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Halloween writing contest winning stories

From+left%3A+senior+Faythe+Douglas%2C+freshman+Grace+O%27Neil%2C+and+sophomore+Tyler+Folmar
From left: senior Faythe Douglas, freshman Grace O'Neil, and sophomore Tyler Folmar

From left: senior Faythe Douglas, freshman Grace O'Neil, and sophomore Tyler Folmar

Angel Prince

Angel Prince

From left: senior Faythe Douglas, freshman Grace O'Neil, and sophomore Tyler Folmar

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Horror on the Bus

by Faythe Douglas, first place

It’s 7:30 am, you’ve been on your bus for an hour, sleepily nodding off, occasionally woken by a pothole or a sharp turn; however, the elementary kids are eerily quiet, and rain beats down on the metal roof of the bus. Lightning crackles in the distance, the bus radio suddenly turns on and a distorted version of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine plays faintly, everyone else falling silent aside from the radio and rain. Without warning, three deafening knocks clang from the metal roof of the bus, the radio seeming to get louder and the rain harder.
No one makes a sound, not a breath or a gasp disrupting the air around. The knocks sound once more, but it’s more like stomping rather than the rasping of knuckles on the roof. The bus goes still, the driver having stopped at another house, but something screams within us to beg her to drive on, but she looks undisturbed by the knocks, by the stomps, she seems soulless and dead-eyed as she drives on, stopping at house to house, but no more kids are getting on, and no one can move to get off.
The noise on the roof becomes louder, more rapid and urgent, you look up and see the indentions from the force of the knocking. You look forward as the bus is slowing to a final stop and the doors open, just as the knocking stops and footsteps head to the front of the bus, straight down the center, stopping just before the door. Your heart begins to pound and you look to search the faces of your fellow peers and elementary students, but find empty seats and only the bus driver staring forward.
You stand and make the dreadful walk towards the front, eyes looking up to the roof, where the indentions are, but also keeping an eye on the driver. You wait at the door just before getting off, your chest feeling tight and your heart pounding out of control.
You try to glimpse up to see what’s waiting for you just outside the door, rain sweeping into the exit and the cold, icy drops coating your face and eyelashes, blocking your view.
The anxiety of stepping out was far too much to bare, you began to step back, but a pair of bony, cold hands placed on your back and shoved you forward as a shadow descended upon you in a flash-

Your eyes open and you find yourself back in your seat on the bus, the elementary students chatting quietly, the radio playing some country song softly as the rain beats down on the metal roof, lightning crackling across the sky. Your heart skips a beat and you check your phone. 7:28 a.m.. With a sharp turn of the bus and another crack of lightning, the song on the radio ends, and The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine turns on, faintly distorted.

 

Black Forester

by Grace O’Neil, second place

 

Epilogue

*Squish* the water seeped from their soaked boots. *Squish* The mud caked the bottoms making it heavy to walk. *Crack* the lightning struck overhead, illuminating the scene. *Roar*  the thunder sounded as the blood dripped from their clothes. They approached the payphone with a message on their lips, I killed again.

*******************************************************************

The rain pattered on the windshield of his black, Subaru Forester as he drove along the twisted road. The polished dashboard was lit ever so briefly by the lightning flashing. The radio showed the time was seven o’clock while he listened to classical music turned down low. The warm air was not kind to Jonathan, who was fuming, lost in thought. “The day has been long and tiring. Who would think that I could be tired, what with my habits? I have a 10-page long report to finish before I go to work tomorrow. When will my boss let me be? It’s Halloween for crying out loud, doesn’t he know how many kids will be bugging me tonight! If I really wanted to I could put an end to this workload. But alas, that would lead them too close to me. With my impressive track record, however, I could probably get right by them. Still, it’s okay to be cautious. I need some coffee to get this done.” Jonathan spotted a man walking on the side of the country road. “Or some adrenaline,” Jonathan thought. The man spotted him too and waved him down holding a thumb in the air.

“Hi there, could I get a ride, it’s awful wet out tonight?” said the man. “He gives me a weird feeling like he’s in on some joke. Oh well, there’s not much I can do, I need this.” Jonathan thought as he unlocked his door.

“Sure climb on in,” said Jonathan. The man did and they drove off into the night in a black forester, aware one of them would be dead.’

*******************************************************************

It was hard for Tim that day. As a professional hitchhiker, he needed things he just didn’t have. His mom died three years earlier, and he never wanted to see his dad’s face again. Tim was too introverted for his own good and he knew it. As he walked along the back country road, it began to rain. This made him even more upset than he already was, as his mind started ranting. “Why did I choose this profession? Because you hate people. But I could’ve gotten a better job, like at the morgue. But you would be even more upset there. How so? We both know the best part of this is watching the life drain out of those eyes. The last ones were pretty, and think of how they sparkled. You’re insane. No, you are. Stop. Or what? I’ll make you! There’s only one way.” This internal conversation continued as the rain continued to pour, getting harder each minute. By the time he was barely able to see his feet, a light sliced through the rain, the black forester, speeding up the road. “Just my luck.” He waved him down with his thumb in the air like a slightly more wild man than he already was.

