Monday, June 2, 2008


This one I like! Mrs. Garrett gives it four out of five Tooties.

My Description:

It's late. A seemingly peaceful, silent night in the neighborhood. Melissa Dryden, our "heroine", breaks the silence with her screams. She was awakened by a strange scraping noise coming from beneath her bedroom window. Her father comes running into the room. Melissa explains the problem and rather than slip her some Ativan, Dad decides to investigate. What he finds will live in infamy for all eternity: the most horrifying, menacing tree branch in all of Shadyside! AIIIIEEEEE! We're starting this one off with a BANG. Melissa's mom comes in and asks what the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on. Melissa says she thought the Fear Street Prowler was tapping on her window. Fear Street Prowler? This is a new one. Her mom tells her that nothing has ever happened to them in all the time they've lived on Fear Street (so?) and then asks her if she ever brushes her hair. Melissa says she likes it wild. Ok then. Dad gets a little creepy, asking Melissa "What are you wearing?" This isn't one of those 1-900 numbers you're so fond of, pops. It's your daughter! Apparently, Melissa uses one of her Dad's old T-shirts as a nightgown and he wants it back. Melissa brings up the Fear Street Prowler again, telling her mother that it's in the newspapers practically everyday. Mom just changes the subject: "It's so hot in here. It's eighty degrees outside. Why don't you open that window?" And practically WELCOME the prowler inside? No thanks. Mom tells Dad that it's time to go back to bed, but Dad wants to get his creep on AGAIN and tells Melissa he wants to show her something. She refuses so he picks her up and carries her to his bedroom. Is your skin crawling yet? He takes a small silver pistol out of his bedside drawer and tells Melissa that he bought it after stories of the Fear Street Prowler began surfacing. Melissa feels slightly better after she sees it. As she exits the room, her father tells her he wants his shirt back tomorrow. Whatever you want, freaky.

Melissa gets in bed, but she doesn't fall asleep right away. She sits and thinks about Buddy, her boy-toy. Earlier that night, Buddy had taken Melissa to River Ridge, their favorite make-out spot. Melissa wants to talk for a few minutes--Buddy has been on vacation and she's curious as to how it was. But Buddy just wants to get down to the hot stuff. He starts kissing her instead of answering her questions. She breaks away and he tells her "We can talk later." as he shoves his hands up her shirt. Back off, man! Melissa tells him she just wants to talk right now. Buddy gets pissed and starts the car. Guess this date is over. When he pulls into Melissa's driveway, he apologizes. He must be sincere because when she kisses him on the cheek and runs to her house, he doesn't try to grab for her or anything. Melissa finally starts to get sleepy and thoughts of Buddy cease (thankfully).

The next day, Melissa is lying on her bed wondering whether or not she should get her hair cut. Since she likes it wild, she isn't too sure about a cut. After pondering her hairy wildness, she then asks herself "And why am I reading this Stephen King novel? There I was, scared silly by a twig on the window last night, and this afternoon I'm reading this creepy book." And here I was, thinking Stephen King would never again be mentioned in an R.L. Stine novel. How wrong I was! Melissa hears her father come in and yell "I'm home!" Who cares?! She goes downstairs to greet him. I swear, the dynamic between these two just gets weirder for me. Her dad behaves as if he is her husband or something, not her father. When Melissa reaches him, she asks "What's the smile for, Daddy? Aren't you home a little early?" Dad responds (with a pouty expression on his stupid face) "Aren't you glad to see me?" She jokingly says no and he tells her that she will be when she sees what he has for her. See what I mean? It's just vaguely creepy. Melissa asks him what it is and he tells her that it's an early birthday present. As Melissa is considering what it could possibly be, Dad hands her a set of car keys. Ugh, you all know how I feel about high schoolers and brand new cars being handed to them for no reason other than their parents can pony up the dough. Melissa is totally psyched and gives Dad a giant hug. Aw. Melissa runs outside to sit in her new blue Pontiac Firebird. Her dad follows her and says he may wanna borrow it from time to time. Then we get a sob story in which he tells Melissa that he never had things like this when he was younger. Melissa feels bad and kisses him on the cheek. She tells him that she wants to show her friend, Della, the car and runs inside to grab her purse. When she's behind the wheel, Dad tells her that she looks great. Shut up.

