"Nutcracker Nightmare" is a short story in More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps.


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Sam is upset because her former teacher Mrs. Boren -- or as she calls her, Boring -- has invited her and her parents to see the ballet. Sam is upset because she was forced to wear a green taffeta dress and miss out on seeing a movie with her friends. Sam's father reminds her that some people have real problems, and she should be happy about getting to see the Nutcracker.

Once inside the theatre, Sam makes a comment about being bored to death to Mrs. Boren. Ol' Boring takes out a gold watch and tells Sam she'll show her what boredom really is. Sam waits for the ballet to start. And waits. And waits. The conductor warms up for what seems like hours, but no one else around her seems to notice. Finally some dancers appear on stage. Once they slowly go through their routine, the audience applauds and applauds and applauds and won't stop applauding. Sam tries to stop applauding but her mother, who doesn't notice anything wrong, forces her to keep applauding. Sam starts getting worried-- just how long has she and the rest of the audience been in the theatre? Samantha looks up at her mother and sees that her hair now has gray flecks in it. It dawns on Sam that Mrs. Boren has placed a spell on the audience. She jumps out of her seat and attempts to walk towards the exit, but every step towards the door results in the same distance, essentially trapping her in place. Mrs. Boren snarkily tells Sam that the snack bar is closed during the performance and that she should just sit down and enjoy it. Sam sits down and hears a rip. She's grown out of her dress, which has split at the seams. Again Sam poses the question, Just how long have I been sitting here?

Finally the curtain falls and the audience applauds wildly. Sam jumps out of her seat, glad that the whole ordeal is over, only to be stopped by Mrs. Boren, who reminds her that it's a two-act ballet.