The Haunted House Next Door
CHAPTER ONE Welcome to Kersville
When you move to a new town, grown-ups always give you a lot of advice. They say you should explore your new neighborhood right away. They say you should make new friends as soon as possible.
They never tell you what to do if your house is haunted.
Good thing I live next door to the coolest, bravest kid in the world. That’s him, but he’s busy right now. You would be too if a ghost was trying to slime you!
His name is Desmond Cole.
Andres Miedoso, and I’m definitely not the coolest and bravest kid in the world.
Do you see me?
Look behind our brand-new sofa. That’s my foot, and it’s quivering with fear. Do you want to know why? Well, look up.
Yep. That’s a ghost. He’s seconds away from sliming our brand-new sofa . . . and me!
There’s another thing grown-ups tell kids. They always say you have to start at the beginning.
It all began yesterday, when my parents and I moved to Kersville. We pulled in front of our new place, and the movers were already there with trucks blocking the driveway.
“Isn’t it a beautiful house?” Mom asked, turning around in her seat.
“It’s okay,” I mumbled.
“I know you’re nervous about moving, mi hijo,” she said. “But there’s nothing to worry about.”
Mom and Dad got out of the car, and I followed behind them slowly.
That was when I heard something coming from next door. The garage door opened, and two boys came out. They shook hands, and one boy walked away.
“There’s a boy your age right next door,” Mom said. “See how lucky you are, Andres! Go and make friends.”
Mom made everything sound so easy.
“Go on,” Dad said. “Have some fun.”
“All right,” I mumbled.
That was when the boy next door waved to me. “Can you come over?” he asked.
I nodded and walked over. With his garage door open, I could see that it looked more like an office inside. There was an old desk, two chairs, and a bookcase full of thick books.
On the desk there was a flashlight, a video camera, walkie-talkies, and some weird gadgets with numbers on them. I started to get a little nervous.
the boy said, smiling. “I’m Desmond Cole.”
“Um, I’m Andres Miedoso.”
“This is a great neighborhood,” Desmond said. “Well, except for —”
“What is that?” I asked, spotting some odd-looking glasses hanging on the wall.
“Those are night-vision goggles,” he replied.
“Night-vision goggles?” I asked, but Desmond interrupted me.
I have to warn you.”
Warn me? Now I was getting nervous.
“It’s my mom,” he said. “She’s making a welcome lasagna for your family.”
“That sounds nice,” I said.
Desmond leaned in close to me. “Don’t eat it. Trust me. My mom is a pretty terrible cook.” Then he laughed.
I tried to laugh too, but this kid and his strange garage-office were freaking me out. “Um, I’d better go now.”
“Here,” Desmond said, handing me a business card.
“Uh, um, thanks,” I said, and slowly backed away. “S-see you around.”
I ran home thinking about how much I never wanted to see him again. Never.
Of course, that was before I knew what it was like living in Kersville. Everybody needed a friend like Desmond Cole in this town.