As Melissa drives, she thinks about how her friends will be blown away by her new goods. She notices she's speeding so she lets up on the gas pedal. She momentarily freaks out because it feels like the wheel is jerking in her hands...then the temperature inside the car gets noticably cooler...then she hears someone whispering her name...then the wheel jerks to the left, putting the car in the path of an oncoming truck. And I'll be damned if Stine doesn't end the chapter there!

Well, apparently Melissa lived because the next chapter opens with her birthday party and it isn't taking place in a hospital room or at a funeral home. It's Friday night and Melissa's house is crowded with friends of her's. She and Della are talking about how her new car is in the garage, but the mechanics still don't know what's wrong with it. Ghostly shenanigans cannot be detected by mechanics! Anyway, a dorky prep (they do exist!) named Pete Goodwin shows up and tells Melissa he got her a Weird Al CD. Thankfully this is Pete's idea of a joke. Della has a huge crush on this guy, but Melissa doesn't understand why: "For a long time she had wondered why Della liked him so much. Sure, he was nice looking. But he was so straight and preppy, and he always seemed sort of snobby and stiff. Here he was in his standard outfit--tan chinos and a white pullover shirt with the little black Polo pony on the breast. His wavy brown hair was short and perfectly parted. He looked like such a preppie. He loosened up a lot after he got to know you, though." Yeah, he loosens up after a couple of tequila shots...maybe some Mary Jane...a little angel dust. We find out Melissa is jealous of Della, even though they're close friends: "Della, of course, looked as beautiful as ever. Her straight black hair, tied loosely by a plain white ribbon, fell softly down her back. Her silky green blouse matched her eyes. Her black, straight-legged jeans showed off her perfect model's figure." Della makes Melissa and her frizzy wild blond hair look like shit.

The party is slamming--a nerd that dances like a penguin, potato chips, and NO FREAKY PARENTS! Melissa is not joining in the fun, though, because Buddy isn't there. Boo hoo. He shows up a few minutes later in a sleeveless blue shirt and white tennis shorts. Hawt? Melissa thinks so. He gives her a gift and she tells him to stay after everyone has left and she'll open it then. Some guy named David Metcalfe shouts from across the room "Hey Buddy! Bet I know what you're giving Melissa for her birthday!" He says it "suggestively with a dirty leer on his face." Keep it in your pants, mister. Melissa puts on a slow song and most everyone pairs off. After a while, Melissa announces it's time for cake. Whoo hoo! It's a huge chocolate cake that is "moist and delicious". Can I have some? As Melissa is passing out cake (to everyone but me) the guests start discussing games. David wants to play spin-the-bottle and dirty doctor. I think we all know what this kid is gonna be doing when he gets home. *cough* Anyway, it's time for Melissa to open presents. Yay! I like birthday parties. The gang walks into the downstairs guest bedroom where Melissa stored the presents and everyone is shocked: the presents have been ripped open and scattered across the room. Oh's your party and you can cry if you want to.

After everyone else leaves, Buddy sticks around. Melissa's parents walk in just as they start kissing. "The party's still going on?" Mom asks. BUSTED. Dad asks how the party went and Melissa tells them it was awesome (I want a nerdy boy who dances like a penguin at MY next party). Dad is disappointed that everyone ate all the tater chips. "Did they eat ALL the potato chips?" Yes. Now shut up and go to bed. Mom admires the silver pendant that Buddy gave Melissa. Buddy, Melissa, and Mom talk for a few minutes more about the party while Dad lurks about in the shadows, I assume. He's off in the fucking head, man. Buddy leaves and everyone goes to their respective rooms. As Melissa is putting on her nightshirt (yes, it's Daddy's...even though he specifically asked her to return it.) she starts to wonder who trashed her gifts. The only other person in house was the housekeeper, Marta, but she was busy in the kitchen the entire time. Melissa is completely lost in thought, but she snaps back to reality when she realizes how chilly it has suddenly gotten in her room. know what that means... Melissa gets out of bed and spots some guy hiding in the shadows. Daddy? Nah. "A young man stepped out of the shadows at the foot of her bed. She couldn't see his face. The light from the window formed an outline around his dark form. She could see that he had long dark hair, narrow shoulders. He had no face. Only the blackness of night where his face should have been." HE HAD NO FACE? If I saw that shit in the corner of my room, I'd...I don't know what I'd do...but it wouldn't be good. Damn it, now I can't stop looking over my shoulder. Melissa asks who he is and what he's doing there. Shadow Boy doesn't speak, just takes a few steps towards her. Melissa comes to the conclusion that this is the dreaded Fear Street Prowler and starts screaming at the top of her lungs.

