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[Goosebumps 35] - A Shocker on Shock Street, Page 1

R. L. Stine



  A SHOCKER ON

  SHOCK STREET

  Goosebumps - 35

  R.L. Stine

  (An Undead Scan v1.5)

  1

  “This is creepy, Erin.” My friend Marty grabbed my sleeve.

  “Let go!” I whispered. “You’re hurting me!”

  Marty didn’t seem to hear. He stared straight ahead into the darkness, gripping my arm.

  “Marty, please—” I whispered. I shook my arm free. I was scared, too. But I didn’t want to admit it.

  It was darker than the darkest night. I squinted hard, trying to see. And then a gray light glowed dimly in front of us.

  Marty ducked low. Even in the foggy light, I could see the fear in his eyes.

  He grabbed my arm again. His mouth dropped open. I could hear him breathing hard and fast.

  Even though I was frightened, a smile crossed my face. I liked seeing Marty scared.

  I really enjoyed it.

  I know, I know. That’s terrible. I admit it. Erin Wright is a bad person. What kind of a friend am I?

  But Marty always brags that he is braver than me. And he is usually right. He usually is the brave one, and I’m the wimp.

  But not today.

  That’s why seeing Marty gasp in fright and grab my arm made me smile.

  The gray light ahead of us slowly grew brighter. I heard crunching sounds on both sides of us. Close behind me, someone coughed. But Marty and I didn’t turn around. We kept our eyes straight ahead.

  Waiting. Watching….

  As I squinted into the gray light, a fence came into view. A long wooden fence, its paint faded and peeling. A hand-lettered sign appeared on the fence: DANGER. KEEP OUT. THIS MEANS YOU.

  Marty and I both gasped when we heard the scraping sounds. Soft at first. Then louder. Like giant claws scraping against the other side of the fence.

  I tried to swallow, but my mouth suddenly felt dry. I had the urge to run. Just turn and run as fast as I could.

  But I couldn’t leave Marty there all alone. And besides, if I ran away now, he would never let me forget it. He’d tease me about it forever.

  So I stayed beside him, listening as the scraping, clawing sounds turned into banging. Loud crashes.

  Was someone trying to break through the fence?

  We moved quickly along the fence. Faster, faster—until the tall, peeling fence pickets became a gray blur.

  But the sound followed us. Heavy footsteps on the other side of the fence.

  We stared straight ahead. We were on an empty street. A familiar street.

  Yes, we had been here before.

  The pavement was puddled with rainwater. The puddles glowed in the pale light from the streetlamps.

  I took a deep breath. Marty gripped my arm harder. Our mouths gaped open.

  To our horror, the fence began to shake. The whole street shook. The rain puddles splashed against the curb.

  The footsteps thundered closer.

  “Marty—!” I gasped in a choked whisper.

  Before I could say another word, the fence crumbled to the ground, and the monster came bursting out.

  It had a head like a wolf—snapping jaws of gleaming white teeth—and a body like a giant crab. It swung four huge claws in front of it, clicking them at us as its snout pulled open in a throaty growl.

  “NOOOOOOO!” Marty and I both let out howls of terror.

  We jumped to our feet.

  But there was nowhere to run.

  2

  We stood and stared as the wolf-crab crawled toward us.

  “Please sit down, kids,” a voice called out behind us. “I can’t see the screen.”

  “Ssshhhh!” someone else whispered.

  Marty and I glanced at each other. I guess we both felt like jerks. I know I did. We dropped back into our seats.

  And watched the wolf-crab scamper across the street, chasing after a little boy on a tricycle.

  “What’s your problem, Erin?” Marty whispered, shaking his head. “It’s only a movie. Why did you scream like that?”

  “You screamed too!” I replied sharply.

  “I only screamed because you screamed!” he insisted.

  “Sssshhh!” someone pleaded. I sank low in the seat. I heard crunching sounds all around me. People eating popcorn. Someone behind me coughed.

