Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Toy Soldier





The Toy Soldier

I heard stories about this house. Things that make my bones shiver. It watches me and I watch back. A family used to live there, but they fell into the abyss like many others. All they found in the house was a toy soldier, that still walks around searching, waiting.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Marionette by Richelle Bulgin finalist


Vivian shivered at the autumn wind and continued walking at a brisk pace. She was trying to clear her mind; she and her boyfriend had broken up yet again. As she passed the graveyard, she noticed an attractive young man watching her from the entrance. Intrigued, she approached him and introduced herself.

The boy’s name was Damian, and he was a nice distraction. After chatting for awhile, he asked her to join him in the graveyard. Warily, she followed.

“Do you believe in ghosts?” Damien asked in a mock serious voice. Vivian laughed and shook her head. Suddenly, Damien leaned in and kissed her.

Vivian closed her eyes and smiled at the faint feeling. She leaned in to deepen the kiss, but the light touch of lips against hers disappeared. Frowning, she opened her eyes.

What she saw made her heart stop. Damien was not there. She glanced around, and a feeling of apprehension leaked into her gut. She tried to stay optimistic; tried to believe it was simply a practical joke. Even in her head, it didn’t sound very convincing.

“Damien..?” she called out cautiously. Her voice seemed to resonate through the arrant silence.

A freezing gust of wind produced the only movement, rustling her hair and the dead leaves scattered across the ground. A feeling of dread washed over her. She had to get out of there. Vivian’s heart was beating in her throat. She spun around in a circle, eyes scanning for the exit. She had to get out of there. Her nerves were taut, her mind racing. Her previous worries seemed so far away, like a dream fading back into the subconscious. All she knew was that she had to get out of-

An intense blow to the gut caused Vivian to keel over in pain. She gasped for breath, clutching her sides tightly. After a moment, she attempted to stand up straight again, but an unknown force prevented her. Her muscles screamed as she fought against it.

Vivian’s peripheral vision began to blur, and the world seemed to fade to black and white.  Everything seemed dull and hazy. She felt a presence inside of her, but she could not pinpoint its location. She felt it begin to engulf her from within.

Vivian tried to scream, but no sound would pass her lips. She tried to move her arms, her legs, her head; nothing would respond. She was no longer in control of her own body.

She watched in terror as her body began to stand up slowly, her spine cracking in a way that made her mentally wince. Vivian felt herself take a stumbling step, but could do nothing to stop it. She heard her own voice talking, but could not halt the words.

“What a lovely body,” she was saying. “Much better than my last one.”

Vivian strained against it with all her might, but it was no use. She was merely a spectator forced to observe, trapped inside of her own mind.

 

End.

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Awake by Matthew Raske finalist

 
Bang.


 I wake up suddenly to a sudden loud thud from down the hall. It sounds like it came from my parent’s bedroom.  I glance at the clock. It is 3:06am. Perhaps it is my father rolling out of bed in his sleep again, or my mother stubbing her toe on the foot of the bed as she always does on her way to the kitchen for her traditional midnight snack. Certainly this thud is nothing out of the ordinary. Or is it?

 

When my father rolls out of bed, I always hear him stand to his feet on the old creaky floorboards and climb back in bed. When my mother stubs her toe, there is always the subsequent muffled muttering of curse words as her footsteps creak past my bedroom on her way to the kitchen- yet, I hear none of these familiar sounds. I hear nothing but an eerie silence.

 

Perhaps a book had fallen off my father’s shelf –but no, a book would not shake the floor the way this thud had. Perhaps the legs of my mother’s rickety antique vanity had finally given way and crumbled to the floor as we always joked they would –but no, it would have woken mother, and mother can leave no mess untouched no matter the hour of day. 

 

Perhaps I’m overthinking it. Yes, I am overthinking it. It was just a thud- an ordinary thud - no cause for alarm. I can investigate in the morning but for now I need sleep. I’ll just close my eyes and drift off…

 Suddenly I hear what sounds like a smothered gasp for air, piercing the silence, and then:

 Bang.

  A second thud much like the first, followed by the same eerie silence. I am wide-awake and very uneasy now.  What could be the cause of this? I am about to spring from my bed and investigate when I hear a creaking in the hall between my parent’s room and my own. It is not like the familiar creaking of a person’s footsteps, but rather sounds like something heavy being dragged slowly down the corridor.

 I am unable to move now. I am frozen in fear. Whatever is being dragged in the hall is getting closer and closer to my opened bedroom door. The creaking is getting louder and louder, my heart is pounding faster and faster. Suddenly against the dark of night I see a silhouette of a man dragging two lifeless bodies down the hall leaving a distinct trail of inky black liquid in their wake against the lightly colored vintage maple floorboards. Suddenly he stops in front of my bedroom and drops the bodies-The creaking ceases.

 My heart is beating like a drum – so rapidly that it feels like it is about to explode. This cannot be real. This must be a dream. Those cannot be my parents. I am lying as still as the lifeless bodies in the hallway hoping not to be noticed by the man. I could not move even if I wanted to. I am frozen in fear. Utterly petrified.