Shadow Boy keeps moving closer...until Dad bursts into Melissa's room and flips on the light. Mom is close behind. Melissa tells them that there was a boy in her room. But he's nowhere to be found. Dad thinks that the kid might have leapt out the window and Mom freaks out 'cause Dad is leaning too far out. He pulls himself back inside and says there's no-one out there. Duh. Mom wants to call the cops, but Dad nixes that idea because there's no-one around and the cops would just think they're nuts. Sir, you live on Fear Street...crazy shit goes down there all the time and I'm sure the cops have received more than their fair share of nutty calls. Melissa is extremely upset and Dad goes over to comfort her, of course. Mom is pretty angry ("If he was real, where is he? Why can't you describe him?") Personally, I think she's jealous of the attention that Melissa gets. And she gets plenty of it. Dad doesn't stop holding out his arms to Melissa, but she keeps pushing him away. Finally, she tells them both that she's tired and sorry she woke them. When she's alone, Melissa just stands there in the dark thinking about Fear Street. We get the usual: rambling Victorian mansions (always rambling!), Simon Fear's burned out mansion, the tall dark trees. Just as Melissa decides to get to bed, she feels two hands on her back, pushing her toward the open window. She grabs the frame and turns around to face her attacker. No-one is there. She freaks out for a moment: "I know you're here!" She looks in the closet, under the bed, and out the open window. Isolated. She considers calling for her father, but decides against it because really, what can he do? Eventually, she crawls into bed and manages to fall asleep.

The next day, Melissa is hanging out with Shadyside's favorite date rapist, Buddy. He's cleaning his garage in what strikes Melissa as a peculiar manner: throwing everything in the garage out onto the lawn. That would make sense if he were going to sort through the junk and throw some of it away or whatever. But he's just going to put it all back inside the way that he found it. Ok. Instead of dwelling on the state of the garage, Melissa turns her attention to Buddy's outfit: "He was wearing a stained, plain white T-shirt and faded jean cutoffs, white sneakers with no socks. He looks great, Melissa thought." Great? I don't think so. Wonder how short those cutoffs are. As Buddy is getting all sweaty and such, Melissa tells him about her scary night. Buddy tells her that it was probably a shadow to which Melissa replies "Shadows don't push you out windows!" Amen, sister. Buddy tells Melissa to chill out and that only makes her angrier. You're not so smooth after all, Bud. Melissa calms down and the conversation turns to the Fear Street Prowler. Do we have to go here AGAIN? Really? Buddy scoffs at the idea of the Prowler being in Melissa's house and this is apparently Melissa's cue to take off on her bike to meet Della so they run off to the mall and spend the afternoon shopping. Phew.

The mall trip pokes holes in my soul. Melissa complains a lot in the dressing room while Della reassures her that she doesn't look like total crap. A chick named Krissie that is tagging along with Della and Melissa spots a girl that enters the store and can't resist pointing out her heinous ensemble: "Do you believe what that girl is wearing? Are those plastic pedal pushers? And look at that tacky top with the fringe. Oh no. I don't BELIEVE the white plastic boots!" Krissie = Reva Dalby wannabe. Melissa tells Krissie that she knows that girl ("Her name is Marylou. She was at my day camp when I was little.") Krissie says "Someone should SEND her to camp in that tacky outfit!" Lame. Melissa replies that Marylou is poor and Krissie seems not to know what "poor" means so Melissa enlightens the little wench: "Don't you know what poor means, Krissie? It means she doesn't have much money. Her family lives over in the Old Village. She has a whole bunch of brothers and sisters. She probably can't afford nice clothes." Krissie still doesn't get the message: "Being poor is in bad taste." But Melissa is prepared: "Not funny. I don't ever want to be rich snob who turns her nose up at people." SCORE.

