Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2010
High School Winners

Third Place

Our third place High School winning entry was written by Alex Jackiewicz, a student attending the Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts.

I'll Protect You

Alexander Jackiewicz

Distant sirens and gunshots haunted the ears of a solitary woman as she hesitantly sauntered down an abandoned street, the road littered with ownerless cars, doors left open. Her glance shifted from house to house, alley to alley, car to car. Whimpering and muttering, her eyes squeezing out tears, her eyes fell upon a short but long building. She could see that the doors were shut and unfriendly, but that did not stop her from darting at the door and eventually rapping on the door with her balled-up fist.

“Hello? Is anyone there? Please, help me!” she cried as she banged harder on the door. “For God’s sake, something is going on, help me!” Her blows grew more aggressive and increasingly loud. She smacked her open palms onto the steel door, weeping, and slapped it before giving up and falling to the ground. She sat down, head and arms on her knees, crying and saying “God” and curse words over and over.

She quickly jolted back onto her feet as the door behind her slowly creaked open, revealing a bushy brown mustache, a police badge and uniform, and bird eyes hiding behind thick framed glasses.

“Hello?” he asked reluctantly, his aided eye peering out of the cracked door. She stood to her feet quickly, relieved. Wiping her nose with the sleeve of her striped sweatshirt, she pleaded for help.

“Jesus, come on in,” he gasped, opening the door wider to let her in. He did not make eye contact with her as she entered. He shivered. “Brrr, sure is a little nippy out there, huh?” His attempts at small talk did not work with his guest. He exhaled, motioning for her to take a seat in the metal chair standing behind her. He slumped into a metal chair of his own, placing his bearded chin onto his clasped fists. “So, just what the hell is going on out there? We’ve had all our men dispatched, and almost none returned so far.” At this, she broke her gaze with the white tiled floor and looked deeply into his peering eyes.

“What think I know what the Hell is going on out there?!” she stood up, biting on her finger nails and pacing. “You don’t know what’s going on, officer?” she desperately questioned.

He slowly shook his head, eyes lowered. “No.” She gave a false laugh, then planted herself back into her seat.

“Well I surely don’t either, sir. I was hoping you knew, hoping there was some way you could help.” The officer fixed a guilt-ridden gaze upon her as she sat in her chair, nibbling her nails and staring at the tiles.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but I wish I knew myself. I’ve had to dispatch every single one of my men for an emergency call. I had to reject desperate calls because there was no one left but me,’ and I had to keep guard on the headquarters,” he told, “I would have gone myself if I could, but-”

“But then I would still be alone and afraid on these abandoned streets,” she interrupted.

He glanced over to her grateful face. “So, just what is going on out there….?” There was awe in his voice.

“I was just on my morning jog, bright and early, as usual,” she drew in a deep breath, letting out a shaky exhale. “And I heard a scream from down the street. I began to run towards where the scream came from, but just after, another gave out, from behind me. I heard a familiar voice, the first screamer, give a blood-curdling wail from a house that I had in my sight. So, I continued at it.” She paused, taking another breath. “Explosion, I don’t know why, or from where, how close or how far or what it was. But I do know there was an explosion. I was distracted from the explosion for a moment because of the woman in distress. Then I listened harder as I cautiously walked over to the house, and I heard some strange noises. I called out

‘hello’, asked if anyone was there, and no one answered. I repeated myself, and then I heard, it was horrible,” she trailed off, her eyes glazing over with tears, “the sound that it made. Th- this, growl. It just, wasn’t animal like, I mean, it was unlike any animal growl I’ve ever heard. Not an animal’s, and most certainly not a human’s, and as I forwarded through the home, I saw it, and, I saw her!” She bursted out in a sob, her cries muffled by the sleeve of her sweatshirt. The officer stood up and strode to her chair, his arms on her shoulders.

“Hey, hey now, listen here! You’re safe, there’s nothing to be scared of, I’ll watch over you,” he comforted, hugging her upper body as she sobbed.

“I’ll protect you,” he comforted, squeezing her tighter. Her crying slowed and she began at her story again.

“It was horrible. I recognized him; he was my neighbor. I just knew who he was, I didn’t, like, know him, you know?” She sniffled, “It was him, but it wasn’t him. His neck was one gushing open wound, and his white T-shirt had a waterfall of blood down the front. He was crouched over at her, which was lying out on the floor in a red pool. And, I swear, I would swear on my life, that he was, he was…” her lip quivered once more, “…eating her.” She stopped and silently released her sadness into her wet sleeve.

“Did he say anything to your, or to her? Do they have a bad past?” he questioned, rising up to a stand.

“He’s a preschool teacher, or was a preschool teacher, and she was a maid, I believe. No bad past that I know of. He just, continued to rip her flesh off her body with his teeth as I gazed in horror. I was in a state of shock for what seemed like years, I was just standing there, horrified. It wasn’t until I gasped and began to back away towards the door, not until then did he raise his yellowed eyes at me. He just let out an intimidating growl, her blood pouring out of his mouth. He stood up from his crouch and hunched toward me. I took the initiative to turn and run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I didn’t even know if he was following me, I just ran. But then I looked back a few seconds later, and he was trailing behind me, losing ground, growling and hissing at me as he sprinted. I looked back to my front, and saw a concerned man opening his door in his pajamas. I just screamed for help, not stopping. I told him to call the cops, but he only came out of the comfort of his doorway and walked out to his lawn. He watched me, and when I looked back, he was on his lawn, back down, with the growling man on top of him, making a meal of his flesh, too.” The cop just shook his head in disbelieve and paced behind her chair. “What does this mean?” Her voice was quivering with fear.

