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Halloween Writting Contest Entry 11

The following story was submitted as an entry in The Wanderer first annual Halloween Writing Contest.
The winner will be announced in the October 25, 2007 edition.
Stories will be posted on-line as they are available in print.

The Scary Story

Entry #11: "The Scary Story"

Most scary stories seem to start something like ..."It was a dark dreary night." However mine does not start out at all like that. But honest, it is scary. Please don't let the beginning put you at ease.

It was actually a beautiful fall day. I think you could even go as far as calling it an Indian summer fall day -- the weather had warmed up considerably, the trees were in all their glory with their colorful leaves and the air had the crisp strong smell that you could only attribute to a beautiful fall day.

I was taking my daily walk around the village in what would appear to most as an unsuccessful attempt to lose weight. If you must know, I have lost almost eight pounds since Memorial Day.

As I headed down Cottage Street, I was obsessing on the chocolate chip muffin that I really wanted from Uncle Jon's. I had promised myself that I would not have any more bakery items until I lost ten pounds and then I would treat myself to just one. But the thought of ripping off the crisp top of the muffin had me so entranced that I was extremely startled when a cat darted out of the bushes in front of me. The green-eyed black cat stared at me for only a second and then quickly darted across the street.

As I looked to where it had come from, I noticed the side door to the Music Hall was open and banging against the brick wall. As the well-intentioned taxpayer that I was, I proceeded to go see if I could do something so that the door was not damaged in the breeze. I quickly skipped up the side steps and poked my head inside the door to see if anyone was near. Only popping my head inside the main room, it appeared empty. Someone could be upstairs I assumed.

As I turned to decide what to do with the door, I heard a sound. I'm not sure how you would describe the sound I heard. I know I could never actually make the sound myself. It was a low moaning type sound -- although since I was not sure what was making the sound I am not sure you could consider it a moan. Sometimes when you slowly move in an old leather chair you could perhaps get a similar sound and it would definitely not be called moaning.

However, I was at once both concerned and curious. Was there someone in the Hall? Should they be there? Should I do anything to further investigate, or simple close the door and continue my walk. Again, my tax-paying side decided I should investigate in case something was amiss. I would hate for this beautiful building to be in any sort of distress and know that I did nothing to help.

I slowly entered the large ballroom. Nothing looked different from the last time I was in the room -- except for the lack of voting machines lining the floor and people moving about. It was empty and extremely quiet. Almost too quiet for an old building full of memories. I slipped across the wooden floor conscientiously trying not to make too much noise. I admit my pulse was beginning to increase as I began to have second thoughts about being a town hero. Perhaps it was just the old building shifting in the wind that had caused the sound. Maybe I should turn around and quietly close the outside door, content that I had done my share to help the hall avoid permanent damage. But then I heard the noise again. This time I really tried to listen to what I had heard. Was it just the common creaking and straining of an old building or was it more?

There was no doubt whatever the noise was, it was coming from the upstairs area. My analytical side reminded me that all that was upstairs were the restrooms and an office. I was sure the plumbing could be making the noises. However, my other side was having horrid visions of nightmarish activities happening right over my head.

"Dial 9-1-1" part of me was thinking.

"Don't be a baby" the other part of me countered.

I slowly walked over to the stairwell. Resting on the bottom step I stopped to catch my breath and to give myself the chance to change my mind and run out the front door. Okay, my mind would not change. I had to investigate. I lifted my right leg up the first step. Perhaps I should have had that muffin today, it may have been my last chance. My mind raced. I lifted my left leg. Wow, my legs were heavy. Good thing I didn't eat that muffin.

Slowly I made my way up the winding stairs. As my head cleared the second level, I felt a chilling breeze. And then, I saw it. I would have never believed there was such a thing. But floating casually over the floor was what I would assume was a ghost. It actually looked like the cartoonish ghosts depicted in the Casper cartoons. If I wasn't so frightened I may have actually laughed at the sight. And the scariest thing of all, was carefully tailored to the ghost was a t-shirt saying "Dunkin' Donuts coming soon to Marion."

Scary, huh?