Halloween Story Contest – Part II


Here is the second of three installments showcasing the entries for one of our favorite events of the year, the Annual Halloween Story Contest! Last week we introduced the first three stories submitted, and this week we have a few more, so sit back and enjoy a fun read. The winner will be announced in the October 29 edition of The Wanderer.


Halloween Story Contest Entry #4

The Halloween Challenge

I stared my brother James straight in the eye the day before Halloween.

“Bring it on,” he said to me, staring at me so hard I almost looked away.

We had made an agreement. We would both try to get the most candy possible, but not eat it. It sounded hard and a waste of candy, but I wasn’t about to back down. James has a way of making you agree. So, when he told me about the challenge, and when he raised his eyebrow at me to question me of what I was going to do, I narrowed my eyes and immediately said yes.

Then I started to wonder if this was a good idea. How can a kid have a bagful of candy, and then they can’t eat it?

As I threw on my witch costume and painted my face green, I was still having my doubts. But I took a deep breath and walked slowly down the stairs. My candy bag was tossed on the table, and I snatched it on my way out. My four-year old brother, Charlie, was waving good-bye to me, all the while snitching sweets from the bowl for trick-or-treaters.

“Mom, I’m leaving!” I shouted up the staircase to my mom’s bedroom.

“Okay, be home by eight! Kayla’s mom is picking you up, right?” she called back.


I pushed the front door open, heaving and throwing my whole body at it. The door’s been jammed for as long as I can remember. Dad always says he’s going to fix it, but usually he ends up watching a football game or planting vegetables or doing some other project.

Then I plopped myself on the porch swing, waiting for my friends Avery and Kayla. It was about ten minutes of waiting before they bounced up the front steps.

“Hey, Bess!” Kayla called to me, waving.

I smiled and waved back, and got up to meet them.

“What’s up? Ready?” Avery asked.

“Yeah, and could you save me some chocolate?”

“Maybe,” she said, grinning wildly and giggling. “Hey, are you sure your brother will even let you?”

I had told them all about the Challenge. They acted horrified, but I could see that they felt bad. They knew it was hard to back down from something that James says.

“Guys, let’s go. Candy’s waiting,” Kayla lifted up her bag and motioned for us to get walking.

“Soooo … what’s our route for tonight?” Kayla asked me.

Oops. My fault for that blunder.

“Okay, so maybe I forgot to figure it out,” I told them.

They sighed in unison and exchanged a glance. Usually I make up the route for trick-or-treating for us every year. I love to do word problems, like the kind teachers give you. They’re fun to me, because problem solving and mysteries are kind of my thing.

“I guess I’ll make it up as we go along, if that’s okay,” I told them.

Avery shrugged and nodded. “That’s okay with me. Just as long as we get enough candy. I’m trying to get to two hundred pieces.”

Kayla agreed, and we started to make our way down the block. Our costumes got lots of attention, especially Avery’s crazy hot dog costume. We all got a good amount of candy, one-hundred fifty pieces at least. Everyone was in a great mood, and when Kayla’s mom picked us up, the whole car was filled with laughter and candy wrappers.

Since it was still only seven fifteen, Kayla’s mom took us back to her house and we all settled in with pizza and our bags in our laps. I began to count my candy for the Challenge and finally, after at least twenty minutes (and a lot of restarting), I knew that one-hundred eighty- four pieces of candy rested in my hands.

For the next while, we had a blast playing games, eating until our stomachs hurt, and giggling. Avery gave me that chocolate, after grudgingly agreeing to take away a piece from her pile. But I knew she didn’t mean it. Kayla gave me one too, because she was getting a bad stomachache.

Soon, when it was later than we thought, we looked at the clock and all gave each other the same oops expression. Kayla called her mom down from her office to take me home, but Mrs. Wells explained that she talked to my mom and that I was sleeping over, due to the fact that James had six friends over and she couldn’t handle any more kids.

Well, after that, we resumed our chattering until we all fell asleep at midnight. The rest of the sleepover was pretty good. It was the usual; pranks, pancakes, movies, popcorn.

By the time I got home, my body felt exhausted, and I collapsed onto my bed, the mattress feeling like feathers. But I was rudely shaken awake by someone. James. I glanced groggily up at him, and then I got annoyed.

“Ugh, why did you wake me? I only got six hours of sleep, you know,” I said, tossing one of my pillows at him and turning around.

“Okay, two reasons: I wanted to do that just once because it was funny, seeing your face, and you need to count your candy for the challenge,” he told me.

“Go away! I’ll do it later,” I threw another pillow at him and growled, “Close the door, too.”

And then, I got a whole two more hours of uninterrupted sleep before Mom barged into my room, forcing me to wake up to participate in my lacrosse practice. My body still felt heavy, but I pushed myself to move.


