “Man, I crack myself up sometimes.”

“Yeah, “cause you’re a riot and a half.” Adam shot back. “This is so uncomfortable.” He complained standing up, then gingerly sitting back onto his log.

“You are such a girl.” Charlie snickered. Like Russ, he also thought he was funny. However Portman and Russ laughed, which encouraged him. “Let’s unpack your nightie.”

“I’m surprised you actually know that word.” Adam crossed his arms. “Does that tell us something?”

“Yeah!” Portman cheered for no apparent reason.

“I was buying one for Taz.” Charlie too crossed his arms. “So there.”

“Taz doesn’t wear nighties, she wears those little kids P.J’s.” Luis spoke up. “I know, because Annie lets me come to her slumber parties!” He finished with a smug look on his face.

“Maybe it should be Luis telling us something…” Charlie glanced at Adam, he nodded in agreement.

“Talk about getting in with your feminie side…” Averman cracked.

“You think it’s a bad thing?” Luis asked. “No way man. Chicks in skimpy P.J’s pigging out on chocolate and blubbering over those chick types movies. And also there’s that wonderful game called Truth, Dare or Promise.”

“Yeah, still.” Guy shrugged. Russ pulled out his keys from his bag and tossed them from hand to hand.

“I’m off. Should be twenty minutes or so.” He shoved his keys into his pocket. “Coming Ken?”

“How come Ken gets to go and I don’t?” Adam whined.

“Because you’d bash him over the head and take off.” Fulton answered. Adam glared at Fulton who grinned annoying back. Everybody bade Ken and Russ farewell and scooted closer to the fire.

“So who’s next?” Julie asked.

“Krusty the K-k-k-klown.” Fulton replied cheerfully. A painful expression crossed Adam’s face.

“Clowns.” He shuddered. He glanced at Dwayne. “You’ve been quiet all night. I think you should go next.”

“Who? Me?” Dwayne asked.

“Noooooo.” Fulton drawled. “Dwayne behind you.”

“I ain’t that dumb nomore!” Dwayne protested. He took off his hat, then put it back on. “Ok, it happened after the Texas Riding Cup…”

[nextpage title=”Chapter Six: The Headless Rider”]

Notes: (I know they’re all Texan, I don’t speak fluet Texan, so “y”all” will have to do. Cheers.—Charisma)

Dwayne and his friends were feeling highly proud of themselves for winning the Texas Riding Cup for the third year in a row as they set off home on their horses. It was Chad’s turn to hold the trophy for at least a minute. He was making most of his time.

“We are so good.” Lauren commented for the third time that night. Everyone nodded in agreement.

“Did you see those riders from California?” Chad snorted. “My nine year old brother rides much better than them altogether.”

“My dog rides better than them.” Dwayne said flippantly. They all laughed.

“We sure beat them all by a mile.” Kyle shifted in his saddle. “Chad, it’s my turn.”

Chad recantly handed the trophy to him. A rider jumped in front of them all, causing Chad to drop the trophy.

“Remember, pride comes before a fall.” He sneered. His horse reared up and he galloped away.

“Creep.” Lauren shook her head. Chad slid off his horse and picked up the trophy and handed it to Kyle.

“He probably lost to one of us.” Chad shrugged, climbing back onto this horse. “We better hurry, it’s getting dark.”

“I hate poor losers.” Dwayne shook his head. “They’re so immature.”

The little incident was forgotten as they all trotted off into the sunset.

“Are you sure we should ride across that in the dark?” Lauren asked, as they stopped before a gate.

“My Dad has ridden there before million of times. It’ll be fine.” Chad said, jumping off his horse, he went to push the gate open when someone rode up to them on a huge black horse with fiery red eyes.

It could have been shadows, but Dwayne could have sworn the guy had no head.

“Pretty dangerous riding across there.” He boomed to them.

“My Dad’s ridden there million of times.” Chad repeated. He hated being told what to do. And it seemed like this guy would.

“Don’t you know how many accidents have occurred there?” He asked.

“Legends man.” Chad said snidely.

“I know a way to make it safe for y”all.”

Chad pointedly crossed his arms with a bored expression on his face.

“Yeah. What’s that then?”

“I’ll race you. Y”all.” He swept an arm towards the other four. “If y”all win, you’ll be able to ride across safely. No matter what. If you lose…” He left the rest of the sentence unsaid.

