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The Viking in the Basement
Chiller 28
(page 4 of 4)

I figured, this was it. Then the weirdest sound I'd ever heard echoed through the basement. It was like a song or a chant, but in some other language.
The Viking heard it too, and froze. All life disappeared from its eyes and it was a statue again. Another figure appeared in the flashlight beam, and this one was shaped kind of like a bear.
Mr. Johanssen"Is your friend all right?" Mr. Johanssen asked.
"He fainted," I managed to say.
"Let's get him to my office," Mr. Johanssen said, kneeling down and picking up Brian like he was a doll. "Shine the light ahead of me."
"What was that thing?" I croaked as we walked through the darkness.
"It was found buried when they were digging the foundation for this school," Mr. Johanssen answered. "And if I'm right, it sailed to this continent a thousand years before that."
A thousand years?
We were in his office now, and I was glad to see light. He set Brian down on a beat-up old couch.
"But that thing was made of wood!" I said. "How can it move?"
Mr. Johanssen went to a first aid kit on the wall and pulled some smelling salts out. "How indeed?" he said. "Legend tells us the Vikings were fiercer, braver, stronger and harder to stop than anyone else in history. Ever wonder why they were so tough? Maybe it's because they weren't really human at all. Maybe they were really warrior statues made of wood or stone and then brought to life through some kind of ancient Norse magic, magic that has been long forgotten... by most people."
Then he smiled at me in a really creepy way that made my skin crawl, and held the smelling salts under Brian's nose. Brian came to, coughing.
"Now then," Mr. Johanssen said, "I'll make a deal with you two. I won't tell the principal you were down here if you promise never to come back." We promised and then got out of there as fast as we could.
Brian remembered nothing about the Viking, and when I tried to tell him about it, he just looked at me like I was crazy. And frankly, I thought maybe I was, too, until one day a month or so later. I had stayed late for a band rehearsal and just as I was leaving the building, I saw Mr. Johanssen loading a piano into the freight elevator. Right before the elevator door closed, I noticed that someone was helping him.
Someone wearing a Viking helmet.

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Michael Mallory lives in the greater Los Angeles, where he writes mystery and scary stories for kids and adults.


The Viking in the Basement by Michael Mallory
Copyright © 1998-2001 Newfront Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.


 

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