  On the screen, the wolf-crab reached out his big, red claws and grabbed the kid on the trike. SNAP. SNAP. Good-bye, kid.

  Some people in the theater laughed. It was pretty funny.

  That’s the great thing about the Shocker on Shock Street movies. They make you scream and laugh at the same time.

  Marty and I sat back and enjoyed the rest of the movie. We love scary movies, but the Shock Street

  films are our favorites.

  In the end, the police caught the wolf-crab. They boiled him in a big pot of water. Then they served steamed crab to the whole town. Everyone sat around dipping him in butter sauce. They all said he was delicious.

  It was the perfect ending. Marty and I clapped and cheered. Marty put two fingers in his mouth and whistled through his teeth the way he always does.

  We had just seen Shocker on Shock Street VI, and it was definitely the best one of the series.

  The theater lights came on. We turned up the aisle and started to make our way through the crowd.

  “Great special effects,” a man told his friend.

  “Special effects?” the friend replied. “I thought it was all real!”

  They both laughed.

  Marty bumped me hard from behind. He thinks it’s funny to try and knock me over. “Pretty good movie,” he said.

  I turned back to him. “Huh? Pretty good?”

  “Well, it wasn’t scary enough,” he replied. “Actually, it was kind of babyish. Shocker V was a lot scarier.”

  I rolled my eyes. “Marty, you screamed your head off—remember? You jumped out of your seat. You grabbed my arm and—”

  “I only did that because I saw how scared you were,” he said, grinning. What a liar! Why can’t he ever admit it when he’s scared?

  He stuck his sneaker out and tried to trip me.

  I dodged to the left, stumbled—and bumped hard into a young woman.

  “Hey—look out!” she cried. “You twins should be more careful.”

  “We’re not twins!” Marty and I cried in unison.

  We’re not even brother and sister. We’re not related in any way. But people always think that Marty and I are twins.

  I guess we do look a lot alike. We’re both twelve years old. And we’re both pretty short and kind of chubby. We both have round faces, short black hair, and blue eyes. And we both have little noses that sort of turn up.

  But we’re not twins! We’re only friends.

  I apologized to the woman. When I turned back to Marty, he stuck out his shoe and tried to trip me again.

  I stumbled, but quickly caught my balance. Then I stuck out my shoe—and tripped him.

  We kept tripping each other through the long lobby. People were staring at us, but we didn’t care. We were laughing too hard.

  “Do you know the coolest thing about this movie?” I asked.

  “No. What?”

  “That we’re the first kids in the world to see it!” I exclaimed.

  “Yeah!” Marty and I slapped each other a high five.

  We had just seen Shocker on Shock Street VI at a special sneak preview. My dad works with a lot of movie people, and he got us tickets for it. The others in the theater were all adults. Marty and I were the only kids.

  “Know what else was really cool?” I asked. “The monsters. All of them. They looked so incr
edibly real. It didn’t look like special effects at all.”

  Marty frowned. “Well, I thought the Electric Eel Woman was pretty phony-looking. She didn’t look like an eel—she looked like a big worm!”

  I laughed. “Then why did you jump out of your seat when she shot a bolt of electricity and fried that gang of teenagers?”

  “I didn’t jump,” Marty insisted. “You did!”

  “Did not! You jumped because it looked so real,” I insisted. “And I heard you choke when the Toxic Creep leaped out of the nuclear waste pit.”

  “I choked on a Milk Dud, that’s all.”

  “You were scared, Marty, because it was so real.”

  “Hey—what if they are real?!” Marty exclaimed. “What if it isn’t special effects? What if they’re all real monsters?”

  “Don’t be dumb,” I said.

  We turned the corner into another hall.

  The wolf-crab stood waiting for me there.

  I didn’t even have time to scream.

  He opened his toothy jaws in a long wolf howl—and wrapped two giant red claws around my waist.

  3

  I opened my mouth to scream, but only a squeak came out.

  I heard people laughing.

  The big claws slid off my waist. Plastic claws.

