R. L. Stine Party Games

ISBN 13: 9781250066220

Party Games

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9781250066220: Party Games
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Her friends warn her not to go to Brendan Fear's birthday party at his family's estate on mysterious Fear Island. But Rachel Martin has a crush on Brendan and is excited to be invited. Brendan has a lot of party games planned. But one game no one planned intrudes on his party - the game of murder. As the guests start dying one by one, Rachel realizes to her horror that she and the other teenagers are trapped on the tiny island with someone who may want to kill them all. How to escape this deadly game? Rachel doesn't know whom she can trust. She should have realized that nothing is as it seems...on Fear Island. R.L. Stine makes his triumphant return to Shadyside, a town of nightmares, shadows, and genuine terror, and to the bestselling series that began his career writing horror for the juvenile market, in the new Fear Street book Party Games.

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About the Author:

R. L. Stine is one of the bestselling children's authors in history, with more than 400 million books sold to date. In 1986, he wrote his first teen horror novel, Blind Date, which became an instant bestseller. In 1989, Stine created the Fear Street series, one of the bestselling young adult book series in history, with 80 million copies sold worldwide. He is also the author of the bestselling children's series Goosebumps, which began in 1992 and has sold 300 million copies around the world.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1.

THE INVITATION

 

I saw Brendan Fear walk into the diner where I worked with some of his friends, but I had no idea how my life would change that night. As I wiped down a table, I followed him with my eyes as he led his three friends down the narrow aisle to the booth in the back corner.

How could such a normal scene lead to so much horror—and even murder?

I knew the kids who were with Brendan. I’m not in the same crowd, but we’re all seniors at Shadyside High. Ha. Same crowd. That’s kind of a laugh. Face facts. I have a few good friends, but I definitely don’t have a crowd.

My name is Rachel Martin, and I’m seventeen. I have this after-school waitress job at Lefty’s, a hangout a few blocks from the high school. And yes, it’s a teeny-tiny bit awkward to wait on the kids I see in school all day.

But I’m sure that’s just me. No one ever makes a comment or a joke about it. But sometimes it makes me uncomfortable.

I guess I’m not the most relaxed person on the planet. Mom says I’m strung tighter than a tennis racket. My sister, Beth, always insists that’s not true. She says I’m just sensitive.

I sure miss Beth. She went off to Oberlin in September. Beth got a scholarship for her flute playing. She’s the smart one and the talented one in the family.

We have always been so close. She said she’d Skype me every night. But I haven’t heard from her in weeks.

The kitchen bell rang, the signal that someone’s food was ready. I collected some dirty plates from a table and squeezed through the crush of kids at the counter to get to the kitchen.

Lefty’s is small and always hot and steamy, no matter what the weather is outside. When I get home after work, I have to shower for a long time to get the fried grease smell of hamburgers and French fries off my skin and out of my hair.

But this place is definitely the most popular hangout for Shadyside High kids, partly because it’s so close to school. And because it’s The Home of the Two-Dollar Double Cheeseburger.

I don’t know who thought that up, but it was genius.

I saw my friend Amy O’Brien walk in. She waved, but I didn’t have time to go say hello to her. Ellen, the other waitress, called in sick, and I was covering the whole restaurant.

I carried some cheeseburgers to a table near the front. Then I picked up four menus to take to Brendan Fear’s table. He and his friends were all talking at once, leaning toward each other over the table, glancing around as if they didn’t want to be overheard. Very intense.

They all stopped talking as I stepped up to them.

I saw Kerry Reacher, who is our All-State forward on the basketball team. He was wearing his maroon-and-white team jacket. He’s so lanky, his legs stretched out of the booth. His white sneakers had to be at least size 12 or a 14.

Patti Berger sat next to him. Patti is a sweet-looking dark-haired girl, tiny, like a little doll, with a whispery doll voice and dimples to die for. She’s so adorable, you want to kill her. Except she’s the nicest person on earth, friendly and warm.

Patti and I grew up together because our moms are best friends. We’re not really in the same crowd at school. But we’re still happy to see each other whenever our families get together.

Patti is about as tall as a fourth grader. Seriously. I mean, she’s got to be two feet shorter than Kerry. But they’re always together. They say they’re just good friends. But everyone sees them holding hands, lip-locked in the halls. I guess the friends thing is some kind of private joke.

Next to Brendan, Eric Finn was drumming on the tabletop with two fingers. Eric is a big, bouncy teddy bear of a dude, with wavy blond hair, a round freckled face, booming voice, and a loud, hee-haw donkey laugh. He’s one of those guys who just likes to laugh and party.

I’ve always thought it was totally weird that he and Brendan Fear are such good buddies. They’re like total opposites. But they’ve been friends since elementary school.

Brendan has wavy black hair. He is pale and serious-looking. He has this shy smile, but you don’t see it very often, and he speaks very quietly. I like his eyes. They’re soft brown and warm, kind of crinkly, and when they lock on you, it’s like he’s seeing into your brain.

Uh-oh. Does that give you a hint that I’ve had a crush on Brendan Fear since eighth grade?

He dresses in black jeans and black T-shirts with video game logos on the front. He’s the school brainiac, but he’s totally into games.

He and Eric and some of his other friends play games for hours. World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto and all kinds of fantasy and car-racing games. That’s all they talk about at school. And someone told me that Brendan programs his own games and is working with some guys to develop an online gaming site.

I walked up to Brendan’s booth with the menus tucked under the arm of my red-and-white-checked uniform. “Whoa.” I tripped over Kerry’s big shoes, and stumbled into the table.

Awesome start.

Brendan grabbed my arms and helped stand me up. “Rachel, you okay?” His dark eyes peered into mine.

