Lovable characters from this heroic fantasy series for children 6-14
Creepy Hollow Adventures
The snappy dresser, Catman
A man became one with his beloved cat:
"The black, humanlike cat took a step forward and said excitedly, “Wonderful! My name is Otto, but I prefer to be called Catman. I’m the caretaker of Wormbelow.”
“How come you look like a cat and can talk like a person?” Jack asked.
“That’s because I am a person. Or was, I should say,” said Catman. “You see, long ago I had a black cat named Poe, whom I was very fond of. He lived all of his nine lives and then got sick and was close to death.” Tears formed in his eyes and he turned around.
Noticing Otto’s distress, Wishbone said, “The only way to save Poe was for Otto and Poe to become one person.”
“That is so cool,” Jack said.
Catman wiped his eyes with his paw and turned around to continue his story. “So the Trinity of Wishmothers granted my wish, and now Poe and I are one. We are Catman.”
As they walked on, heading west toward their first destination, they saw Ogre Mountain rising in the distance, far to the north. The top of the mountain was covered with snow, and its peak hidden by mist and clouds.
“That’s where the Giant Oafs live,” Ghoulina told Jack and Nikki.
“They rarely come down from the mountain,” said Catman. “It’s cold up there and that’s just the way they like it.”
“I hate cold weather,” said Jack. “But I love playing in the snow.”
“Yeah, that’s all you do in winter… play in the snow,” said Nikki. “You should come over to Grandma’s and help me shovel her sidewalk once in a while.”
“I would, Nikki,” he said. “But she only has one shovel.
“We can always share it, Jack,” she said. “Haven’t you ever heard of sharing?”
“Sure I have,” he said. “Don’t I always share my movies and games with you?”
Nikki sighed and said, “Yeah, I guess you do.”
Wishbone chuckled. Catman and Ghoulina looked at each other and shook their heads.
“Kids!” she moaned, but not unkindly.
“They should be seen but not heard, right?” Catman asked her.
“As right as rain,” Ghoulina told Catman and winked at him playfully.
Nikki and Jack frowned, but then started laughing when they realized they were just being teased.
“No, it’s not right, Catman. Children should be allowed to speak freely when they have something to say.” Ghoulina changed her mind as she remembered how the children were hushed by the caretakers and teachers all the time in the orphanage where she grew up.
“Yes, you’re right.” Catman admitted. “I was just kidding. I always hated it when adults bullied and threatened kids into silence when I was a young lad.”
“Children should speak their minds,” came Wishbone’s chiming voice. “But they shouldn’t blab and they must learn when to keep quiet.”
Nikki frowned, looked at the group and said indignantly, “I think Jack and I heard enough of teacher-ish stuff for today.”
“Yeah!” Jack agreed happily because he hated to be lectured.
Ghoulina, the vegetarian ghoul
Jack stuffed his mouth with the half of his burger. “Hey, have you forgotten, Nikki?” he said with a mouth full of food. “Ghoulina doesn’t eat meat.”
“I’m a vegetarian,” Ghoulina told Jack. “And it’s not polite to talk with your mouth full, young man.”
“So what does a vegetarian ghoul like to eat?” Nikki asked, opening a bottle of water.
“You know,” Catman said laughing. “Dead leaves, flowers, plants, and vegetables.”
Ghoulina gave Catman a look that froze the laughter in his throat and she said, “I’m glad to see you’re enjoying yourself and having fun at my expense.”
Catman gave her an apologetic look but when Ghoulina winked at him with a smile on her pretty face, he realized that she wasn’t angry, she was just teasing him.
Dangers in Red Crow Forest
“What are we going to do?” Nikki asked, staring at the sky and growing more afraid by the moment as the Shrieks drew nearer and nearer.
“We run!” proposed Catman with fear in his eyes as he picked up a thick, broken tree branch lying on the ground.
And so they turned and ran for their lives, back the way they came. But they could not outrun the flock of Red Crows coming after them.
“Why are they coming after us?” Nikki asked.
“Because we entered their forest and they saw that we took something from the tree,” Ghoulina told her.
“But they didn’t even seem to know it was there until we came to get it because they didn’t guard it. And the Wand is not theirs, it belongs to the Wishmothers,” Jack said defiantly.
Ghoulina shook her head. “That doesn’t matter to them. Their rules say that anyone is allowed to bring something to their forest but nobody is allowed to take anything away,” she said. “Now run as fast as you can!”
They ran as fast as their legs could carry them. But the Red Crows closed the gap between them and swooped down to attack, cawing and squawking with anger.
“Guard the children, Ghoulina!” Catman called out. “I’ll try to hold them off.” He stopped and turned, and then started swinging the branch as if he was a baseball player taking his turn at home plate.
Bam! Wham! Slam!
Catman snarled and whacked three of the Shrieks, sending them tumbling through the air. But the Red Crows swarmed in for the kill.
“We’re doomed!” screamed Wishbone.
The branch was a blur in the air as Catman kept swinging it, fighting off crows that tried to peck and scratch him. He knocked down two more Shrieks, but more swarmed all over him.
“Cover your eyes and your faces, kids,” Ghoulina told Jack and Nikki. She herded them under a pumpkin tree and stood guard in front of them, her arms outstretched on both sides.
Jack buried his face in his hands. “Why don’t we use Nikki’s rocks and throw them at the crows?” he suggested.
“What kind of rocks do you have, Nikki?” Ghoulina asked.
“Just… just some rocks I found in the creek back home,” Nikki told her. She was trembling with fear but tried hard not to let her voice give her away. “You know. River stones.”
“Ah, yes. Wisdom Stones,” said Ghoulina. She turned, reached into Nikki’s backpack and pulled out a fistful of brown stones. “These will do nicely. Catman, come back here!”
Swinging his branch left and right and up and down, battering crow after crow, Catman backed away and rejoined the others. Though he had killed or knocked unconscious a number of Shrieks, the Red Crows kept up their attack as more and more of them stormed in.
Ghoulina’s silver eyes flashed red and purple and green, like Halloween lights.
Turning to face the army of Red Crows, she tossed her handful of rocks high into the air, raised her arms and chanted a magic spell: