Daniel Misumi hated his new house. He hated the vines that crept up the redbrick and the way the peaks over the upstairs windows looked like angry eyebrows. He hated the creaky floors and the weird wallpaper… but most of all, he hated his new attic bedroom—especially when he discovered a ghostly creature was living there.
Daniel’s first clue about the creature was the mysterious puddle at the top of the stairs.
“Oof!” he said, landing on his bum. It was moving day, and he’d been carrying a box of Lego. Pieces crashed to the floor and skittered under the furniture like beetles afraid of the light.
Daniel stood up and examined his wet shorts. “Mom!” he called. “There’s a puddle on my floor!”
Daniel found his mom in the bathroom. She was busy unpacking her bottles of relaxing bubble bath. “Just what we need.” She sighed. “A leak in the roof on our first day.”
Daniel’s father was summoned. He made grim faces at the ceiling and said things like “Welllllll…” and “Let’s see…” but no hole or crack was discovered.
“Maybe it’s not water,” Daniel said as they mopped up the puddle. “It could be corrosive liquid leaking from a rusty pipe.” In such an old house, he wouldn’t have been surprised.
Daniel eyed the ceiling suspiciously, but his dad just said they’d deal with it later.
So Daniel tried to put the puddle out of his mind, but later that night, when he was drifting off to sleep…
“Gots buttermelons? Hmmm?”
His eyes shot open.
“Buttermelons? Nope? None?”
The voice was small and quivering, and if he hadn’t been so terrified, Daniel might have noticed how filled with sadness it was.
He pulled the blankets over his head. At first it seemed to work. The room stayed silent for a long time. So long that Daniel almost convinced himself he’d imagined the whole thing.
“Buttermelons? Peeze! None? Nooooooooo.”
The voice came again, even more quivery than before. Plus, now there was a strange flapping sound.
Daniel sat up, turned on the bedside light and raised his arms in a fierce karate move. He looked around the room.
Copyright © 2018 by Anna Humphrey; illustrated by Kass Reich. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.