The girls leave the mall a little later. As Melissa is driving home, she hears the voice whispering her name and the car suddenly becomes very cold. She looks over at the passenger seat and sees "a young man, probably about her age. Tough looking. With black greasy hair down to his collar. And dark, dangerous eyes. Dressed all in the blue denim." Is there a factory in Shadyside that manufactures bad asses? Because every tough dude in this town is SO cookie cutter. They're all carbon copies--same greasy hair, denim, and creepy eyes. Melissa cries out and slams into the car in front of her. The owner of the car--a grumpy middle-aged man--comes to Melissa's window and asks if she's stoned. She apologizes, but doesn't answer his question. The man gets red faced and angry. He just wants to get home to his doll collection and 'I Love Lucy' marathon, dammit!

Melissa manages to make her way home where she tells her parents about her rendezvous with a ghost boy. (She neglects to mention Mr. Red Face and the accident.) Her 'rents are pretty nonchalant about the whole thing, mostly because they're rational people who think their daughter's psycho babble is a silly ploy for attention. At dinner, Melissa's dad tells her that he and Mom are taking off to a "lawyers' convention" in Las Vegas next weekend. WTF? I didn't know lawyers gathered like this. Then again, I live under a fucking rock so I'm unaware of a lot of things. They invite Melissa, but she doesn't really wanna go and who could blame her? Mom and Dad tell her she needs to get out of the house more and Melissa, as a matter of fact, is about to: she has a date with Buddy. It's warm can only assume he'll be wearing those sexy cutoffs. Rawr. Melissa goes upstairs to shower. She decides to wear a "red ribbed sweater with fringe along the hem and a new pair of jeans." I had a friend who once had a sweater just like that...she looked sort of like David Crosby...and I'm getting a little sidetracked. While Melissa is dressing, the ghost boy appears. Pervert! We get more descriptions of the boy: dark brown hair that looks as if it hasn't been washed in weeks, thick eyebrows, high cheekbones, and "a mouth that seemed to fall naturally into an unpleasant sneer." And of course he's clad head to toe in denim. Being a ghost is no excuse for wearing a denim tuxedo! Anyway, she actually has a convo with ghost boy. She tells him that he made her dent her car. The ghostly one doesn't care, saying "So? You can just buy another one, right?" Oh, right, because she's rich and all. We can now assume ghost boy was poor in his previous life. Then ghost boy drops a bomb: Melissa killed him! She doesn't remember killing anyone and denies it completely. Most of ghost boy's memory is gone, too (death does that to you) but he's damned sure that it was Melissa who killed him. She refuses to believe he's dead because he looks so ALIVE. But when she reaches out to touch him, her hand goes right through him. Spoooooooooky. Melissa wants to know why she killed him, but he doesn't know. She asks his name; "Paul". He says he's back for revenge; he must kill Melissa! Melissa swears she didn't kill him, but he doesn't buy it. "You're a rich liar. And rich liars have to die!" Melissa bargains with the homicidal ghost, saying "I can help you! I WILL help you. I'll do everything I can to find the truth. Really." He just shakes his head, tells her he'll kill her later, and vanishes. Hmmm, something to look forward to.

