The rag tag ball team stood there and looked over the fence at the broken window. It wasn’t just any old broken window it belonged to that of the old Cooper house, the most haunted place in the entire planet, probably the whole universe.
Igor, the newest member of the Kemptville Mud Hens (the official/unofficial name of the team) stood at the fence with the others, but didn’t understand what was truly going on.
“Why does someone not get the ball?”
They all looked at him and half-laughed and half-guffawed.
“Igor, this place-
“Is really special,” interrupted Parker Jones, the unofficial team captain. He had cut off, Bugsy Trainer, the shortstop who was giving him the evil eye.
“What you mean special?” Igor looked at Parker, his friend. In fact, it was the captain that had recruited the Russian lad to play on the team. The kid from Eastern Europe was tall, lanky, could run like a deer, had an arm for a cannon and could hit the ball a cold country mile. He just wasn’t used to North American ways, customs and the culture.
“Well, it is just special in a way that is really hard to explain.”
“I see,” said Igor who had not taken his eyes off the house. “But, we have no ball, we no play, right?”
“I go get ball,” said Igor and he started to jump climb over the fence.
“Hang on,” said Roscoe. He eyed Parker.
“Okay, team meeting between the captain and the two co-captains.”
Parker pulled Roscoe and Bugsy aside.
“What are you doing, Parker? You know that place is haunted.”
“I know, but we need the ball back and he’s volunteering to go and get it.”
“He’s volunteering because he doesn’t understand the place is haunted.” Bugsy looked disgusted.
“Bugsy is right,” said Roscoe. “You can’t send him in there.”
“That is our only ball. Do I have to remind you that the tournament is next week and we still have stuff to work on?”
They turned around and Igor was no longer staring at the window, but stood there with his arms crossed and didn’t look very happy.
“Someone opened their big yap. That’s just great,” stated Parker.
“You send me in haunted house with ghosts inside? Parker, you not my friend,” Igor said angrily.
“Igor, I wasn’t going to send you in there alone.”
Igor had his back to Parker. He half turned around.
“Fine, you go with me.”
Everyone laughed and then looked at their shoes.
Parker hesitated for a second and took a deep look at the old Cooper house.
“Okay, let’s not get crazy and lose our heads.”
“You’re a hypocrite,” said Roscoe.
“Yeah, Roscoe is right,” added Bugsy.
“It’s really simple,” stated Hutch. He was the big kid on the team, the catcher who if he caught hold of the ball could send it farther than Igor or anyone else on the team.
“How simple is it, Hutch?”
He rolled his eyes and smiled. “We all go in.”
They all looked at each other and there was a lot of shrugging shoulders and vague nodding of heads. They just not quite sure because of the stories they had heard about the malevolent ghosts that roamed the old place looking for victims.
“That sounds fair to me,” said Roscoe. “After all, the ghost or ghosts can’t get all of us.”
“Maybe ghosts don’t like Russians,” said Igor and smiled at everyone.
“Come on ladies, time is wasting.” Parker started to climb the fence and the others soon followed.
They walked across the yard fanning out and a rat was seen scurrying under the decaying porch.
“Tell me that was a mouse,” said Bugsy.
“Maybe here in North American it is mouse, but in Russia it is rat.”
“Thanks for clearing that up for us, Igor.”
“You are most welcome.”
“I don’t think this porch can hold all of us at the same time.” Roscoe looked at everyone.
“Hey, Hutch, off the porch,” said Bugsy with a wry smile.
“Sure, pick on the fat kid.” Hutch gave the door a solid kick and shouted: “Hey, Mr. or Mrs, Ghost, please go after Bugsy cause he’s an annoying little brat.”
“Says you, tubby.”
“How about my fist smashes that big mouth of yours right now?”
“Ladies, focus on the goal here. Now the ball went through the upstairs window directly up and to our right.”
“I don’t think those stairs are going to hold all of us. They look pretty crappy.”
“Any volunteers?” Everyone turned to Igor who shook his head.
