Halloween story--first draft minimum of 600 words

It was a cold and scary night.

While coyotes howled beyond the moonless moor, a chicken--its wings bloodied and gnawed to a nub--staggered across the dusty road, squawking and collapsing and twitching, its beak broken in two.

Cilla's Story:
Priscilla Wood audibly gasped when she glanced at the Parson’s vintage Grandfather clock. It was three minutes to midnight and she was extremely tardy getting home. Cilla, popping up from the couch mentioned that she believed this party was lame (in order to look as if she would stay late if it was cool enough) and blew kisses in everyone’s direction. She hugged her best friend, Tiphanie Parsons, and gave her a look that explained the current situation. Always in the know, Tiphanie smiled and closed the door slowly. Cilla caught a quiet “Good luck…” from the other side of the door. Laughing silently, Cilla clunked down the steps in her designer stilettos. Besides the fact that she was most likely going to be grounded for the remainder of her life, Cilla smiled. After all, this was the best Halloween yet. Priscilla was a princess, a costume less then original, but certainly fitting. Cilla nearly jumped ten feet when her phone buzzed. Seeing it was her mother, she sighed and answered it.
“Mother, calm yourself…I…lost track of time.”
“LOST TRACK OF TIME?!?!?! What kind of excuse is that!?! There are clocks everywhere in that house! You have a phone! We bought you a watch! What more can we do Cilla!?!?!?”
“I have no idea, mom.”
Click. Cilla’s face immediately darkened. Saige. Saige was the outcome of her mother’s second marriage and the object of her hatred. Priscilla made it her goal to inflict pain upon this child often. She cut up Saige’s binkies, she “forgot” to change her diaper, and she “accidentally” threw things at her. Priscilla had never hated anyone so much. In fact, the other day, she told Saige to fall off a cliff. She clenched her teeth at the thought of watching her tonight.
The night was misty and wet. Even the streets were silent. It made Cilla nervous, very nervous, as it didn’t feel right. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement. Gasping as she turned abruptly around, Cilla almost cried out. Creaking slowly across the the street, was a turn of the century baby carriage. The carriage happened to look a lot like the one Saige sat in for family pictures. Extremely perplexed and a little frightened, Cilla crept towards it. Though, she stopped in her tracks. A car, headlights blazing and moving way past the limit, headed right towards the carriage. Not half a second later, the car hit the carriage, full force. Cilla took her hands off her eyes and slowly drew her eyes up to what had to be a macabre scene. But all Cilla saw was the carriage, continuing its way across the street. Scared stiff, Cilla was unsure how to react. Suddenly, something dropped from the carriage and rolled toward Cilla. Barely breathing she glanced down at the item and gasped as it reached her toes. It was a binky. One that had been cut cruelly, with a pink teddy bear design. The kind Saige liked in particular. Eyes wide, lungs empty, Cilla resisted screaming and ran wildly away from the carriage and binky. She ran and ran and ran and ran and ran until she was sure she was away. Think Cilla, think, she thought. It was probably a prank. An optical illusion. Ha. Ha. It was funny. That’s it. She sat down. And jumped up again, Cilla had run into the Cliffside Graveyard and was sitting on a grave, the grave of Amos Mortecai, year of death 1898, with the inscription “Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.” She sat down next to Amos.

