Authors: R.L. Stine - (ebook by Undead)
Kelsey Moore tried to scream, but the scream stuck in her throat. The giant
Sea Serpent whipped her from side to side. It moved so fast that she could
barely hold on. And then the green monster began to dive.
Kelsey tightened her grip. The Sea Serpent plunged down. Down. Down.
She screamed as the Sea Serpent, the biggest, wildest roller coaster at the
beach, rounded the last corner and suddenly jerked to a stop.
“Wow!” Drew gasped. “I’m glad that’s over.”
“What a gyp,” Kelsey said as she and Drew climbed out of their seats. “I can’t believe we stood in line for twenty minutes for
that. It wasn’t scary at all.”
“A gyp!” Drew cried. “Are you crazy? It was totally scary.”
“No, it wasn’t,” Kelsey said as they headed for the exit. “Did you ever ride
the Exterminator at Echo Ridge?
a scary ride.”
“If it wasn’t scary, how come you were screaming?” Drew asked.
“Me? Screaming?” Kelsey laughed. “
were the one who was screaming.”
“I was not,” Drew lied.
“Were, too,” Kelsey replied. “The same way you screamed on the
“Very funny,” Drew shot back. “I screamed on the merry-go-round when we were
six years old.”
“Yeah, I know,” Kelsey said. “It scared you so much, you haven’t been on it
Drew reached out and yanked Kelsey’s ponytail.
“Cut it out!” she yelled. But she wasn’t really angry. Kelsey and Drew were
best friends—and cousins. Cousins who looked practically liked twins.
They both had the same curly blond hair, the same freckles, the same green
eyes. They even had the same last name. And they were the same age, too. Twelve.
But Kelsey liked to brag that she was older—even if it was only by three weeks.
Every year their parents rented a house together at the beach. And every year Kelsey had to drag Drew on all the rides. She loved
them. He hated them.
It had taken Kelsey two whole summers to convince Drew to ride the Sea
Serpent. And after all that, it was a total letdown.
“I’m telling you,” Kelsey said. “I’ve had scarier walks to school.”
“I know. I know. You live on Fear Street. There are ghosts and monsters there
every day,” Drew replied.
“The stories about Fear Street are true,” Kelsey insisted. “Really strange
things happen to people who live there.”
“Nothing weird has happened to you,” Drew pointed out.
“Not yet,” Kelsey said. But she had plenty of stories to tell about the
ghosts that haunted her neighborhood. And she told them to Drew about twice a
Drew rolled his eyes. “Okay. You’re from Fear Street. Nothing scares you.
Nothing except sand crabs.”
“They don’t scare me,” Kelsey lied. “I just think they’re gross, that’s all.
So what do you want to do now?” she asked, changing the subject.
“Go on the bumper cars?” Drew suggested.
“We can’t,” Kelsey replied. “We don’t have enough money left.”
“What are you talking about?” Drew started digging through his pockets. “We
had almost ten dollars each.”
“Drew, we’ve been on about a hundred rides,” Kelsey began. “And we spent a
fortune trying to win that stupid prize you wanted.”
“It’s not stupid,” Drew insisted. “That video game costs eighty bucks in the
store. We could win it down here for only a quarter.”
“If we could win it for a quarter, how come we’ve already spent
of them trying to get it? Besides, there’s no way to win anything on those giant
wheel games. They’re rigged.”
“That’s not what you said last year,” Drew reminded her. “Remember when you
made us spend all our money trying to win that pink baby elephant?”
“Oh, yeah,” Kelsey replied. “I remember—we didn’t win one single game.”
“Well, this time it’s going to be different. This time we’re going to win
that video game,” Drew declared.
“Okay, okay,” Kelsey gave in. “But we should head home now. It’s almost time
for dinner. We’ll try to win it tomorrow—when we can get more money.”
Kelsey and Drew headed toward the part of the boardwalk that led to the exit.
