The Scariest Haunted House Project - Ever!

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Chapter 1: Stuck in the Middle

Owww!!” Amanda grabbed the back of her head with both hands. She quickly turned around in her desk to see who had pulled her hair.

“What?” Oliver Winston smirked as he leaned back on his school chair, the two front legs well off the floor. He was making sure that he was just out of Amanda’s reach in case she tried to grab him.

“Why did you do that?” demanded Amanda, rubbing the back of her head.

“Do what?” Oliver dropped the smirk in an instant. His now “oh-so-innocent” look was framed by a tangle of wavy blond hair. She wasn’t fooled - he had a nasty glint in his eye that did not match his innocent expression.

“Is there a problem back there?” asked Mr. Lawrence, their 7th grade math teacher. He was tall and thin, with curly white hair and silver wire-frame glasses perched halfway down his long, thin nose. He usually smiled a lot, but right now he looked annoyed. He didn’t like interruptions.

Oliver quickly sat up straight, and the front legs of his chair dropped onto the hard floor. “No, Mr. Lawrence.”

Amanda glared at Oliver, then muttered “You’ll keep,” and turned back to face their teacher. “No, sir.”

“Well then, be quiet and pay attention.” He turned back to the whiteboard, where he was writing out a math problem for the class to solve.

Amanda tucked her long brown hair into her collar, making sure it wasn’t easy for Oliver to reach. She picked up her pencil and began writing down the problem from the board into her workbook, but her mind was not really on the math lesson.

Middle school was tough. Amanda had been one of the taller kids in Primary school, but now she was a “little kid” again, which bugged her a bit.

She had moved up to A. J. Wilkins Intermediate School after the summer, along with two of her best friends, Becky Petrov and Susan Cartwright; they were in a different math class, which meant that Amanda didn’t have any friends in her class. Not yet, anyway. A lot of them came from a different primary school, and she was just getting to know a few of them.

Alice Wong was her other best friend, but she was a year younger and still in J. P. Watson Primary. Even though the two schools were right next door to each other, it felt like Alice was a world away. At least she still saw her at Girl Guides.

Amanda’s younger brother Ben was in the same 6th grade class as Alice, along with his three best friends -  which suited her just fine. Tim and Tom O’Reilly were twins, and they were OK most of the time, but she still found James annoying. James was Susan’s younger brother, so she had to be at least polite to him.

Well… maybe the boys weren’t quite as annoying as they used to be. The boys and girls had worked together to build a fantastic tree house last year, and they had finished it just in time to be able to enjoy it for the whole summer. Nine platforms, five levels…she sighed. Yes, maybe the boys were not so annoying anymore, and they did have some good ideas.

That seems like such a long time ago, she thought as she smoothed her hair with her left hand. She flipped the pencil around in her right hand and started to work on the answer to the math problem in her workbook. 

She tried her best to ignore the other problem. Now there were different annoying boys to worry about - and it is only September! She absently rubbed the back of her head and resumed writing in her workbook.

Contents | >> Chapter 2

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