“I truly don’t know. I have never experienced anything like this. Nothing.” His head continued to shake. Are you sure he was, eating, her?” he asked, unsure of the realism of this reality.

“I’m pretty sure, yes.” Her shaking head feel into her hands.

“Cannibals? A cannibal outbreak? How does this even start? It’s not like they’re a foreign group coming into our city, you said you recognized him. Are you sure it was him? You have no doubt that it wasn’t a stranger?”

“It was him, but it wasn’t... It’s very difficult for me to explain, really. He was there, but his eyes, and his personality, all life seemed to be, just, drained from him. He was lifeless, but he crouched there. He wasn’t there, but he ran after me. He wasn’t a live, but he attacked that man. I don’t know what to think.”

“So maybe it’s some virus or something?” He scratched his head. “Oh, no, no. Don’t tell me that this is some Dawn Of The Dead B.S., huh? Zombies, flesh eating cannibals, you know? Watch out for the teeth...?” He asked with eyebrows raised. At that moment, a banging came to the door. Caught off guard, the officer hastily withdrew his pistol from the holster at his waist. He aimed it towards the door and slowly advanced. Now there were consistent bangs.

Now only inches from the door, he aimed his gun at the door with his right hand, reaching for the handle with the left. From behind him, she cowered and listened closely.

“Was that a growl?” she asked, frightened. “Was it?!”

He shot a concerned glance back at her, then placed his hand on the handle, pushed it down, and opened it.

And in bursted in what has become of a man in auburn hospital scrubs who received a nasty wound to his left arm, tendons and muscles dangling as he charged at the officer. The girl screamed, retreating back toward her chair. The officer mumbled and grumbled, cursed and roared as he tried to wrestle his gun free of this ex-man.

The girl’s eyes darted around frantically as she tried to find something to fend him off. As her eyes fell on the nightstick, a gunshot rang through the building. She jumped, then looked over to see the officer yelp out in pain.

Chunks of flesh and red blood caked the door and doorway, a hole blown into the chest of the officer’s attacker. Then he released a second slug into the “man”. As the second bullet entered through his forehead and exited the back of his head, brain matter and skull fragments showering onto the white tile, he fell back limply and plopped onto the ground, his feet sprawled inside the building. A clear hole was blown through his snarled face, the hole leaking blood, the red pool growing rapidly on the sidewalk.

“You alright?” she asked, rushing over to the officer. He clutched the top of his hand, and dark red flowed from under his pressing hand. “Oh my God...”

“A towel, or a bandage, I need to put pressure on this,” he grunted. She disappeared behind a set of doors near the chairs where they were once seated. She grabbed a large roll of bandages and headed back for him. She had only been gone for a few seconds, but when she revisited the man, he grew sweaty and the color had begun to drain from his face. His breath was rasping from within his lungs, and his eyes were half closed. Saliva was dripping down his beard. She kneeled beside him, quickly tying the bandage around his hand, the bandage growing red.

“You going to be alright?”

“Yes, I’m going to be fine. You should leave,” he suggested, motioning his injured hand to the front door. She didn’t budge; she just looked at him confused. “Please, go, save yourself.”

“From what? He’s dead. There are more out there, I’m plenty more safe with you, just like you’re more safe with me!” she argued. He gave his last laugh before his rasping breaths slowed, eventually halting. “Hey, hey? Hey!” she shouted in his face. She gave his shoulders a shake, his head lifelessly shaking. “Wake up!” she pleaded, beginning to cry. She screamed a cuss word. Her head lowered as her hands slid from his shoulders, and she cried hard.

Shortly after, she heard a noise from the man, and she darted her gaze up to him. His head shifted and his body gave a twitch. His closed eyes opened, but they were unfamiliar. He had a similarity to the preschool teacher’s eyes had as he was eating that woman. He gave a growl as she screamed, starting up for the door. Her back turned to him, she began running but a hand tripped her to the ground. She fell onto her stomach, her nails clawing at the tile, trying to crawl away.

He let out a howl as she turned over onto her back. She was propped up on her elbows, and the ex-officer bolted at her, eventually climbing on top of her. She took the nightstick in her hands and clubbed him in the chest, but he gave no response. He pinned down her arms, the nightstick rolling away from her grasp. She grunted as she strained her wrists under his grip. He lowered his exposed teeth to her shoulder and took a chunk from her. She screamed in pain as he chowed down on her helpless shoulder.

She squirmed, trying to get free, but it did not work. A moment later, she laid lifelessly, the officer eating her flesh. Minutes later, she rose again, but not as a jogger, not as a girl, not as a human. They growled in harmony, and then stumbled out of the building together, looking for new victims.

Continue to the 2nd place story

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