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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Ellen receives a spirit message during a seance at the county fair, warning that her brother Corey is in danger and that she must rescue him.". Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: When Corey witnesses a pickpocket at the county fair, he decides to follow the man, leading to terror for Corey and his older sister Ellen when the desperate pickpocket stalks them through the fair's scary River of Fear ride.

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CHAPTER

1

“HERE COMES The Gruesome Green Ghoul!? Corey Streater, with his arms above his head and his fingers spread like claws, lurched into the kitchen.

His sister, Ellen, took another bite of toast and ignored him.

“Eat your breakfast, Corey,? Mrs. Streater said, “or you won?t be ready to go to the fair when Nicholas and Mrs. Warren get here.?

“I?m ready now,? Corey declared. “I?ll eat breakfast at the fair, as soon as I ride the Tilt-a-Whirl and The River of Fear.?

“You?ll eat breakfast right here,? Mrs. Streater said. “It?s probably the only decent food you?ll get all day.?

“The Gruesome Green Ghoul eats people,? Corey said. He grabbed Ellen?s arm and pretended to take bites from her wrist to her elbow, as if her arm was corn on the cob.

Ellen jerked her arm away, glad that she was going to the fair with Caitlin and would not have to put up with her little brother?s nonsense. “I wouldn?t go on that River of Fear ride if you paid me,? Ellen said.

“Is that the big enclosed ride that stays on the fairgrounds year-round?? Mrs. Streater asked.

“That?s the one,? Ellen said. “Some kids that rode it last year told me it?s the scariest ride they were ever on.?

“Good,? Corey said, as he spread peanut butter on a slice of toast. “When I grow up,? he continued, “I?m going to invent The Gruesome Green Ghoul ride and I?ll go to all the fairs and run it and pretend to eat people.?

If you ever grow up,? Ellen said.

“My ride will fly upside down and rotate in circles and whip back and forth, all at the same time, and you?ll have to ride it standing on your head with bare feet. You?ll get strapped down so you don?t fall off and there?ll be this huge green blob, like a giant amoeba, that bites at your toes and then . . .?

“Don?t expect me to ride on it,? Ellen said.

“The Gruesome Green Ghoul ride will be the scariest ride ever invented,? Corey said. “Even scarier than The River of Fear. I?ll make a trillion zillion dollars, and spend it all on corn dogs.?

“You forgot to take the bandage off your face,? Mrs. Streater said.

“I didn?t forget,? Corey said. “I like it. It?s the best Batman bandage I ever saw. I?m going to wear it for a whole year.? He took a drink of orange juice and then screamed as loudly as he could.

Ellen dropped her toast.

“What?s wrong?? cried Mrs. Streater.

“Just practicing,? Corey said. “I plan to go on every ride and I?m going to scream and scream and scream.?

“Don?t overdo it,? Mrs. Streater said. “You?re still hoarse from that throat infection. If you scream all day, you?ll lose your voice altogether.?

“Hallelujah!? said Ellen.

A horn beeped in front of the Streaters? house.

“It?s Nicholas!? Corey yelled. “I?m leaving!?

“Good,? said Ellen.

“Be careful,? Mrs. Streater said. “Stay with Mrs. Warren and do exactly what she tells you.?

Corey dashed out the door.

His mother called after him, “Don?t eat too much junk!? but Corey did not hear her. He was lurching toward the Warrens? car, shouting, “Here comes The Gruesome Green Ghoul.?

Mrs. Streater poured herself a cup of coffee and sank into a chair opposite Ellen. “Did you ever notice,? she said, “how quiet it seems right after Corey leaves??

Ellen laughed.

“I hope he behaves himself,? Mrs. Streater said. “Fairs and carnivals can attract some rather seedy characters and you know how Corey is, always imagining that he?s a spy and other people are dangerous criminals.?

“Mrs. Warren will watch him.?

Mrs. Streater nodded. “Yes. Your father says I worry too much. But trouble always comes in threes, you know, and I can?t help wondering what the third will be.?

A terrible windstorm in January had uprooted a fir tree and sent it crashing across the Streaters? garage, causing extensive damage. Then, in March, they lost Grandpa. Ellen thought no trouble could be as bad as that and she knew from the sad look on her mother?s face that Mrs. Streater was thinking the same thing.

A dark sense of foreboding swept through the sunny kitchen, pushing aside the warmth of the August morning. Quickly, Ellen finished her toast and carried her dishes to the sink. Trouble coming in threes is nothing more than an old superstition, she told herself. What could be more safe than the county fair?

“DON?T VOLUNTEER any information,? Mitch Lagrange told his wife, as they waited to cross the border from Canada to the United States. “Answer questions pleasantly but don?t say anything more.?

“I?m not stupid,? Joan Lagrange replied.

Mitch looked in the rearview mirror at his nine-year-old stepson, Alan. “You pretend to be asleep,? he said.

Mitch pulled the car up to the enclosure where the border guard sat.

“Where do you live?? the guard asked.

“Seattle.?

“How long were you in Canada??

“Overnight.?

The guard looked around Mitch and addressed the next question to Joan. “What did you do there??

“We took my son to the Vancouver Aquarium.? She pointed to the back seat, where Alan lay with his eyes closed.

The border guard nodded and waved them on their way.

“I knew they wouldn?t have a stolen vehicle report yet,? Mitch said. “I doubt the owner has even realized the car is missing. Still, it?s a relief to get across the border without any problem.?

“Portland, here we come,? Joan said, “to collect our ten thousand smackeroos.?

