For the Busy Business-Parent
Whimsical Bedtime Stories for Children of All Ages
Josh’s Spooky Adventure
Three Short Chapters
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Josh. He was a cute little fellow, with big blue eyes and a towhead of blond hair, which he often wore in a spiked up sort of fashion.
He thought he looked very cool with spiked hair, but his brothers and sisters thought he looked ridiculous, and frequently told him so.
However, Josh had a mind of his own. He had to, because he was the littlest in a very large family of 8 children. You may have heard about Josh and his family in another bedtime story called “All About Olivia”.
(If you haven’t read that story yet, you really should, because it explains a lot about why Josh was the way he was.)
Anyway, Josh had 7 brothers and sisters. Their names were Ethan, Chloe, Matthew, Emma, Nicholas, Molly and Hailey, but they do not really play a large part this story.
They were all older than Josh and seemed to get more attention and special things than Josh did. For example, Ethan played soccer and got new soccer outfits every spring. Chloe was taking ballet lessons and always needed new ballet shoes, tutus and all that girly, ballet sort of stuff. The rest of the children all had some sort of activity after school that kept them busy and in new outfits for whatever sport or lesson they were involved in.
Josh was not involved in anything except for Kindergarten, which he detested. He begged his mother to let him play soccer or baseball or “At least T-Ball for crying out loud!” but she said he was too little and would “Just have to wait until next year.”
Josh was not at all pleased by this, and grew more and more belligerent and headstrong every day. He certainly was a determined little guy, which was probably a result of being the youngest in a large family and feeling left out a lot of the time.
So Josh decided to do something about it, and this is what happened.
One evening, while he was elbowing his 3 brothers over rights to the bathroom sink to brush his teeth, he formulated a plan. It was probably the worst sort of plan a little boy could come up with, as we shall soon see.
He decided to go out on his own, after everyone else had gone to bed, and explore the scary, old haunted house at the end of the street.
No one had lived in this house since old Mrs. Macready had died, and it was said that her ghost could still be seen there on certain, haunted, moonlit nights. Since it was a perfect, full moonlit night, Josh thought this would be the ideal opportunity to check things out. So he brushed his teeth, ignored his rude brothers, put on his PJ’s and climbed into bed.
He only had to wait about one hour before hearing his brother’s soft snores and the resounding click of his parents’ door closing. Then he quietly crept down the stairs, dressed in full ghost hunting gear, his small heart beating against his chest just a little too fast.
By the time Josh reached the end of the street, he could clearly see the old haunted house because of the full moon. Everything else was dark and scary, and all of the lights were off at the neighbors houses.
He heard an owl’s lonely cry off in the distance, and secretly wished he was back in his nice warm bed with his dog Pepper cuddled at his feet.
But he was determined to go on, so up the stairs he went. (He had a loaded water pistol in his pocket, just in case).
Just as he was about to knock on the front door, it mysteriously creaked open of its own accord.
Now you and I both know there are no such things as ghosts, and scary houses are best visited by a group of good friends on Halloween, not by a 5 year old out alone in the middle of the night. So I can’t really blame him for being completely terrified at this point. But he bravely continued on, not knowing what would befall him.
Suddenly, what looked to him exactly like Mrs. Macready’s ghost appeared at the top of the dark stairs. She was dressed all in white and had wisps of long, grey hair growing out of her ghostly head. She hung over the bannister and said in a very scary, whispery sort of voice, “WHO are you and WHAT do want in my house?”
Well, Josh ran out of there like a ball shot out of a cannon and raced home as fast as he could. He didn’t even notice or hear the laughter coming from inside the haunted house.
He ran up the porch to his house, water pistol (still fully loaded) in hand and tried to push the front door open, but it would not budge. He had inconveniently forgotten to factor this into his night time escape. So, first, he yelled out for his mother and father. Then, he yelled out for his 7 brothers and sisters.
Finally, in desperation, he yelled out for his dog, Pepper to come and save him from what certainly appeared to be an early death.
He yelled so loud and so long that he eventually lost his voice. Everyone in his family woke up with all this commotion, and it was only a matter of minutes before his parents, his 7 brothers and sisters and his dog Pepper came bounding down the stairs to discover what had happened. His parents sent Ethan (the oldest) over to check out the situation at the old haunted house and brought Josh inside.
After a stern lecture on “The Reason That Little Children Do Not Go Out By Themselves At Night”, his parents gave him 6 oatmeal raisin cookies and 2 glasses of milk.
Once he had consumed all this, his voice suddenly returned and he began to tell them what had happened. But just then Ethan came in the door, and he had a big grin on his face. “You know the old Macready house?” Ethan said, “Well it just happens that there are two old folks who DO live there. They just spread rumors and have a spooky ghost decoration hanging from their balcony to scare people off, because they like to go to bed early."
Josh was enormously relieved to hear this and was able to eat 3 more oatmeal raisin cookies and drink one more glass of milk. Once everyone had gone back upstairs, Josh put his PJ’s back on, and his parents tucked him into his nice warm bed. They put Pepper on top of the comforter at the foot of the bed and kissed Josh goodnight.
As he slowly drifted off to sleep, Josh decided that from now on, maybe being the littlest and having 7 big brothers and sisters wasn’t such a bad thing, after all.
by Susan Knight
Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved
Towhead - (Tow rhymes with Row, as in row a boat). A towhead is someone witih very light, almost white blonde hair. Yes, in the photo above, Josh's hair certainly looks darker. That might be because he had to put some goopy stuff on it to make it stand up in a spike. But children who are towheads when they are very young quite often have hair that starts to get darker as they grow older.
Belligerent - (bee-lidge-er-ent) Cranky and angry and always ready to start a fight. Belligerent is not a good thing to be.
Headstrong - Impatient and always wanting to do things his own way, even when it's a bad idea. Headstrong is not a good thing to be.
the Author: Susan Knight holds a B.S.
from The University of Connecticut and an M.S. from Western Connecticut State
University. After working in the Clinical Research field for many years, she
recently left the corporate world to open her own Pet Care business. She also
does volunteer work for a local animal shelter and in her spare time enjoys
writing humorous short stories for adults as well as fun short stories for children.
She lives in Danbury, Connecticut with her two cats, Oreo and Mystic. You may
contact Susan Knight at: KnightSue28@yahoo.com
This author has more wonderful stories online. Find them listed next to her name in the Author section.
Illustrations: Courtesy of Bedtime Story