I could feel my face go hot. I liked the way he said my name.

“I’ll move over if you want to sit with us,” Eric said. “Or you can sit on my lap?”

Kerry and Patti laughed.

“That would be a thrill,” I said. “But would you give me another job when I’m fired?”

He flashed me a devilish grin. “I could think of something.”

“Give Rachel a break,” Patti told Eric. “Can’t you see she’s busy?”

“She and I could get busy,” Eric said.

Patti gave him a playful slap. “Eric, don’t you ever stop joking?”

“Who’s joking?”

Eric and I have been teasing each other since first grade. He’s always flirting with me, but he flirts with every girl he sees. No one ever takes him seriously because he’s never serious.

I handed the menus out to them.

“You work here every day after school?” Brendan asked.

I nodded. “Yeah.” I brushed my hair off my forehead with one hand. I could feel sweat on my forehead. I knew I didn’t look my best.

“Till when?” Brendan asked. His eyes were studying me.

“Till ten.”

“Whoa. Long day. When do you do your homework?”

I shrugged. “Whenever.”

“What’s homework?” Eric chimed in. “Should I try it?”

“You wouldn’t like it,” Patti told him.

Brendan kept studying me, like he had something on his mind.

“Waitress? Could we have a check?” A woman at the table behind me tapped my shoulder. It startled me, and I jumped.

“Sure. Just a sec,” I said. The door slammed as another bunch of Shadyside kids came in. The diner was getting really crowded.

I turned back to Brendan. “Do you guys know what you want?” I asked.

“Do you have cheeseburgers here?” Eric asked, grinning at me again.

Totally dumb joke.

“No one ever asked for that before,” I said. “I’ll have to check.”

Kerry and Patti laughed. “I’ll come back in a few minutes,” I said. I glanced back and saw Brendan’s eyes following me as I walked away.

I scribbled out the check for Table 4. I had to tear up the first one and start again because I was thinking about Brendan Fear, and my hand was actually trembling a little. Doesn’t take much to get me excited.

I mean, those were definitely meaningful looks he was flashing me.

Rachel, he was just trying to make you feel better since you nearly fell into his lap.

Was I imagining the meaningful looks? Face facts. I’m not the most confident person in the world. I think I look okay. I’m not Red Carpet beautiful or anything. I have straight blonde hair, which I usually pull back into a simple ponytail, pale blue eyes, and a nice smile. I think my nose is crooked. And I have sort of a square chin, which I hate. When I’m feeling really low, I think my face looks like an ax blade with eyes.

But Beth says I’m really pretty. She says I look like Reese Witherspoon. She always knows how to cheer me up.

I watched Brendan and his friends talking so intensely. Even Eric had a serious expression on his face. What could they be talking about?

The kitchen bell rang. I hurried to the window to pick up the food. Lefty squinted out at me from the kitchen. His narrow face was bright red and bathed in sweat. He always wears a white baseball cap backward over his bald head.

“You okay, Rachel?”

“Busy night,” I said. “But I’m handling it. I—”

Lefty didn’t wait to hear my answer. He had turned back to the fry griddle.

I went back to work. So far, I’d made it through with only a few mix-ups.

The diner had emptied out a bit when Brendan and his friends got up to leave. They smiled and nodded to me as they made their way to the door.

“Would you like a tip?” Eric said.

“Sure,” I replied.

“Look both ways before crossing the street.” He laughed at his own dumb joke.

I was surprised when Brendan stayed back and pulled me aside. Again, he kept his eyes on me as if trying to read my mind.

Maybe he has this intense stare for everyone. He probably doesn’t even realize it.

I could feel my chest get a little fluttery. “Was everything okay?” I asked.

He nodded. “Sure.” He shifted his weight. He suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “So … you work here every night?”

“Not always. It depends on who else can work. Sometimes I’m here on Saturday, too. I need to earn some money to help my family. Things have been kind of tight for them, and I wanted to … you know … pitch in.”

Too much information, Rachel.

He nodded and scratched his dark hair. “You’re in my World Government class, right?”

“Yes,” I said. “Mrs. Rigby. She’s funny. I like her.”

“Some guys think she’s really hot,” he said. He flashed the shy grin.

Someone spilled a Coke at a table near the counter. I heard the glass shatter on the floor. Some kids laughed.

“I wanted to ask you something,” Brendan said. He shoved his hands into his jeans pockets. “I’m having this birthday party, see. It’s my eighteenth. On Saturday.”

“Happy birthday,” I said. Awkward.

“My family has this huge old summer house on Fear Island. You know. In the middle of the lake? We’re opening it up for my party. It’s going to be like an overnight thing. We’re going to party all night.”

The kitchen bell rang. More cheeseburgers to pick up.

Brendan leaned forward. “Think you could come?”

Best day ever?

This Saturday?” I said. My voice came out a little higher than normal.

He nodded. “I’m sending a boat to pick everyone up at the lake dock at the end of Fear Street at two.”

“Yes,” I said. “I can come. Hey, thanks for inviting me.”

“It’s going to be an awesome party,” he said. “Lots of games.”

Lefty banged the bell a few more times.

“I have to get back to work,” I said.

Brendan nodded. “See you Saturday.” And then he reached out his finger and wiped a drop of sweat off the tip of my nose.

My mouth fell open as he turned and strode to the door.

I could still feel the touch of his finger on my nose. I started to the food window. Brendan Fear just invited me to his birthday party.

I stepped up to the counter, but a hand grabbed my wrist and tugged me back.

And a voice whispered in my ear, “Rachel—don’t go.”

 

Copyright © 2014 Parachute Publishing, L.L.C.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781250051615: Party Games

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ISBN 10:  1250051614 ISBN 13:  9781250051615
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin, 2014
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