The Kacheek Club: A Haunted Halloween
“It’s got to be here somewhere,” muttered Gwen the Island Kacheek as she continued to dig through one of the dusty cardboard boxes piled inside of her attic. It was evening on Halloween, and she was trying to find her Butterfly Mask, which she was sure would put the finishing touch on her faerie costume.
“C’mon, Gwen,” Bridgette the Faerie Kacheek whined. She fussed with her long Tower Princess Wig before straightening the hem of her Dark Princess Gown. “We have to go early if we want to trick-or-treat. If we start too late, all we’ll end up with by the end of the day is a handful of Gummy Fish and candy canes left over from last year’s Day of Giving.”
Gwen rolled her eyes. She adjusted her Faerie Head Wreath before sticking her head inside yet another box and rummaging through the contents.
Xana the Disco Kacheek, who was debuting a frizzy Mad Scientist Wig and a white lab coat, glanced at Bridgette skeptically. “I thought that you didn’t eat sugary candy, Bridgette.”
“I don’t. But trick-or-treating is the perfect opportunity for me to show off my fabulous Halloween costume.” Bridgette grinned and twirled around. “Every Halloween I only end up eating one third of the candy I collect. The rest I give to notable charities. You know, like Sarina.” The Kacheek gestured to the Cloud Kacheek standing beside her.
Sarina the Cloud Kacheek was stuffed inside a huge cardboard box with her head peeking out at the top. The orange handle of her Designer Trick-or-Treat Bag was taped to the side of her box because her paws were trapped inside. Sarina’s face was covered with a thick layer of White Face Powder.
“Think of the bright side, Gwen,” Sarina chirped. “If you don’t find your mask, you can always be a ghost cardboard box like me.” Her wide circular eyes shimmered with hope.
“Yeah, that’s a definite possibility.” Gwen grimaced and began to search for her mask with even more urgency.
Xana suddenly gasped. “Yuck! I think I just saw a Moach crawling around on the floor!”
“Where?” Sarina spun around excitedly and accidentally shoved Bridgette to the ground with the bulkiness of her Halloween costume. “Oops... Sorry, Bridgette!”
“Ugh! Small attic, big costume. You do the math, Sarina!” Bridgette said crossly as she tried to fix her lopsided princess wig.
“Oh no. Not only did I miss the Moach, but I also have to do math?” Sarina sighed hopelessly and began mumbling arithmetic properties under her breath, obviously trying to figure out the solution to Bridgette’s comment.
Bridgette groaned and tried to change the subject. “Who’s ready to practice their treat greet?”
“‘Treat greet’?” asked Xana quizzically.
Gwen lifted her head out of a cardboard box marked ‘Old Costumes’ and looked at Bridgette curiously.
“Yeah, a treat greet.” Bridgette plopped herself into an old Green Antique Chair and continued, “A treat greet is what you say when you’re trick-or-treating and you ring the doorbell at someone’s Neohome. Obviously, we can’t just stand there when they open the door.”
“I have an idea about what we can say,” Sarina volunteered. “How about ‘trick or treat, candy’s really neat, give me something good to... to...’” She paused. “Man, I forgot the rest of it! I totally had it memorized and everything since this morning.”
“We can’t use that! Every single pet roaming the neighborhood on Halloween says the exact same thing. If we add a little spice and flair to ours, then we’ll obviously get better candy,” explained Bridgette matter-of-factly.
“In that case, I think it’d be cool if I did a ghost wail,” Sarina said thoughtfully. “You know, because I’m a ghost cardboard box and all. I should start practicing now!” She took a deep breath and opened her mouth.
Xana looked at Sarina with her eyebrows raised. “Hey, that wasn’t half bad!”
“Yeah, you sounded like a real ghost.” Gwen nodded approvingly.
“I love that you’re finally taking my Halloween trick-or-treating advice.” Bridgette grinned proudly.
“Uh... That wasn’t me, guys.” Sarina furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
Gwen, Bridgette, and Xana exchanged a round of glances. Before anyone could say anything, the ghostly sound came again.