“Hi there, could I get a ride, it’s awful wet out tonight?” said Tim. “He gives me a weird feeling like he has a plan. Oh well, there’s not much I can do, I need this.” Tim thought as he watched the man unlock the door.

“Sure climb on in” said the man. Tim did as was instructed, and they drove off into the night in the black forester, aware one of them would be dead.

*******************************************************************

   Together, they drove with no sound other than the rain splattering on the windshield, the hum of the engine, and the classical music whispering through the radio. “I need to make this less awkward,” thought Jonathan.

“So where are you heading anyway?” asked Jonathan. Tim thought for a moment when he answered himself, “Take him somewhere obscure, somewhere no one can find easily.”

The state park, I was meeting a -a friend to go camping, and my car was towed when I was inside the Irish Pub.” “This will surely give me a reason to go out pretty far in the woods,” he thought to himself.

“Alrighty then,” said Jonathan. “Perfect,” he thought, “this hitchhiker is making this too easy on me. I should probably make myself appear to be friendly. This may be a risk worth taking.”

“The state park is a little ways away, so we might as well get acquainted; make the time go a bit faster,” Jonathan said, “my name’s Jonathan.” Tim looked out the window, he thought about this, and he knew this was dangerous. He, however, decided it did not matter.

“ Tim,” and he was back to silence. Jonathan decided to make small talk, to make himself look better. He lied about his wife and kids. He brought up Halloween, and how his son made a ghost costume out of his sheet.

This technique only made Tim unstable, though Tim would never show it. “He’s got kids- So? He’s got a wife- And? I can’t just- Then you will have to deal with me till you find someone else, and who else will be out this far tonight? You were lucky to find this fella.”

“Why are you out here tonight?”

“What do you mean?” asked Jonathan.

“Why are you out here if you have kids at home, it’s Halloween, you should be out delivering candy.” Tim clarified.

“ I got stuck at work, I was going home when it occurred to me that there will be kids swarming the streets, so I decided to go for a drive, and go home. Then I spotted you and decided to… to help you.” It seemed strange to say those words; help you. “He’s the one helping me, not the other way around!” He glanced nervously at Tim, but Tim seemed satisfied with the response. There was little said after that.

*******************************************************************

They finally reached their destination. They were by the visitor center when they parked, and walked behind a large brush pile together.

“I’ve gotta take a leak, but the visitor center looks closed,” explained Jonathan. This didn’t bother Tim, thinking, “this is far too easy, why doesn’t he run before he dies? This is what you want. NO, this is what YOU want NOT ME!” He heard a stick snap behind him, and Tim flung around to find Jonathan.

Startled, Jonathan asked, “You okay there? You look like you just saw a ghost.”

“I will be soon,” said Tim. He wanted to alert Jonathan and get him to run.

“I know you will,” said Jonathan, “and I would too if I wasn’t already in my car speeding away by the time you bleed out.”

Tim was puzzled, then the light turned on, and he stopped feeling so guilty. He smiled.

“You have no clue who I am, do you?” asked Tim.

“You are a street scum, and I being me, need to put an end to that,” said Jonathan.

Another light turned on. “You’re the Grime Way Killer?” asked Tim.

“Indeed I am.” said Jonathan, “and you’re my newest victim.”

Tim started to laugh. It was a hardy laugh. A laugh that could be heard for miles, but a laugh so underused that it soon turned to coughs. Tim had never laughed like that since he went off his medication. “And I suppose you think you’re the big shot, the one in charge, but I have news for you. I have been in control.” Jonathan didn’t understand.

“You’re not leaving here alive,” said Tim, “ For I am the Hitchhiker.” Jonathan realized what he was saying, so one of them would die, and only one would live to never tell the tale, or do. They could become a hero if one killed the other and told them it was in self-defense.

Jonathan pulled out a gun, as Tim pulled out a knife. They looked at each other’s weapon of choice. They looked back at each other, and at the same time, they lunged. As the rain came down harder and the thunder growled, two shots rang over the trees.

*******************************************************************

The fight was over. The victor was determined. This time, however, the one who returned home was never part of this war. A figure slowly approached the two men, a gun pulled. They knelt down and took the pulse of both men. Dead. Lightning cracked, and their long blond hair billowed in the wind. She took Tim’s knife, and for good measure, stuck it right in his heart. She stabbed him till she was satisfied. She then turned to Jonathan and taking his gun, shot him until he was unrecognizable. She pulled out a tape recorder in a plastic bag and placed it on the ground in between the bodies.

*Squish* the water seeped from her soaked boots. *Squish* The mud caked the bottoms making it heavy to walk. *Crack* the lightning struck overhead, illuminating the scene once more. *Roar*  the thunder sounded as the blood dripped from her clothes. She approached the payphone at the visitor center.  With a message on their lips, she dialed 911.

