Short & Scary Contest

Boo!




 

For The Winners

Story winners, come pick up your trophies at the Indy offices at 74 Montauk Highway, Suite 19, East Hampton! Thank you to Westhampton Beach Elementary School for supplying the artwork.

Read If You Dare

When I was a seventh-grade student at the late Hampton Day School, I was honored by winning first place in the BOO! Short and Scary Story Contest. True, my mother was the judge, but a fair judge she was, and she refused to accept a submission written by her own daughter. Ever hungry for an opportunity to creatively compete, I came up with a pseudonym, and submitted as a made-up lad from Montauk.

Having my mother choose my story out of hundreds of entries without her knowing it has been one of my proudest achievements. (Now, whether my story was objectively the “best,” or whether I just knew my audience very well, is debatable. But I digress.)

Eighteen years later — as full circle as a harvest moon on Halloween — I’m immensely honored and extremely proud to get to judge this year’s contest. The stories I’ve received have, across the board, been thoughtful and thought-provoking, funny, shocking, insightful, and an utter joy to read, and I would like to thank all of the wonderful teachers who’ve challenged and encouraged these remarkable expressions of creativity in students from kindergarten through high school. It’s been a treat to read such a wide range of great work.

Now, as I have no children in the Hamptons school system (or anywhere actually, but I digress), none of the student contestants had the useful advantage of catering to their reader. Instead, I tried to single out the stories that, in my unbiased opinion, achieve the greatest combination of original content, personal perspective, creative language, attention to detail, use of tension, sense of humor, and clarity of storytelling. The stories that I found to be most successful in one or more of these attributes are the ones that have been selected for publication.

That said, each of this year’s submissions were uniquely magical, and I encourage each and every student who submitted this year to KEEP WRITING! Write for yourself. Write for your friends and family. Write so that in 18 years, you too can sit here and read enchanting works by the expansive young minds of tomorrow. And isn’t that the dream?

Congratulations to all of this year’s participants, a hearty thank you to the teachers and parents who submitted, and to our BOO! sponsor, BNB Bank. Until next year, Happy Halloween!

(Below are all 13 winners, lots of artwork, and spooktacular outtakes.)

Georgia Warner
(aka George Friedman)

 

Art by Jasin Garcia Barientos, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary

GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Through The Door

Haley Thayer, Grade 10, Southampton High School

SLAM!

The door of the gym swings open as I shove my way inside. I’ve run through this room a thousand times before, but this time is very different. The smell of sweaty mats and aged equipment is the same, but there’s a taint of iron in the air. I know the room looks the same, but it feels different. I can hear the soles of my sneakers pound the floorboards, but the distant scattered pops are still unmistakable.

I can feel sweat dripping down my back. I keep running. My mind is racing with a million thoughts I never expected to have. Will I make it out of this building alive? What’s the last thing I said to my mom?

I turn in to a supply closet. I try to back against the wall of the small room as quietly as possible, but all I can hear anyway is the steady crash of my own heart. I breathe slow, so I can think more clearly. How did I get here?

I was sitting in third period science. I can barely remember how I got out after the doors swung open and a figure stepped through. The room suddenly filled with the sound of gunshots. The noise was deafening, it echoed against the walls, but all I could think was to escape, to reach the other door before it was too late.

Now here I am, sitting and waiting to die in a closet full of soccer balls, my company on the door of death. I look into their black eyes. Can I feel them stare back?

I wonder if these lonely soccer balls know the extent of my fear, primal and crazed. It threatens to boil over any second. I can sense it simmering deep inside, an instinctual need to run out of the closet, to run as fast and as far as I possibly can. But I know the consequences of listening to the animal side of my brain. The logic side has not been shut out yet, and it gives me the plausible outcomes of giving in to this desire: running straight into the danger, getting lost in the chaos, and above all . . . dying.

With this thought, my fear kicks back up, boiling on the very edge. I am determined not to die here, but what more can I do? I turn my attention back to the soccer balls. Such simple, stoic creatures. They lie in heaps, unmoving, unaffected by the chaos around them, and briefly my fear turns to jealousy. Why don’t these plastic toys feel the anguish I do? Why should I suffer and not them?

