Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2004
High School Winners

Second Place

Our second place High School winner is Sara Mercuro of Saugus High School. Ms. Mercuro was also a winner last year and the year before.

The Dawn of No Awakening

Sara Mercuro

He awoke earlier than usual that morning, for the sun seeped though the cracks of the window (that he had absentmindedly forgotten to close last night) and sunlight spread over his face.  The glistening sun poured over his face, illuminating his pale skin and features, the watcher noticed.

The watcher in the dark was clothed in darkness itself, a heavy cloak of the darkest black with a deep hood that hid all features from the world, should the world care to look.  The watcher’s eyes took in the scene before eyes: 19 year old Matthew Hydenbow up from his bed.  He stretched out, body tight as a bowstring ready to launch. A tiger he could be compared to -- fierce, hard and yet at times he could be lazy and playful.  The intricate cords and knots of muscle were taut on his arms as he held them innocently above his head.  He sighed with the morning.

He didn’t suspect a thing.  Good.

The watcher grinned in the darkness, malice seeping though every chasm of her expression as she lined up her shot.  One identifiable strand of thought passed through her head : "I will enjoy this."

She took her shot and nailed her intended target.

Matthew Hydenbow let out a strangled cry as he fell to the floor with a bullet in his chest.  Blood seeped out from the bullet hole, pouring over him in tiny rivers until it reached the floor and pooled around his body, soaking his soft hair red.  Tears mingled with blood as they slid down his face, his normally pearly teeth were stained a sick red as the last few breaths of his life escaped him.  His green eyes dulled from their usual brilliant emerald and rolled around in his sockets, clouded with pain and his life flashing before his mind.  He cried the cry of a dying man, ready to pass on, whether it be to heaven or hell.

She watched with a detached fascination as the life blood escaped his dying body, taking in every detail of this morbid event.  Her own cheeks, stained with blood and the smirk, remnant of her mournful success.  The smirk would remain.  It would remain as she left the college dormitory.  It remained as she opened the door to her car and drove away.

It remained as the tears of memory rolled down her face.  She remembered being happy, although it was long ago.  His smile, a major filler of the pages in her diary, would never haunt her again.  She remembered the days they had spent together, as friends, no more, and no less.

She wanted more.

She desired nothing more than to feel the warmth of his cheek as it rubbed against her own, to know the pleasure of his kiss.  To be the one who punished all who dare soil his name to know his sorrow when his parents were killed in that car wreck last year.

The one that she caused.  To have an excuse to be close to him, comforting him, letting him cry on her waiting shoulder.  She could still see him there, at his parents gravestone, the rain mingling with the tears.  But she could tell the rain from the tears, she had known him for a long time.

She had expected him to come to her, all wet and teary eyed, rushing to be comforted by his best friend.

But no.

In his moment of need, in the second that his sorrow would be bared for the world to see, he went to HER.  And all she did was hurt him.  The watcher growled and her knuckles turned white against the steering wheel.  He had trusted that -- that -- IGNORANT EXCUSE FOR A FEMALE with everything he had.

She picked the most opportune moment to dump him, and go shopping right afterward.  That COW did not know the first thing about Matthew; heck she didn’t know anything further than the next issue of Seventeen.  She was even necking with the football quarter-back at the funeral home when Matt wasn’t looking.

Matt was hers.  And only hers.

She drove down the narrow side street with extra caution, it was alarming to even her how calm she felt at the moment.  Her breathing was stable, in and out, in and out, in and out.

It was somewhat akin to how she felt after yoga class: cleansed, but somehow lacking.  The smirk of relief was embedded into her face, yet her eyes held some sadness.  It was understandable, after all, she did just kill the man she loved with every part of her.  Did she regret her deed?  Was she sorry for what she had done?  The answer to both of those questions was no.  But just because she would’ve done it all over again doesn’t mean she was immune to the pain and sorrow she felt at his death.

She knew it would be this way.  She would miss the warmth of his presence, the green of his eyes, the soft untouchable pale skin but most of all, she would miss the carefree spirit she fell in love with.  What she wouldn’t miss was the cold nights of longing, the emptiness of both her apartment and her heart and the pain of seeing him love yet another faceless girl, and seeing him get hurt yet again.

He didn’t love her, was her vivid thought as she unlocked the door, swinging it open viciously and plopping herself onto the comfy old couch.

It used to be his.  She’d bought it at his garage sale three years ago.  She flipped over, so she was now lying on her stomach.  Sometimes, if she concentrated, she could still smell his cologne on the couch, she could still see the apple juice he spilled on it (bless his sweet, clumsy nature) and she could still recall the time with her he had spent on that couch.

They had broken up on that couch, so many years ago, it should’ve been a blur to her, but it wasn’t.  The memory was as vivid as the tension in the seconds after the painful splitting.

No, she decided.  She would not remember this now, it was just too painful.  She tried to lull herself to sleep, but was still somewhat haunted by the fear in his emerald eyes as he looked into her own brown ones.  The look of pleading, the tears of pain.  His dying cry echoed through her mind and back, invading all the crevasses of her being.  As she tossed and turned in the darkness, she noticed the small blinking red light on the message machine.  Wanting an escape from her mental torment, she walked over and clicked the button that played the message.

"You have two new messages, first message: Hi honey, it’s mom!  I just called to see how you were doing, see if you were doing your laundry correctly.  Just give me a call when you get the chance.  Bye sweetie!"

She rolled her eyes, calling her mother to talk of the importance of housekeeping wasn’t something she was keen on doing at the moment.

"To erase this message, press one, to save it in the archives --" she quickly hit number one.

"Next message: Uh, hi.  I guess we haven’t talked in awhile"

Her eyes widened in attention, she knew that voice.

"I’ve been wondering how you were doing.  Maybe we can say get together for dinner sometime?  Uh this is Matt and just call me back when you get the chance bye."

"To erase this message press one, to save it in the archives, press two, to hear this message again, press three"

Continue to the 1st place story

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