Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2016
Middle School Winners

First Place

Our first place Middle School category winner was written by P. Malone, a thirteen-year-old who attends The Island Free School on the Isle of Wight.

Gateway to Oblivion

P. Malone

Lifelessly hanging in the vines, her body was draped in the finest of silks, an elegant aqua dress clinging to her tiny frame. By her feet, a river of cascading water tossed and turned, slightly wetting the ends of her dress.

Looking closer, her porcelain complexion was pulverised, deep hues of ultramarine scattered on her pallor skin. Poorly stitched, a jagged laceration etched its way across her left eye, scarlet coloured blood seeping into her skin.

A slight breeze whispered her name, taunting her hanging corpse. But then it happened. Striking the auburn wood, a flash of light illuminated the darkest hours of the day, sending deep violet sparks thrashing through her veins, sending convulsions down her weak limbs.

Once hazel eyes fluttered open, bursts of colour rushing through them before settling on a vibrant purple. Scanning the surrounding area, she slowly tried to open her left eye before wincing in pain and cowering deeper into the canopy.

Pattering dismally against the now crimson floor, the slanted rain washed away any evidence of her previous existence. She was different now and she knew it.

Letting out a shriek in agony, an excruciating pain rippled through her head and hips, as if something was protruding from her very bones.

As sudden as it started, it stopped. She was left heavily breathing, trying to take in as much of the murky air as possible. Once recovered, she untangled her prison and leaped down, gently patting down her gown.

Cautiously reaching up to her head, she took a sharp intake as she felt 2 furry objects clinging onto her scalp, embedded. Panicking, she felt something furry on her legs and was highly shocked when she saw a magnificent light grey tail.

Calming herself down, the girl wandered down the stream, countless thoughts rushing through her head. A crash of thunder ricocheted through her thought filled brain, releasing a once withdrawn answer. Her name.


Stumbling on multiple roots, Circe soon found herself outside a grand mansion that looked surprisingly empty. A sickly green mist twisted itself around her bare feet as she gazed at the suspicious door that was slightly ajar. Long aqua hair trailing behind her, she gingerly edged nearer the oak door.

Something was calling her... and she needed to know what.

A fine layer of dust smothered everything, hiding the aged beauty. Walking through the hallways, she subconsciously interrupted the peace, her footsteps ringing out, her movements causing the settled dust to fly up before gently spiralling back down to find another position in which to rest.

Finding herself, once again, in front of an immense doorway, she slightly pushed on the door, receiving a horrible creak in return.

A plush mint-green armchair immediately caught her attention, the gold trimmings sparkling in the moonlight that was streaming through the frosted windows creating a distorted effect. Where was she?

Running her fingers along the faded fabric, she noticed an immaculately clean chess set, pieces out, ready to play. Feeling drawn to it, she found herself reaching out for the white King, a piece with a beautiful bejewelled bottom of the deepest red.

Pressing her finger against the smooth piece, a sudden gust of wind made her withdraw her hand and shiver, wondering where it had come from. Turning to leave, she felt an uncomfortable presence within the room and swiftly turned, shocked to see a handsome man before her.

His face was slightly shaded by a cloak he wore but his navy coloured hair swept across his chiselled face, partially hiding his acid green eyes that made her quiver in fear. He gave her a puzzled look before opening his mouth and speaking, his voice dripping in honey. "Well, why are you leaving? We haven't played the game yet!"

Shocked at his seemingly childish voice, she furrowed her eyebrows together before he gestured to the chess board. Sighing in relief, she took a seat in the worn chair and delicately pushed her further left pawn forward 2 spaces, waiting or his turn.

Satisfied with her actions, the mysterious boy let out a silent laugh that was filled with content and sat opposite the strange girl, admiring her wonderful cat ears. Silently moving one of his pawns, he went back to his malicious thoughts, summoning piece by piece, life by life.

As time progressed, more and more pieces were eventually captured, every time one was, a horrendous scream boomed through the rickety mansion, trying to burst through every closed door but ultimately failing.

With just 1 knight, her King, a rook and a pawn, things were taking a turn for the worse as a sudden thought raced through her mind. Why? Why are the screams only happening when pieces are captured? Unless... NO! It couldn't be, could it? Are those screams...real? Am I killing people when my pieces get captured... SURELY NOT! A whole dialogue of questions came to her as she recoiled her hand from her latest move, moving her King 1 space to the left.

Still wrapped up in her thoughts, she ceased to notice the maniacal laugh that had escaped her opponents mouth but when she looked down, in horror she saw something truly bad. Terribly. Glancing upwards, she felt tears brimming in her eyes as she heard 1 word that changed her life forever. "CHECKMATE!"

My sadness washed over me, an inanimate tsunami of despair that I was gradually drowning in. My figure was frigid from the intense coldness as the reflective light wasted away, leaving me in a submerged utopia.

A delicate string of bubbles escaped my pursed cobalt lips as I finally relaxed and allowed my personal anchor to further drag me down. Glancing around, I found myself alone once again, nothing but the dazzling ultramarine water surrounding me.

Thoughts cleared my mind as my limp body sunk faster, total darkness engulfing me. My torso hit the golden sand and my head ricocheted forwards but found its way onto my everlasting pillow. The last few bubbles emerged from my lips as I watched them travel upwards towards the surface.

I felt my chest constricting, my heart racing.

Breathing in, I was met with a mouthful of water, not air, as my figure started convulsing, trying to escape the bonds that held me. My vision blurred even further and my eyes flickered shut for the last time. My limbs fell still.

All I could think of was the watery underworld I was in: a beautiful place to die.

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