Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2017
High School Winners

Second Place

Our second place High School winning entry was written by Kyle Norberg a student of Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, VA.

The Demon of the Drawers

Kyle Norberg

Warning: This is a SCARY story that may frighten younger readers.
If you are afraid of killer socks, reader discretion is advised.


Sometimes, you never know what can kill you or scare you. Whether it’s a clown with red lips and tear filled mascara dripping down its cheeks, a man with a dollar store hockey mask, or even a killer demon sock that slowly devours whoever wears it; each one of us has something that spooks us. The demon sock in particular is easily the most unexpected, but for some odd reason, I was the poor, naïve person that put those socks on my feet. What followed were the three worst days of my life.

My name is Hogan Matthews, and I am pretty much your typical teenage boy. Living in a small town in Wisconsin, I could start this story with “it was a cold dark night, but I won’t. I will start with “it was a warm winter night.” Unseasonably warm for December, actually. And that should have been my first clue that things weren’t quite right.

It was my second week working at Socksalive, a store located in the run­down Cherrytown mall, home to misfit stores ready for the retail graveyard. It’s a small, cramped, and messy place that is best known for its wide variety of socks for every occasion, holiday, non­holiday, or just basically everyday. There are racks of socks on the walls, piles of socks lying on tables and clearance socks sitting in baskets on floors. It actually kind of makes me claustrophobic. Mr. Cal C. Tines, the store manager, hired me after a long time employee, Mindy Stafford, went missing. They say she was kidnapped one night after leaving the store. I figured that she just wanted to get away from Mr. Tines because, well, he’s kind of creepy. Gaunt, thin, with greasy hair and raisin like skin, this tower of a man had a high­pitched voice that didn’t match his physical appearance. Even more strange was that his love for “his socks,” as he called them, was like a father’s love for his children. He took good care of his sock family and got a bit too emotional with each pair he sold.

So it was on that warm December evening, when I was unboxing the new Christmas socks, that I felt a presence lurking behind me. Goosebumps on my arms, I quickly turned around, only to find Mr. Tines six inches from my back creepily watching over my shoulder.

“Oh, uh, Hi, Mr. Tines,” I said, “ ... can I help you?”

“I see that you have two boxes left to unpack,” he squeaked.

“No, I just have one box left.”

“What about that box over there?”

I turned around again, only to find that there were two unopened boxes. “ Huh? I swear I just unloaded one of them.”

Ho Ho Ho Hogan …”

“What’s that, Mr. Tines?” I asked,

“What are you talking about? I didn’t say anything,” he said.

“Huh, I thought I heard my name,”

“You must be hearing things.”

As I continued unboxing the socks, I kept thinking about the “White out for Christmas” party this weekend and wondering what I should wear. That’s when I pulled out the last pair of socks. With its white background and tiny Santa heads, how could I resist? “These will be perfect for the party.” So I set them next to the cash register to pay for them before closing.

Ho Ho Ho, Hogan...” I heard it again.

Frightened by the loud whisper, I ignored the darting blur I saw from the corner of my eye and looked all around the store to see where the voice could be coming from and realized that I was the only one there since it was almost time to close, and Mr. Tines was back in his office.

“I must be hearing things again,” I thought to myself.

After I finished unpacking the boxes, Mr. Tines came out of his office, and said “It’s time to close up, Hogan.”

“Sure, but give me a minute. I want to buy a pair of Santa socks that I laid right heeeere.... wait, where are they?”

After searching around the store, something caught my eye, and I saw a white blob under a table. The socks. My dancing Santa socks. It was as if they had their own set of feet and walked over there while I wasn’t looking. A little freaked out, I picked them up, paid for them, and left the store. Big mistake on my part.

After I got home, I excitedly rushed to my room to try on the socks. At first, I was shocked.

“These socks are amazing!” I said out loud to myself, “They feel like angels giving my feet a massage. Maybe I should get another pair.”

