Stan and Stacy walked home from their second day at their new school, on what had seemed a most ordinary day. Nothing particularly interesting transpired during their classes, unless you counted being assigned extra math homework as interesting.
The two walked along on the sidewalk, as Stacy described her new teachers, and Stan kicked an empty soda can, before Stacy suddenly came to an abrupt stop, as they passed by a dirt road with a small graveyard.
"Why is that here?" she asked Stan, who shrugged his shoulders not really paying attention, as his mind wondered to home and the special dinner his Mom would have ready for them.
"Haven't you ever heard the story of the boy who stuck his arm out of the school bus window when he was told not to?" replied Cathy Sue who had been walking close behind and overheard Stacy.
"No, what happened to him?" inquired Stacy.
"He grabbed a tree branch and hung on. He was pulled out of the bus"
"And, that's how he ended up here?"
"Sort of, he was all right just hanging around up there, that was up until he saw the ghost."
"The ghostwhat ghost?" asked Stan.
"The ghost of the Gold Miner, it is said that if he finds you near his grave, he will steal your soul."
"You're making that up!" Stacy said in a frightened tone. "There's no such thing as ghosts!"
"I'm sure that's what Garry the Ghost used to say before he ended up here."
Stan and Stacy looked at the graves. One was unreadable. On the other was the name, Gary Goodridge.
"They say his spirit will reside here until he is saved from the Miner. Every night he comes down and attempts to escape and every night he is chased and driven back up the tree."
"Why would the miner do such a thing?" asked Stacy.
"The Miner is protecting his gold. When he passed away, it was buried here with him inside his casket."
"Cool, we should dig it up and we'd be rich!" Stan said excitedly.
"More likely you would be caught by the Minerand turned into a ghost, too!"
Stan swallowed hard, and quickly changed the subject.
"Hey Stacy, do you think Mother has dinner ready yet?"
With that, Cathy Sue gave a small laugh and walked off. Stacy and Stan gave the graves one final look, before they continued home.
When they arrived, their Mother did have a special dinner awaiting them. She did so to comfort her children after moving them away from their home and friends. But, there was no choice, as their Father had been transferred to a new job in this town. This meant more money for the family, but also meant leaving behind everything they had known.
"Why, Stacy, you've hardly touched your dinner at all, what's wrong? Mother asked with concern.
"Nothing Mother, I'm just not hungry right now."
"Stacy's afraid of the Ghost." said Stan
"Ghosts, why there is no such thing, children. Who has been filling your heads with such nonsense?"
"Cathy Sue said there are ghosts who haunt the dirt road." answered Stacy
"Oh, I see. She's just trying to scare you because you're new here. Pay no mind to her, alright?"
"Yes, Mother." Answered both Stan and Stacy
Later that evening, Mother tucked Stacy in and told her goodnight and wished her happy dreams. Stan walked by on his way to his bedroom, and just as Mother was turning out the lights in Stacy's room he let out a loud BOO! Stacy bolted upright, her eyes wide open and pulse racing thinking that the Miner had come to steal her soul. Stan got a peek inside and began to laugh at the successful scare attempt.
"Stan! You shouldn't scare you sister like that! Off to bed with you! Mother said in an angered voice.
"Honestly, what will I do with that boy?"
Mother made her way back over to Stacy's bed, sat down, and placed her arm around the frightened girl. She stayed until Stacy had drifted off to sleep, and then quietly left the room.
As Stacy slept, she dreamt of the old dirt road and of Gary the Ghost being chased by the miner. By midnight she had awoke. There was no point in trying to go back to sleep. Not while Gary was out there and in need of help. Stacy resolved at that moment to be the one to help free him from the clutches of the Miner. She got up and dressed in her previous day's clothing. She walked over to her door, quietly opened it, and stepped lightly past her Mother's room to Stan's room.
"Boo!" She whispered in Stan's ear.
He jumped up, and nearly let out a scream of terror, but Stacy quickly covered his mouth before any sound came out.
"That was for scaring me earlier. Now, get up, we have to go help Gary the Ghost." Stacy said in a very firm voice.
Stan looked at Stacy, and seeing the determination in her eyes, figured there was no point in arguing with her. So, he got out of his comfy bed, and followed behind in his pyjamas.
They made their way downstairs, and before leaving the house Stacy grabbed a flashlight. They then left, headed for the dirt road, whilst their Mother slept.
"Are you sure we should be doing this? I don't want the Miner to steal my soul!" Stan said to Stacy.