Claire Stemen

The music played softly and sweetly, notes sliding off one another with ease. Outside cars passed and dogs barked, though inside besides the music--all was silent. Serena Chinatoris’ life had ended but the music played on and on...
“Pick a pumpkin already!” Savannah Bernard whined to her little brother, “Goodness, gracious! You’re not picking a wife!” Isaac picked his way through the fields and blew out a long breath. “You promised you wouldn’t whine!” he said crossly rubbing his hands together to keep himself warm. “I’m not whining,” Savannah mumbled, brushing her long chestnut hair into a ponytail. Ever since he had turned 9, he had become very bossy and serious, acting more like a 30 yr old than a 3rd grader. She’d brought him to a pumpkin picking orchard in the hopes that the old tradition would rekindle his youth--but nothing whatsoever had changed. Isaac took the choosing of pumpkins very seriously, and the old guy with the leather jacket two rows over was starting to creep Savannah out. “Alright, that’s enough, kid, just pick one and let’s go!” she said and started walking back to the store. Isaac followed with a disgruntled look on his face and a perfectly round pumpkin the size of a basketball--it was a wonder he didn’t keel over from the weight. As Savannah paid for her and Isaac’s pumpkins (hers was nowhere near as beautiful) The creeper with the leather jacket ambled over and said with a chuckle, “Need some help with those, miss...?” “Savannah, and not from you—I mean, no thank you!” Savannah said blushing bright red and ushering Isaac, who was speaking about gas prices with the manager, out the door. They bustled quickly out, Isaac looking very proud of himself and Savannah flustered. As she walked purposefully towards their blue jeep, Savannah kept looking over her shoulder at the man with the leather jacket whom Jimmy--the pumpkin patch owner, had called Roland Carson. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but there was something a little off about him. When they arrived at the house, Savannah walked up the front stairs and jiggled her door open. Isaac made sure his pumpkin’s best side could be seen from the street, then plunked his sister’s down without another thought about it. Their mom called Savannah into the living room to show her a news segment. It was about the five girls who had been murdered within the last month. Each time they’d been found, some type of device had been playing a song--the detectives had not made a big deal of it at first, but now it seemed the music linked all of the girls and was some kind of psychotic signature the murderer used. “I don’t want you going out by yourself after seven anymore,” said her mom, “at least until this psycho is caught--do you understand me?” “Yes, mom,” said Savannah turning cold. She walked up to her room and dropped her keys on the desk. She wondered about Roland Carson...he definitely was a creepy guy, but a murderer? He was new in town, but only two weeks ago had he moved in, the murders had started a month ago. Savannah decided to dismiss the thought, but every time she saw Roland she got a bad feeling, and started to feel as though he was following her.
It was two weeks later--the week of Halloween to be exact, that she began to hear the song “Savannah’s Lullaby” everywhere she went. She wished the DJs would stop playing it, though it was catchy, its name filled her with dread. On the Friday before Halloween Savannah was walking home from her friend’s house (a block away from her own) when a girl around her age stepped in front of her and stopped her in her tracks. The girl had a long scar down her cheek and scared, dark eyes. “Hi, I’m Gaby Carson, you’re Savannah right?”.”ye-es” stuttered Savannah. “I have to talk to you about something...but I can’t really explain, you see it’s really difficult...I can just give you a hint, but please, please think about it. You are on a playlist, be careful.” Gaby said stopping and shaking her head from side, her eyes open wide as though trying to mime something. All of a sudden she gasped and ran away. Savannah understood only too well what Gaby had hinted at her, but she had no chance to do anything about it because just then two arms grabbed her from behind and tied and gagged her. Savannah saw swirls of colors and then was shut in the back of a van. As soon as it started to move, Savannah rolled over, and found it was easier to sit up this way. She worked at her bonds and found to her relief that they were starting to come loose, Roland must have been in a hurry because they were simple bows and by the time the van had stopped she was completely untied, though very scared and jumpy. When Roland opened the door Savannah leaped out and started running. Her kidnapper ran after her and tackled her. They fought for a little while, but Roland was in good shape and Savannah was only 5’ 3”. He overwhelmed her and lugged her into the house, where Savannah saw a glimpse of his daughter, Gaby. Gaby looked startled and horrified. Roland threw Savannah down the last few steps to the basement and headed into another room and locked the door. A radio turned on. All of a sudden Savannah saw smoke furling along the ceiling. Gaby ran down the stairs two at a time and pulled Savannah to her feet. Savannah coughed and staggered up, then she and Gaby ran up the stairs--Gaby locking the basement door behind her. After they ran to Savannah’s house and called the police, both girls cried themselves out. A few days later was Halloween and Savannah had decided to stay home and just watch T.V. At midnight she turned it off and walked slowly up the stairs. She got sleepily into bed and the radio turned on, playing “Savannah’s Lullaby”. Savannah turned white and slowly turned towards her window squeezing her eyes shut. The curtains billowed in the wind and Roland Carson--face marred from the fire, stared through. Savannah screamed.