After a few minutes, the soft, silky feel turned into a mildly painful tingle, which was followed by a sudden jolt of pain and blood crawling down my leg. And then, I passed out.

The next day, I woke up as if it were all a dream. I picked myself up off the floor only to find that I still had the socks on. I tried pulling them off, but they wouldn’t budge. It was as if they were clinging for dear life. My leg. My life. Then, I heard the mysterious voice again.

“Ho Ho Ho Hogan... You have three days to live, and on the third day, when the clock strikes midnight, your life will come to an end unless...”

“Who are you? What did you do to my feet? I screamed.

“Pour me on the outside, and I will look clean, but pour me in the insides and you will certainly die.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“You will need to figure it out yourself if you want to live,” said the sock.
Suddenly, I was struck with the same jolt of pain as last night, followed by my leg uncontrollably flailing around like an inflatable tube guy that you see in front of car dealerships. The rest of the day was a strange one. I decided to wear another pair of socks over the bloody ones that I couldn’t take off so that no one would notice anything suspicious. I limped around the school awkwardly while the sock kept trying to take control of my legs. As time went by, my pain got worse and worse, but nothing was going to keep me from going to the Christmas party tomorrow night.

The next day was the same as the previous day, except for the upcoming party, and my impending death. At least I had the party to look forward to. The theme of the party was “White out or get out” meaning that you had to wear some sort of white clothing. I arrived at the party trying to enjoy myself, but all I could think about was my throbbing leg and that stupid riddle: “Pour me on the outside, and I will look clean, but pour me in the insides and you will certainly die.”

Time is running out. “Why can’t I figure this out?” I thought.

At that moment, one of my classmates approached me

“Hey what’s up, Hogan?” he asked, “Looks like you found a clean, white shirt for tonight.”

“Actually, it didn’t take me that long to find it. I have a ton of white T­Shirts for some reason.” I said, “What about you?”

“Yeah, I had a couple of them, but I had to clean them using bleach. “Wait a minute, I think figured it out!”

“Figured out what?”

“It’s nothing.”

“It’s bleach! That’s the key to killing the sock demon,” I thought to myself.

I quickly tried to think of where I could find bleach at this late hour when I realized that the house was down the street from a Walgreens.

“They should have bleach there,” I thought.

I rushed outside, only to realize that it was 11:30 P.M. I had to act fast or I would become a pile of bones. As I hobbled to the store, the sudden jolts of pain became more frequent and more painful. I could barely walk by the time I made it to the front doors. The store was a ghosttown. As the doors opened, I realized that I only had five minutes to find the bleach. After a quick scan of the aisles, I found what I needed. I had 30 seconds until my death, so I couldn’t take the time to purchase the bleach. As so, I unscrewed the cap, and poured the bleach on my foot. After one final jolt of pain, I checked the time. It was 12:00 a.m. and I was still alive.

“You’re going to regret this, Hogan!” the sock said as he slowly disintegrated into nothingness, “Mr. Tines will get his revenge on you! He will...”

“He will what?” I screamed, “What will he do to me? Answer me!”

“Well, well, well, Hogan. Looks like you figured out the riddle,” said a familiar voice.

I gradually turned my head, only to see a familiar towering presence: Mr. Cal. C. Tines.

“Uh, Mr. Tines, what are you doing here?” I asked. “And what’s with the socks on your hands?”

“My boy, these are more than just socks. These boys are my family,” he said as he raised his hands in a sock puppet fashion and began to speak to them.

“Hey Henry and Marv, what should we do with Hogan?” he creepily asked.

The socks stayed silent, but I didn’t wait around to see what happened next. Because that’s when

I made my getaway.

Needless to say, I never went back to Socksalive. But, several weeks later, I walked into a new store, Shoesalive, looking for a job. I asked the clerk to see the manager when all of the sudden, I felt a familiar presence. A tower of a man walked out of the office and in a high­pitched voice said “It’s nice to see you again, Hogan.”

Continue to the 1st place story

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