  I saw two dark eyes staring out at me from behind the wolf mask. I should have known that it was a man in a costume. But I didn’t expect him to be standing there.

  I was surprised, that’s all.

  I blinked at a white flash of light. A man had just taken a picture of the creature. I saw a big red and yellow sign against the wall: SEE THE MOVIE—THEN PLAY THE GAME ON CD-ROM.

  “Sorry if I scared you,” the man inside the wolf-crab costume said softly.

  “She scares easily!” Marty declared.

  I gave Marty a hard shove, and we hurried away. I turned back to see the creature waving a claw at me. “We’ve got to go upstairs and see my dad,” I told Marty.

  “Tell me something I don’t know.”

  He thinks he’s so funny.

  Dad’s office is upstairs from the theater, on the twenty-ninth floor. We jogged to the elevators at the end of the hall and took one up.

  Dad has a really cool job. He builds theme parks. And he designs all kinds of rides.

  Dad was one of the designers of Prehistoric Park. That’s the big theme park where you go back to prehistoric times. It has all kinds of neat rides and shows—and dozens of huge dinosaur robots wandering around.

  And Dad worked on the Fantasy Films Studio Tour. Everyone who comes to Hollywood goes on that tour.

  Dad’s idea was the part where you walk through a huge movie screen and find yourself in a world of movie characters. You can star in any kind of movie you want to be in!

  I know it sounds as if I’m bragging, but Dad is really smart, and he’s an engineering genius! I think he is the world expert on robots. He can build robots that will do anything! And he uses them in all his parks and studio tours.

  Marty and I stepped off the elevator on the twenty-ninth floor. We waved to the woman at the front desk. Then we hurried to Dad’s office at the end of the hall.

  It looks more like a playroom than an office. It’s a big room. Huge, really. Filled with toys, and stuffed cartoon characters, movie posters, and models of monsters.

  Marty and I love to roam around the office, staring at all the neat stuff. On the walls, Dad has great posters from a dozen different movies. On a long table, he has a model of The Tumbler, the upside-down roller coaster he designed. The model has little cars that really screech around the tracks.

  And he has a lot of cool stuff from Shock Street

  —like one of the original furry paws that Wolf Girl wore in Nightmare on Shock Street

  . He keeps it in a glass case on the windowsill.

  He has models of tramcars and little trains and planes and rockets. Even a big, silver plastic blimp. It’s radio-controlled, and he can make it float round and around his office.

  What a great place! I always think of Dad’s office as the happiest place in the world.

  But today, as Marty and I stepped inside, Dad didn’t look too happy. He hunched over his desk with the telephone to his ear. His head was lowered, his eyes down. He kept a hand pressed against his forehead as he mumbled into the phone.

  Dad and I don’t look at all alike. I’m short and dark. He’s tall and thin. And he has blond hair, although there’s not much left of it. He’s pretty bald.

  He has the kind of skin that turns red easily.

  His cheeks get real pink when he talks. And he wears big, round glasses with dark frames that hide his brown eyes.

  Marty and I stopped at the doorway. I don’t think Dad saw us. He stared down at the desk. He had his tie pulled down and his shirt collar open.

  He muttered for a short while longer. Marty and I crept into the office.

  Finally, Dad set down the phone. He raised his eyes and saw us. “Oh, hi, you two,” he said softly. His cheeks turned bright pink.

  “Dad—what’s wrong?” I asked.

  He sighed. Then he pulled off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I have very bad news, Erin. Very bad news.”

  4

  “Dad—what is it? What?” I cried.

  Then I saw the grin slowly spread across his face. I knew I’d been tricked again.

  “Gotcha!” he declared. His brown eyes flashed gleefully. His cheeks were bright pink. “Gotcha again. You fall for that gag every time.”

  “Dad—!” I let out an angry cry. Then I rushed up to the desk, wrapped my hands around his neck, and pretended to strangle him.