To my horror, the man reaches down in dips his fingers in the blood coating the maple floorboards and begins to write a message on the wall. The inky blackness of the night veils his words from my vision. I cannot decipher the words on the wall. The man finishes scrawling his script and turns around once more to face me. The hairs on my neck are standing erect and Goosebumps ripple through my body.

 

The floor begins to creak as he slowly tiptoes into my bedroom and crawls under my bed and lies down on the floor directly beneath me. He must be waiting for me to awaken. But I am already lying awake and terrified beyond comprehension. I want to scream, but he’ll hear me. I want to run, but he’ll catch me. I am paralyzed by petrification.

 

I have been lying here for over an hour now.  I can hear him breathing heavily directly beneath me. The smell of warm blood on the cold musty floor fills the room. The scent of death is overpowering.  My vision is slowly getting used to the darkness. I can almost interpret the bloody message on the wall.

 I gasp as I read the words 

“I know you’re awake”

 Suddenly, something shifts beneath me.

Note to the finalists of 2014

Hello everyone! I am still working on getting all the finalists posted to the blog. Please be patient with me......I PROMISE to have them all in soon. Thank you all for sharing your scares and telling your tales! Keep posted for more posts.
 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winners in the Telegram!



I just got word last night that the winners will be posted in the paper today Saturday November 15! Be sure to check the Telegram on pages F22 and 23!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Anchored by Olivia Bradbury Finalist


Anchored

There is a dead man anchored at the bottom of the sea.

  My name is Luther. Due to my parents’…incompetence, I was raised by my grandfather, a retired sailor who lives in and mans a lighthouse. Some may have viewed such a life with distaste; a lighthouse on a rocky beach, fish for every meal, somewhat isolated from the rest of town. On the contrary, it is a satisfying, peaceful way of life.










  I was strolling along the beach one night when I saw something bobbing in the ocean several yards from shore. The moonlight illuminated a man, young and seemingly naked, with dark hair and ghostly pale skin. He stared at the sky, looking sorrowful, and I felt sympathy without reason. He didn’t answer when I called to him, but he did lower his head. Our eyes locked, and I could tell even from such a distance that his were the same dark blue as the sea. A breeze blew by, words carried on it, but not spoken by him. They seemed to be uttered by the wind itself.

  Years ago,” it whispered, “in a small town, a well-liked ship captain found love letters written to his wife from another man. The skipper demanded his wife reveal the writer’s identity. Fearing for her lover’s safety, she lied and answered with the first name that came to mind: that of a young boy who’d just began working on the captain’s boat.

  “The captain gathered some of his fishermen companions and told them of the treason he’d discovered. That evening the captain called on the boy, who was oblivious to the wife’s falsehoods. The boy obediently followed, and when he reached the ship was ambushed by fury and blunt weapons. They knocked the poor soul unconscious, then put his body in the boat’s furnace, barbarically burning him to death.

  “They put his ashes in a metal box and tossed it into the sea. As long as the ashes are trapped, the boy will never be able to move on. He will never be free.”

  When the voices ceased, I found tears streaming down my face. An overwhelming urge to help filled me. I determinedly waded into the water, swimming towards the man, my clothes weighing me down to some degree. I was confident I could hold my breath long enough to find the box. Even if I couldn’t, I had to try. For the anchored ghost boy, knowing how badly he’d been hurt.

  I stopped, floating a few feet away. He stared at me, a small smile on his face, unreadable. For a brief moment, I glanced around, marveling at how calm the night was. Like the calm before the storm…

  Suddenly, he was in front of me, face contorted unspeakably. He was the storm the calm had warned me of. Then…there was darkness.

  There is indeed a dead man anchored at the bottom of the sea. But there is no box of ashes - the dead man is me.

 

The Flute by Matthew Hong Finalist


 
James was in grade 4 and he was eager to join band.  His mom bought him a shiny used flute.  After the first day of band, he came home and played for his mother and father. 

His mom said, “That was excellent, James but I am not feeling well.”

“Get well soon, mom,” said James.

Coincidentally, the following week, his band teacher, Mr. Hemmingway got sick.  Then his dad got a cold.


Soon, the kids in band were not showing up for school.  Ben ran a high fever and Stacey got hives that itched and burned.

James discovered that whoever listened to the music from his flute became cursed with sickness.  He went to the town witch and shakily told her about the situation.

 “I will do whatever I can to help,” the witch said.  But she tricked him and put a worse curse on the flute.  Whoever already heard it or hears it in the future would die a slow and painful death.  James mournfully sobbed as the effect took its toll on his mom as she slowly died.  Her last words were “It’s not your fault.” 

 When she died, James realized that he had been tricked and vowed vengeance on the wicked witch.

 
James went to the witch’s house and through the window he saw the flickering fire in the fireplace.   He knocked on the door.  At the door, the witch let out a petrifying shriek when James took out his flute and played one last time.  She clutched her throat and gasped for air.  She fell to the ground and died.

 A police officer heard the shriek and went to the witch’s house.  By that time James was already gone.  In the house, he saw the dead witch.

 The officer radioed the station and told them about the dead body.  As he was about leave, he looked in the fireplace and saw a shiny flute.  He picked it up and said, “Hmm.  I could give this flute to my son.  He will be in band next year,”