“I am afraid of stairs.”
Everyone laughed and Igor smiled that irresistible smile.
“Bugsy, you’re always shooting your mouth off, why don’t you go?” Roscoe smirked at his friend.
“Hey, Roscoe, Boscoe, who’s got the Moscoe, kiss my butt.”
“I would go, but the stairs aren’t going to support the fat kid.” Hutch grabbed his enormous stomach to emphasize his point.
“Okay, hammer fists, you girls know the rules.”
“Can you quit calling us girls? I don’t see you sprinting up the stairs.”
“Yeah, Parker, tough guy, leader, big mouth and all that.” Bugsy was taking a stand.
“I think that the leader, or self-proclaimed leader should go.”
Parker shrugged his shoulders.
“I would go, but if something happens to me then who is going to lead the team? In this situation, the supreme leader must be spared for future greater glory.”
“You are communist,” said Igor as he started up the stairs.
“It’s to your right, Igor.”
Igor waved Parker off and the others smirked.
He got to the top of the stairs and then mooned everyone.
They guys were laughing hard and making lots of noise and then there was a scream. Igor flew down the stairs without touching any of them and nearly landed in Hutch’s arms. He did managed to knock a couple of guys over.
“Get off of me you damn communist.” Hutch shoved him off.
Igor looked at the others and they were all scared.
“Maybe, it was a cat,” said Roscoe.
“Well, why don’t you go up there and find out there or are you pussy?” Bugsy laughed hard over that one and Parker shook his head.
There was a knock on the door and everyone jumped.
“Who is it?”
Patty, Roscoe’s younger sister, but very much the tomboy barged in.
“What are you doing in the old Cooper house? The place is haunted.”
“We knocked the ball through the upstairs window.” Roscoe looked at his sister.
“Well, then go and get it. Are you scared?”
“Oh, my God, you’re all a bunch of chickens.”
She stormed up the stairs with purpose.
“Her face should scare away whatever is up there.” Bugsy laughed.
“Hey, that’s my sister you’re talking about.” Roscoe looked offended.
“Sorry, dude, I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“Oh, I’m not offended not my face you were talking about.” He punched Bugsy who just smirked.
“She is so brave,” gurgled Hutch.
“Forget it, Hutch, she has no interest in you.”
“How do you know, Parker?”
“Hush, here she comes.”
Patty walked down the stairs and it looked like she didn’t have the ball in her hand.
“Did you get the ball?” Roscoe and the rest of the boys watched her walk to the front door.
She pulled it out and smiled.
“Hey, give us the ball,” said Bugsy.
“You think I did that for free?”
She stormed outside and the boys fell out in total disarray.
“Come on, Patty, give us the ball back.” Roscoe was pleading with his sister.
“How much money do you have?”
“We are like twelve years old, none of us have a real job, so give us the damn ball back.”
“Parker, I don’t think I like your attitude.”
“Well, excuse me, princess.”
“You can have the ball back only if you let a few of us girls join the team.”
There were groans and moans.
“Patty, you going to be on the team?” Hutch was the only one excited.
“No girls allowed,” Parker said defiantly with his arms crossed.
“Why not?” Patty held the ball under her armpit. She also had her arms crossed.
“Because it is a guy’s team.”
“That’s too bad because I have the only ball you guys own.”
“Patty, just hand over the ball. I mean really now.” Parker was adamant.
“Roscoe, you better talk to your stubborn friend to let us on or you’ll never see this ball again.” Patty was serious.
“Give me the ball, you stupid girl,” screamed Parker.
He ran at her and she hurled it crashing through a different second story window. He tried to stumble on top of her, but she violently pushed him back.
“Have fun cowards.”
“I hate her,” said Parker as he eyed Roscoe.
“You’ve got to admit, she’s got a really great arm,” stated Hutch.
“Shut up, Hutch,” commanded Parker.
They all looked up at the window that the ball had gone through.
Just then the front door slammed shut.
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