Beware! It's Friday the 13th

BOOK: Beware! It's Friday the 13th
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Table of Contents
For everyone at Paul J. Bellew Elementary,
West Islip, New York,
especially Kimberly, who said
Friday the 13th—K. McM.
To Marie and Luca—BB
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Text copyright © 2005 by Kate McMullan. Illustrations copyright © 2005 by Bill Basso. All rights reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. DRAGON SLAYERS’ ACADEMY and GROSSET & DUNLAP are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. S.A.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
McMullan, Kate.
Beware! It’s Friday the 13th / by Kate McMullan ; illustrated by Bill Basso. p. cm.—(Dragon Slayers’ Academy ; 13)
Summary: Upon superstitious headmaster Mordred’s orders, the returning students and new lasses of Dragon Slayers’ Academy deck themselves in lucky charms on Friday the thirteenth, but luck may not help when a wicked dragon arrives seeking revenge.
eISBN : 978-1-101-09940-7
PZ7.M47879Be 2005
eISBN : 978-1-101-09940-7

Chapter 1

ounds!” exclaimed Wiglaf as he ran out of the Dragon Slayers’ Academy castle. “We’re going to have a school picnic!”
In the yard, blue-and-white DSA flags flapped in the morning breeze. Brightly colored picnic cloths dotted the grass. A long banner stretched across the yard saying:
“This is so cool!” exclaimed Janice. “At Dragon Whackers, we never had a school picnic.” She blew a big green bubble of Smilin’ Hal’s Tree Sap Gum.
Janice Smotherbottom was DSA’s newest student. After she came, Mordred decided to open DSA’s doors to all lasses.
“I cannot wait until the new lasses get here!” Erica said.
Erica had gone to DSA for some time. But until recently, she pretended to be a lad. Mordred never guessed that “Eric” was a lass—
a princess.
“The new lasses shall need a good example,” Erica went on. “Someone to show them what to do.” She patted the Future Dragon Slayer of the Month Medal hanging from a chain around her neck. “And I am the perfect one to show them how to do
“Look over there!” said Angus, who was plump and fond of food. He pointed to a long table heaped with meat pies, breads, cheeses, and bowls of apples.
Wiglaf’s stomach growled softly at the sight of so much good food. Breakfast that morning had been leftover eel. He had not been able to choke down much of it.
“It’s a feast!” Angus exclaimed.
“Indeed it is,” said Mordred’s sister Lady Lobelia as she stepped out of the castle. She wore a blue gown with a spray of yellow feathers at the throat. “Mordie spent a pretty penny on it, too. Yet he is sure to get his gold back ten times over when all the new lasses pay their tuition.”
Lobelia cupped her hands to her mouth. “Class I!” she called. “Come! Quickly!”
Class I gathered by Lady Lobelia. Wiglaf and his friends joined them.
“The Class II and III lads are still off in the Dark Forest collecting stones for building the new dorm,” Lobelia said.
“A dorm for us lasses!” exclaimed Janice.
Lobelia smiled. “So it is up to you, Class I, to show the new lasses the true DSA spirit!”
Erica raised her hand. “May we welcome them with the DSA cheer?”
“Oh, yes! Do!” exclaimed Lady Lobelia. “You shall each get—” She stopped. “Janice, are you chewing gum?”
Janice stopped chewing and swallowed. “Not anymore.”
Lobelia rolled her eyes. “You shall each pick a lass to be your buddy,” she went on. “First take your buddy to meet her teachers. Then take her over to Frypot’s feast table and help her fill her plate. Then sit with her at the picnic.”
“Oh, yummy!” cried Angus.
“The feast is for the new lasses, Angus,” warned Lobelia.
“No!” cried Angus. “You can’t mean—”
“I do,” said Lobelia. “Frypot will give each of you old students a delicious box lunch of chopped eel on a toasted loaf.”
A chorus of groans sounded.
“I don’t mind!” called Janice. “I’m growing to like eel!”
“Now I have a surprise!” said Lobelia brightly. “Erica and Janice? Come into the castle with me. We’ll be right back, lads!”
Erica and Janice followed Lobelia eagerly up the steps and into the castle.
“I shall pick a tiny lass for my buddy,” Angus said after they left. “One who does not eat much. One who likes to share her food.”
In a short time, Lady Lobelia was back.
“Preeeeee-senting!” she cried. “DSA’s new Lobelia Original lasses’ uniform!” She turned toward the castle. “Models! Appear!”
Erica and Janice stepped out of the castle.
Wiglaf gasped. “Oh, poor Erica!” he said to Angus. “Poor Janice!”
Erica and Janice stood before Class I wearing plum-colored tops that laced up the front and tied under the chin with a floppy bow. Their hands stuck out from huge, puffy plum sleeves. The matching plum skirts were fringed at the hem with tiny silver bells. Their helmets bulged out at the sides, then came to a point at the top.
“Here’s the best part!” said Lobelia. “You lasses are going to model this uniform tomorrow at the Toenail Fashion Show!”
Janice laughed and twirled around. But Erica stood frowning with her puffy-sleeved arms folded across her chest.
“We are lucky to be lads!” Wiglaf whispered.
Angus nodded. “That uniform makes Janice look like a great big plum pudding.”
“Excuse me, Lady Lobelia?” Erica said. “How can we sneak up on a dragon while wearing
?” She took a step and clinked merrily.
“Don’t they make a lovely tinkle?” Lobelia said, missing Erica’s point entirely.
“One more thing,” Lobelia said in a voice hardly more than a whisper. “Your headmaster is a happy man today. And we don’t want to spoil his good mood. So when you see Mordred, whatever you do, do not mention what day it is.”
“What day is it?” asked Janice.
Lobelia whispered, “Friday the 13th.”
“Friday the 13th?” cried Torblad, who was afraid of everything. “Egad! Unlucky day!”
“Shhhhhh!” Lobelia put a finger to her lips. “Do not say that aloud! If Mordred hears you…” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “We shall all be very, very sorry.”
Chapter 2

his is so not fair,” said Erica. “This uniform is ridiculous!” She took off her pointy helmet and tossed it to the ground.
“Angus?” said Janice. “Why can’t your uncle Mordred know it’s Friday the 13th?”
Angus shrugged. “Auntie Lobelia always keeps it a secret from him. That’s all I know.”
“Maybe he is superstitious, like my father,” said Wiglaf. “If my father hears a dog howl in the night, he stays in bed all the next day. He never takes a bath, for he says bathing causes madness. And he often rings a bell to drive away demons.”
“Does that work?” asked Torblad eagerly.
“It must,” said Wiglaf. “For no demon has ever come to our hovel.”
“Fiddle-faddle,” said Erica. “I do not believe in superstitions.”
Just then—TWEEEEEEEEET! The headmaster’s whistle tooted.
Wiglaf turned to see Mordred standing on the castle steps. He was decked out like a king—in a purple cape trimmed in gold braid. His gold rings sparkled in the morning sun.
Lobelia stood beside her brother, holding a large scroll. Wiglaf had signed his name on that scroll. Every DSA student had.
“Good morning, all!” boomed Mordred.
“Good morning, Headmaster!” the Class I lads and lasses sang out.
“What a good plan, letting lasses into DSA!” Mordred exclaimed. “I cannot wait to sign them up. More students—more tuition!” He grinned, and his gold tooth gleamed. “Why, this day shall go down in history!” He frowned. “What day is it, anyway?”
Torblad called out, “It’s Friday the—”
Angus quickly elbowed him.
“Ow!” cried Torblad.
“It is the feast day of St. Helga’s Handkerchief,” Erica called out.
“Also the feast day of St. Albert’s Anklebone!” called Wiglaf.
“Here comes your chair, Mordie,” Lobelia said quickly to distract her brother. “Where do you want it?”
“In the shade there.” Mordred waved a gold-ringed hand toward the castle wall.
Two student teachers struggled down the steps with the heavy, throne-like chair.
The headmaster turned back to Class I. TWEEEEEEEEET! He blew his whistle. “To the gatehouse, laggards!” he bellowed. “Stand by to welcome the new lasses!”
Wiglaf and his friends started off. On the way to the gatehouse, they met Brother Dave, the DSA librarian, coming from the South Tower. He wore his brown monk’s robe, tied round the middle with a length of rope. Today he had a basket over one arm.
“Good morn to thee, lads and lasses,” Brother Dave said. He was ever cheerful, though it was not easy being the librarian at DSA, where only three of the students and none of the teachers had ever read a whole book. Those three students lingered behind as their classmates went on to the gatehouse.
“Erica,” said Brother Dave, “art thou still reading
All About Sir Lancelot
“For the sixteenth time,” said Erica. “May I renew it?”
“Certainly.” The little monk smiled.
“Brother Dave?” said Angus. “Breakfast this morning was awful. Do you happen to have any brittle in your basket?”
“I bringeth it as a treat for the new lasses,” said the monk. His order, Little Brothers of the Peanut Brittle, was famous for making sweet peanut candy. “But there is plenty for thee, too.” He reached into his basket and broke off bits of brittle. Wiglaf and Angus took theirs eagerly.
“No, thanks,” said Erica. “I never eat between meals.”
Angus bit in and said, “Mmmmm!”
Wiglaf did the same. “You are the best brittle baker, Brother Dave,” he said.
“No, no,” said Brother Dave. “My Little Brothers back at the monastery sendeth me this brittle. For I cannot baketh a fine sticky brittle. Mine turneth out hard as a rock.”
BOOK: Beware! It's Friday the 13th
7.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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