Mitch stayed just under the speed limit as he drove south on Interstate 5. “I wish I could open it up,? he said, “and see how fast this beauty will go.?

“When you?re driving a stolen Mercedes with counterfeit license plates,? Joan replied, “you don?t take chances.?

“This handles like a dream,? Mitch said. “It?s a shame to strip it and sell the parts.?

“We?ll get twice as much for the parts as we would for the car,? Joan said, “so don?t get any funny ideas.? She consulted the map of Washington State. “The turnoff for the fair in Monroe is Highway 2,? she said. “But do we have to waste a day visiting your brother? If we keep going, we?ll be in Portland in time for lunch. The fair is fifteen miles out of our way.? She looked at the map again. “Monroe doesn?t even rate a red circle on the map. It?s only a tiny black dot, like a period.?

“I owe it to Tucker, to see how he?s doing.?

“You don?t owe him anything.?

“We should have posted bail when he asked us,? Mitch said.

“We didn?t have an extra three thousand dollars sitting around.?

“We could have come up with it, if we had tried.? Mitch exited the freeway and headed east on Highway 2. “It?s been hard on Tucker the last six months, working for a carnival in order to stay on the move after he jumped bail.?

“It wasn?t our fault he got caught faking car accidents so people could turn in false claims to their insurance companies. Why should we have to bail him out??

Half an hour later, Mitch handed two dollars to the parking lot attendant and pulled the Mercedes into the line of parked cars at the fair.

“There?s a Ferris wheel,? Alan said, “and a big roller coaster. This is going to be fun.?

“Let?s work the fair, Mitch,? Joan said.

“Are you crazy??

“It would be like old times, picking pockets for a living.?

“No, thanks,? Mitch said. “What if we got caught??

“We won?t get caught. And even if we did, we?d be let off with a warning or a small fine. A little country fair, way out in the boonies like this, won?t have a decent police department. They probably can?t even check fingerprints or get computer data.?

At the mention of fingerprints, Mitch stiffened. His greatest fear was to have his fingerprints checked, although Joan didn?t know that. He had never told his wife about his past; she thought he had always been Mitch Lagrange and Mitch saw no reason to enlighten her. Joan could never tell someone else what she didn?t know herself.

“I used to outsmart them in Los Angeles and San Diego,? Joan continued. “We won?t get caught here.?

“Maybe not, but why stick our necks out when we don?t need the money? We?ll make ten grand on this car deal and it?s a sure thing, with no risk now that we?ve made it across the border.?

“We need a little excitement,? Joan said. “The car business is boring.?

“Bor-ring,? echoed Alan.

“Good,? Mitch said. “Boring means no trouble.?

“We could cut Tucker in on the day?s take. We?ll find a way for him to help and give him fifteen or twenty percent.?

“I?ll help,? Alan offered, “if you give me twenty percent, too.?

Joan laughed.

“Please, Mitch?? Alan said. “Please??

“People bring money to a fair,? Joan said. “We could help them get rid of it.?

Mitch shook his head.

She gave him that odd narrow-eyed look, the one that always made him wonder if she suspected he had concealed his past when they married last year. As if to confirm what he was thinking, Joan said, “Don?t be so paranoid. Sometimes you act as if you?re wanted by the feds. All we want to do is pick a few pockets.?

“I?ll bet my real dad would do it,? Alan said.

Mitch sighed. He hated it when Alan said things like that when Mitch tried so hard to be a good father.

“My real dad isn?t chicken,? Alan said.

Mitch wanted to say, “Your real dad is a fool who spends more time behind bars than free.? Instead he said, “Oh, all right. We?ll try it for awhile.?

CHAPTER
2

THE DARK gold lettering gleamed in the afternoon sun:

FORTUNES TOLD. PALMS READ!

SEE INTO YOUR FUTURE

What Message Will the Spirits Have for You?

Ellen and her friend Caitlin stood beside the Ferris wheel at the fair and read the writing on the side of the large trailer. Painted ferns, flowers, and rainbows surrounded the words and a trio of angels, painted in pink, gold and white, hovered above the message. Across the bottom, in smaller letters, it said:

The Great Sybil Sees All, Knows All

Two dollars admission.

“Let?s do it,? Ellen said. “Let?s have our fortunes told.?

“No way. I?m not wasting two dollars on some fake in a turban who pretends to see things in a crystal ball.?

“It would be fun,? Ellen said. “She might tell you there?s a handsome stranger in your future.?

Caitlin ate a handful of popcorn. “The only thing I want to know about my future is whether or not I?ll make Drill Team and I doubt if any carnival gypsy knows that.?

“I?m going to do it,? Ellen said. “I?ve always wanted to have my fortune told.? She took two dollars out of her wallet.

Caitlin frowned. “What if she sees something bad in your future? Would you want to know??

Ellen hesitated.

“Oh, forget I said that,? Caitlin said. “The Great what?s-her-name won?t pretend to see anything bad. It wouldn?t be good for business.?

“What do you mean, pretend?? Ellen said, acting shocked. “The Great Sybil sees all and knows all; it says so right here.? She grinned at Caitlin.

“If I want to listen to someone who sees all and knows all,? Caitlin said, “I can hear my mom, for free.?

Ellen gave her money to the bored-looking man who sat in a small ticket booth at the entrance to the fortune-teller?s trailer.

“Go right in,? he said. “The Great Sybil waits to enlighten you.?

Caitlin, rolling her eyes, whispered, “The Great Fake waits to bamboozle you.?


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