The Trouble With Bernie

The Haunted House-1

Bernie and Alex liked to think that because they were Blazing Bandits, they were in on all the big boys’ adventures, but that was not the case. They were not included the day the big boys hiked into Peabody Gulch and discovered the haunted house.

It was early on a Saturday morning and the older Blazing Bandits had hiked well beyond where any of them had ever gone before. They whacked around in the bushes for what seemed like hours, then discovered an old overgrown trail, which apparently hadn’t been used for a long, long time.

Clark Olsen, because he was president of the club, lead the way. With a willow stick for a machete, he thrashed through the brush, singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Anchors Aweigh” and all the other military songs he knew. Clark was almost fifteen and had recently decided that when he finished high school he was going to join the Marines, just like his Uncle Joe.

With this thought in mind, he moved faster through the woods than the other four boys, and had to keep hollering at them, to hurry it up and get the lead out, and what were they anyway: a bunch of girls?

Brian Shaunessey was second on the trail. Normally he’d be keeping pace with Clark, but he hadn’t really wanted to come in the first place. The only reason he did come was, well, the other guys would have given him a bunch of grief if he hadn’t. Plus if he’d stayed home, he’d have to mow the lawn. He slapped at another bug and silently cursed his best friend, Clark Olsen.

Somewhere, trailing behind Brian, was Larry Rustalio, who was so sweaty and tired and hungry, he now came to a halt, swiped his arm across his dripping brow and shouted up ahead to Brian. “Hey what’s the big hurry? I’m starving! When are we gonna stop and eat?”

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Katie's drawing of Larry
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