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Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Semester 2 Reading Lessons...
Reading: Summarising a Story
- "Midnight Phantom"
To read and summarise short stories.
Read the story in-depth to understand the meaning. Then read it again
summarising each section. Then finish writing a complete summary of the
by Linda Joy
If Shanna hadn't called me a selfish, stuck-up brat, I NEVER would have seen
the Phantom. But Shanna had acted like a jerk and our friendship was over.
So instead of being asleep at 11:45, I was awake. I kept thinking about
Shanna. Maybe I should have let her copy my history test. Cheating was
wrong, but we WERE best friends.
I looked out my bedroom
window over to Shanna's house. No light in her room. Bet she was sound
asleep. The jerk!
As I glanced away, I
noticed a light in the orchard behind my house. Like a floating ghost, the
small light flickered between shadowy trees, disappearing and then
reappearing through tangled branches.
Someone or SOMETHING was out there. And it was coming closer. I wanted to
call 911 or my parents. But I couldn't move. The flickering light grew
larger. Then I saw IT. A huge floating dark blob. And it carried something
long and silvery. A SHOVEL.
A dog barked, shattering
the quiet night. I knew that dog. Taffy belonged to Shanna. We'd found the
tiny bundle of white fur while collecting aluminium cans last summer. So
when a whirl of white jumped over the fence into the orchard, I freaked out.
Oh, no! Taffy, come back!
I flung on a jacket and
raced outside. Tiny Taffy had the heart of a lion, but the paws of a rabbit.
She would be helpless against the shadowy Phantom.
I crept to the fence
that separated my house from the orchard and cautiously peaked through a
knot hole. Nothing. So I pulled myself over the fence. Crunch. I landed on a
brittle branch, the snap echoing like a gun shot.
Then I heard a shrill
Before I could go to
Taffy's rescue, I heard a footstep behind me. Suddenly, a hand reached out
and grabbed my neck. Another hand covered my mouth, strangling my cries. I
struggled to escape; kicking, hitting, biting.
attacker exclaimed. "Your teeth are sharp!"
broke free and faced my ex-friend. "Why did you grab me? I nearly wet
my pants, you scared me so much."
"Shhssh! Do you
want that creep to hear us?" she said. "I'm afraid he has Taffy. I
saw her jump the fence, so I came out to find her."
"Me, too," I
said. Shanna and I were so much alike. I started to smile, but remembered
our fight and frowned. We were NOT friends anymore. "Let's just find
She nodded, then pointed
to a light flickering up ahead, so we moved forward.
My heart thundered. I
was afraid for Taffy. Why wasn't she barking anymore? I remembered the
deadly silver shovel and felt sick. Taffy just HAD to be all right.
clawed me as we entered a thick tangle of trees. And there he was: The
Phantom. A shadowy figure in a black cloak and high dark hat. His face
looked as gnarled and ancient as the orchard trees.
"He's digging a
grave!" Shanna grabbed my hand. I could feel her trembling.
warned. "Unless you want to be the dead body he buries."
"Dead body! You
mean he could be a killer? Oh, no! Where's Taffy?" I shook my head. I
hadn't seen Taffy since entering the orchard. NOT good.
I squeezed Shanna's head
and watched in terror as the Phantom kept digging. My eyes had adjusted to
the dark and I saw several gaping holes in the ground around him. One was
long and deep; wide enough for a small person. LIKE ME.
Abruptly, the Phantom
stopped digging. He bent down and pulled out a skateboard-shaped box. After
brushing off caked-on dirt, he reached inside and grabbed something small,
thin, and white like a small bone! Maybe from an animal or young child. And
not just ONE bone. I could see a whole pile of them inside the box.
With my life flashing
before me, a dumb argument just seemed plain dumb. So I turned to Shanna and
whispered, "I'm sorry."
"I'm the one who's
sorry." Her soft voice was sad. "I never should have asked you to
cheat. Forgive me, and let's be friends again."
I nodded. "Best
friends. If we get out of here alive." Then we both jumped when we
heard a dog bark. "TAFFY!" we screamed.
Startled, the Phantom
dropped his box. Small white bones spilled on the ground. "Who's out
there?" he growled. "Show yourself!"
I wanted to run. Believe
me, I really, really, REALLY wanted to run. But I saw Taffy's adorable white
head pop out from the deep hole in the ground, and I couldn't leave her. So
I sobbed, "Please don't hurt our dog! Or us, either!"
The Phantom reached for Taffy and held her in the air. Taffy's legs dangled
and she looked so helpless. "Hey, I like dogs. You'd better take care
of this pup before it falls in another hole. Luckily I was here to pull it
out." He leaned against the shovel and stared at us. "Bet you
girls wonder why I'm digging in the middle of the night."
graves?" Shanna stepped forward to take Taffy in her arms. The pup
wiggled and happily licked Shanna's face.
I pointed to the ground.
bones. Look closer." He shined his flashlight. "They're carved
white chess pieces. My old pal Zeke had the black ones. See, a long time ago
Zeke and I were playing chess. Zeke won, but I thought he'd cheated. I got
mad. Took my chess pieces and left, telling Zeke he was a dirty cheater and
we weren't pals anymore."
"And you buried the
chess pieces here?" I guessed. He nodded. "But the next day Zeke
was in a terrible accident. He died. And I never got a chance to say I was
sorry. Until now."
Suddenly a blond boy in
old-fashioned clothes appeared out of nowhere. The boy held a box filled
with black chess pieces. I glanced at the Phantom and he changed right in
front of us--into a dark-haired boy holding white chess pieces. And I could
see right through him. He wasn't human.
Shanna and I exchanged
horrified looks. THE PHANTOM REALLY WAS A PHANTOM! Only now there were two
Screaming, Shanna and I
ran out of the orchard... together.