Melissa leaves a few minutes later for Buddy's house. On the way, she thinks about Paul and how he must have mistaken her for someone else and surely she wold've remembered killing someone. Melissa wanted to explain the situaton to her mom and dad, but she knows they won't believe her. But she thinks Buddy will. Does she not remember his reaction when she tried to talk to him earlier about the whole Fear Street Prowler thing? If he was skeptical about that, he sure as hell isn't going to believe that she's being haunted. Melissa arrives at Buddy's and he comes to greet her. They were supposed to go to a movie, but Melissa wants to talk instead. Buddy doesn't pay attention to Chatty Cathy. He just wants to drive her car. He tells her they can drive and talk because it's "a real mob scene" at his house (his sister has a lot of friends...unlike him). As Buddy drives, Melissa asks if he recalls a kid named Paul being killed in the recent past. He says no so Melissa decides to tell him the whole crazy story. Buddy pulls over to the side of the road and basically tells her she's nuts and needs help. Blunt much? Melissa tells him to take her home and she'll prove it. Come on, Mel! If you've ever seen a horror movie where the dumb bimbo of a main character tries to show people the freaky ghost that won't stop haunting her, you KNOW that the ghost doesn't show up when other people are searching for it! Phew...that was a little longwinded and slightly nonsensical...but you get my drift.

When Melissa and Buddy arrive at her house, she notices that her parents' Volvo is gone. "I guess my parents went out." Could have fooled me. Melissa drags Buddy up to her room (saucy) and tries to convince him that the ghost will show up soon. Buddy trashes that idea: "This is a waste of time. Please sit down. Let's try to talk logically about this. There's no such thing as ghosts. Even on Fear Street." Damn you and your logic, Buddy! I don't read these books for logic! At that very moment, they hear footsteps coming closer. Is it a ghost?! No, there's a much more LOGICAL explanation: it's just Marta, the housekeeper, who peeks in and tells Melissa her parents are at the Daltons' and she's putting away these freshly laundered towels and going straight to bed. I guess she's also turning a blind eye to the fact that there's a teenage boy in Melissa's bedroom late at night. Marta leaves and Melissa and Buddy continue their pointless conversation about Paul the unfriendly ghost. Finally, they stop yapping and cuddle for a moment...on second thought, I think I'd prefer the incessant babble. They start kissing and Melissa sees Paul lunge for Buddy. She screams, but Buddy doesn't see Paul. Of course not! Paul's spirit came back to earth only because he has a bone to pick with Melissa; he has no reason to manifest himself to anyone else. Seriously, Melissa, get thee to Blockbuster. Melissa is freaking out because she sees Paul punch Buddy in the back of the head (which is kind of awesome). Buddy doesn't feel a thing, but he's incredibly disturbed by Melissa's behavior and heads for the door. Paul leaves before Buddy and Melissa calms down. Buddy tells her she's having a breakdown and Melissa tells him to leave, she'll call him in the morning.

As soon as Buddy leaves, Paul returns. He carries on about Melissa's wealthy status: "You rich people like to stick together. It makes it easier for you to stick your nose up at people like me." Melissa tells him that Buddy isn't rich. Paul doesn't understand what Melissa sees in Buddy then. Ha. It's the cutoffs, man. Paul tells Melissa that he should kill her now. He doesn't, though, because this psychotic ghost has a crush. Ghosts need love, too. "I'll kill you later. First, I want to have some fun." That isn't the way to speak to your lady love, Paul.

Melissa takes a trip to the library on Monday morning to check out some microfilm.She scours newspaper clippings, searching for any article that could possibly pertain to Paul's death. After three hours, she still hasn't found anything so she leaves. Outside, she comes upon Della who runs inside to return some books and runs back outside to chat with Melissa. Mel asks Della if she knew of a boy their age named Paul who died, but Della has no idea. Melissa comes to the conclusion that Paul must have went to a high school across town (South). Della's cousin, Tracy ("the one with the teeth" Apparently, Tracy used to be a little bucktoothed.) happens to attend South herself. Mel and Della drive to Tracy's house in the Old Village. Tracy comes outside to greet them. She's short and thin with short, spiky blond hair and happens to be babysitting a couple of kidlets at the moment. Della introduces the girls and I can't help but cringe when Melissa says to Tracy "'re the one with the teeth." Tracy is cool, though, laughing and saying "Not anymore." Della asks Tracy about a boy dying and Tracy says a boy DID die last spring! Unfortunately, his name was Vince Alexander, a blond jock who probably washed his hair regularly and wore small amounts of denim. Melissa is disappointed and she and Della leave a few minutes later.

