The Tickle Ghost
by Cindy Sherwood
“Boo!” yelled Big Ghost.
“Boo-hoo!” cried Little Ghost. “You scared me!”
“I’m supposed to scare you. I’m a ghost.” Big Ghost floated off to find somebody else to frighten.
Little Ghost didn’t like the dark. She didn’t like loud noises. She especially didn’t like loud noises in the dark. At night, she’d drift off to sleep, only to wake up when Big Ghost shouted “boo!” at her. Then she’d yawn all day long because she was so sleepy. She used to enjoy being around Big Ghost, but ever since he decided to be a scary ghost, she wanted to stay far, far away from him. But that was hard since they haunted the same house.
Little Ghost tried to get Big Ghost to stop shouting “boo.” She discussed it with him calmly, spirit to spirit. “Big Ghost, I can’t sleep when you shout boo at me,” she said, using her best manners. “Will you please stop scaring me?” Big Ghost shook his head. “Nope. I’m a ghost. And ghosts are supposed to be scary.”
That night, just after she fell asleep, he shouted ”BOO!” at her and she woke up.
Little Ghost was so tired. She needed to sleep. She decided to use her nicest printing to write a note to Big Ghost.
“Dear Big Ghost,” it read. “No more boos! Thank you. Sincerely, Little Ghost.”
She tucked the note into his chains in the attic where he’d be sure to read it. But a little later, Big Ghost hovered overhead to give her his own note. “Sorry,” it read. “I’m a ghost. And ghosts are supposed to be scary.”
That night he shouted, “BOO!” at her twice, so she woke up two times!
The next evening Little Ghost made Big Ghost’s favorite creepy cocoa with mini marshmallows bobbing around in the chocolate like tiny baby ghosts. She flew up to the attic, being careful not to spill a drop. “Here,” she said, handing it to Big Ghost. “Just the way you like it.”
He gulped it down. “Thanks!”
“Now will you stop shouting “boo” at me?” she asked.
Big Ghost looked puzzled. “Of course not,” he answered. “I’m a ghost. And ghosts are supposed to be scary.”
That night, he shouted “BOO!” at her three times, so she woke up three times!
The next night, Little Ghost was ready with a plan. She waited in the dark, barely floating a muscle.
“BOO!” yelled Big Ghost.
Little Ghost didn’t cry “boo-hoo” this time. She flew into Big Ghost’s side and started tickling him.
“Hee-hee-hee.” Big Ghost began to laugh.
Little Ghost tickled his other side.
“Hee-hee-hee! Cut that out,” Big Ghost ordered, in between giggles.
Little Ghost tickled under his chin.
“Hee-hee-hee! Stop it,” Big Ghost begged, in between chuckles.
Little Ghost tickled his tummy.
“Hee-hee-hee! I’ll buy you a bag of ghoul gumdrops,” Big Ghost promised, in between laughs.
Little Ghost tickled Big Ghost’s toes—or where his toes would be if he weren’t a ghost.
“Hee-hee-hee! I’ll let you watch Black Cat Planet with me. Hee-hee-hee! I’ll play Spooks and Spirits with you every day. Hee-hee-hee! I’ll take you on a Halloween picnic in the graveyard.”
“No thank you.” Little Ghost kept right on tickling. “All I want is for you to stop scaring me.”
“Okay, okay,” Big Ghost agreed, gasping with laughter. “I won’t shout ‘Boo,’ at you anymore. Just stop tickling me!”
Little Ghost let go and clapped her hands. Woo-hoo! It worked! But did Big Ghost mean it? He glided off to the attic, and Little Ghost flew after him. “Will you really stop scaring me so I can get a good night’s sleep?”
“I promise. Ghosts don’t have to be scary,” Big Ghost said, a little out of breath from all the laughing. “Besides, I could use some sleep too. It’s exhausting wandering around frightening everybody all night.”
“It’s time for bed now. Do you want to have a sleepover?” Little Ghost asked.
Big Ghost nodded. He and Little Ghost snuggled together on the cozy attic chains. Big Ghost hummed “Rock a Bye, Ghostie.” Little Ghost smiled and shut her eyes. No more loud noises in the dark. No more yawns in the morning. Just two tired ghosts, drifting off to sleep.