Liz’s Night at the Museum
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
Liz Jenkins turned on her flashlight. She held it up to her chin so it illuminated just her face.
It was silent and shadowy in Liz’s bedroom. Her best friends Ellie, Amy, and Marion waited for Liz to begin her story.
“It was a dark and stormy night,” Liz said in a low voice.
“Uh-oh,” said Amy. She pulled her sleeping bag up to her nose. “I don’t like the sound of this.”
Ellie giggled. “Stormy nights are always the spookiest!”
Marion yawned. “I think I’ve heard this one before,” she said sleepily.
“Outside, lightning flashed,” Liz continued. “Thunder clapped. But inside one house, four girls were having a sleepover.”
“Just like us!” Ellie whispered.
Liz went on. “They were all in their sleeping bags. One of the girls had just finished telling a story. It was a scary story about a ghost, with rattling, clattering footsteps roaming her house at night.”
Now Amy’s sleeping bag was covering her head. She let out a squeak from inside.
“Don’t worry,” Marion gently told Amy. “It’s just a story.”
Liz suddenly flicked off her flashlight. The bedroom went completely dark.
“All of a sudden, one of the girls gasped,” Liz went on. “‘What was that?’ the girl cried. The others listened. They heard it too!” Liz stomped her foot on the ground. “Thwump—rattle. Thwump—rattle. Rattling, clattering footsteps! Coming from the other side of the bedroom door!”
Marion sat up straight. “Shhh!” she said, suddenly wide-awake. “Did you hear that?”
Liz looked confused. “Hear what?” she replied. Then she smiled. “Oooh. Nice one, Marion. Trying to scare the storyteller.”
Marion shook her head. Her eyes were wide in alarm. “No. Listen!”
The four girls sat silently, listening.
They all heard it. Thwump—rattle. Thwump—rattle. Thwump—rattle. Each time it was a little louder.
“Rattling, clattering footsteps!” Liz whispered.
“Coming closer,” Ellie said shakily.
Amy stayed hidden inside her sleeping bag. “Is it coming from the hallway?” she asked.
Liz flicked her flashlight back on. She aimed the beam at her bedroom door. Liz, Ellie, and Marion watched it, trying not to blink.
Thwump—rattle. Thwump—rattle. Louder and louder, until . . .
And then, slowly, Liz’s doorknob turned.