Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2010
High School Winners

First Place

Our first place High School winning entry is by Doug Ducott, a homeschooler in Saugus, Massachusetts. Mr. Ducott has a long history with this contest, having taken second place in the Middle School category two years running in both 2008 and 2007.

Bored Out of My Mind

Doug Ducott

I was startled awake by a blood curdling scream and the sound of chains rattling.  It must be that time of year again.  My little brother was playing his "Halloween Sounds" CD.  The same one he plays every year.

I dragged myself out of bed and staggered down the hall, eyes still closed.  I heard my brother yell "Zombie!!!" and run by me, just as I tripped over something and hit the floor.  My eyes were open now.  Yep, it was that time of year alright.  Mom had brought down the box of Halloween decorations from the attic and left it in the hall.

At breakfast, they were talking costumes.  My little sister planned to be a princess.  For the third year in a row.  My little brother was willing to be anything that involved a sword.  As usual.  Then my mother asked me what I was going to dress up as.  "A 15 year old boy too old for silly costumes," I told her.  "Ha ha," she said, sarcastically.  I got the feeling I was spoiling their mood, so I headed back to my room.

By the time I came out, they had most of the decorations up.  I couldn't understand what they were so excited about.  These were the same pumpkins and witches we had taped to the windows every year.  Same scarecrow.  Same plastic bat hanging from the light.  Same old everything we've had since.....forever.

I had to get out of there, so I headed for my friend's house.  Mom yelled from the door that she was picking up pumpkins for us to carve later.  Whatever.

I had just turned the corner when I heard the screech of brakes.  I spun around a split second before the big, black car hit me.  I felt myself fly through the air and hit the pavement hard.  I had a vague sense of someone standing over me as I slipped into darkness.

I don't know how long I was out, but when I opened my eyes, the sky was dark.  I tried to blink away the grogginess and get to my feet.  I hurt everywhere.  I looked up and down the street.  Not a soul in sight.  It must be really late.  I limped home, still trying to determine the extent of my injuries.  Mom must be worried sick by now.

I walked as fast as I could under the circumstances.  I suddenly had the feeling someone was right behind me, but when I turned, the street was empty.  I ran up the stairs and found the door unlocked.  Relieved, I bolted inside and locked it behind me.

The house was in total darkness.  Had everyone just gone to bed without me or were they out looking for me?  I couldn't imagine that Mom wouldn't be freaking out by now.

I felt around for the light switch and snapped it on.  Nothing.  I was still in total darkness.  Had there been a power failure?  I felt around in the junk drawer until I found a flashlight.  Thankfully, that still worked.  For the first time, I saw the blood on my hands and clothes.  I guess I was pretty banged up, but nothing seemed life threatening.

I checked all the bedrooms.  The house was definitely empty.  I reached in my pocket for my cellphone.  Apparently, the car did more damage to it than me.  It was in three pieces.  I made my way to the house phone and tried Mom's cell.  No answer.  I tried my friend Jen's house.  I knew it would be the first place Mom would look for me when I didn't come home.  No answer there either.

After a few more unsuccessful attempts to reach Mom, I decided to call 911.  Hey, I was getting desperate.  But I felt even more desperate when 911 didn't answer.  Now I really felt alone.  I grabbed Mom's little address book from beside the phone and started frantically punching in numbers.  I tried every neighbor and relative in there.  Nothing.

I ran over to the window and looked out.  Every house on the street was dark and quiet, but the moon was bright.  In the shadows down the street I thought I saw something move.  Was it a man?  I couldn't tell.  I strained my eyes for a better look.

Just then, I heard the back door creak.  Mom?  I grabbed the flashlight and ran to the kitchen.  The back door was wide open, but the kitchen was empty.  "Mom?" I said in a small voice.  No answer.  I shined my light in every corner and out the door into the night.  I hesitantly approached the door and swung my light around the yard.  There was nothing there of course.  My nerves were just getting the better of me.  It must have been the wind.  I laughed nervously to myself as I closed and locked the door.