The next few days passed slowly and in a blur. Counting candy, school, homework, sports, everything. James kept nagging me about his challenge, and rambled on and on about how he would win. For a while it looked like he might be right. Every time I opened the pantry closet and found the bag full of sweets, I had to tense myself to keep from snatching it.

The next morning was a Saturday, and when we sat down to count our pile of sweets, we both found that four pieces were missing. We turned to each other with the exact same expression printed on our faces. Turned-down eyebrows, narrowed eyes, scrunched noses, and thin mouths.

“You framed me!” I erupted at James.

“No, it’s the exact opposite!” he yelled at me.

I heaved a huge sigh and rolled my eyes. “If you didn’t frame me just so you would win, than who did?”

There’s absolutely no one I can think of who would do this. I mean, Mom and Dad know, but seriously, they would know better. Even if parents do like to eat the sweets left over from when their kid’s picked out all the good stuff, I thought in confusion.

James just shrugged his shoulders and continued the fight. “I don’t know, yourself? I can totally see you taking candy.” He shut his eyes briefly as if to picture me eating some candy, unable to contain myself.

I huffed at this and stomped up to my room. Then I flopped down on my bed and did some deep thinking.

Ugh, this is so weird. Even though I’m pretty sure James did frame me, why would his candy be missing too?

I scolded myself for just sitting on my bed. From what I’ve heard about detectives, they go out and figure it out. Time to put those brains to work, Bess, I told myself.

So I started off with random people who know about the Challenge again. Kayla and Avery, no they wouldn’t do that. And they haven’t been over in the past few days. Then I thought, wait, it doesn’t have to be someone who knows about the Challenge. It just has to be someone who knows I have candy.

No matter how much I thought and paced around my room, I couldn’t come up with a person who would do it. So, doing the only solution, I called James. He came in with an eyebrow raised and his eyes cold but blank.

“What is it?” he grumbled, clenching his fists around a comic book.

“We’re catching that candy thief tonight. I’m not doing it alone, because everyone knows you’re a good escape artist. Your instincts will tell you where they will come from.”

He rolled his eyes back and groaned. “But my instincts tell me you did it.”

I hate when he provokes me like this. It makes me super mad.

“No, they don’t. Either you did it or someone in our family did it,” I told him. “Besides, I want to prove you wrong. I’ll meet you after dinner.”


Supper came, and the moment I finished my cookies for dessert, I excused myself and eyed James with a questioning look. Hopefully he’d meet me to discuss how we were going to find out who framed us.

He appeared, but not without scowling and slumping. Doesn’t he want to know who did it?

I partially had a plan in my brain, and I wanted him to help me finish it.

So after a long talk, we sneaked downstairs. He kept whisper-yelling at me to be quiet or he wouldn’t help. When we made it, I was amazed to see that the kitchen was a total mess. Mom always liked things neat.

As our eyes traveled around the room and saw Charlie, I screeched in surprise. Almost. James had covered up my mouth. but I pushed his hand away. Just when I was going to call Mom and Dad, James sternly told me to be quiet again.

“You’re going to get us punished! Seriously, be quiet and stay quiet,” he whispered with a glare pointed at me.

So we watched with astonishment as we watched Charlie run to the pantry and take a handful from the bags. His tiny hands dropped a bunch of sweets, so he kept having to run to and fro to rescue the candy, never making any progress to make it to the kitchen table. We exchanged a wide-eyed glance at each other. If we could have guessed anyone to take the candy, Charlie wouldn’t be on the list. James motioned for us to venture into the kitchen. We tiptoed in, careful not to scare Charlie too much. Little kids are sensitive like that.

“Charlie!” I whispered at him.

He dropped what he was doing and spun around. His eyes filled with tears, and he looked genuinely sorry for doing it. I ran to him, and even though I was furious with him, I seemed to make an exception. The tears began to flow as I forgave Charlie (I have a soft spot for little kids.). James hung back by the hallway. He wasn’t exactly the most forgiving type of brother.

“What were you doing? You know that you aren’t allowed to do this.” I sternly scolded him.

“I-I’m not sure. I wanted candy.” Charlie sniffled at me and wiped tears off his red face.

I sighed and told him to run up to bed before I told Mom and Dad. As Charlie scampered up the stairs, I walked back to James.

“So is the Challenge off?” I asked him

“I don’t know. I guess,” he shrugged his shoulders and averted his eyes from me.

At that, I felt light and free. Candy, here I come!

“You were wrong. I didn’t eat any candy at all.” I smugly looked at James.

“Fine, you win. But you were wrong, too. You thought I framed you.” This time it was his turn to look smug.

“Okay, Okay.”

After that, it was perfect. I kept eating candy every single day until the bag was empty. Charlie got away without punishment, but only because I backed him up. James, on the other hand, didn’t. All and all though, I think that the Halloween challenge was a success.


