Part 1945 – Ha-Ha To Everyone Else! We Got Here First! Ha!

Barbara’s heart raced.

Her face flushed.

She felt a crazy desire to jump out of the car and run the rest of the way, as if that would really get her to Ambrose that much faster.

It’s been so long since I’ve done this. Before, it was like nothing. Now? Now, it’s so far from nothing.

Especially since I know that I’ll get there before Dad or Jeff. Dad’s coming from The Red Envelope and Jeff’s coming from the hospital. I am definitely going to beat them there.

What will I do?

I guess I could sit in the car and wait for them to arrive. That works.

She side-glanced at her co-pilot, who was happily bouncing in her seat. The Phantom of the Opera was squished in her embrace.

Sarah is not going to wait. I know she won’t. I’ll have to go inside.

I’ll have to go up to his bedroom. He’ll be sleeping and looking so soft and darn it touchable. What will I do? How will I keep my hands off him?

She grinned. “I’ll just grab Sarah’s book and thwack his bottom with it. That will wake him up and I won’t be touching him.”

Technically speaking.


Sarah wanted to explode into sparks and flames and just…explode! They were finally going to see Ambrose again. He would read to her. She was sure of it. She didn’t even consider the possibility of him saying no.

He was going to read to her again.

She stopped bouncing to consider a different possibility.

What if Barbara kissed him and kissed him and wouldn’t stop kissing him? How would she ever get her to stop?

The back of her hands burst into flames, which made the small girl smile.

That would definitely be a good way to make her stop.


Barbara turned down Ambrose’s street.

Maybe Dad somehow beat me there. Maybe he’s sitting in the driveway, waiting for us to arrive.

Maybe Jeff found a little known short cut and beat both of us there.

Maybe both Dad and Jeff are waiting for us.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Nice and unlikely.

Barbara slowly approached Raven’s driveway. Not a single car in sight.

Darn! I did get here first. What should I do?

She pulled into the driveway and turned the key.

Sarah didn’t wait for Barbara to make up her mind. She got out of the car and ran straight to the house.

“I knew it!” Barbara unbuckled her seatbelt.

Sarah opened the front door and went inside.

Barbara hurried after her.


Sarah held the book close to her chest as she walked past the living room. The house was dark and spooky, but spooky in an ordinary sort of way.

There weren’t any cobwebs or bats. No moaning ghosts or rattling chains. No piles of gnawed up bones. All the same, it was terribly quiet.

So quiet, Sarah heard the front door open.

“Sarah!” Barbara stage-whispered.

The small girl quirked up her mouth as she thought it over.

Run back to Barbara or run upstairs to Ambrose?

Really? It wasn’t even a debate.

She ran upstairs.

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