The search for her Butterfly Mask forgotten, Gwen raced out of the attic with her friends in pursuit.
Bridgette looked pale and breathless as she collapsed into one of the Mystery Island Chairs in Gwen’s kitchen. “Look, Gwen, I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’ve finally come to my decision. I’m not coming over to your house anymore for sleepovers if there’s a ghost in your attic.”
Gwen‘s little sister, Gretta the Pink Kacheek, appeared in the doorway. “Who’s talking about ghosts?”
Xana sighed and rolled up the sleeves of her white lab coat. “We just discovered that there’s a ghost in your attic, and-”
“And it makes really good ghost wails,” interrupted Sarina. “I’m gonna have to ask for lessons!”
Gwen rolled her eyes. “But everything’s gonna be okay, Gretta. Whatever you do, don’t tell Mom and Dad. I think my friends and I can handle the situation.”
Gretta smiled nervously. “Yeah... Excuse me for a sec.” She quickly turned around and headed out of the kitchen.
“See?” said Bridgette in exasperation. “Even Gretta, the girl who practically lives for adventure and evil schemes, is nervous about this ghost.”
“How exactly are we going to handle the situation?” asked Xana curiously, looking over at Gwen.
“I don’t really know.” Gwen sighed and tapped her chin thoughtfully. “I was thinking that we should try to capture this attic ghost.”
“And I have the perfect plan to do so,” Sarina piped in. “I’m going to need a jar of peanut butter and a glass of milk.”
“Sarina, this is not the time to be thinking of snacks,” put in Bridgette. She stuck her paw inside the bag of Crispy Pumpkin Chips she was holding and popped some in her mouth.
Gwen glared at her. “Bridgette, that’s for the trick-or-treaters!”
“Sorry, I eat when I’m nervous.”
“That explains the six cupcakes you devoured during your piano recital last year,” muttered Xana.
“Well, are you guys going to get the supplies or not?” demanded Sarina. “I would do it myself, but my paws are kind of stuck.” She wriggled around in her cardboard box costume.
“Right!” Gwen nodded, and she and Xana ran over and opened the Faerie Fridge in the corner.
“How do you even know all this stuff about ghosts, Sarina?” asked Bridgette as Gwen and Xana searched through the refrigerator.
Sarina shrugged nonchalantly. “I read.”
“And yet, you can’t even read any of the chapters in the history book that Mrs. Green assigns us for homework?” Bridgette raised her eyebrows.
“I only read information that I’m actually going to need later in life, okay?” replied Sarina. “If history was important, wouldn’t you think it’d be much more than just the words ‘hi’ and ‘story’ squished together?”
Bridgette stuffed her mouth with more Crispy Pumpkin Chips to avoid prolonging the conversation.
“We’re back!” declared Gwen. “Okay, we were out of regular milk, so I poured out a glass of Ice Milk Coffee.” She set the chilled cup down on the kitchen table.
“There also wasn’t any peanut butter, but I did manage to find this.” Xana held out the box of Peanut Crunch Cereal in her paws.
Sarina sighed. “I guess they’re better than nothing.”
“I still can’t believe we’re heading back up to the ghost site,” Bridgette complained as she, Gwen, Xana, and Sarina made their way up the wooden stairs to the attic.
“Don’t worry, Bridgette. The minute I set up the milk and peanut butter, we’ll have our ghost caught in no time,” Sarina said soothingly.
“What exactly does the milk and peanut butter do?” asked Xana.
“Nothing out of the ordinary. It’s a known fact, though, that ghosts love milk and peanut butter. It’ll act as the bait that will draw the ghost out of its hiding place.” Sarina walked into the middle of the attic. “Gwen and Xana, if you two will do the honors.”
Xana set the bowl of cereal on the ground, and Gwen placed the coffee next to it.
A couple of seconds passed in silence.
“Maybe this ghost is allergic to peanuts or something,” suggested Bridgette.
“I’m going to try and do my ghost wail to see if the ghost comes out.” Sarina took a deep breath and called out, “Whooo-ooo-ooo!”