I turned around and gasped.  The flashlight fell from my hand.  It crashed to the floor, flickered and went out, along with my theory about the wind.  There was a man standing in my kitchen.  At least I think it was a man.  I'd only gotten a good look for a few seconds before the light went out.  He looked like some kind of zombie or demon from a horror movie.  His face was hideous.  Twisted.  Evil.

My instinct was to run, but my feet felt like they were glued to the floor.  But when he began to move, so did I.  I shot towards the stairs, headed for my bedroom.  I could hear him on the stairs behind me.  I reached my room, locked the door and pushed my bureau up against it.  I ran to the window, opened it and climbed out.  By the time he was in my room, I was at the bottom of the big Maple tree in my yard.  Luckily, I was very adept at leaving my room this way, or I probably would have killed myself in the state I was in.  I touched down and started running.  I never looked back.

I ran till I couldn't run anymore.  I could barely walk.  I collapsed against a tree.  There was no one in sight.  I must have lost him.  I tried to catch my breath, but my heart was still pounding.  I tried to think, but my head was pounding too.  None of this made any sense.  Where was everyone?  And what was that thing back at my house?  I needed answers.  I had to find Jen.

I started making my way toward her house.  I had always thought it was great that she lived so close to me, but I wasn't too thrilled to be heading towards my house again right now.  She only lived around the corner from me.

I began walking down the middle of the street.  Even though I had been hit by a car earlier, that seemed safer than walking down the sidewalk next to the bushes.  I kept seeing movement out of the corner of my eye, but when I'd look, nothing was there.  At least nothing I could see.  I kept hearing a faint rustling sound.  Footsteps?  I couldn't tell.  I began to pick up speed, and before I knew it, I was running again.

As Jen's house came into view, I saw that it, too, was dark; just like mine, and every other house I'd seen tonight.  I ran up the stairs and started pounding on the door.  No answer.  I tried to see in the windows, but it was so dark in there, I couldn't make out anything.  I jumped when I saw my own reflection, then sighed in relief.  I saw myself almost smile.  At the same moment, my face was replaced by a savage, inhuman one, as a hand smashed through the glass and grabbed at me.  I threw myself backwards, crashed through the porch railing, and hit the ground.

Dazed, I looked up and saw another gruesome looking creature coming toward me.  I somehow got to my feet and staggered into a run.  As I tore out of the yard, I saw two more coming across the street and another in the next yard, each one more horrible than the last.  I ran faster than I ever thought possible.  Down streets.  Through yards.  Over fences.  I ran till my sides ached and my lungs threatened to burst.  I ran till my legs refused to run anymore.  Then I tripped, flew through the air, and bounced painfully several times before coming to a stop.

Lying there, I noticed for the first time that the morning sky was beginning to brighten.  Then they closed in around me, blocking out the sun.  In fear and exhaustion, I lost consciousness.

Somewhere in my head, I could hear my mother's voice.  Talking to me.  Calling my name.  I struggled to open my eyes.  As I tried to blink away the fog in my brain, I saw Mom burst into tears.  My brother and sister started cheering.  Jen was beaming.  I was in a hospital room.  I tried to sort out what had happened.  I had so many questions.  Where had they all been?  How did they find me?  And how did they ever fight off all those terrible creatures?  The room fell silent.  I couldn't understand their baffled expressions.

Mom smiled sympathetically, felt my forehead, and said, "It's okay honey.  It's natural to be confused after you've been unconscious for almost 24 hours."  She was talking in a calm, quiet voice like I was out of my mind or something.  She explained about the hit and run accident.  I had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance yesterday and been unconscious ever since.  It had all felt so real.  So frightening.  But it had never happened.  It was all in my mind.

Two days later, the doctor released me from the hospital.  I was anxious to get home.  We were carving pumpkins tonight and roasting the seeds.  I was really looking forward to it.  I paused on the stairs to admire the old decorations taped to the windows.  I thought they looked great.

As I went through the door, I glanced back at the scarecrow on the lawn and something caught my eye.  A black car moved slowly down the street.  I froze in place.  As it rolled by, the demon inside looked up at me with a twisted, evil grin.


The End

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