When the operator answered, she immediately stated, ”I have a double homicide here, but I don’t think you’ll be too unhappy, for they both would have been legally killed anyhow. The Avenger did you one more favor. Don’t try to find me, you never will. You can track my phone calls but not me. I left you a recording for you at the scene, but I don’t speak. I will be on my way now. There are more fish to fry.” She then walked to the Black Forester and drove off into the dark, stormy night.

 

a date with death

by Tyler Folmar, 3rd place

it was a cloudy fall afternoon, and it was evident that it was about to rain any minute. declan was walking home from the restaurant on the corner, having just had the worst date ever. the gloomy weather did nothing for his mood, and he became especially annoyed when rain began to fall in a fine mist.

today of all days.

his eyes mirrored the sky, the dreariness of the day sucking all the blue out of his normally vibrant eyes and making them a more sad grey color. however, he didn’t vocalize his bad mood. he merely sighed and began walking faster. his mood worsened when there was suddenly a big hold-up on the sidewalk. a crowd of people had gathered around something on the ground, and nobody was moving.

what’s going on? declan thought angrily.

his annoyance began to fade when an abrupt hush fell over the crowd. sirens sounded from a distance away.

did someone die?

there was a sudden gap in the crowd and that’s when declan saw it; the corpse laying on the ground, a puddle of blood growing underneath it. and standing directly above it, a man. he kneeled down beside the dead body, an unreadable expression on his face as he touched two fingers to the dead girl’s temple. not one person reacted when a projection came out of the body and faded from view. declan looked around, but if anyone had noticed, they weren’t showing any signs of it.

declan looked back to the mysterious man, whom he was startled to find staring at him almost inquisitively. the situation was made even more strange by the fact that the man was wearing a black sweater and black jeans. it was such a normal outfit, but at the same time different. but there was one thing that really stood out: the tall scythe held loosely in the stranger’s right hand. the mystery man stood up and stepped over the dead body, walking straight past declan as if he wasn’t there. he resisted the urge to call out to him, in case he was just as insane as he was now thinking he must be. and then the man vanished.

a week had passed and declan couldn’t shake the thoughts of that man away. everywhere he turned, he thought he had seen him, but then it turned out to be someone who looked similar, or a black plastic bag that had been caught on a fence. he looked on the news but none of the videos taken featured the man declan knew he had seen.

time went on and with upcoming deadlines at work, the man was pushed to the back of declan’s mind. it was only when he witnessed another incident a month later that the memory resurfaced.

people were stampeding in the opposite direction when declan was walking home from work that day. he looked to see what they were running from only to see someone fleeing the scene with a knife in hand, a dead body laying in a puddle of blood on the pavement, and the same man he had seen the last time. the only difference this time was that he called out, albeit quietly (he didn’t want any of the fleeing people to hear him, though judging by their screaming, they wouldn’t have heard him even if they tried to listen).

“hey!” interested brown eyes flicked up to gaze at declan with quiet curiosity. he said nothing, but didn’t look away as he once again pressed his fingers to the temple of the victim at his feet. “tell me who you are.”

his eyes widened a fraction, but other than that, he gave no indication that he had even heard declan. instead, he stood up and made to walk past him. declan, desperate for a response, exclaimed one more time.

“please, just… tell me who you are.”

that was when everything began to slow down. the hysterical crowd, the flapping flyers stapled to wooden poles, the few birds dotting the sky. and then everything just stopped. there was silence unlike any declan had heard before. finally, the man spoke.

“death.”

declan blinked in confusion, thinking he must have heard wrong.

“pardon?”

“you heard me.”

“you froze everything?”

death sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, the bags under his eyes becoming more pronounced.

“yeah, that’s a thing i can do. my mum usually gets upset when i do, though.”

declan’s eyes lit up with interest.

“you’re british?”

“no, i’m death.”

declan laughed nervously, not sure if that was supposed to be interpreted as a dad joke or not. death gave no sign either way, so declan spoke again.

“you’re… you look pretty young.”

“well, yeah. i mean, i’m only a couple hundred years old.”

“couple hundred?” declan repeated, jaw dropping in shock. death blinked and then tipped his head to the side.

“oh, i forgot mortal years are different. i dunno, i guess i’d be around 26 in human years.”

“so… there was another death before you?”

“yeah, my mum. she was death for like, ten thousand years before she decided to retire.”

“so your name isn’t actually death,” declan said tentatively.

“no, but that’s what everyone calls you until you retire.”

“then your actual name is…?”

death blinked slowly again and let his eyes drift down to the sidewalk before meeting declan’s again.

“why do you want to know?”

declan’s heartbeat sped up ever so slightly as he looked death in the eyes.

“i think you’re interesting.”

death shook his head dismissively.

“you shouldn’t even be able to see me. besides, mum would kill me if she knew i was talking to a mortal right now.”

declan searched for more words desperately before carefully proposing an idea.

“just give me a chance. one date. and if i’m not for you, i’ll leave you alone. but if we’re gonna do this, i need a name.”

death smiled slightly before answering.

“call me oliver.”

 

About the Photographer
Angel Prince, writer/photographer

Angel is a junior at Delphi and this is his first year being a Parnassus staff member. His hobbies include running track and being part of the Poms  team....

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