Here is Chapter 1 of The Ghostly Ghastlys Book 6. The Ghastly family are ghosts and they live in an old museum with the skeletons and Branwing and Princess. They have re-opened the old museum with themselves as the main exhibits, and the little Ghastlys are renowned for playing tricks on the visitors – who think this great fun. The museum is now called The Ghostly Ghastly House.
But the little Ghastlys have also played a lot of tricks on other people, who don’t think it’s fun at all. That’s caused all sorts of mayhem…
Chapter 1. You Have Been Good, Haven’t You?
It was Christmas Eve. A log fire blazed merrily in the long room of the Ghostly Ghastly House. Princess and Branwing were decorating the whole place with holly and candles.
The little Ghastlys floated in.
“Hurry up and hang up your stockings,” said Princess, smiling at them. “Father Christmas will want to know where to put your presents.”
“We don’t have any stockings,” said Bubble.
“We don’t seem to have any legs,” said Trouble, looking down.
“Or feet,” said Puff, “but that’s okay because we float around.”
“They won’t get any presents, Princess, dear,” said Mrs Ghastly, gliding across with Mr Ghastly. “Please don’t encourage them. They will only be disappointed.”
“We’re bringing the children up to be sensible,” said Mr Ghastly. “Magic is very unreliable. It is best not to have anything to do with it.”
Princess suddenly looked very fierce, which wasn’t like her at all. “We always hung up stockings at home. All the children had lots of presents.”
“Father Christmas never leaves presents for ghost children,” explained Mr Ghastly.
“Well, he won’t if they don’t hang some stockings up,” said Princess.
Mr Ghastly shook his head. “I don’t think that’s the reason,” he said.
“We’ll see about that!” said Princess. “Now, you three, there are old clothes upstairs in the chests. Go and find some stockings.”
The little Ghastlys floated upstairs. They were puzzled by all this talk of Father Christmas. Would he really come if they hung stockings up? He had never left them presents before, so it was very difficult to believe this year would be any different.
They found three tatty stockings, patched and holey, and rather dusty. They hung them on the mantelpiece.
Mr and Mrs Ghastly looked on doubtfully.
“They waft a bit,” said Mr Ghastly, waving his hand in front of his nose.
“Doesn’t matter,” said Princess.
“It is all very odd,” said Mrs Ghastly. “Why stockings? Why not hats, or gloves or jumpers?”
“It’s always been stockings,” said Princess. “It’s magic so it’s best to keep to what has always been done.”
“What sort of presents will we get?” asked Bubble.
“The very best presents and the ones most suitable for you, of course,” said Princess.
“They aren’t our stockings,” said Trouble. “Will Father Christmas know they are for us?”
“He’ll know,” said Princess.
“How?” asked Puff.
“That’s magic too,” said Princess. Then she had another thought. “You have been good, haven’t you?” she asked, anxiously.
“Um,” said Bubble. She was thinking of how the little Ghastlys had played tricks at Alfonso’s Restaurant next door. But they had got the customers back, hadn’t they? And now they helped the waiters over there.
“Kind of,” said Trouble. He was thinking of the Ball of Balls, and how the Washing-Up-and-Odd-Job Boy had said they were cheating. But they had got Loud-Voice a cruise and everyone was happy now. That was good, surely?
“We have been enormously good,” said Puff, thinking about how they’d stopped the grey wolf from ruining Princess and Branwing’s wedding. They had been very, very good that day.
“There you are then,” said Princess, smiling. “No problem at all.”
The little Ghastlys looked at each other, big questions on their faces. Being good seemed to be part of this Father Christmas present business, but being good was something the little Ghastlys found hard to do. Maybe that was why they had never had presents before.
They didn’t say anything because they didn’t want to upset Princess.
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