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Authors: R.L. Stine

Night of the Werecat

BOOK: Night of the Werecat
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CONTENTS

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

‘How To Be A Vampire' Excerpt

About R. L. Stine

1

Y
ou can do this, Wendy. Concentrate
.

Wendy Chapman focused all her attention on the four-inch-wide beam. Gymnastics was her favorite after-school club. But the balance beam terrified her.

“Looking good,” her best friend, Tina Barnes, called.

I won't fall this time. I won't!
The floor was so far below. Wendy took a deep breath. She fought back her terrible fear of heights. It didn't help that she had never been very surefooted.

Halfway across, she steadied her outstretched arms. But she could feel her balance beginning to waver.

“Pssssssst!” Wendy glanced toward the sound coming
from the bleachers. Nancy Morrow's smirking face caught her eye. Nancy hissed again, then windmilled her arms. She was imitating someone falling!

Wendy forced her eyes back to the beam. Forget Nancy! she scolded herself. Concentrate on the balance beam.

But it was too late. That glance away made her dizzy. Wendy teetered, then fell off the beam. Ms. Mason, her gymnastics coach, stopped Wendy from crashing onto the mat. But she landed awkwardly and stumbled forward.

“What's the matter, Wendy?” Nancy taunted. “I thought cats always landed on their feet.” She began laughing, and some of Nancy's snobby friends joined in.

Wendy's face burned with embarrassment. Nancy was always teasing her!

“That's enough, Nancy,” Ms. Mason said. She patted Wendy's shoulder. “It was a good try, Wendy. You're improving.”

“Thanks,” Wendy said faintly. She faked a smile. But inside she felt awful. On Saturday the top three girls in the club would be chosen to represent Shady-side Middle School at the all-city meet. I'll never make the team now, Wendy thought sadly.

On the way to the locker room, Nancy bumped into Wendy. “Maybe your little cat friends can give you lessons, Wendy,” she said with a sneer. “Cats have good balance, don't they?” Nancy smoothed back her perfectly combed, shiny black hair.

Self-consciously Wendy pushed her own thin blond
hair out of her face. “Leave me alone!” Wendy snapped.

“Gee, I thought it was a great idea,” Nancy went on. Her voice sounded sweet, but Wendy knew better. “I thought you'd
love
to be more like a precious kitty cat.”

*  *  *

“Why can't Nancy leave me alone?” Wendy complained as she and Tina left school after Gymnastics Club.

Tina shrugged. “She's just jealous because you skipped a grade.” Wendy had skipped fifth grade. Most of the other kids in sixth grade were twelve, but she was barely eleven. But that didn't bother Wendy. Her mother said Wendy was advanced for her age. “Don't worry,” Tina continued, tightening her long, brown ponytail, “Nancy will find someone else to pick on sooner or later.”

“Well, I wish she'd do it soon!” Tina and Wendy looked both ways, then crossed over to the bus stop. “And why does she hate cats so much, anyway?” Wendy couldn't imagine how anyone could dislike the beautiful animals.

“Didn't you know?” Tina asked. “She's really allergic to them. Her brother told me if she even gets near a cat, she breaks out and starts sneezing.”

“I wish I had a cat to stick right under her nose right now!” Wendy declared.

Tina giggled. Her big, brown eyes twinkled. “Maybe you can get one at the cat show.”

The Shadyside cat show opened that afternoon.
Wendy and Tina had been looking forward to it for weeks.

“If only.” Wendy sighed. She loved cats. But her parents wouldn't let her have one.

A red city bus pulled up to the stop. “Cat show, here we come!” Wendy cheered. She and Tina slapped each other high fives, then boarded the bus.

The cat show took place in an empty store across from the Division Street Mall. As the girls stepped off the bus, Wendy glanced up. She spotted a large banner stretched across the front of the building.

“There it is! The Shadyside Cat Circle Breeders' Show,” she read aloud. She grabbed Tina's hand and they ran to the entrance. The mews and meowing from inside seemed to be calling Wendy's name. She was in such a hurry that she almost forgot to wait for her change when she paid the fifty cents admission!

The big room was filled with long tables. Cages containing cats and kittens stood on each table. Their owners sat behind them.

Wendy's eyes widened. “I've never seen so many cats!” she exclaimed. “I could spend the whole week here!”

Tina chuckled. “I like cats, too,” she commented. “But nobody is as cat-crazy as you.”

“I know,” Wendy agreed. “I love them. Do you think my parents would notice if I stayed here forever?”

