Gurgle didn’t like scaring children. He preferred making them laugh until tears ran down their pudgy little faces. Gurgle’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather, however, were all award-winning spooksters of the highest calibre. Gurgle wanted to be one, too.
“Gurgle!” his mother scolded, “You’re a ghost, not a clown!”
“I’m trying, Mum,” Gurgle replied, “But I’m just not that scary.”
“Well, keep on practising,” said Mum. So Gurgle did.
First Stop: The Mizzer Household
Floating in through the laundry window, Gurgle hid in the washing machine. With bulging eyes, sharp, protruding teeth and spiky hair, he waited ... and waited ... and waited.
POP! SSSHHHHHH! Gurgle awoke with a start. He was soaked! Round and round Gurgle went until he was clean and fluffy.
When Molly Mizzer opened the washing machine lid ...
“BOO! AAHHH! EEEK!” screeched Gurgle, lurching towards her.
“Mum!” called Molly Mizzer, giggling hysterically, “You’ve got to see this!”
Mother and daughter doubled over, snickering and snorting. Gurgle made a speedy exit.
Second Stop: The Dizzer Residence
Gliding in through the kitchen window, Gurgle hid in the microwave.
With cheeks sucked in, pointed ears and red, fiery eyes, he waited ... and waited ... and waited.
WHIRRRR! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Gurgle awoke with a start. He could smell smoke. His hair was on fire!
When David Dizzer opened the door ...
“BOO! AAHHH! EEEK!” shrieked Gurgle, nose-diving onto the bench.
“Dad!” cried David Dizzer, collapsing on the floor in a fit of laughter, “You’ve got to see this!”
Father and son chuckled and chortled. Gurgle made a quick escape.
Third Stop: The Fizzer Apartment
Drifting in through the back door, Gurgle hid in the printer.
With lips puckered, cheeks puffed and slicked down hair, he waited ... and waited ... and waited.
ZIDDER ZONT! ZIDDER ZONT! ZIDDER ZONT! Gurgle awoke with a start. He was covered in black goo! When Freya Fizzer went to collect her school assignment ...
“BOO! AAHHH! EEEK!” screamed Gurgle, sliding out of the printer.
“Rosie!” called Freya, howling with laughter, “You’ve got to see this!”
The sisters guffawed until their stomachs ached. Gurgle made a hasty departure.
Last Stop: Back to the Mizzer Household
Gurgle found a quiet spot to sit and sulk on the top shelf of the Mizzer’s fridge.
“What’s the matter?” asked Molly Mizzer, spying the sad little ghost.
“I’m a disgrace,” sobbed Gurgle. “I probably couldn’t even frighten a flea.”
“But why do you want to frighten everyone?” asked Molly.
“Because that’s what ghosts do,” replied Gurgle.
“Well, I’m glad you cheered me up this morning,” said Molly, “Otherwise I’d still be feeling sick and sad.”
“Really?” said Gurgle, an idea starting to blossom. Together, Molly and Gurgle plotted the perfect plan.
The next day, Gurgle slipped into the children’s ward at the hospital. He hid in all sorts of funny places. Then, when the nurses weren’t looking, he bounded out with a ghoulish grin and yelled, “BOO! AAHHH! EEK!”
The children’s laughter echoed down the corridors.
Gurgle’s parents were extremely proud. And in time, he, too, won an award ...
The “Not So Scary Ghost” Award.
Rachel Bradbury enjoys reading and writing children's picture books. She blogs at Rachel's Book Nook.
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