The Elevator
After a hard day’s work, Ronald shuffled out of his office to finally head home. The day had been stressful, and now all he wanted to do was go home and see his daughter in her Halloween costume. He turned around to lock his door when he heard a peculiar noise—that of a vacuum cleaner. Usually he was the last out of the building but tonight was different. In front of him, a black vacuum cleaner came whirling around the corner of the cubicles! The unmanned machine with a gaping mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth was speeding toward him. To escape the creature in all its fury, Ronald sprinted to the elevator as fast as his legs could carry him. With lightening quick speed he pressed the button for the door to close just before the vacuum could enter. As his view of the hallway disappeared, the florescent lights flickered before throwing the eight by eight elevator into darkness. Ronald held his hand out in front of him but could see nothing; the elevator had turned into a seemingly endless black hole.
With adrenalin pumping through his veins, Ronald hurriedly pulled out his flip phone to give him a source of light in the pitch black. He slowly scanned his surroundings, finding nothing out of the ordinary, and then he slumped against the wall, catching his breath. Not a moment later Ron heard a piercing hiss directly across the elevator. Reopening his cell phone for light, he could dimly make out the hand railing moving and stretching. Pulling himself upright, he took a step forward to investigate only to find that the railing was morphing into a scaly anaconda! Ronald, fearful of snakes since a childhood trip to the zoo, backed himself into a corner while the reptile slithered on the tile floor of the elevator. Seeing no escape route, he cautiously pulled out a ballpoint pen from the breast pocket of his suit. Without a second thought, he leaped onto the animal, entwined into a battle of strength and intelligence. Soon the snake’s body could not be differentiated from Ronald’s, as the anaconda constricted him with its brute strength. Ronald fought back, blindly plunging his pen through the snake’s scaly skin. The snake let out an agonizing hiss as its muscles relaxed and fell limp around Ronald’s exhausted body. He unraveled himself out of the snake’s loose grip, his shirt soaked thoroughly with the anaconda’s blood, which was now spouting non-stop from the lifeless creature. He shone his phone’s light on the floor--the red soup was flowing constantly, filling up the elevator. Ronald realized that if he didn’t find a way out, he would eventually drown in the blood. His confidence in the earlier fight had now turned to panic as the warm liquid covered his knees.
He covered his face with his hands, trying to think of a plan, but his nerves were overpowering his brain. He leaned against the wall, the warm blood now up to his shoulders, prepared to meet his early death. Suddenly, just as he could hold his face above the pool of blood no longer, he felt something click behind him and the thick blood began to lower slowly. With a sigh of relief his breathing became normal once more. He glanced around the elevator, hoping his nightmare was soon to be over when he saw a long, fraying rope extending from the ceiling. As the blood continued to lower, he saw that the rope ended: ended around the crooked neck of a little girl.
Ronald drew in a sharp breath. The little girl was his daughter, Annabelle; her pale blue eyes staring blankly ahead as her small frame swayed on the end of the rope. Ronald’s mind was going around in circuitous routes.
Why the snake? How did Annabelle get here? Am I hallucinating? That can’t be my daughter.
He took a step forward, and with a shaking hand, moved to brush Annabelle’s bangs out of her face. As soon as his fingertips touched the thin sienna-colored hair, Annabelle’s eyes turned into crimson orbs. With a screech, she opened her mouth, baring yellow, rotting fangs and snapped at her father. Her skin had turned into an ashy gray color, almost zombie-like. Ronald jumped back and pressed himself against the wall to stay out of reach of the attack. Within a few seconds, the figure at the end of the rope was once again the limp body of Annabelle, staring with her pale blue eyes.
Ronald slumped yet again to the floor, not knowing how to escape this living hell. The oxygen seemed to be slowly slipping out of the room. He drifted slowly into a dark silence.
The next morning, Ronald’s boss opened the elevator to get up to her sixth story office. After the door closed, she looked around the floor and gasped. In the corner was Ronald, resting against the wall with a knife stuck into his chest. Panicking, she pressed the “DOOR OPEN” button over and over again. The door would not open.