“I have a little change left,” Drew said, still searching through his
pockets. “Let’s buy some saltwater taffy—” Drew turned to Kelsey, but she was
“Over here,” she called from around a corner. “Check this out.”
“What is it?” Drew asked, turning the bend.
Kelsey stood in front of a creepy old shack. It was made of wood. Splintered,
rotted wood that smelled ancient and moldy.
The small building sagged—the right side stood higher than the left. Kelsey
tried to peer through one of the grimy windows, but it was covered with thick
iron bars. Heavy black curtains draped the panes.
“I don’t know what this is,” Kelsey said, circling the strange old shack.
“I’ve never seen it before.”
Kelsey glanced up and spotted a sign that hung over the doorway. “
,” she read, trying to sound spooky. “It’s a stupid gypsy
fortune-telling place—only the Amazing Zandra is ‘Out to Lunch’.” Kelsey pointed
to the sign.
Drew pressed his nose up against the window in the door to peek inside. He
leaped back, crashing into Kelsey.
“Ouch!” she cried out, rubbing her foot. “What’s the matter with you?”
“Take a look,” Drew whispered.
Kelsey pressed her nose up against the dirty window. She peered into the dark
Then she saw it.
A human skeleton. It stared at her with its hollow eyes.
She inhaled sharply. Then laughed.
“It’s just a skeleton. A prop,” she told Drew. “Fortunetellers use stuff like
that all the time. To make you think they’re spooky and mysterious.”
Kelsey jiggled the doorknob. The door opened with a loud click. “Let’s go
“No way,” Drew told her, stepping back from the door. “We don’t have time.
We’ll be late for dinner.”
“You’re such a chicken,” Kelsey taunted.
“I am not,” Drew shot back. “There’s just no reason to go in. Fortunetellers
are fakes. Everyone knows that. They can’t really tell the future.”
Kelsey pulled the door open wide enough to stick her head inside. The air
inside the shack felt icy cold. It sent a chill down her spine.
She glanced around the room. A layer of thick dust carpeted the floor. Old
books were scattered everywhere.
Kelsey’s gaze shifted to the far wall of the shack, where bookshelves rose from the floor to the ceiling. On them sat tons and
tons of stuffed animals.
Kelsey stared at the animals. They weren’t like the ones she had in her room.
These were real animals.
Real dead animals.
“You’re not going to believe what’s in here,” Kelsey whispered. “Let’s go
“No way!” Drew repeated. Then he tugged Kelsey back. “Let’s go. We’ll be here
all summer. We can come back another time.”
Kelsey sighed. “Oh, all right, but—”
“Stay. Stay,” a raspy voice called from the back of the shack.
Kelsey and Drew turned in time to see a very old woman make her way to the
front of the shack. She pointed a wrinkled, gnarled finger at them. “Come,” she
said. “Come in.”
Kelsey stared at the woman. She wore a red flowered dress that hung down to
the floor. Her face was lined with wrinkles. And her mouth twisted in a half
sneer. But it was her earrings that Kelsey gaped at.
Dozens of gold rings dangled from each ear. Heavy gold earrings that pulled
on her lobes and made them hang low.
She fixed her dark eyes on Kelsey as she spoke again.
Kelsey gasped. The woman had one blue eye and one eye the color of coal.
“Come,” the woman beckoned. “Come inside. There is much to tell. Come, Kelsey
All the color drained from Drew’s face. “Kelsey, how does she know our
names?” he murmured. “How does she know?”
“She probably heard us talking,” Kelsey whispered to Drew.
“But we just walked around the shack. She wasn’t there,” he replied.
“Maybe she heard us through the windows or something,” Kelsey answered.
“Trust me, these fortunetellers are all fakes. You said so yourself.”
“Come, children,” the gypsy woman continued, opening the door wider. “Come
inside.” Then she gazed over her shoulder. “I have something for you.”
“Um, thanks. But we can’t,” Drew said. “We really have to get home.”