Gwen, Xana, and Bridgette cringed. Sarina’s wail sounded like a weak imitation of the one they had heard earlier.
“Um, Sarina-” began Xana, but she was interrupted with another of Sarina’s wails.
“I don’t think-” Gwen started.
Sarina began throwing in a few zombie moans.
“Sarina!” yelled Bridgette.
“Yeah?” Sarina stopped and glanced over at her friends.
“Is that going to be your treat greet?” inquired Bridgette.
“Yep. Cool, isn’t it?” Sarina beamed.
“Erm, on second thought, I think the whole ‘trick or treat, candy’s really neat’ thing is more cut out for you,” said Bridgette. “You should give up the ghost wails.”
Suddenly, a scuffle came from behind one of the cardboard boxes. The box began to shake violently.
“I think we made the ghost angry!” Xana’s eyes were wide with fear.
“Sarina, why did you have to make your ghost wail so convincing?” accused Bridgette. She covered her eyes with her paws.
“Stay calm, guys!” Gwen did her best to calm her friends, while also trying to stay composed herself, too.
Sarina quickly ran behind the cardboard box. A few seconds later, she emerged again with a blue Mallard following at her footsteps.
Bridgette shrieked. “It’s the ghost of a Mallard!”
Gwen breathed a sigh of relief. “No, Bridgette, I think it’s just a regular Mallard.”
The Faerie Kacheek still wouldn’t give up. “Oh yeah? Then how come we heard the ghost wails earlier?”
“If you had been paying attention in science class, Bridgette, you would have remembered that Mallards tend to make loud wails whenever they’re frightened,” explained Xana.
“I wonder how this Mallard got up in my attic in the first place,” murmured Gwen.
“Although I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to catch a real ghost, at least I managed to rescue this petpet,” Sarina said happily as the Mallard wandered over to the cereal bowl.
“Rescue?” Xana put her paws on her hips.
“Yeah. If this Mallard had been trapped in Gwen’s attic for any longer, it probably would have choked from inhaling all of the dusty air up here,” Sarina responded matter-of-factly.
“Hey!” Gwen furrowed her eyebrows. “My attic’s not that dusty... right?”
“Suuure,” Xana, Bridgette, and Sarina exclaimed in unison.
Gwen giggled and picked up the petpet. “Alright, who wants to go and turn this Mallard into the Petpet Protection League with me?” She, Xana, and Bridgette made their way out of the attic.
“Awww! I thought we could maybe take the Mallard trick-or-treating with us!” Sarina quickly dashed off to catch up with her friends.
That night, Gretta quietly snuck up to the attic in her pink Kadoatie nightgown. A Yellow JubJub Lemon Scented Candle in her paw was the only source of light.
“Pssst... Meryl, are you here?” The Pink Kacheek tried to make herself heard without raising her voice.
“Aren’t I always?” A ghostly pale Ixi suddenly appeared out of nowhere wearing an old-fashioned Long Blue Dress. She was sitting in the same exact Green Antique Chair that Bridgette had sat in earlier.
“Listen, when I agreed to let you stay up here, I forgot to add something to the terms and conditions of living in my house,” said Gretta.
“Oh?” Meryl stood up from the chair and floated over to Gretta. “Please continue.”
“You’re not allowed to scare any of my family members when they come up here,” Gretta whispered urgently. “You’re lucky that I covered for you today. When I heard Gwen and her friends discussing a ghost in the attic, I knew that they were talking about you. By the way, you owe me five thousand Neopoints for purchasing that Blue Mallard and putting it up here. Without the petpet, Gwen would have totally found you.”
“Please, I’m not that easily found,” Meryl replied coolly. “You don’t really believe that Sarina girl, do you? Ghosts aren’t attracted to milk and peanut butter.”
“But still, you’re not allowed to try and scare my family members anymore. Or anyone else who comes up here, for that matter. Deal?”
Meryl laughed softly before fading away into the darkness.
“I hope that was a yes,” Gretta retorted. She blew out the last flicker of flame on her candle before walking out of the attic.