Posted in The Ghosts of Springhollow

The Plight of Pimples

“Go on. Spit it out,” said Pickles.

“Well, ya see, Grandpa and I were out in the barn one afternoon, when Pimples came running in. Grandpa growled that he was sick to death of rats eating the grain, and before I could stop him, he pulled out his shot gun and blew him away.”

The girls gasped. Tears began pouring down their cheeks. “Oh, poor little Pimples,” cried Piper. “I loved that little chihuahua.”

“I know he looked like a little rat, but how could Grandpa shoot him?” cried Pickles.

“Well, Emma and I think they both might have the early stages of Dementia,” replied the farmer.

“You mean their losing their minds?” asked Pickles.

“That would explain our coversation with Grandma,” said Piper.

Farmer McFadden pulled into the gravel drive that lead to his farm. “I’ll drive you girls to your grandparents after supper. If it makes you feel any better, I gathered him up in my shirt, and gave him a proper burial in our family pet cemetary.”

It did help. Both girls had pictured the worst – Grandpa tossing Pimples’ little body in the field for the Turkey Vultures to feed on. “Thanks, Farmer Mac,”

Posted in The Ghosts of Springhollow

Farmer McFadden to the Rescue

Grandma had hung up on the girls again. They were now at a total loss. “Suggestions,” asked Pickles.

“I say we call Farmer McFadden.”

The made a quick call and fifteen minutes later Farmer Mac, as the girls called him, pulled in with his bright red truck.

“Well, hello girls! This is a surprise,” said the old farmer as he jumped out of his pickup. “Grandma never said anything about you girls coming.”

“Not surprised,” mumbled Piper.

“It’s a long story,” said Pickles.

“Can’t wait to hear it!”

Farmer Mac helped the girls load their gear into the back of the pickup.

“Thanks so much for picking us up,” said Pickles.

“You’re lucky I was able to get here so fast,” he replied. “I just happened to be at the feed shop when you called.”

They climbed into the cab. The girls were worn out from the days adventure. “You two look like you could use a good meal.”

Piper and Pickles faces immediately brightened.

“Emma’s fixin’ up homemade soy burgers, chips, and broccoli smothered in cheese. If that doesn’t tempt ya, she’s making her prize winning apple pie topped with homemade ice cream for dessert,” he said with a sly smile.

“I’m in!” they both said cheerily.

The drove down the road in silence. The girls thinking about the delicious meal ahead, and Farmer Mac wondering why the girls were here.

“If you don’t mind me askin’, why are you girls up here?”

“Actually,” said Piper, giving a side glance at Pickles, “Grandma sent us a couple tickets to arrive today.”

“Ah,” replied the old farmer as he rubbed his stubby chin. “They forgot.”

“A bit more than that,” replied Pickles. The girls then described the whole phone call situation, and read the letter aloud to him. The farmer became very quiet, as though he was unsure of what to say. He straightened his cap and rubbed his chin again.

“Well, ya see, it’s like this. Your grandpa sold me the sheep 5 months ago. Emma finally opened her yarn shop and needed more fleece – so I bought them.”

“Didn’t he tell Grandma?” asked Pickles.

“Of course. She was happy to see them go to a good home.”

“Did you take Pimples too then?” asked Piper.

A strained look crossed the farmers face. It was obvious it wasn’t a story he wanted to tell. Piper wasn’t sure she wanted to know.

Posted in The Ghosts of Springhollow

Stuck at the Station

The rest of the trip was uneventful, and the girls fell asleep. They only awakened when the train whistle blew to announce it was entering the Springhollow Station.

Springhollow Station was small. The building was shaped like a brick shoebox, with a pale green wooden sign on the wall announcing the station name.  The town itself was located a quarter mile up the road.

As the train pulled in, both girls looked eagerly out the windows for Grandma. “Do you see her?” asked Piper.

“Not yet,” replied Pickles. “Do you think we should have called her first to let her know we were coming?”

“No. Grandma is a stickler for details. She’ll have it on her calendar.”

Moments later they were standing on the platform with their gear. Still no grandma. No grandpa. No anyone.

“She’s probably just running a little late,” said Piper.

Fifteen minutes passed. Then, twenty. Then, thirty. Still no grandma.

“I’m beginning to feel like one of the Pevensie kids,” said Pickles.

“Who?”

“Narnia.”

Piper laughed. “Yeah, it is beginning to feel that way.”

“I think we should call her,” said Pickles.

“Agreed.”

The girls pulled out their phones. “On three,” said Piper. “One…two…three…rock, paper, lizard, scissors, Spock!”

“Yes!!!” cried Pickles. “Lizard pees on rock!”

“Wrong! Rock crushes lizard, pillock!” Piper laughed, pressed Grandma’s name, switched the phone to speaker, and waited.

“Hello?”

“Grandma Hairy Lip! Where are you?”

“Hairy lip? Hairy lip?” replied the old woman on the other end with anger. “I hate prank phone calls!”

“Grandma? Grandma, it’s me! Piper!”

There was no response.

“Grandma? Hello?”

“Well, that settles it,” said Pickles. “You’ve either killed her, or she’s hung up.”

“You try calling her.”

Pickles pressed Grandma’s name, switched the phone to speaker, and the girls waited.

“Hello?”

“Grandma, this is Pickles.”

“Oh, Pickles! I thought you might be that rude prank caller again.”

The girls covered their mouths giggling. “I’m calling to find out where you’re at?”

“What do you mean where I’m at? I’m at home of course,” laughed Grandma.

“No, I mean, when are you coming after us?”

“Oh, dear, you live way too far away for me to pick you up. Why not have your father bring you.”

The girls looked at one another surprised. “Do you think we made a mistake?” asked Piper looking nervous.

“No, Grandma. Don’t you remember sending us train tickets? We’re here at the station in Springhollow.”

“Oh, did I?”

There was a long pause. “Yes, you did.”

“Oh, Pickles, I’m so sorry. I’m getting so forgetful these days. I’ll be there in half an hour.”

“Well, there we go! Only thirty more minutes,” said Pickles triumphantly.

“Good. I’m starved,” replied Piper.

The girls kicked back and waited. Thirty minutes went by. Sixty. Still no grandma. With a groan, Pickles pulled out her phone and called again.

“Hello?”

“Grandma? Did you forget you’re coming after us?”

“Who is this?”

Pickles laid flat on the floor and pretended to die.

Posted in The Ghosts of Springhollow

Chapter 2: Bored on the Train

The girls plopped down in their seats in the front of the car. Looking out the window, Pickles waved like a lunatic at her dad, acting like she was going on a cruise. Beside her, Piper was debating on whether to look at her mom or not.

“Is Mom behaving?” she asked staring down at the floor with her nails digging into the arms of her seat.

“Yes! She’s fine.”

“You’re lying.”

“Of course I’m lying. Your mom is standing there looking frightened out of her wits.”

“She doesn’t look like she’s about to jump on the train and yank me off, does she?”

Pickles continued waving and staring at her Aunt Sara. Her aunt had been totally against the trip. She still hadn’t gotten over their last investigation, “The Carnival of Zombies,” where the girls nearly died.

Thankfully, Pickles dad was all for them going. After all, it was to help his parents. What could possibly go wrong?

Pickles watched as her dad stepped back out of Sara’s view, and gave Pickles a thumbs up.

“All’s good! Dad just gave the thumbs up!”

Pickles finally looked out the window and waved. If her mom made a move for the train, Uncle Joe would grab her. Regardless, Piper didn’t feel safe until the train was a good mile from the station.

The train ride at first was fun. The girls spent the first couple hours playing games. Then, reading. But six hours in – the scenery was nothing but trees, and Pickles was dying of boredom.

“You’re not,” said Piper giggling. Her face was already turning red. She curled up in her seat staring at Pickles, knowing it was coming.

“Yes, I am,” grinned Pickles as she sat staring intensely at the floor.

“Oh no.”

“Oh yes!”

In a flash, Pickles was up with her hands on the window yelling, “BIG FOOT!!! OH MY GOSH! IT’S BIG FOOT! LOOK AT HIM RUN! OOPS…HE TRIPPED. YOU KNOW THAT HAD TO HURT!”

There were giggles from people in the car. Piper buried her head in her hands and couldn’t stop laughing. Little kids raced to the windows desperate to see Big Foot. Turning around to face everyone in the car, Pickles double fist pumped and yelled, “BEST DAY EVER!!!” That brought more laughter from the adults. A few little kids yelled out, “You liar! There wasn’t no Big Foot!” Pickles laughed, spinned and plopped back down in her seat.

Piper looked over at her, still ready to die a thousand deaths, and noticed a young businessman in the seat across the aisle filming them with his phone. When he stopped, Piper called over to him, “Bet you’re glad you don’t have kids like her.”

“Thanks a lot,” said Pickles.

“Actually, I wish I did!” he laughed. “Mine are too serious. Take after their mother.”

Pickles looked over at Piper with a smile of victory. Looking back at the man, she stood up and said, “Let me give you my business card.”

The man laughed, “Business card?”

“It’s to my vlog. If this doesn’t turn your kids into weirdos – nothing will,” she said with pride.

“That’s for sure,” chimed in Piper.

 

Posted in The Ghosts of Springhollow

Chapter 1: The Letter

Dear Pickles and Piper,

Your grandfather and I are in need of your assistance. Last week, a couple sheep disappeared, and this week, my beloved Pimples vanished! I’m sorry this has nothing to do with zombies. I know how much the two of you love them.

Enclosed are a pair of train tickets. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple days.

Love,
Grandma

PS: You’ll have to sleep in the barn. Turd has taken over the second floor. Last week, he pushed Grandpa down the stairs and now he’s in a wheelchair. Hope you don’t mind milking the cows.

Pickles jumped up on her bed waving the letter about yelling, “WE’RE GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!

“Hand over the letter, Bilbo,” said Piper.

“Why aren’t you up here celebrating? It’s not going to be a boring summer after all!”

Piper reached up and yanked the letter out of Pickles’ hand. Pickles watched as she walked about the room carefully reading every word.

“If you were a ginger, you’d be smart enough to understand a simple letter,” said Pickles with a big grin as she plopped down on her bed.

“Shut up, pillock,” mumbled Piper. “There’s something wrong with this letter.”

“Ok, Sherlock, tell me. Let’s hear your dazzling brain at work.”

“First of all, she put your name first. She never does that.”

“Maybe she’s finally caught on that gingers are more awesome than browns,” said Pickles with a nasty grin.

Piper raised one eyebrow and gave her a skeptical look. “She also used ‘grandfather’ instead of ‘the old poop.”

Pickles sat upright.

“Ah! Now I’ve got your attention. Follow along Watson. She ends with ‘lots of love,’ since when?” asked Piper.

“She always ends with ‘your partner in crime,”’ replied Pickles, now fully alert to all she’d missed. “Hand me that letter.”

“Not so fast, Watson! She signed it ‘grandma.”

“It should have been ‘your hairy lipped grandma,'” replied Pickles softly now looking thoroughly worried.

“Final question. Since when is the Turd aggressive?”

“Yeah, that doesn’t make sense at all.”

“There’s more to this case than meets the eye, Watson. We’d better get packed.”