When Melissa gets home, she finds Buddy pacing in her living room. Apparently, Melissa's mom let him in and then left to go grocery shopping. I find this unsettling for some reason. Do they really trust him THAT much? Buddy tells Melissa that he wants to go out tonight; he'll pick her up at eight and they'll go to Red Heat (a shitty club) They kiss and have the following icky exchange: Buddy-"Wow. That was easy. What would you have done if I asked you to dinner, too?" Melissa-"Don't look at me like that. I'm not that kind of girl." Yeah.

They arrive at Red Heat later that night and we get a little background about the place: "Before it had become a teen dance club, Red Heat had been a farm equipment warehouse. From the outside, the long, tall building still looked like a warehouse. But all thoughts of farm machinery vanished once they stepped onto the hangar-sized dancefloor." Classy. The interior isn't all that and a bag of chips either: the floor is mismatched squares of linoleum, all kinds of crazy colors; the walls are bright red along with pretty much all the furnishings. Buddy and Melissa are having an awesome time dancing in the dark. Melissa is sporting some seriously insane duds: "a sparkly midriff length top and black spandex bicycle shorts under a thigh length purple skirt." Why oh why? They take a break and Melissa makes the mistake of bringing up Paul. Buddy gets pissed and Melissa runs away from him, purple skirt flying. She makes her way outside and finds a couple of punks sitting on car hoods and drinking booze. They start yelling at her to join the "party". She ignores them at first...until she recognizes one. "Paul, what are you doing here?" He's REAL? Apparently so. Melissa has a hard time believing it, but he's there in the flesh, guzzling grandpa's cough medicine from a paper sack. Paul starts acting like a total S.O.B. telling Melissa that she's a tease and grabbing her arms refusing to let go. Melissa keeps gazing around for Buddy, but he's still pouting in a corner somewhere. Paul finally lets go of Melissa to wrestle with one of his friends. Melissa runs away from the male-on-male action and heads back toward the club. She's standing outside the doors catching her breath when Buddy comes running up. She doesn't tell him about Paul, she just begs him to take her home.

Later, Melissa is lying in bed thinking about the night's earlier events. She recalls the pure hatred she saw on Paul's face when he accosted her. Suddenly, Paul appears in her room, lurking in the shadows. She tells him to get out rather than asking him how he was so ALIVE a little earlier.

The next morning, Mel eats breakfast and drives to the Stop 'N' Shop. She recognized one of the drunk losers hanging out with Paul the night before. His name is Frankie and he works at this particular grocery store. When she reaches him, he acts a little shifty, but agrees to talk to her. She doesn't really say much, asking when Paul died. Frankie is totally confused and weirded out by her question because PAUL ISN'T DEAD! Or is he? What the hell is going on?! Melissa and Frankie part ways, with Melissa telling herself they were talking about different Pauls. Can you say 'denial'? In the parking lot, Melissa believes someone is following her. Who is it? If you guessed Paul, you win a prize that I don't have! You lucky thing you. He comes out from behind a car and Melissa asks him why he's acting like such a creep when all she wants to do is help him. Yet she STILL doesn't ask him about his ghostly status! Or the lack thereof. He tries to apologize, but Melissa is having none of it and quickly leaves.

When she gets home, freaking PAUL is sitting on her bed. Things get slightly more confusing when Melissa asks him how he got from the parking lot to her house so fast and Paul acts totally confused, telling her he's been at her house all day. WTF? She brings up the dance club incident and he says he wasn't there either. Why must you torture me, Stine? Are you so miserable with your life that you feel a need to bring the rest of us down as well? Why am I even asking? Melissa and Paul come up with the theory that Paul is from the future, not the past. How? What? Where am I? Paul says Melissa hasn't killed him yet, they have to prevent it from happening. Melissa says she'll go to Paul's house to warn him. Uh, if you stay the hell away from him, dear, the chances that you'll murder him decrease quite a bit.

That night, Melissa and see-through Paul drive to real Paul's house. Does Mel honestly think this guy is actually gonna believe this? LOGIC says that real Paul will immediately call the nearest mental institution and ask them if they're missing one. But Mel and see-through Paul apparently thought this one through and that's why they're gonna send in see-through Paul instead in the hopes that he'll somehow materialize and real Paul will able to see him. Ok. Whatever. Just do it so I can get back to my Count Chocula.