Natalie Lawson & Lydia Bednarski

Ian Adams

The Happy Bakers

Everyone was dancing and laughing at the neighborhood Halloween party being held at the Brown’s house in the small town of Apple Creek, Iowa. This get-together was also a “farewell” party for the Wilson family, who is moving away on November 2nd. People ate and reminisced about the Halloweens from their childhood.
“Remember the Halloween in 1923? Wow, that was 28 years ago!” said Mr. Wilson.
“How could anyone forget that Halloween?” replied Mr. and Mrs. Brown in unison.
James Brown and Timmy Wilson had walked in the room just in time to hear the Browns say that. These two boys were the most adventurous and curious boys in their fifth grade class, which is probably why they have been inseparable since kindergarten, and with Timmy moving in two days, they had been extremely sad.
“Wait, what happened?” James piped up immediately.
“Yeah, we want to know!” said Timmy eagerly.
Mr. Brown cast a subtle glace at Mr. Wilson, who hesitated for a moment then nodded slightly, signaling to Mr. Brown that the boys were old enough to hear the mysterious story that happened in the little town of Apple Creek on that Halloween.
“Well, boys, sit down. I’ve got a lot to say,” Mr. Brown grumbled as they group settled into the chairs in the living room.
“Do you boys know where that old, run-down building is on Maple Road?”
The boys, their eyes locked on Mr. Brown, nodded.
“Well that old building used to be a bakery, and 28 years ago to this day was the grand opening of that bakery, which specialized in baking cupcakes. It was called The Happy Bakers Bakery. A small family from Des Moines moved out from the busy city life to good, old Apple Creek. They put everything that had into making that bakery happen. It had been a dream of theirs. I remember going there with all my friends, including Mrs. Brown and your parents, Timmy,” and Mr. Brown gestured toward Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.
“That little bakery had the most delicious cupcakes! Oh, I remember how moist that thing was. Mm! To this day, that cupcake is hands down the best dessert I’ve ever eaten,” Mr. Brown continued.
“Me too!” said Mrs. Wilson, and Mr. Wilson nodded in agreement.
“But something went array that night. I’m still not completely sure what happened, but according the newspaper that came out the next day, the line to buy a cupcake was out the door, and they had just run out. It was getting really late. They scrambled in the kitchen to whip up another batch. The people in the line were very pleased with their cupcakes, but the next morning, everyone that had eaten a cupcake from this last batch was dead.” James and Timmy gasped, and then Mr. Brown went on.
“Nobody knows for sure how they died, and there are many rumors that try to explain this tragedy. Some say that someone who was cleaning the pans accidently spilled cleaning solution in the batter. Others say that they eggs used in the last batch were part of a recall that the owners had chosen to ignore, but these reasons just don’t make sense, because for sure, the overall taste and quality of the cupcakes would have been affected. The bakery was then forced to close and the owners were sent to jail for life. Many say that the bakery is left just as it was after the owners left that night. Nobody has been in there since. Once a year or so someone will claim that they heard strange noises from the bakery, and sometimes people claim smelling the aroma of a freshly-baked cake after walking by the old bakery, but none of these claims have ever been taken seriously. I don’t know a lot, but I do know, that the cupcake I had there was pretty scrumptious.” Mr. Brown smirked and then looked at the boys. They were staring at him with their eyes wide open. There was an awkward silence, then the group disbanded.
“Alright, kids, it’s time to trick-or-treat!” Mrs. Wilson yelled a few minutes after the story was told.
James and Timmy went outside in their costumes and trick-or-treated, extremely excited and horrified at the same time about the story of the bakery. Finally, after about an hour of getting candy, they finally made a bold decision.
“I know, this is going to sound crazy, Timmy, but you are going to be gone in a few days, and we should go out with a bang. Let’s go explore the bakery,” James said in a hushed tone.
“I was thinking the same thing,” Timmy whispered back, “Let’s go.”
The adventurous boys made their way down Maple Road to the abandoned old building. The boys never would have guessed that this old, run down, dirty building would have been a bakery. The front window was smashed and the paint on the walls was chipping. The boys looked at each other, walked to the front door, and then opened it. Surprisingly, it was unlocked. The inside was almost pitch black, but after standing barely two feet from the door for a few moments, James saw something.
“Timmy, is that a…plate of cupcakes?” He gestured toward the random desserts.
Timmy looked, and then stared at the plate.