“What? We get our heads chopped off?” Chad asked, laughing. “This is Texas dude. I’ve heard them all.”

“Yeah. We’ll do it.” Dwayne answered and Chad sent him a glare. Dwayne shrugged helplessly and mouthed; “What?”

“Alright.” He brought his horse to the front of the opened gate. “When I say go, we race. May the best rider win.”

Dwayne swallowed nervously. He had heard all the tales about this certain common. Not a month passed with a horse breaking his leg galloping across that common. Not a week passed with somebody seriously getting hurt riding across the common.


They all broke into a gallop. The wind stung Dwayne’s eyes, causing them to water. He held onto his hat tightly.

They all spotted the same thing at the same time.

“He’s got no head!” Chad shouted, somehow managing to slow down his horse.

“Keep going!” Kyle ordered. Dwayne won, with Lauren and Kyle coming in very close and Kathy almost a tie with the headless rider. However Chad lost.

They all braced themselves for the worst, watching the headless rider. His horse snorted, his fiery red eyes seeming to glow more.

“Good race.” Headless rider complimented them.

“Um… s-s-s-sir?” Chad asked. “What about me?”

“What about you?” Headless rider asked.

“Well. I… you know… lost.” Chad answered, unable to believe that he lost.

“Legends aren’t they?” Headless rider chuckled riding away.

“That was strange y”all.” Dwayne said. They all nodded, quieter than usual.

“This is my stop.” Chad said, after five minutes of silence. “See y”all tomorrow.”

“Seeya.” Dwayne and everyone else waved.

Chad was never seen again after that night.

Dwayne grinned again, remembering that he got accepted into Eden Hall. His mother had told him there were riders. He was hoping to get a riding class, not that he needed it anyway.

He brought his horse to a halt aside the common. He got off his horse and leant over the fence, remembering the night a month ago. He shuddered and turned away when something caught his eye. He turned back and saw a flash of a familiar looking shirt.

Chad’s yellow and green shirt.

He looked harder and spotted the headless rider, a chill went up his spine as Chad came into view.

He had no head.

[nextpage title=”Chapter Seven: Kumbaya”]

“We’re back!” Russ jumped out of a bush. “Bow down all.”

“Jeez.” Ken sighed, coming into view. “Some short cut.”

“Don’t blame me Wu.” Russ frowned and tossed a few packets of marshmallows towards Portman and Julie. Portman ripped into one straight away.

“You missed Dwayne’s story.” Portman commented, his mouth full, pointing at Dwayne.

“I’ve heard it before.” Russ sat down. “Not horror material.”

“Hey…” Fulton looked up. “You know what’s a good song?”

“No.” Charlie answered. “But I’m sure you’ll tell us.”

“I shall.” Fulton stood up and spread out his arms. “Kumbaya…”

“Oh no.” Portman buried his head into his hands.

“Kumbaya! Kumbaya my lord, Kumbaya! Kumbaya! Kumbaya my lord…” Fulton wriggled his hips. “Kumbaya! Kumbaya! Kumbaya my lord!”

“Kumbaya!” Ken jumped beside Fulton, feeling crazy for the first time in his life. “Kumbaya!”

“Kumbaya my lord!” They both sang, in sync with each another. Amazing neither of them were terrible singers. They both started dancing around each another, continuing to sing.

“Woo!” Julie called out. Apparently she had seen Fulton do this, along with a few others. Namely Portman. Everybody was shocked at Ken’s newfound craziness.

“Did Fulton sneak a flask or something here?” Charlie asked, staring at Fulton as if he was Jennifer Anstion declaring that she wanted to put on weight.

“Kumbaya!” Was his answer.

“That was amusing.” Russ clapped lightly. “The next Silverchair for sure.”

“Daniel Johns is cute.” Fulton said clasping his hands and holding it against his shoulder as he skipped around Ken who continued to sing.

“Portman!” Averman complained. “Can’t you put him back on his leash?”

“I left it at home.” Portman answered glumly.

“I’d like to see him tell a horror story in that mood.” Goldberg joked. Everybody glanced at him.

“That’s a good idea…” Connie agreed. “Fulton?”

“Yes Connie m”dear?” Fulton asked, and when she didn’t answer for a full second, his attention was lost as he applauded Ken for doing a fancy dance move.