  We both collapsed against each other, laughing. Marty still stood in the doorway, shaking his head. “Mr. Wright, that is so lame,” he muttered.

  Dad struggled to slip his glasses back on. “I’m sorry. You kids are just too easy to fool. I couldn’t resist.” He smiled at me. “Actually, I’ve got good news.”

  “Good news? Is this another joke?” I demanded suspiciously.

  He shook his head. He picked up something from his desk. “Check this out, guys. Do you know what this is?” He held it in his palm.

  Marty and I came closer to examine it. It was a little, white plastic vehicle with four wheels. “Some kind of train car?” I guessed.

  “It’s a tramcar,” Dad explained. “See? People sit on long benches inside it. Here. It’s motor-driven.” He pointed to the front of the model to show where the engine went. “But do you know where this tramcar will be used?”

  “Dad, we give up. Just tell us,” I insisted impatiently. “Stop keeping us in suspense.”

  “Okay, okay.” His cheeks reddened. His smile grew wider. “This is a model of the tram that will be used at the Shocker Studio Tour.”

  My mouth dropped open. “Do you mean the tour is finally going to open?” I knew that Dad had been working on it for years.

  Dad nodded. “Yes. We’re finally about to open it to the public. But before we do, I want you two to test it out.”

  “Huh? You mean it?” I shrieked. I was so excited, I felt as if I’d burst out of my skin!

  I turned to Marty. He was leaping up and down, shooting both fists into the air. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

  “I built this whole tour,” Dad said, “and I want you two to be the first kids in the world to go on it. I want to know your opinion. What you like and what you don’t like.”

  “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Marty kept leaping into the air. I thought I might have to tie a rope around his waist and hold onto it to keep him from floating away!

  “Dad—the Shock Street movies are the best!” I cried. “This is awesome!” And then I added, “Is the tour very scary?”

  Dad rested a hand on my shoulder. “I hope so,” he replied. “I tried to make it as scary and real as I could. You get on the tram and you ride through the whole movie studio. You get to meet all of the characters from the horror movies. And then the tram takes you
on a slow ride down Shock Street

  .”

  “The real Shock Street

  ?” Marty cried. “Do you mean it? You get to ride down the real street where they make the movies?”

  Dad nodded. “Yes. The real Shock Street

  .”

  “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Marty started pumping his fists in the air again, shouting like a maniac.

  “Awesome!” I cried. “Totally awesome!” I was as excited as Marty.

  Suddenly Marty stopped leaping. His expression turned serious. “Maybe Erin shouldn’t go,” he told my dad. “She gets too scared.”

  “Huh?” I cried.

  “She was so scared during the movie sneak preview, I had to hold her hand,” Marty told Dad.

  What a liar!

  “Give me a break!” I cried angrily. “If anyone was a scaredy-cat wimp, it was you, Marty!”

  Dad raised both hands to signal halt. “Calm down, guys,” he said softly. “No arguing. You have to keep together. You know, you two will be the only ones on the tour tomorrow. The only ones.”

  “Yes!” Marty cheered happily. “Yes! Yes!”

  “Wow! That’s great!” I cried. “It’s totally great. It’s going to be the best!” Then I had an idea. “Can Mom come too? I bet she would really enjoy it.”

  “Excuse me?” Dad squinted at me through his glasses. His whole face turned bright red. “What did you say?”

  “I asked if Mom could come too,” I repeated.

  Dad kept staring at me for a long time, studying me. “Are you feeling okay, Erin?” he asked finally.

  “Yes. Fine,” I replied meekly.

  I suddenly felt very confused and upset. What had I done wrong?

  Was something wrong with Mom?

  Why was Dad staring at me like that?

  5

  Dad came around the desk and put an arm around my shoulder. “I think you and Marty will have a better time if you go by yourselves,” he said softly. “Don’t you agree?”

  I nodded. “Yeah. I guess.”

  I still wondered why he was staring at me so suspiciously. But I decided not to ask him. I didn’t want him to get angry or something and change his mind about us going on the tour.