Halloween Story Contest Entry #5

The True Tale of the Aardvark

The year was 1992, my dad and I had a competition of who would find the aardvark first in order to get an aardvark plush. I was fourteen when I finally got one, only a week before my father got his. It was so cute when it arrived and I named it Salome, but I came to soon realize what a huge mistake I had made. It first started at school when I got carried away and brought it there. Though everyone I showed it to was like, “Dude it’s a plush, it’s no big deal,” I loved it. At the end of the day, I noticed it was gone, but I had no time to look for it now. I almost started to cry since I planned to keep him for the rest of my life. I ventured home and told my dad what had happened. Now, he is a nice guy so he let me borrow his aardvark named Star. Although I promised to look for Salome the next day, school got busy and it was not until the end of the week that I got a chance to look for him. So I stayed after school in order to find it. Calling “Salome! Salome!” at every corner, as if it would help. After having no luck in the classrooms from that day, I moved on to other areas, eventually going into the basement of the school. I did not have any classes there, but he could have been kicked down there by the surge of people that storm the halls of ORRHS. After searching nearly every inch inside the media room, I finally came across my aardvark. I quickly picked him up and brushed away the cobwebs and dust on him, relieved that no one had stolen him. It was only then that I returned home.

When at the house, I noticed my parents had left. The first thing I did was to try to wash off the black coating all over my aardvark. I ran him under the water, but as the water hit the aardvark, it was turned into a thick stream of blood, and the black on the aardvark only seemed to sink deeper and deeper into it. Out of surprise and fear, I dropped the aardvark into the sink before turning off the water. I picked him back up so that I could look more closely at him. His normal brown fur was pitch black, his stitching on his nose curved down instead of up, and one of his ears was torn. Out of nowhere, the lights went out. I was thinking that it was my dad pulling a prank on me, by hiding, and turning off the lights so that he could sneak up on me and scare me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The lights flashed back on and Salome was no longer in my hands. I went upstairs to my room and tried the door, it was locked. I then thought to myself, “My door has no lock.” BAM! My door was slammed open by an unknown force. I walked inside to see Salome with a sheet of paper. The paper read “Why did you leave me?” All I could respond with was “I’m sorry.” The paper burnt itself, and I could see that my aardvark now had three gashes in his sides. If I touched them they would bleed. I let my aardvark sit there while I wrote a bit. While I was writing, my pen melted and formed a message on the paper that read “DIE.” I freaked out and ran to the fireplace, grabbed a lighter and burned that paper. It burned a shadowy grey color and when it was done, I turned around to see my aardvark there, staring menacingly. I jumped back hitting my head on the fireplace and was knocked out. I awoke a short time later to Salome not being there. I went back to my room and there it was, like it should have been. Thus, I went to my parent’s room. I was too freaked out to be anywhere else right now. It was all hallow’s eve and it was the first one to be truly scary. Once I opened the door that led to my parent’s room, I found a black void. I was then hit behind the knees, causing me to fall into the unknown. It was pitch black as I was falling. Then I could see again. I was in an unrecognizable place somewhere. Imagine living in a glitch and that is similar to what I saw, distortion everywhere. I continued to fall until I landed on my parent’s bed. I looked on each side of the bed and there were the corpses of my parents. I jumped out of the bed and looked back, they were no longer there. There was a sharp pain in my ankle. I looked down and saw that Salome was there biting me. I flung him off and he hit the wall. He now had wings that allowed him to fly. He flew at my face so quickly that I could not react. I woke up again in the bed. I jumped to the floor, eager to get out, but the instant I hit the floor I felt pain. There were hundreds of aardvarks there all of them trying to climb on me, I struggled through the pain to the door. Upon opening it, I saw a long, spinning hallway leading to my room. I had to get over there, so I ran over but the hallway just extended twice as fast as I moved. I stopped and slowly walked. I was there within an instant. I walked into my room happy that I was safe. I opened my eyes to see I was in a poorly lit cellar with four walls, no doors, and a stick. I started pounding the walls as they moved closer. I hit them with the stick but, still, they moved closer. I broke the stick and a door appeared. Confused, I walked through the door into my room. All I could see was black now, except for two glowing red eyes. I blinked and they went away. Now there was an awful smell in there; I will never complain about my dad’s farts after that. It was similar to rotting flesh, cooking clams, and smelly shoes all in one. I nearly threw up. I looked up and what I saw was just as gross. My aardvark was less of an aardvark and more of a black pulsating ball of goop. It flashed red every now and then. Then it exploded, leaving me covered in a oozing substance that spread all over me. I panicked trying to rid myself of this slime. I was not fast enough and it enveloped me in darkness. I was cold. I was then face to face with the boy who had possessed my aardvark. He had brown hair and hazel eyes. He cried, and instinctively I hugged him saying “It’s OK.” He screamed, piercing my ears. That is a sound I can never forget. I then realized I was now in my room and I saw my real Salome and a note. A note that read, “Now do you want to find the aardvark?”

Leave A Comment...