“I’m really hungry,” James mumbled, and reached for a cupcake.
“Are you crazy? What if those are poisoned?” said Timmy. James froze.
“This cupcake is warm,” he said, “like it just came out of the oven.”
“Are you joking?” Timmy said as he picked up a cupcake too in disbelief.
Suddenly, a crashing noise came from the kitchen, and the two ran out and down the street, with their cupcakes in hand. They stopped and then looked at their cupcakes.
“It was probably a rat or something,” Timmy said.
“Yeah,” James agreed, “and also I’m going to eat this cupcake. I mean it couldn’t have been in the poisoned batch, and I’m so hungry, I really don’t care where it came from.” Timmy watched in amazement as the cupcake was devoured. He gave his to James, who then ate that one.
“Mm! It’s chocolate. This is so good!” exclaimed James. Timmy, shook his head and then the two went their separate ways to go home.
That night, James could not sleep very much because he heard kept hearing a faint, scraping noise, almost like nails scratching on a chalkboard.
The next day at school Timmy was incredibly happy to see James alive after eating the cupcake. James told Timmy of the scraping noise, and Timmy did not have the same issue. James asked Timmy if he would go get another cupcake tonight. Timmy did not want to get a cupcake, but he wanted to go with James for the adventure because it was his last night in Apple Creek before he would move.
That night they met up at the bakery. The only light around came from the moon. Again, they walked into the bakery, and James took and ate two more cupcakes. The cupcakes were warm. Timmy stood and watched him eat them, and then decided that they should go further into the bakery to see where these things were coming from. As they moved further into the blackness, their eyes were getting more and more adjusted to the dark. They could tell that they had reached the door to the kitchen.
“That’s it!” said James.
“That’s what?” asked Timmy.
“Do you hear that sound?” James nodded.
“That’s the sound that kept me up last night!” They opened the door to the kitchen, took a few steps forward, and then stopped moving. Before them was a whisk stirring by itself in a metal mixing bowl, making the scraping sound. The kitchen door slammed shut, and they both screamed. James tried to open it, but it was locked. They yelled and yelled, and then noticed something moving on the wall that the door was on. It was a piping bag! It was piping icing on the wall. James and Timmy stood back and stood, frozen, watching the bag pipe icing.
“Wait,” said James, “it’s writing a message!” Timmy threw himself on the ground and started sobbing in horror. James, his body quivering, wanted to see what it was writing.
“B, E, A, H, A, P, P, Y,” James read as the bag piped, “B, A, K, E, R…B-E-A-H-A-P-P-Y-B-A-K-E-R…Be a Happy Baker? What?”
The bag of icing fell to the floor after piping the message. James jumped as it hit the floor, and then he grabbed Timmy and pulled him off the floor. James kept trying to open the door. Finally, he kicked the doorknob, and it fell off. He pushed open the door and they both ran out of the kitchen, out of the bakery, and then they ran their separate ways home. That was the last time James saw Timmy saw each other.
Neither of them ever mentioned the incident to anyone. That night, the scraping sound was even louder for James. He did not sleep at all, and in the morning he asked anyone in his house if they heard the noise, and none of them had.
James went to school the next day, and when he opened his locker, there was a bag of flour, eggs, and butter. When he opened his backpack, there was sugar, baking soda, and vanilla extract. He had all the ingredients to bake cupcakes.
At lunch, James’s friend was celebrating his birthday and he gave everyone at the lunch table. James was losing it. He threw the cupcake on the ground and then ran out of the cafeteria. He ran out of the school. He ran, and kept running. That was the last time anyone ever saw him.
Twenty years later, Timmy decided to visit the Browns in the little town of Apple Creek where he had grown up. He had heard of the disappearance of James after he moved from Apple Creek all those years ago. After having a nice conversation with them, he was curious to see what the bakery looked like after twenty more years. To his surprise, it was the grand opening of the bakery under new management. The sign above the door said, “The Happy Bakers”. There was nobody walking in or out of the bakery. Timmy went inside, and then ordered a chocolate cupcake. As he handed the man working in the front of the bakery his $1.50 for the cupcake, he noticed something about him. He gave Timmy a forced smile while handing him the cupcake, and he took it and left. He got in his car, and began driving to his family in Missouri. The whole way there he kept thinking what it was that caught his eye about the man at the bakery. After the long drive, he pulled in his driveway, and knew what it was. The man was James.

