Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2016
Middle School Winners

Second Place

Our second place Middle School category winner was written by Jason Gale, an eighth-grade H.E. Bourgoin student living in Bonnyville, AB.


Jason Gale

I've always been alone, since my parents died before I could remember them. Don't pity me, it doesn't make me sad, how can you mourn for those you never knew? They may as well be strangers. Throughout my childhood I went from one foster home to another, but the foster parent's faces never really registered in my memory. Not that it matters much anyway, since they haven't ever liked me anyway. Emphasis was always put on my... "disability".

You see, I was considered by medical professionals to be a "Paranoid schizophrenic", but that is just because they don't believe me that I can see and hear things ordinary people can't see. The doctors are all blind to reality. They constantly give me medications to block out my connection, but that makes "them" angry. "They", as in, the ones who live beyond the sight of normal people. Some of them are my friends, others hate me, but thankfully those usually stay away.

The dim light beaming from the window smacked me in the face on a chilled morning, lighting the familiar surroundings of my apartment room. To my left lay a pile of clothes, clean yet disorganized, with anything from a fluorescent orange jacket to a navy blue pair of shorts. Despite the somewhat vast wardrobe ousted on my floor, I rarely changed out of my current attire. My grey jean jacket with a hole in the sleeve reminded me of my first major incident with "them" being hostile, and I saw it as somewhat of a good luck charm. That being said, it was a little too tight. Under that is my faded skin tight t-shirt. Although I lacked much muscle to show, I like to believe I'm at least somewhat slender, and besides, it was the first thing I bought with my own money. Last but not least, by far the most prized and beloved item in my outfit, is my dark blue jeans. No special traits or good memories come from them, but they are really comfy, and Ember likes them.

Speaking of Ember, I hadn't seen him all day, but that's hardly unusual, he comes and goes as he pleases. Ever since I moved into the apartment 3 years ago, he's been my best friend. I got him at the animal shelter during the first month of my residence at my apartment, and he's been a loyal companion. After whistling, I made sure to listen for him. Within minutes I heard a panting sound, and from the kitchen emerged a brown and grey dog. His aging was evident in his slower motions compared to the previous years, but he was still far from the grave. He nudged his head against my knee, and playfully nipped my pant leg. Standing next to me he was about up to my waist, and was near half as wide. His furry ears flopped down across his face, and he stared at me, but it was a warm look despite how similar his eyes looked to ice.

"C'mon boy, want a trea-" I started to say, but his sharp bark cut me off. I looked down at him, and his teeth were bared, and he was looking towards the closet door. A strange noise was coming from it, and it was getting increasingly louder. I backed up, and was filled with fear. Immediately I knew it was one of "Them", and I had a bad feeling about it. "Perhaps it's a friendly one..?" I said, with the terror I felt evident in my voice. A low growl came from Ember, yet I scarcely heard it. The screeching noise emanating from the closet was almost deafening.

"Not again, not again, not again, not again..." I repeated over and over again, flashbacks of the last time this happened. At 12 years old, I had spent a total of 8 days at this new foster home, and so far, I hadn't seen anything that was hidden from the rest of the world. I had been taking a new medication, and it seemed to halt my connection to the true reality. Exhausted from a long day, I lay down in my bed, wondering if, or perhaps, when another of my "Friends", as I called them at that age, would appear. The entire house shook as a thunderous sound came from the kitchen. It was to the point where my eardrums felt as if they'd explode. Being fearless, walked into the kitchen, and to this day I regret it.

He was tall, abnormally so, and had a somewhat humanoid appearance, aside from his curly horns on his head, and the misshapen form of his face. It was truly monstrous. Despite his cruel, twisted smile, with a mouth full of teeth belonging to different animals, that's not what I feared. Although he had a gaping hole for a nose, I didn't pay much attention to it, as it wasn't what I feared. What I feared were his eyes. Jet black in color, it was as if the entire eye was a singular pupil. Looking into it's eyes, I was paralyzed with fear. One cannot describe the inhuman look of pure rage in it's eyes, the bloodlust that I felt pulsating from them. The black globes looked intently at me, as this creature of a hellish origin stepped closer, ever so slowly. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a silvery flash in its hand, and within the split second I looked towards it, it lunged at me at a speed unprecedented by anything I'd see in my life. A scream escaped my lips as a blinding pain shot through my body. Within a second which seemed like a millennia, I passed out, but before I did, I caught a look into it's eyes. Every night I have nightmares of that exact scene, over and over, and it's eyes, it's deep, terrifying eyes, filled with an unquenchable anger, continue to haunt me to this day.

