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    “Oh no…” Brooke mumbled under her breath. She and Finn were trapped by an evil ghost, and they had no chance of escaping on their own. It sounded as if a ghost was about to stop him, but he stopped the other from helping.   

    “You two should’ve been more careful…” the evil ghost ominously warned.

    “Get away from them!” Anne exclaimed as she and Mary burst into the room. She pushed the larger ghost away from Brooke and Finn, leaving the doorway wide open.

    “Run!” Mary added as the two hesitated to leave. They immediately sprinted out the door and down the steps. 

    Finn tripped as they reached the bottom of the steps. Brooke quickly helped him back up, but their setback was enough for the evil ghost to start catching up to them. They raced for the door, but it was missing like last time. Brooke questioned if they’d be able to get out without Becky’s help. Finn ran towards the opposite room where the main door normally is, and Brooke followed him with the evil ghost close behind her. They raced into the room and slammed the door shut. It looks like there’s another door on the opposing side of the room, so they go through that. 

    To their dismay, it leads into a long and twisted hallway. They heard the door crash open behind them, so they both ran down the hallway, hoping to find a door at the end. It got darker and darker the farther down they went, and the ground got bumpier underneath them. The path cut out from underneath them, and they fell down a hole. They land at the bottom, and they see a small light far away from them. Could it be an exit? The evil ghost paused at the top of the hole, and he turned and walked away. Brooke and Finn caught their breath for a moment, then they stood back up. 

    “Should we try to go towards that light?” Finn questioned nervously. What if it’s a trap?

    “I think that’s our only hope,” Brooke replied. Starting to slowly walk towards the light. 

As it grew bigger to reveal a door, they heard shrieks and screams from around them. It sounded as if it was all in pain. Brooke and Finn stayed closer to each other, covering their ears once it got too loud to handle. The shrieks covered the loud thumping steps, approaching them from behind. Brooke added to the screams as the evil ghost grabbed her by the arm again. She broke free, and she and Finn began to sprint down towards the door. The ghost caught up to them quite easily, and he then grabbed them both and threw them to the ground as easily as if they were dolls. Brooke swung her leg around to whack the knee of their attacker, and he stumbled a bit as her foot connected with his knee. Finn took this as an opportunity and pushed over the ghost. The two ran again, faint outlines of ghosts in the walls appearing, screaming louder and louder. This time, they were quick enough.

Brooke and Finn reached the door, and they burst through it. Finn slammed it shut behind them while Brooke tripped and tumbled to the ground. A dense fog surrounded them, and they realized they had finally made it out of the house. Finn helped Brooke up as they both caught their breath. A loud pounding sound came from the door behind them, and they both nearly jumped out of their skin. 

“Let’s get out of here,” Finn suggested as he backed away from the door.

“Definitely,” Brooke agreed before asking, “Which way is Becky’s house? I can’t tell with all of the fog.” 

“I’m not sure…” he thought. “I think away from the house is a good guess of a way.”

They walked in the opposite direction of the house, barely able to see more than each other through the thick fog. A chickadee chirped while it circled over their heads. It would fly in one direction before circling back around the two teens. Eventually, it landed on Finn’s shoulder. He smiled at the little bird before it flew again in a different direction. Puzzled as it came back, Brooke wondered if it was trying to show them what direction to go. It seemed bizarre, but they also just escaped a haunted house. She thought anything was possible at that point, and she decided that even if that wasn’t the bird’s intention, it could probably lead them to a safe place. Nobody would willingly make their home in a dangerous spot, and she didn’t think that birds would be any different.

“Finn, I think that we should follow the bird. It’ll probably lead us to a safe place,” Brooke said after thinking.

Finn scoffed, “You think a bird is trying to lead us to safety? This isn’t a fairy tale.”

“I don’t think it’s leading us, but I think that any smart animal would make their home somewhere safe,” she replied. 

“Whatever. I guess we’ve got no better option. The fog hasn’t thinned out any,” he agreed reluctantly.

They followed the chickadee, Brooke taking the lead. The little bird would fly far ahead before circling back to them. The fog started to clear a bit ahead of them, and a bit of their hope returned. They were finally going to make it out of there! Finn quickened his pace, eager to escape the depths of the fog. The fog fully cleared, and they were able to see Becky’s house again. 