Of course the plan doesn't really work because see-through Paul can't materialize. Duh. Did we not discuss this earlier? He was only sent for Melissa's eyes! Real Paul leaves the house and goes to meet his friends at Aldo's, the local liquor store. Teenage alcoholism-a growing epidemic. How are these assholes getting the booze anyway? They're all high school fake IDs? Paying homeless people to buy it for them? Anyway, real Paul and his friends hang out in Aldo's parking lot talking about Melissa ("Did you give her what she wants?" We'll chalk that nasty little comment up to the amount of Grey Goose flowing through your veins.) Ooo...we find out that real Paul is the infamous Fear Street Prowler! He's been breaking into rich people's homes and stealing valuable goods. See-through Paul desperately wants real Paul to STOP, but he has no way of conveying this message. See-through Paul watches helplessly as real Paul takes off and breaks into a woman's home. Doesn't work out well because the woman wakes up and starts screaming. A real prowler would have the sense to wait until the house was empty, but we're not dealing with a real prowler here. We're dealing with a drunken, desperate teenager.

Back at Melissa's house, the "ghost" surprises Mel as she comes into her room having just taken a shower (don't worry, she's dressed). He asks her where she went and why she just left him at real Paul's house. She said it got too creepy. What was creepy about it? Well, I guess seeing two Pauls would be weird...but she didn't seem to think it was that creepy when she thought she was being stalked by a ghost. Just before see-through Paul vanishes again, Melissa tells him she's not going to kill real Paul. He tells her she won't be able to help it. That's probably true...real Paul is a total bastard.

The next day, Melissa is on the phone with Buddy. She tells him that she'll be staying at Della's while her parents are in Vegas and she'll be too busy to hang out with him. Tee hee. Melissa then drives around searching for real Paul. He isn't home so she drives to Aldo's. Predictably, he's there in the parking lot with his friends again, sucking up alcohol. Melissa tries to talk to him, but he's too drunk and hostile to be reasoned with. Eventually, though, he pulls her away from his friends and tells her he knows where she lives. Oh yeah, that isn't creepy or anything. She warns him to stay away from her and he gets pissed off ("Yeah, I'll wipe my feet before I set foot on your street.") and walks away. Mel leaves, too.

The following day, Mel's parents are leaving for Vegas (I thought they left two chapters ago, but no.) After they leave, Melissa receives a call from Della. She's "hung up" at her cousin's house and won't be home until the next day so Melissa will have to spend the first night home alone. At least she'll have see-through Paul for company. Melissa sits and watches some TV (a movie starring Tom Cruise and Paul Newman is on) but gets too wired to sit still. She paces, gets a Coke from the fridge, barely drinks any, and finally decides to go to bed. She sleeps in her parents' bed and wakes up a little after midnight to the sound of someone trying to get into the window. It's your friend and mine, the Fear Street Prowler! Real Paul climbs into the window and says "See? I told you I knew where you lived." Chills. Melissa remembers the pistol in her dad's bedside table. She gets her hands on it and points it at Paul. He knocks it out of her hands and right into his own. "You're dead now, you rich snob!" See-through Paul comes in at that moment and somehow knocks the gun out of real Paul's hand. Melissa catches it and accidentally shoots real Paul in the chest. He dies instantly and over his still-warm body, see through Paul and Melissa share a mushy moment in which Paul confesses he couldn't stand to see Melissa killed, even if it meant sacrificing his own life. Aw. He vanishes then and Buddy comes running up the stairs. Good timing, Bud. He found out she wasn't at Della's and came to check on her. Sweet, but you didn't sacrifice your life for her, did you? No. You'll forever be number two from now on, Buddy. Melissa hugs him and Buddy asks who the dead person is. "That's just some prowler." Nice. Reaaaaaaaaaallll nice.

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns (Goosebumps #48)

PUMPKIN POWER! Nothing beats Halloween. It's Drew Brockman's favorite holiday. And this year will be awesome. Much better ...