“Fult?” Goldberg asked, risking his life as he tapped Fulton on the head.

“Yes?” He answered. “What Goldberg?”

“It’s your turn to tell us the horrors of your life.” Averman answered for Goldberg. Fulton looked thoughtful, seeming to sober up all of a sudden.

“Ok.” He sat down next to Charlie and motioned at Ken to sit down. “I think I was nine at the time…”

[nextpage title=”Chapter Eight: Kinely Street”]

(Huge thanks to El for spell checking this page)

“Remember kids, stay in pairs and behave yourself, show respect to the….”

Fulton tuned out his teacher’s incessant ramblings of the rules of being on an excursion. He rested his head against the window and sighed loudly.

“Fulton? Have you got a partner?” Mrs. Reeves called out.

“No.” Fulton answered shortly, ignoring all the sniggers around him. Or rather, trying to ignore them.

“Class!” She clapped her hands. “Be quiet! Alright Fulton, how about you and Larry be partners?”

“Ok.” Fulton answered. Larry, the obese, spectacle clad nerd of the class wasn’t too pleased. Fulton knew he had a problem if he was unpopular with the losers.

“Larry? Is it fine with you?”

“Sure,” he answered, then stuck his fingers down his throat and started making gagging noises. Before Fulton could open the window and fling himself onto the road, the bus stopped with a sudden lurch as another bus crashed into the side of it.

“Class! Class!” Mrs. Reeves started to panic. “Are you alright? Is anyone hurt?”

A few kids started to cry.

“Oh dear. Dears, it’s alright! Oh, oh. Oh dear!”

“I’ll check the damage, Ma”am.” Pat, the bus driver, placed a soothing hand on Mrs. Reeves’s shoulders, before stepping off the bus.

“Bus crash! Alright! Reckon there’s any dead bodies?” Kyle, the biggest bully of the class, shouted.

“Kyle, please! Class, please be quiet!” Mrs. Reeves sat down and fanned herself with her hands. “Give me a moment.”

“Ma”am?” Pat stuck his head through the doorway. “There is some damage, but nobody has been hurt. Road services have been called.”

“Oh, goodness.” She rubbed her temples. “How long, do you know?”

“Couldn’t really say. An hour. Maybe more.” Pat shrugged.

“Thank you.” Mrs. Reeves nodded. “Class. This could take a while, so why don’t you just all sit and be quiet.”

“I don’t wanna sit!” Kyle shouted. “I want to see the dead bodies!”

“There are no dead bodies!” Mrs. Reeves shouted, then started fanning herself. “Sorry. Shouting will not help. Just be patient please.”

Fifteen minutes of being cooped up in a bus with twenty whining kids must have taken its toll on Mrs. Reeves, because she agreed to let them stretch their legs, seeing as the teacher of the other bus was doing the same to his students.

“Class, stay in this area while I go and call the parents.” Mrs. Reeves commanded as she shifted through her clipboard, obviously looking for the phone numbers. As soon as she was out of sight, the kids pounced on the opportunity to start picking on Fulton.

“Hi, Fulton. Dumb as a futon.” Kyle sneered. Fulton almost laughed. That was a new one. He could have sworn that every time Kyle came up with a new insult, it was worse than the last one.

“Leave me alone,” he snapped, shoving through the crowd. “Morons,” he muttered to himself. He wandered around the bus to inspect the other bus and its students.

“Hi.” Fulton turned towards the owner of the voice. A girl stood there smiling. “I’m so bored. What’s your name?”

“Ful—” Fulton considered lying about his name, then decided it wasn’t worth it. “Fulton.” He finished.

“Cool name. I’m Erica. Some crash, huh?” she asked. Fulton nodded.


“How old are you?”

“Nine.” He answered.

“I’m ten.” She glanced at him. “You’re tall.”

“No, you’re short.” Fulton said, shoving his hands into his pockets and turning around to walk off.

“Where are you going?” She asked, following him.


“Can I come?” She asked.

“No.” He shot back.

“I’ll tell my teacher!” She turned around to walk away.

“Don’t you!” He grabbed her arm forcefully. “Fine. You can come.”

“Okay then.” She grinned, crossing the road with Fulton. Fulton glared. Just his luck to get stuck with an annoying girl. “So where were you going to go with your school?”

