44 - Say Cheese and Die—Again

44 - Say Cheese and Die—Again by R.L. Stine - (ebook by Undead) Read Free Book Online

Book: 44 - Say Cheese and Die—Again by R.L. Stine - (ebook by Undead) Read Free Book Online
Authors: R.L. Stine - (ebook by Undead)
    “Let’s meet at my house,” Shari suggested. “I have to ask my mom first.”
    Michael and Bird jogged toward their houses. Shari and I crossed the street
and headed to our homes, which are side by side.
    Mom and Dad were at work. Terry wasn’t home from high school yet. I dropped
the backpack in the front hall. Pulled a box of juice from the refrigerator and
drank it in two long sips from the straw.
    I still felt weak. Kind of lifeless. I thought maybe a long bike ride would
help get my energy back.
    My jeans felt uncomfortable. A little tight. I ran to my room and pulled on
my pair of really baggy shorts. Mom and Dad always teased me about these shorts.
They say there’s room enough for a friend inside them.
    But I like them. I think they’re cool. And they’re really comfortable. I
usually don’t wear them when I ride my bike. They’re so long and baggy, sometimes the cuffs get
caught in the chain.
    I hurried outside and found Shari, Michael, and Bird waiting for me on their
bikes. “Let’s go, Greg,” Bird urged. “It’s starting to get cloudy.”
    I pulled open the garage door and stepped inside, careful to walk around the
black oil stains on the concrete floor. I took my bike from against the wall and
walked it out onto the driveway.
    Then, I did my high-flying circus riding trick. It’s my favorite way of
getting on my bike. I lean on the handlebars and heave myself up in the air.
Then I come flying down on the seat.
    Up I went. Pushed my body into the air.
    Swung my legs in the air. Dropped onto the seat.
    And both tires popped.
    I heard the explosion and then a whoosh of air as the tires flattened against
the drive.
    “Hey—what’s going on?” I cried.

    “Whoa!” Shari cried.
    Michael and Bird burst out laughing.
    “Nice tires,” Michael said.
    “Maybe you should go on a diet!” Bird exclaimed.
    “Huh? A diet?” I repeated, swallowing hard. I knew that Bird was only joking.
But his words sent a chill down my back.
    The snapshot flashed into my mind. The ugly snapshot from the evil camera.
    I saw myself all bloated and huge. Like an enormous saggy water balloon.
    I felt my face go hot and knew that I was blushing. I saw my friends staring
at me. I climbed off my bike. “Guess I jumped too hard,” I murmured.
    “Maybe you need a tricycle,” Michael cracked.
    No one laughed. Michael’s jokes never make any sense.
    I squatted down and examined the tires. I ran my hands along the rubber—and
found two big holes. Two blowouts. And they were new tires, too.
    I dragged the bike back into the garage. “I’ll take Terry’s old bike,” I told
my friends.
    I actually like my brother’s bike better than mine. It’s a twelve-speed, and
mine is only ten. He hardly ever rides it now that he’s got his driver’s
license. But he doesn’t like me riding it.
    “Better not sit on it!” Bird suggested. “Maybe you should just walk it!” He
and Michael laughed and slapped each other’s hands.
    “Ha-ha,” I said. “You guys are as funny as a flat tire.”
    “No. We’re as funny as two flat tires!” Michael joked.
    “Maybe you need a mountain bike,” Bird said. “Something sturdy.”
    “Maybe you need a sturdy punch in the face,” I threatened.
    “Just don’t sit on me!” Michael exclaimed, raising both hands in front of him
as if to shield himself from me.
    “Are we going to ride or not?” Shari demanded, sighing. She glanced up at the
graying sky. “If we don’t hurry, we’re going to get caught in the rain.”
    I eased myself carefully onto Terry’s bike. Then I followed them down the
driveway and into the street.
    We rode aimlessly around town. When we reached the long, narrow park a few blocks from school, we bumped onto the
grass and raced as fast as we could.
    Bird has the best bike and the longest legs. So he always wins our races.
    After about an hour, it started to drizzle, so we turned for home. I was
glad. My legs felt

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