“Finally!” Brooke exclaimed excitedly.

“That took far too long,” Finn complained as they headed towards Becky’s door. 

“Are you two kids okay? That took you a while,” Becky asked as they started up her steps to the porch.

“Barely. I thought we’d never make it out of there,” Brooke sighed.

“Well, I think that’s been enough ghost experience for you two to last a lifetime, hasn’t it?” Becky joked.

“Yes, it has,” Finn replied.

“Were you able to see the ghosts?” Becky questioned thoughtfully.

“I can’t… Yeah, I was able to,” Finn replied. He had no idea how he was able to see them after not being able to for the entire day.

Brooke gasped, “You were able to see them! But you couldn’t before we went into the house?” 

“No, not before then. I couldn’t until you were attacked. And even then, I could only see the evil one. I could only hear the one telling us to run,” he explained.

“That’s so weird,” Brooke said.

“Yes, that is quite strange,” Becky agreed. “Well, I think that you two should be going. You’ve had quite the experience, and I’m sure you could use some rest.”

“Yes, I’m sure we need that,” Finn agreed. He dreaded having to go to school the day after being chased by ghosts, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to make a good enough excuse to skip. 

“If only school would get canceled tomorrow,” Brooke joked. 

“I think you’re gonna luck out on that one,” Becky smiled. She missed being youthful and dreading the upcoming school day. Those were some of her best days, the days before she had to worry about the ghosts escaping the house.

“Well, we’d better get going. Have a good evening!” Finn pointed out.

“Thank you again for helping. I hope our next meeting isn’t as dangerous,” Becky replied.

“Yes, I sure hope so,” Brooke agreed. 

They start to walk back down the driveway, and Finn said, “That was quite an experience.” 

“Yeah, it was. I don’t think we should ever go back inside the haunted house,” Brooke agreed.

“Probably not. We’ve almost gotten trapped and died both times,” he pointed out.

“Yeah, that’s probably not too good for us. At least it’ll be a cool story to tell one day,” she smiled.

“I don’t know if anyone would believe us,” he replied.

“That’s what makes it fun. They’ll have to wonder if we’re telling the truth or not,” she added.

He laughed, “If you ever tell your sister’s son once he’s old enough to understand, I think he’d be the only one other than me to believe you.” 

“Just Tommy is better than nobody believing it,” she replied.

“Well, I mean, I believe it too. I went through it with you.”

“Did you, though? Are you sure we’re not dreaming?” Brooke laughed.

Finn thought for a moment. “No, I’m not sure that we’re not dreaming. But real or not real believed or not, it’s a pretty cool story.”

“It is a pretty cool story, minus the fact that we almost died,” she agreed.

“That’s just a minor detail. We’re living to tell the tale, aren’t we?” he smiled.

And they did live to tell the tale. They tested the waters by telling a few of their closest friends, and just as you’d expect, they didn’t believe them. It seemed like a typical little prank Finn and Brooke would have pulled. Nobody expected them to go into the haunted house — they’re not exactly known for their bravery. If some of the toughest people in the school couldn’t get past Becky, then how could two random juniors? It seemed all but impossible to anyone but the two who experienced it. 

“No. We did go into the house again,” Finn insisted. 

Their friend, Harry, scoffed, “Sure you did. And you got stuck inside and almost killed by a ghost. I’ve heard it already.”

“Seriously, man, we did,” Brooke laughed. 

“Okay, and pigs can fly,” Harry replied.

“Maybe they can. What if they’re just hiding their ability so they can take over the world one day?” Finn joked.

“That’s a new one to add to the list of ‘Finn’s grand conspiracy theories.’ Pigs hide their ability to fly and are planning to overthrow the government,” Brooke replied.

“I’d get behind that one, honestly. The saying couldn’t have come from nowhere,” Harry agreed.

“Seriously, though, those ghosts were terrifying,” Finn added.

“I’m sure they were. And I’m sure this isn’t just some nightmare you had from falling asleep at the movies or something,” Harry disbelievingly replied.

“You have to admit, Finn, our adventure does sound quite outlandish,” Brooke agreed.

“That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen,” Finn scoffed.

And it did happen. Their experiences weren’t something that they could ever forget. While they had no more ghost encounters, some of their next adventures were just as bizarre.