I awoke in the hospital, my current set of foster parents at the foot of my bed. Almost disgusted is the best way I can describe the look on their face. Just like every single other time! A very slight feeling of anger filled me, and then it dropped, being replaced by the pain of my arm. "Keith... Can you tell us how you ended up here?" an unfamiliar voice asked. Looking over to the side of the bed, I saw a doctor I hadn't noticed earlier. Descriptive and long, I gave the explanation on how I ended up here, and I felt my face pale as I retold the story. The doctor gave me his retelling of what the EMS observed when they appeared. Screams of pain awoke my foster parents, and as they ran into the kitchen, their blood ran cold upon the sight of my unconscious body lying on the ground, knife in my arm, and a scarlet red pool covering the ground I lay upon. Within seconds they dialed 9-11, and EMS appeared some time later. They saw my condition, removed the knife carefully in order to not mess around with the evidence, and brought me to the hospital. Upon arrival the doctors had checked my records, discussed the situation with the EMS, and concluded that in a mad hallucination caused by my schizophrenia. Try as I might to convince the doctor my story was true, he wouldn't believe me. I asked my "parents" if they had heard the noise, to which they responded that the only sound they heard was my scream.

I feared what my condition allowed me to see from that time forward, and even when I'd see a playful imp, or a friendly fairy, it was quickly shooed off. Now, they were called "Them", as I'd realized they are not all "friends". Over the next few years, they had appeared over and over, yet none of them ever were hostile, since the "incident". To make it even better, as soon as I moved out and bought Ember, within a month they all stopped appearing.

But now, back against the wall with my eyes glued to the closet door, I heard a sound which has been replayed countless times in my most dark night terrors. A sound I was all too familiar with. The floor shook under the heavy vibrations, and the closet door rattled. Ember stood fiercely by my side, but I knew even he, a rather active German Shepherd, was powerless against this demon like creature that's been haunting my very existence. Paralyzed in fear, I tried to run but my legs wouldn't cooperate. Pure dread pulsed throughout my body as if it had replaced my blood. Every command given to my body was rejected, and I was left in terror to only look on at the closet, when suddenly, the noise stopped. It was instead replaced by a light whisper. "I'm watching" was repeated, endlessly. A jolt shot through my head as I imagined those dark, horrible eyes, staring at me. Before I knew it, I was unconscious. I awoke to find Ember sitting at my side looking at me with curious eyes. Regardless of how hard I tried, I couldn't shake the feeling of being watched. Day after day, I had heard whispers, and seen shadows moving out of the corner of my eye.

I now refuse to leave my house, as outside I feel exposed, and it terrifies me. After about a month Ember disappeared, and he was gone for nearly a week, but he's back now. I'm glad to have my only companion back, I don't know what I'd do without him. My blood runs cold and shivers run down my spine on a regular basis. Hatred filled my mind when I thought of this thing that's been stealing my freedom, yet, when I felt that pair of dark eyes staring at me through a nook or cranny, the rage dissipates and is replaced with a sense of horror unimaginable by any of those who haven't witnessed a monstrosity of this caliber. It was here. It was watching. It was out to get me. A week after Ember returning, a rotten smell only describable as the personification of hell itself filled the room. Now three senses have been overtaken, and I can feel my willpower fading.

I cannot live in this constant state of paranoia. It is watching me, and it is waiting for it's moment to strike. With my last ounce of energy I threw open the closet door and took out a length of rope. Seconds was all it took for me to tie the rope into a noose. Minutes was the time taken for me to hang up the noose, step upon a chair, and insert my neck into the hole. I hear a thunderous noise, and I knew that rage overtook the monster as it realized he would not get the privilege to torment me any longer. Against my better judgment, I let out a scream of terror as I saw it lumber into the hallway. Ember was nowhere to be seen and I assumed the worst. The chair gave way with a slight kick and I felt a plummeting in my gut, reminiscent of going down on a high rollercoaster. As I drew my last breathe I allowed a smile to spread across my face. It lost.

"Keith, age 23, dead on scene." The paramedic to my right weakly stated into a radio. It was only my first year of working as an EMS and I had already witnessed my first suicide victim. A look into his records had shown schizophrenia, paranoia, and a previous case of self-harm at age 12. He had claims of seeing things and hearing things but of course it was all a part of his schizophrenic hallucinations. He was a lean, blonde guy, about my age, yet judging from the way he looks he hadn't paid any attention to his personal hygiene in well over a month. Firstly upon entering his room we noticed the distinct smell of rot, and thought maybe he had been dead for a while. The truth was much more shocking. We had been called to the scene along with police when the people in the surrounding apartment rooms reported a rotting smell, and one had reported a scream.

We discovered the rotting remains of a German Shepherd lying in the pantry. Evidence leads us to believe he starved to death weeks before the passing of the owner, and have confirmed it as the cause of the smell. Scribblings of a figure which resembled a monster were everywhere, with illegible writing around it, and heavy circling of the eyes. After we called a coroner, the paramedic allowed me to go home, as I was obviously shaken, and I wasn't needed for the next part anyway as I hadn't had the sufficient training to deal with this scenario.

I arrived at my home and immediately I heard a noise coming from the kitchen, a thunderous noise which got louder as I approached. What awaited me was a lean, blonde humanoid, with curly horns. It turned to me and after a moment of fear when I saw its eyes, I froze. It was hideous, yet familiar. Upon its body, it wore a gray jean jacket that hardly fit, a tight shirt underneath, and a pair of dark blue jeans...

Continue to the 1st place story

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