“The museum.”

“How boring. I’ve just came back from camp. Check out the tan.” She said, holding out her arm.

“Cool.” Fulton answered, uninterested.

“So, where are we going.” She asked.

“Dunno. We’re just gonna walk around. We’re not going to visit the Queen, for god sake.”

“How fun,” she replied sarcastically.

“Nobody asked you to come with me,” Fulton reminded her. She shrugged and they walked in silence.

“My parents split up. I see Mom on the weekends and in the holidays. Dad’s way better to live with anyway, “cuz he’s rich and he gets all this stuff for me.” Erica spoke up.


“What about you?” Erica asked, ignoring Fulton’s rudeness. “Are your parents together?”

“My Dad died before I was born, so it’s just Mom, Kaylee and me.” He stopped walking. “Is there a point to all of this?”

“We’re just getting to know each another better.” She answered. “How did your Dad die?”

“Grandma told me he died in a car accident. But every time someone talks about his death, they clam up when I come into the room. It’s annoying.”

“My cousin died when she was seventeen. Mom said it was a car accident.”

“That’s what they say. She probably got shot or something.” Fulton shrugged. “I’m gonna be a motorcyclist like Dad when I grow up. I’m gonna be famous and everything. You can even be my groupie.” He offered.

“I’ll never grow up. Being an adult would be way too boring. I’ll live in Never-Never land, like Peter Pan.” She spread out her arms and twirled around.

“Yeah, keep dreaming.”

“Everything can go back to order. Please return to your vehicles!” Somebody shouted through a megaphone, cutting their conversation short.

“Well, seeya.”

“Yeah, bye. Nice knowing ya.” Fulton stuck out his hand and she shook it.

She waved as she jogged off to her bus. Fulton had his first smile in days. He made a friend. Even if it was only a ten minute friendship. He quickly jogged back to his bus and was wrapped in a hug by his teacher.

“Fulton! Thank heavens you’re alright! Where were you?” She exclaimed, holding him away from her.

“Right here.” Fulton lied.

“Fulton, just get on the bus, we’ll talk about it when we get back to school.”

As the bus moved down the road, he saw Erica’s bus. It was crashed into the side of another bus. Fulton looked away and shook his head. It wasn’t possible. Erica’s bus had crashed into his bus. And why would there be ambulances everywhere if nobody had been hurt?

“Hi sweetie. How are you feeling?” Fulton’s mother started fussing over her son as soon as he entered his home. “I saw it on the news. Tazble really. To think that it could have been your bus!”

“Mom, it was my bus!”

“No, no, Fulton, it wasn’t your bus. Your bus was heading down Pently Street, remember? The other two were heading down Kinely Street.” She smiled gently at him.

“Uh, yeah. I remember,” Fulton lied as he sat on the couch next to his sister. As the commercial break came up, so did a news update.

“… A bus on it’s way home from camp, and another one holding over twenty passengers of all ages collided on Kinely Street. A ten year old girl was found dead on arrival, our sympathies go out to her family. What a terrible tragedy…” The monotonous voice of the newsreader droned on as an image of the victim appeared on the screen. Fulton’s heart caught in his throat.


Note: Those “in-between chapters’ are pretty much pointless and really short, hence them being really really simple and not at all that amazing. Yep. Enjoy.

[nextpage title=”Chapter Nine: Randomness”]

Charlie had been eying Adam during Fulton’s story and now that it was finished, everybody was starting to notice. Adam included.

“Erm, you want anything Charlie?” Adam finally broke the silence, shifting nervously.

“What’s under your shirt?” He asked, narrowing his eyes. Adam jumped up, crossing his arms over his stomach.

“Nothing!” He insisted hotly. “Leave me alone.”

“You do… you have something under there.” Charlie pointed at an odd lump under his shirt.

“Is it alcohol?” Averman asked, hopefully. Adam sent him a dirty look.

“Oh fine.” He removed the bundle and tossed it to Charlie. He sat down with a sulky expression.

“Oh, you loser.” Charlie held up the object for everybody to see.

“Is that a hot water bottle?” Guy asked, frowning. Charlie nodded silently.

“I catch colds easily!” Adam whined to everybody. “Stop laughing.”

“You are such a Cake-Eater.” Russ replied with a smirk.

