SHIVER OF THE PHANTOM
The new ghost was large and imposing – and just as see-through as Henry. He wore a neatly pressed uniform and peaked cap, and carried a clipboard. “I don’t think you really want to pass this exam, Harper,” he snarled.
Henry’s transparent bottom lip began to quiver. “I do, Mr Aspin,” he pleaded, “I really do!”
The spectral boss examined the information on his clipboard. “Your work is poor,” he grunted. “Results are bad. How long did it take you to wake those skeletons with your mysterious bangs and bumps the other night?”
“It wasn’t my fault, Mr Aspin,” whined Henry. “They’re heavy sleepers!”
“No major scares credited to you in the last half century,” continued Aspin. “I don’t see why I should let you take your spirit level exam again at all.”
This time Henry really did begin to cry. Crystal tears ran down his shimmering cheeks. “Please let me take the test. I’ll try harder, I promise!”
Mr Aspin sneered. “And why should I believe a promise from a pathetic nobody like you?”
Luke stepped forward. “That’s not a very nice thing to say,” he pointed out. “I think you should apologize.”
Mr Aspin’s see-through face flushed purple. “Harper!” he roared. “Are you getting little children to fight your battles for you?”
Henry was positively shivering now. “No, no, Mr Aspin,” he sobbed. “They were just—”
“We are not fighting anyone’s battles,” Cleo interrupted. She stared up at the officious-looking phantom. “We just think you should be a little nicer to Henry, whoever you are...”
Henry looked as though he might faint.
“Whoever I am?” bellowed Mr Aspin. “I’m the president of HISS! The only spectre ever to reach spirit level one hundred and twenty! The only ghost in Scream Street qualified to appear at séances and possess the medium!” He leant in close to Cleo. “And I’m the man who has just decided that Henry Horatio Harper has failed his spirit level exam.”
Henry let out a squeak of terror. “Why?”
“For bringing three unauthorized spirits into Scream Street, of course!” thundered Aspin. “You know the rules – any fraternizing with ghosts who aren’t officially recognized by the president’s office means instant demotion. And since I can’t demote you lower than you already are, you are forbidden from taking the exam.”
“That’s not fair!” cried Cleo.
“I don’t care!” rumbled Mr Aspin.
“It’s also not true,” Resus pointed out.
“We’re not real ghosts,” Resus continued. “We’re just under a spell that allows us to communicate with them. Look...” He turned to the nearest solid object – the wall of a house – and walked into it as hard as he could. “Ow!”
“And Henry told us that you once communicated with a solid person via this spell,” Cleo added. “So if he has to be punished for ‘fraternizing’ with temporary ghosts in this way, so do you!”
Aspin began to growl deep in his throat.
“Henry Horatio Harper is going take his spirit level exam,” Luke said firmly. “And we’re going to help him.”
Head over to Feeling Fictional on the 27th October
to read the next spooky instalment of ~
SHIVER OF THE PHANTOM
by Tommy Donbavand.
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