"Don't worry Stan, we'll be alright. But, we have to rescue Gary. Someone has to help him."
"Yes, I know but why does that someone have to be us?"
The two continued on until arriving at the graves. It was dark, and without the flashlight they would have been unable to see anything. Stacy shined the light on the graves, and then looked around.
"O.k. no ghosts here, let's head back home now." Said Stan as he began to turn around and walk away.
"Maybe Mother was rightmaybe there is no such thing as a." Stacy began, before being interrupted
"Ghost!" Stan screamed aloud.
Stacy turns around quickly and sees the ghost of the Miner standing directly in front of Stan, who stands trembling and has turned a pale white.
"You're after my gold aren't you?" the ghost of the Miner asked. "I'll steal your soul for trying to take what's mine!"
Stacy grabbed Stan's hand and yelled at him to run just as the Miner lurched forward. They ran as fast as their legs could carry them, down the dirt road. But, the Miner gives chase, and no matter how hard they tried they couldn't lose him. They did, however, manage to duck behind an old, rusted, tractor where they were able catch their breath.
"I don't want to be a ghost!" said a frightened Stan
"Quiet, he'll hear you. There's got to be a way to make it back out of here. We just have to use our wits."
"Hello there." A small ghost appeared in front of them.
"Have you come to help rescue me from the Miner?"
The two look up, and saw the apparition levitating in front of them.
"Are you Gary the Ghost?" asked Stacy
"Yes, that is what I have heard people call me when I'm hiding up in the trees." answered Gary
"Gary, we have to find a way out of here. We need a way to distract the Miner long enough so that the three of us can leave this place."
"I know a way," said Gary, but it will take all of us to pull it off. Come with me."
Stacy and Stan follow Gary to an abandoned shed. She opened the door and found a large pile of boards. They looked between the boards and saw a bucket full of dirty water that had leaked in from a hole in the roof.
"Inside the bucket you'll find what we need to escape." explained Gary
Stacy and Gary look at Stan.
"Oh no, I am not putting my hand in that bucket!" Stan said
"Come on, Stan, it's our only way out of this."
"Well, why doesn't Gary do it?"
Gary demonstrates that he is a ghost, and therefore unable to pick up anything by going through the pile of boards. Stan looked at Stacy and Gary, and then thought of what awaited them all outside, and he knew that the Miner was drawing closer.
"Ohalright, I'll do it." Stan grudgingly agreed as he rolled up his pyjama sleeve.
He climbed up on top of the pile of boards, and stuck his arm down inside. He felt around, his fingers brushed the top of the water. It was cold and sent a shiver through him. He reached further in and his hand went down through the water. After a moment his hand felt something, he grabbed hold and pulled it up.
"Did you find it? What is it?" asked Stacy
Stan sat up on the boards, turned around and held up a gold coin. Stacy and Stan then looked at Gary the Ghost for an answer.
"It's the coin that has been missing from the Miners gold. It's the reason he haunts these grounds to this day. It was accidentally dropped out of the casket when he was buried. The old farmer who lived here long ago found it and threw it in this bucket. Time went by and he forgot all about it. And so, it has stayed lost, here." Gary explained
Outside they hear the ghostly wails of the Miner, "You won't take what's mine!"
"We have to hurry and get out of here." Stacy said
The three of them walked over to the door, and cracked it slightly, and saw the Miner wandering around looking for them.
"Alright, we've got one chance to escape. Gary, you distract the Miner. Get him to chase you, while we run to the graves near the entrance. Then get the Miner to follow you towards the graves."
Gary went through the door, and was immediately spotted by the Miner. The chase began, and provided enough of a distraction to allow Stacy and Stan to sneak out of the shed and head for the graves.
Gary the Ghost managed to stay slightly ahead of the Miner, and once he saw that the children were alright, began making his way to the graves, too. The Miner attempted to chase Gary back up the tree, when Stacy called out to him.
"Miner, we have your gold!" Stacy yelled, and threw the gold coin onto the Miner's grave. He saw it, and forgot all about little Gary the Ghost. The miner dove for his missing gold coin, and went straight through the dirt. He was returned to his burial place, his missing gold coin laid on top of the dirt, sealing him in.
After that night Gary the ghost decided to stay and guard the grave to make sure that the Miner would not return. But, he would no longer be alone, as he now had his new friends, Stacy and Stan, who would sneak away to come visit him. And, they would not miss their old friends or home so much now. They had a new home and a new friend now that they had found Gary the Ghost.