The House of the Twelve Keys
Part 5. The Rotten Rink
“Key Number Four!” Raj and Pat read out together.
The animals bowed and then parted. The door was almost closed.
“Hurry!” Raj said.
They ran and slipped through just before the doors slammed shut.
Pat and Raj landed on a hockey rink. And they were wearing ancient-looking skates, leather gloves, helmets, and holding wooden sticks. Ten pucks sat at centre ice.
The Zamboni door opened a crack at the end of the rink, but in front of it was a goal. And in the goal was…a ghostly goalie—a large, crimson number “5” emblazoned on its jersey.
“I guess we need to play a little shinny,” Pat said.
“But I stink at hockey!” Raj said.
Pat clutched her stick. “Yeah. But I don’t.”
She was off, blazing down the ice, teeth gritted, eyes narrowed. She faked a slapshot and the goalie fell to its knees. Pat spun to her right, shooting the puck over the goalie’s glove and into the top corner of the net.
The goalie howled and the number on its chest swirled into a “4.”
Pat skated back to Raj who was struggling to stand up.
“I should have paid more attention in gym class,” he said.
“Agreed. But don’t worry. I got this.” Pat whooshed back and scored again, this time on a shot low to the glove side. The goalie howled again, now wearing a deep red number “3.”
But the next time, the goalie made a laser-like glove save. And the number stayed at “3.”
Pat scored again, a shot high over the blocker. And the number turned to a “2.”
Raj had made it next to the goal. He headed for the door, but the goalie turned and growled, its face a mass of razor-sharp teeth.
“Yikes,” Raj squeaked, standing frozen to the spot.
The goalie began making save after save.
And finally there were just three pucks left.
“And we need two more goals,” Raj said.
Pat looked at the goalie. She’d scored over the blocker, and on the glove side high and low. The 1, 2 and 3 goalie “holes” she’d learned about from her coach.
“Aha!” Pat said. “I bet I need to score on the other two!”
She skated down and she beat the goalie low glove side. “Four hole!” she yelled.
But when she tried the 5-hole on the next shot, the goalie made the save.
What had she missed? She saw Raj standing next to the goal. Hmmmm. Maybe there was one other thing she needed to do. “Raj, keep your stick on the ice,” she called. She sped up with the last puck.
But this time, instead of shooting herself, she passed the puck to Raj.
“SHOOT!” Pat yelled.
Raj moved his stick and pushed the puck through the goalie’s legs and into the net.
“Raj goes 5-hole!” Pat yelled.
The goalie disappeared in a puff of smoke.
There was a loud crash from the other end of the rink. Something big had smashed down the boards and was charging at them.
Pat grabbed Raj by the hand and sped through the door. Where they landed was very, very hot.
If you were trapped in a haunted house, what sporting challenge would you like to compete in?