The gypsy ignored him. And so did Kelsey. She followed the old woman inside. Drew lunged for Kelsey’s arm and tried to pull
her back, but Kelsey jerked free.
“You have some pretty neat things in here,” Kelsey said to the woman as she
“These are not my things,” she replied. Then she sat down behind a round
table. “Sit.” She motioned to two chairs. “You may call me Madame Valda.”
“I thought she was supposed to be the Amazing Zandra,” Drew whispered as the
two took their seats at the table.
Kelsey shrugged as she watched the gypsy set a folded velvet cloth on the
table in front of her. It was blood-red and held something inside it.
“Madame Valda will tell your fortune now,” the gypsy announced. Then she
opened the cloth to reveal a deck of cards.
“But we don’t have any money to pay you, uh, Madame Gypsy,” Drew said,
“Madame Valda,” the old woman corrected sharply. “I will do it for nothing,”
her voice softened. “Sit! It is a great honor to have Madame Valda tell your
“Sit!” Kelsey echoed.
Drew sat. Madame Valda spread the deck of cards out on the table. She began
to sing softly in a language Kelsey had never heard.
Kelsey watched as the fortuneteller swirled her head around in a circle.
She’d seen fortunetellers in the movies do this. They closed their eyes and sang
themselves into some kind of trance.
Only Madame Valda wasn’t closing her eyes.
She stared straight ahead. Straight at Kelsey.
This is really creepy, Kelsey thought. A nervous giggle escaped her lips.
Madame Valda didn’t seem to notice—or she didn’t care.
She continued to sing.
She continued to stare.
Directly into Kelsey’s eyes.
Kelsey stared back. She felt as if she were in some kind of trance, too. She
couldn’t stop gazing into the woman’s weird eyes.
Finally Madame Valda’s chant came to an end, and she shifted her gaze to the
deck of cards on the table.
Kelsey let out a long sigh. She didn’t realize she’d been holding her breath.
Madame Valda flipped over three cards. They all had strange symbols on them.
Symbols that Kelsey had never seen before.
The gypsy studied the cards for a moment, then turned to Drew.
“Drew Moore,” she said. “I see that you are sometimes more a follower than a
leader. You must be careful to guard against that. It will get you into trouble. Especially when
you let Kelsey make all the decisions.”
Kelsey shot a quick glance at Drew. His jaw dropped and his eyes grew wide.
Kelsey squirmed in her chair.
How did she know Drew’s last name?
Kelsey knew she never said it. And neither did Drew. Not
outside. And not inside.
Then she spotted it. Drew’s beach pass. Pinned to his shirt. With his name
printed in big red letters, Drew T. Moore. Kelsey laughed out loud as she stared
down at her own badge. Then she pointed it out to Drew.
“What is funny?” The old woman snarled.
“Um. Nothing,” Kelsey replied.
“Then why do you laugh?” the old woman pressed.
“Well, it’s just that your fortunetelling powers aren’t all that, um,
mysterious,” Kelsey confessed.
Drew kicked Kelsey under the table.
“Do you think Madame Valda is a fake?” The old woman’s voice rose to a
Madame Valda is a fake,” Kelsey replied, imitating the gypsy’s
“You have insulted the famous Madame Valda,” the fortuneteller roared. She
jerked to her feet and loomed over Kelsey. “Apologize now, or live the rest of
your life in fear.”
“In fear of what?” Kelsey asked, staring directly into Madame Valda’s dark
eye. “I’m not afraid of you.”
“Oh, yes, you are!” Madame Valda cried. “I am the most powerful fortuneteller
who ever lived. And I know all your fears, you foolish child. All your fears!”
“Just say you’re sorry and let’s go,” Drew said, pushing his chair from the
table. Then he added in a whisper, “She’s worse than scary—she’s nuts.”
“No,” Kelsey told Drew. “I am
Madame Valda’s eyes flickered. She leaned in, closer to Kelsey. Kelsey could
feel the gypsy’s hot breath on her face. Then she whispered, “Only a fool is not