The Zombies

Underneath a full moon, with coyotes howling and emitting gasps, a bloody chicken, its eyes glowing like the rabid full moon, squawked and plopped in the middle of the dusty road. The chicken stared at the four teenagers, who got the scare of their life time, and all of the sudden its head started rotating intimidatingly, making a repulsive twisting noise while doing so. The chicken spun its head and then took off to the other side of the road, going into forests. With shaking hands and sweat pouring down their face, Zach, Melinda, Ian, and Marisa kept driving and looking at each other trying to figure out what happened. However, the crew decided to forget it and simply assumed the chicken had been slaughtered.
Since trick-or-treating and haunted houses were such common selections on Halloween, the two girls and boys had decided to visit an old uninhibited house by the lake. Coming out of the car, the stench was the first thing the group smelled--a stench that reeked of death mixed with a little bit of fresh dung. While entering the house, the children were overwhelmed with a feeling of darkness and obscurity. Inside, everything appeared vapid, spider webs everywhere, little mice made their way to their holes alarmed by the unexpected companions in the house. Even though the house seemed huge on the outside, the inside appeared small with uncomfortably small rooms. Cautioned of their steps in the darkness, Zach and Melinda sat on an ancient sofa with suspicious red stains, while Ian and Marisa went on sightseeing the house. The latter two stopped by the stairs when they heard a distorted voice that seemed to be whispering something. As they turned around, they saw two corpses with patches on their face, bloody eyes, teeth that needed to be brushed, and even though they looked gaunt, the zombies grabbed Ian and Marisa, put their putrid hands over their mouths, and took them to the nearby room and devoured them.
After waiting for about thirty minutes, Zach and Malinda stood up and started looking for their friends, who had died. While Zach looked upstairs, Melinda searched for Ian and Marisa downstairs. She came across a room, painted all in black, no furniture whatsoever, except bones lay everywhere. She gasped, but all of the sudden a hand was over her mouth and her screech subdued. Laughing, Zach took his hand of her mouth and said, “Gotcha!”
“Zach, what is wrong with you!” she said, furious.
“Relax, it was just a joke,” Zach said, still chuckling.
“Anyway, check out this room.” Melinda and Zach turned to the room Melinda had seen previously, but when Melinda pointed to the bones on the floor, they saw Ian and Marisa lying on the floor, looking cataleptic. Screaming, Marisa rushed at them, but when she touched “Marisa,” her hand was smacked away and the zombies elevated their heads before them, looking like atrocious versions of Ian and Marisa.
“Guys…are you okay?” Melinda asked. The zombies stood up slowly, their bones making cracking noises with every movement, blood drenching their skin, and mucus flowing out of their mouths. Swallowing, Zach said, “Mel…I don’t think that’s Ian and Marisa.” Melinda and Zach backed away from the zombies deliberately, but when they saw that the zombies moved forward too, they ran out of the house as fast as they could. Zach sprinted to the car, opened the door and rushed inside but Melinda’s door would not open, so she ran without giving it much thought. While Melinda ran toward the forests, Zach could not start the car and “Ian” broke open the window, grabbed Zach’s head, ripped it out, and sat down on the sidewalk consuming it. While the zombie ate Zach’s head, “Marisa” chased Melinda, who ran deep in the forest without even knowing where she was headed. “Marisa” ran after her, though not as fast, because her limbs were scrawny and breakable. While going after Melinda, “Marisa” ran into a twig, her head disengaged from her body and the zombie died.
Melinda reached a police station, sat down with Detective Plutz and told him about her horrendous night.
“Zombies? Are you certain?” the detective asked dubiously.
“Yes, yes. They looked exactly like my friends except they looked dead and they even killed my boyfriend, Zach!” Holding her close, the detective tried to pacify Melina, who broke into uncontrollable sobs. While he hugged her, she detected that he smelled the same way the zombies smelled, a scent of burned flesh with a blend of blood. She looked at him closely and his face unexpectedly bled, his skin grew feathers ubiquitously, and he shrunk down to the size of the chicken the teenagers had seen before, which had started their dreadful night. With glowing white eyes, the chicken squawked and Melinda turned away, ready to leave, but she found herself quarantined with an army of zombie chickens.
Saida & Mina