Master Monster Makers


It was almost Halloween. Every year the Master Monster Makers built a frightening monster for the Halloween party at the church. The boys were busy bringing monster parts to Billy’s backyard.

Billy had a big cardboard box that a washing machine had come in, and many smaller boxes. He also had some coat hangers for fastening the boxes together.

Tommy brought ropes and a worn-out tent that his brother had given to him.

Donald brought spray paints and a plastic bucket.

“We are the Master Monster Makers,” they said. “We make the best monsters!”

Billy’s little sister, Cathy, came outside. She had a toy megaphone in her hand. When she talked through it, her voice was very loud.

“Can I help?” she asked. “We could put my megaphone in your monster.”

“Sorry,” said Billy. “You are not one of the Master Monster Makers. You would only get in the way.”

Cathy shouted, “I would not!”

Billy shook his head. “No.”

Cathy put the megaphone to her mouth and shouted, “YOU ARE NOT VERY NICE!”

“Quiet, mega-mouth,” said Billy.

The Master Monster Makers laughed. Cathy turned and marched back inside. The boys started working.

Billy put the boxes together to make the monster’s body.

Tommy wrapped the tent around the boxes, then tied on ropes to make the arms move.

Donald painted the monster scary colors. He put the little bucket on top for a head.

The Master Monster Makers worked hard all morning. At last Billy put an awful Halloween mask on the monster’s head, and the three boys stood back and admired their work. The monster looked so real that they thought it might reach out and grab them.

“That’s the best monster we’ve ever made,” said Donald. The others agreed.

Cathy came out of the house with her megaphone. “Is anybody thirsty?” she asked. “I poured you some cold root beer in the kitchen.”

The Master Monster Makers were all thirsty. They hurried inside.

“That was nice of Cathy,” said Donald, sipping through a straw. “I thought she would still be mad.”

“Me, too,” said Tommy. “Maybe we should have let her help.”

“No,” said Billy. “She doesn’t know anything about making monsters.”

The three boys finished their drinks and went back outside. They wanted to thank Cathy for the root beer, but they didn’t see her anywhere. They were alone with the monster.

“It sure looks scary,” said Billy.

“Yes,” said Tommy. “Spooky.”

“Ooooohhhhh …”

“What was that?” asked Donald.

The monster’s arms came up a little.

“It—it moved!” Tommy croaked.

The monster’s arms went up high. It growled, “COME HERE, LITTLE BOYS. I AM VERY HUNGRY!”

“It’s almost like it’s alive!” yelped Billy.

“Neat!” Donald squawked.

“Who thought of that?” the Master Monster Makers asked each other.

Just then they heard the monster again. It giggled.

Giggled?

“Oh,” said Billy. “I know.” He marched right up to the monster and banged on its chest. “OK,” he said. “Come on out, Cathy.”

There was silence for a minute. Then Billy’s little sister poked her head out. “How did you know it was me?” she asked.

“Monsters don’t giggle,” said Billy.

Cathy climbed out of the monster with her megaphone. “Are you angry?” she asked.

Billy thought for a minute. “I guess not,” he said. “I didn’t think you could make our monster any scarier. But you did.”

“You sure did,” agreed Tommy and Donald.

The boys looked at each other. They all had the same idea at the same time.

“Cathy,” Billy asked, “would you be the monster’s voice at the Halloween party?”

“That would be fun!” Cathy exclaimed.

“We are the Master Monster Makers,” they all four shouted, “and we make the best monsters!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney