Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2021
Middle School Winners

Second Place

Our second place Middle School category winner was written by Fatima Zahra of Gurgaon, Haryana in India, a student of the Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School.

The Nightmare Converted

Fatima Zahra


Gloomy, spooky, chill-inducing Dark.

I am enveloped in a vast expanse of Darkness, my own hands mere cloudy outlines. Nightmare. Nightmare. Nightmare.

Why is it so vivid?

The medicine might induce hallucinations and nightmares”

A cold and smooth plane is laid out beneath me. As I drag my index finger over it, my hands shiver, from the tips of my fingers and it ends in the very depths of my arm socket.

I am frozen.

I want to scream.

My lips are pursed, sewn together with an invisible glue.

A light wind wafts at my hair, blowing strands of it behind me. It reminds me of autumn walks with my mother. Of the autumn walk.


I grab her hand, my grip tight, hoping she isn’t going to let go.

Mum is tired.

From the long hours of constant sitting in the office, signing the divorce papers.

From feeding me all the false hopes of a better tomorrow.

From crying in the kitchen at midnights.

I’m here, dear.” She gives my hand a reassuring squeeze.

She looks into my eyes, her fatigued mouth seems to take effort to bend into a haphazard smile.

But I’m afraid.

Dad was here.

And now he’s not.

Every inch of my heart wants to believe her, embrace the little hope that she gives me.

Ok.” I reply, but my hand doesn’t loosen up.

And suddenly, bright yellow headlights.

A hard bone cracking hit to my right side. And mom getting hit in the face

And then, darkness.


Do people have flashbacks in their nightmares?

The question stings throughout my body and I need it in that moment.

"DO THEY" And my lips open, my voice shrieks out, and suddenly I want to retreat from what I said because my ribs ache.

Do ribs ache in nightmares?


It is a real voice.

My feet spring up by the sudden interruption to the silence.

I'm lucky that I land on a floor.

It seems to be dirt, by the particles of sand and leaves that land on my toes.


The voice is low and throaty, and it sounds like gravel shifting on the ground.

Nightmare. Nightmare. Nightmare.


"You're going to be fine." As my eyes droop. "Now go to sleep.”

The doctor was right. She was right.

Right. Right. Right.


A laugh.

It is high and all things cold.

"Hopeful children, huh?”

I pinch my arm, hoping this all fades away, and I can wake up again, and hug my mother so hard it breaks her ribs and-

"FOOLISH HOPEFUL CHILDREN." The air cracks with electricity all around me and I can see the luminescent sparks floating in mid air seconds before they land. As soon as they reach ground, they crackle and then slide and join together in a loud hiss, guiding themselves to my bare feet.

The particles stretch out and take a high form, rising twice as high as me.

They glide over each other as their light takes many colors.


It isn't a request, nor an order. It is a plea.

My lips remain closed.

Why does this-this thing beg me so?

"Hello." I mutter

The older wind, now stronger and warmer slams me back, and I land, head banging on the marble before ricocheting back to the floor.

My memories flash again.

They swipe by in a moment, leaving me feeling nauseous when I gain composure again.

The spark-line drops to the floor in front of me scattering into a million particles of darkness.

"You're not ready.”

"For what?" My voice comes out slurred, with unnecessary pauses.

"A mistake. This is.”

"What?" I screamed at the disembodied voice.


And suddenly there is light.

It is bright as day.

Possibly even more.

In front of me lies something that I did not feel there before.

A coffin.

"Is mom dead?”

I wait for many seconds for the voice, but it doesn't come.


I turn around.

It is behind me.

And I lunge for it.

Because I am angry.

Because my head hurts

Because all I ever wanted was to feel fine.

It was about double my height, a human alright.

Teeth dripping blood and clothing made of animal hide. It crouched to my height as I hit its nose.

It grabs me by the shoulders and pulls me backward, away from the coffin.

It's hiding something.

Maybe that's how I get out.

Its hands clench every muscle and bone of my shoulders, its red eyes on my hands.

I need to get out.

With a furious and frantic bite on its thumb, I tear away from it, running for my life.

I lift the coffin door.

And I'm numb.

"I told you." The voice says. It's me.

I'm dead.

This sleep is endless; it is eternal and short,

It is a humongous giant and a throaty plea.

It is death.

Continue to the 1st place story

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