“You wannt do something fun?” Wolfie asked with that mischievous twinkle in her eyes. Out of all four girls, Cindy Eglet, nicknamed Eagle, because she saw everything; Elise called Shakes after Shakespeare because she was a great story teller and could get them out of oodles of jams; Bella was called Bug because she was small and shy and could hide like a little bug, and Analise Wolfington, Wolfie, she was the one to find trouble. Together they had adventures, and tonight was Halloween . . . the perfect night for an adventure.
“What kind of fun are you thinking?” Shakes asked wary, but interested.
“Let me guess! A haunted house search!” It was Eagle that chimed in and laughed.
“OMG perfect for Halloween . . . I hope we survive,” Bug said as she started to wring her hands nervously and wrinkled her eyebrows.
“Not exactly a house, it’s the old movie theater out on County Line Road. It’s abandoned and people say it’s haunted. We should sneak in there on Halloween night!” Wolfie was excited and scared at the idea of going in that dilapidated place at night.
“What! That old place!” Eagle shrieked. Bugs eyes got as big as saucers as she drooped back, practically out of sight.
“That’s not safe, Wolfie, we could get hurt and then our parents would kill us and ground us!” Shakes interjected. Wolfie pulled out a flashlight, ”This is all we’ll need. Come on, girls! It’ll be an adventure.” Wolfie egged them on.
That night, Halloween night, after dark, the girls told their parents they were going to a party, which they did - - until they snuck out under the guise of going outside to look at Halloween decorations. They waited a few minutes, then quietly grabbed their bikes and pedaled down the street quickly and ducked down a side street and then tore off for the old abandoned movie theater. It was a mass of darkness.
“What if the doors are locked?” Elise asked.
“They could be, we’ll see. Come on, there’s a little light over there, we can park our bikes there.” Wolfie told them. All the girls stashed their bikes by some bushes.
“My bike better still be here when we get back!” Eagle barked. “Mom will kill me if I lose that bike.”
“Come on!” Wolfie pulled out her flashlight and the others did the same, digging into their bags and pulling out their flashlights as well. They scurried toward the theater, Bug looked up, eyes wide, taking in the gigantic theater. She trembled, it had never looked that big and ominous in the daylight.
“Move it, Bug,” Eagle had seen her falling behind.
They were finally at the large front doors made of glass. They each tried a door, until one finally opened. “Here! This one is unlocked,” Shakes called out, then all the girls scrambled up beside her shining their lights inside. It was dirty, trash scattered about the floor. “I don’t know, Wolfie, what if squatters are living in there. They won’t like us coming in, they might attack us,” Shakes said.
“Just keep your eyes open, watch out for each other,” Wolfie was determined to go inside. She pushed through first, shining her light around the room.
“Oh my God! Aaaahhhh!” Wolfie screamed.
“Aaahhh!” Eagle let out a yell.
“Run! Run!” Shakes screamed.
Bug stood there motionless, until Shakes grabbed her and pulled her after them. Instead of running out of the building, they ran further in. Dashing down a long hall and then clipping into a short hallway, they hid. All out of breath and trembling. “What was that?” Bug cried.
“Oh, please! You guys are so easy. That was a mannequin! I can’t believe you fell for that,” Wolfie giggled until she shook.
“You knew that was there?” Bug was mortified.
“Even you, Eagle? I thought for sure you would spot it as a prop,” Wolfie exclaimed.
“Fine, you got me. Let’s get moving, there’s more to explore. Remember? It supposedly haunted.” Eagle got up and headed for the projection room. “We’ll start here, I hear it’s the most haunted room.”
The other got up to follow her reluctantly. The only light they had was their flashlights. “Hey, y’all! It’s dark here, anything could happen, someone could be here!” Bug was scared.
“Come on, Bug, we’ve got your back.” Shakes put her arm around little Bug.
Sneaking into the projection room, there was a sound, like a long, exhaled breath. “What was that,” whispered Eagle. “That one of your props, Wolfie?”
“No,” she whispered back. “That is not me!” Flashing her light in that direction, Eagle could’ve sworn something ducked out of sight. Peering at each other through the dark, the girls decided to back out of that room, except Wolfie. Like her name, she was a brave warrior type. Shaking, she stood up, then carefully headed for the sound of the exhale. “Come back here! Where are you going?” Bug pulled at her arm.
“I’m going to see what’s there. Be ready.”
“Ready for what?!” Bug’s eyes questioning, she still trembled.
“Everybody shine your lights here all at the same time,” Wolfie quietly instructed. “Now!” All the flashlights hit the area at the same time, just as Wolfie pulled back the heavy curtain. But there was nothing there. “Nothing!”
“There has to be! We all heard it,” exclaimed Shakes in disbelief. “It must have ducked away somehow.”
“You’ll be turning that into a great story,” chimed in Eagle. Bug meanwhile was still trying to catch her breath.
“Off we go. Next stop, one of the theaters,” Eagle told them as she led the way to one of the large theater rooms.
“Oh come on! No telling what or who could be hiding among all those seats!” Bug was not thrilled about this.
Opening the theater door, shining their lights on the floor to lead the way, one girl stumbled and then others fell over here. “Oh my god, what was that?” Eagle had tripped over something. It was dark, but aiming her light toward where she tripped, it looked like a body lying on the floor.
“Wolfie! Wolfie! Is this another of your props?” Shakes hollered at her.
“There’s no more props.” As the girls scrambled to gather their dropped flashlights in the pitch black theater and shine then in the direction they fell, Wolfie said, “What prop, there’s nothing there.”
“There is, it’s . . . “ Shining her flashlight again, she saw . . . there was nothing there. “It was right there! I saw it! It looked like a body,” Eagle screamed. All of them squealed, cried and shone their lights all around the theater. Strange shapes on the walls, dark corners, the girls were terrified. “That’s it, we’re outta here!” Shakes yelled at the others, “Come on, let’s go.” She took the lead and they ran for the door.
“Aaaaayyy!” Bursting out the door, Shakes screamed bloody murder.
“What? What?” The girls cried.
“I . . . I . . . I could swear there were people here, dark figures, bright eyes, right here when I ran out the door.” Shakes said.
“Go, run!” Bug yelled. They all grabbed onto each other and took off for dear life, stumbling and squealing until they were out of the building and racing for their bikes. They pedaled for their lives, all out of breath, each racing home.
The next morning, after sleeping late, the girls all got on a zoom together. “Well, did we have fun last night?” Wolfie asked with a smile.
“An adventure I’ll never forget,” Bugs agreed as did Eagle and Shakes. As they closed their zoom, they noticed Shakes smile and shake her head, as she looked at her puppy and said, “Can I set up a story or what?”
“Shakes?” Wolfie asked. “What was that?”
“Oops, well, you aren’t the only one who planned ahead. I faked tripping and the dark figures. I wanted a good story to tell.”