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By Peter Bently, Chris Harrison
ALBERT WHITMAN & CompanyCopyright © 2010 Peter Bently
All rights reserved.
The school clock was striking nine when a small bat zoomed up to the main entrance of St. Orlok's Elementary School. The bat hovered in front of the doors for a moment, then with a POP! it turned into a boy. It was Lee Price, and he was late for school. Vampire school.
Lee dashed through the doors — and almost crashed right into Mr. E. Gore, the school janitor.
"Hey! Votch vere you're going!" grumbled Mr. Gore.
"Sorry!" called Lee, speeding down the corridor with his black cape flapping behind him.
"Late again, huh?" yelled Mr. Gore.
He shook his fist so hard that little flakes of rotten skin flew off it like green dandruff. "Pesky vampire kids! So unreliable! Ve zombies are always dead on time!"
Lee reached his classroom and burst in just as his teacher, Miss Gargoyle, was taking roll call. All the other young vampires turned to stare at him.
"Sorry I'm late, miss!" he gasped breathlessly, plonking himself down at a table next to his friends Billy Pratt and Bella Williams.
"Really, Lee," sighed Miss Gargoyle. She peered at the clock. "I nearly marked you absent. Tonight of all nights!"
"Sorry, Miss. I forgot my costume and had to go back home for it."
"Good grief!" panicked Miss Gargoyle. "Has anyone else forgotten their phantomime costume?
"No, Miss Gargoyle!" chorused the class.
"Thank goodness for that," said Miss Gargoyle with relief. "There's enough to think about as it is!"
Later that night, Miss Gargoyle's class was performing Snow Fright and the Seven Dwarfs in the school hall. Lee had the part of Gnashful, the dwarf who was always angry.
"Mith Gargoyle! Mith Gargoyle!" piped up Lucy West, who was going to be the Wicked Queen. "My cothtume is bound to be the betht. Shall I show it to the clath?"
"Typical West the Pest," whispered Bella. "Any excuse to show off!" Bella was playing Princess Snow Fright.
"I know," agreed Lee.
"At least she's stopped boasting about how many fangs she's lost."
"Yeah," said Billy, who was playing the hunter who took Snow Fright into the forest. "And about how the Fang Fairy gives her two dollars for each fang."
Excerpted from Stage Fright by Peter Bently, Chris Harrison. Copyright © 2010 Peter Bently. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
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