They wandered up and down the aisles. Wendy didn't know where to look first. All those beautiful cats! Each sweeter than the last.

Wendy stopped at a blue cage containing a long-haired brown and white striped cat. It was nearly as big as a cocker spaniel.

“Cyril is a Maine coon cat,” the owner told her. “Would you like to pet him?”

“Oh, could I?” Wendy reached into the cage and stroked the silky fur. Her heart melted when the cat purred and licked her hand.

“I wish my parents would let me have a cat,” she said for the millionth time. “When I grow up, I'm going to have a huge house filled with cats and kittens!”

“Look at this, Wendy,” Tina called. Wendy said good-bye to Cyril and joined her friend at a side door. It led into a much smaller room. The room was empty except for a large booth. Blue curtains covered with cat stickers hung from hooks shaped like little cat heads. The curtains were pulled shut.

Wendy stepped into the room. “Mrs. Bast's Cat Curios,” she read from the sign over the booth. The letters were made up of colorful paw prints.

Tina stopped beside her. “It looks closed,” she said.

“Let's check it out, anyway,” Wendy suggested. “I think Mrs. Bast has my kind of shop.”

“Just remember what your mom said about spending more money on cat things,” Tina warned.

“Don't worry, I'm not going to buy anything,” Wendy reassured her. “Unless I really, really have to have it,” she added with a giggle.

Wendy approached the booth. “Hello?” she called. “Mrs. Bast?”

No response.

“Maybe I should meow,” Wendy joked. “Maybe Mrs. Bast only serves cat customers.”

“There's no one here,” Tina said. “Come on, Wendy, let's go back to—”

“Please, Tina, I just want to peek inside. I have to find out what's here.” Wendy reached out to part the curtains. Instantly a hand shot out from inside and grabbed her wrist.

Startled, Wendy tried to free herself. But she couldn't. The grip was too strong.

Wendy's heart nearly stopped. She felt herself falling through the thick blue curtains!

2

“H
elp!” Wendy screamed. “Tina!” The curtains smacked Wendy in the face as she fell into the booth. She struggled against the strong hands that gripped her. “Help!”

The hands let go. Wendy stumbled backward a few steps.

“Welcome!” a voice croaked.

Wendy blinked. Across from her stood an old woman, wearing a long red dress. A beautiful hand-painted cat covered the front of it. The woman's frizzy white hair surrounded her face like a cloud.

“I'm Mrs. Bast,” the old woman announced. Her whole face crinkled up into a zillion wrinkles when she smiled at Wendy.

“Wendy!” Tina cried, rushing through the curtains. “Are you all right?”

“I'm f-fine,” Wendy stammered. She rubbed her wrists. For an old woman, Mrs. Bast had some grip.

“You're my first customers,” Mrs. Bast told them. She flung apart the curtains. “I was just getting ready to open the booth when you showed up.” She grinned at the girls. “I could hear you through the curtains. I didn't want you to get away. I knew you would appreciate fine cat curios.”

A mewing sound caught Wendy's attention. On the counter behind Mrs. Bast stood a long-haired white Persian cat. “Ohh,” Wendy breathed. “Is that your cat?”

Mrs. Bast gave the cat a pat on the head. “This is Samantha,” she said. “She's my assistant. She chooses what I should sell.” Mrs. Bast began bustling around the booth. “Samantha has very good taste.”

Wendy reached out and gently touched the Persian's back. Its long white fur was as soft as a silk scarf.

“She likes you,” Mrs. Bast commented.

“All cats like Wendy,” Tina said.

“And I like all cats,” Wendy added. She scratched Samantha under the chin. The white cat began to purr. It was Wendy's favorite sound.

Mrs. Bast rubbed her hands together. “What are you looking for today?” she asked. “Jewelry? Photos? T-shirts? Knickknacks? I've got them all!”

Wendy turned her attention from Samantha to the shelves and displays in the booth. There were trays of
cat pins, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. T-shirts hung from a rack. A clothesline across the top of the booth held posters of lions, tigers, cheetahs, and panthers.

“This is pretty,” Tina remarked. She held up a purple bracelet made of cat-shaped beads.

Wendy poked through a tray on the counter labeled “All items $5.” A shiny object caught her eye. “Tina, look!” she exclaimed. She held up a silver chain. A delicate metal charm of a black cat dangled in front of her eyes. In the center of the cat's forehead was a spidery white star.

BOOK: Night of the Werecat
12.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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