“Who’s next?” Ken quickly asked, preventing further teasing. “Portman?”

“Why me? Why is it that it’s always my turn after Fulton?” Now it was Portman’s turn to whinge.

“Come on. Shut up and tell us your story.” Fulton threw an arm around his shoulders. “And maybe I’ll—”

“Do not finish that sentence.” Adam warned.

“Do not talk rich boy.” Charlie glared. “He who can’t even come on camp without bringing luxuries.”

“Portman!” Adam turned to Portman with a huge grin, changing the subject. “Your story?”

“My story, well it happened in Chicago…”

Quick note: Jared Leigh and Kate Van Giles belongs to me.

[nextpage title=”Chapter Nine: Railroad Children”]

Dear Fulton…

Whatever Portman was about to write after the following line was put on hold as his step brother rushed into his room, but not before tripping over his own feet with the grace of an elephant.

“Jared.” Portman said flatly and went back to his letter. He wasn’t too fond of Jared, but only put up with him because they were family.

“Portman.” He sat down next to him on the bed. “Listen mate, my teacher mentioned something in class about haunted train tracks—”

“What happened to teaching algebra?” Portman interrupted.

“No idea, really.” Jared frowned, then shrugged. “Anyway, haunted train tracks? Sounds interesting, no?”

“Not really.” Portman answered, looking pointedly at the door. Jared, being Jared didn’t notice the hint.

“It sure does!” Jared grinned cheerily. “There was a train accident zillions of years go, children died. Now they spend the rest of their unlives making sure people don’t get run over by a train.”

“You know what it sounds like to me? An urban legend.” Portman answered. Damn his father and stepmother for never allowing him to have a lock on his door.

“It’s not an urban legend! I saw the movie, I think I would know the difference between an urban legend and a true tragedy. So, psh.”

Portman raised an eyebrow, then sighed. “Okay, it’s a true story. Now please, for the sake of my sanity, go away.”

“If you drive me and Kate there, I’ll leave you alone.” He crossed his arms smugly. Noticing that Portman wasn’t going to be blackmailed that easily, he added a promise that he wouldn’t read any more of Fulton’s letters that were hidden in an old school bag under Portman’s bed. Nor would he look for them anymore. After that, he had an agreement.

After two hours of listening to a debate of who was hotter, Jude Law or Ethan Hawke, they were finally at the train tracks.

“Drive onto the tracks.” Jared instructed, Portman whipped around in his seat.

“Are you crazy?” He exclaimed. “Jared, I’ve driven you out here so you could see a bunch of ghosts. There are no ghosts and you owe me twenty bucks for gas. Now you’re asking me to drive out on the train tracks? No, we are going home.”

“After you drive onto the tracks.” After a look from Portman, Jared added, “please? Please? Kate, beg to him.”

“No need.” Portman snarled. He wondered for a brief moment if anybody would notice Jared missing after a short period of time. He drove out onto the tracks. “Now what?”

“We wait.” Jared answered, leaning back into his seat. He held out a block of Cadbury chocolate. “Chocolate anyone?”

Before Portman could tell Jared where to shove his chocolate, a distant rumbling informed him that a train was coming. He reached for the shift-stick.

“You guys, there’s a train coming, we gotta—” Before he finished talking, the car started moving, backwards. Portman frantically put his foot on the brake petal, but no avail. He tried the stick-shift, but by then the car had stopped. “What the f—”

“Oh. My. God.” Jared started out of the window, his chewed up chocolate threatening to fall out of his mouth. Kate’s eyes were nearly popping out and Portman was about to piss his pants. “Drive. Just drive!”

And indeed Portman did.

“Told you so.” Jared said to Portman, as they drove home. “I told you.”

“Be quiet.” This time it wasn’t Portman who snapped at him. It was Kate. “I have to use the toilet. Do you mind pulling over at that petrol station on the right?”

Portman nodded mutely, pulled over at the station. They all got out of the car, giving each another “what the hell just happened” looks. Except Jared, who was gloating about the fact that he was right. It annoyed Portman to know that even what happened back then wasn’t enough to get rid of Jared’s annoying personality, not even for two minutes.

“Check this out.” Kate pointed at the front bumper. “What are they?”

On a closer inspection, Portman realized they were children’s hand prints.