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A Ghost In The Attic?
"Thump, thump, thump," Patty O'Leary whispered in a spooky voice. "The footsteps crept slowly up the stairs."
My heart started pounding. I held my breath.
My twin sister, Ashley, and I were up in the attic of our California house with a bunch of friends. Clue, our brown-and-white basset hound, lay at my feet.
Ashley and I are detectives. We run the Olsen and Olsen Mystery Agency-the attic is our office. But we weren't solving a mystery right then. It was the day before Halloween, and we were telling ghost stories.
"Thump, thump, thump!" Patty's voice grew louder. "The footsteps came closer...and closer...and closer!"
My heart pounded harder. I shivered.
Ashley nudged my arm. "It's only a story, Mary-Kate. You know, no one has ever proved that ghosts really exist."
That's Ashley -- totally logical. She and I look alike, with strawberry blond hair and blue eyes. But we're really very different. Ashley always thinks things through. I like to follow my feelings.
Right then I was feeling scared!
I didn't want to admit it, though. "I know it's just a story," I said. "But a ghost story is no fun if you don't let yourself get scared."
"Mary-Kate's right," Samantha Samuels said.
"Yeah" Zach Jones agreed.
Jeremy Burns nodded. "Keep going, Patty."
"I can't just start again in the middle," Patty complained. "I hatebeing interrupted. You ruined the story, Ashley."
Ashley and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Patty is so spoiled, we sometimes call her "Princess Patty."
"Oh, come on, Patty. You can do it," Tim Park told Patty.
Patty stared at the ceiling a second. Then she cleared her throat. "Whoo...whoo! Eerie wails echoed down the hall of the old Bennett house."
I tried not to shiver. Maybe Ashley is right and there aren't any ghosts. But the Bennett house is real -- and really spooky. It's a huge, deserted house three blocks from where Ashley and I live. Sometimes you can hear a weird wailing sound coming from it. Just like in Patty's story Ashley says it's only the wind in the chimney. I'm not so sure.
"Ellen Bennett sat straight up in bed," Patty continued. "She called out for her parents. But there was no answer!"
"She went downstairs to look for her mom and dad. She checked the living room, the dining hall, the library...no parents."
"Suddenly she heard the footsteps again. Right behind her," Patty whispered. "She spun around and saw...nothing! But the footsteps kept coming closer...and closer!"
I twisted my fingers together. Patty might be a pain, but she sure was good at telling ghost stories.
"Ellen screamed," Patty continued. "She ran back up to her room and slammed the door. Then she heard footsteps on the stairs -- closer...and closer. And then...a knock came at her bedroom door!"
Bam, Bam, BAM! A knock came at the attic door!
Samantha screamed. Tim yelped. I jumped out of my chair.
Clue leaped to her feet and barked.
Ashley giggled. "That must be the ghost," she teased. "I'll get it."
My heart pounded like crazy as Ashley walked to the door. She pulled it open.
We all stared -- and saw...
"Russell Finney!" Patty yelled at our six-year-old neighbor. "You sneak! Why did you try to scare us like that?"
"I didn't!" Russell protested as Clue sniffed his sneakers.
"Well, what do you want?" Patty demanded.
Russell looked at Ashley and me. "I need your help, Mary-Kate and Ashley. I have a mystery for you to solve!"New Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley #13: The Case Of The Green Ghost. Copyright � by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.