Logic brain comes back: because they’re exactly as I described them: plastic toys. I long to feel what they do, a serene and calm nothing, but I know, for now, I cannot.

I lie down anyway. I curl myself into a ball. I concentrate my whole focus, trying to be a plastic soccer ball. To feel nothing at all, and be safe in this little closet. But my concentration is quickly broken by a bang outside, shortly followed by the shattering of glass. I know the windowed walls of the gym have been destroyed, and now I can hear the steady crunch of footfalls on glass.

I sit up quietly and try my best to breathe slow. Who would be strolling so calmly in a situation like this? Who has the means to demolish 30 feet of tempered glass? I know the answer, but I refuse to even think it.

The crunches creep closer. The glass must be scattered across the entire gym! I picture it in my mind: a ballroom of broken glass slippers, throwing light in every direction. I hold onto this beautiful sight in my mind and try to ignore the steps steadily approaching my closet, but my logic brain has been reduced to nothing. Animal tears streak down my face in hot furor, a silent acknowledgment of the unspoken truth.

The handle of the door rattles loudly, once, twice, and turns. I gaze at the soccer balls once more. Such good company, I think, and the door opens to death. 


Art by Elle Mongelluzzo, Grade 1, Westhampton Beach Elementary

Tony looked like a rhino, except the muscles. — Hamza Irfan, Grade 6, EHMS


Art by Anabel Alvarado Cordova, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary

FIRST PLACE WINNER

Amelia

Sienna Salamy, Grade 7, Springs School

It was the day before my 12th birthday, February 12. It was almost midnight. Hearing the creaking of my windows in my room sent chills down my spine. I never liked that. It made me feel like there was someone watching me outside my window. That’s why I always have Amelia by my side, a human size doll that I’ve had since my seventh birthday.

Amelia looked exactly like me. Dark hair, blue eyes, freckles, long eyelashes, small lips. She was like a best friend to me. My mom never wanted me to get bullied at school from carrying that doll, so I was homeschooled. Me and Amelia were untouchable. Never would I allow her not to be at my side . . . until this past week. Every time I was alone with Amelia, I’d feel like she was ripping me bit by bit inside. And sometimes when I stared at her, I would get this blood-curdling feeling.

I go to sleep with my thoughts in the back of my head.

Suddenly, I am woken up with loud screaming in my ear saying, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLIVIA!!”

A pancake is shoved in my face with a candle on top. My family was always like this.

I softly blow the candle out and make my wish . . . which was to get as far away as I could from the doll! Obviously, I don’t say that out loud. I don’t want Amelia to hear me.

Later that day, we were about to get in the car to go to dinner, but when my mom starts walking towards the door to leave, I tap her shoulder.

“Yes, sweetie?” she says.

“I want to get rid of the doll, mom.”

“Why?” she asks.

“I just feel like I’m getting too old to carry it around.” I didn’t want to make my mom scared by telling her that Amelia frightens me, and then have her buy me another doll that’s less frightening. So, I lied. I’m not proud of it, but what are you gonna do?

My mom grabs the doll from me and takes it outside. I watched her from a distance through the window, putting it in the garbage. I still felt Amelia’s eyes watching me. I push those thoughts to the back of my head again, like that moment never happened.

We all go out to this fancy restaurant. I was so excited! I was finally rid of Amelia and my family and I are going to the restaurant of my dreams. Everything was perfect.

We get there and sit at this large table. But, half way through the meal, I feel this unexplainable feeling inside. I ask to be excused from the table, and go to the bathroom. I didn’t do anything in the bathroom but stare in the mirror. The reflection didn’t seem like me.

All of a sudden, the lights begin flickering. I started to get that feeling again, like Amelia’s here with me! I aggressively try to open the door, but it’s locked!

Then, all of a sudden, it all stops. I look back at the mirror and see her. Amelia. When I look in the mirror, it shows her next to me, but she’s not in the room. I start to panic! I’m terrified to my core, so scared I can’t move my legs or body. I’m like a puppet dangling from the strings, not moving.

The mirror slowly cracks into many pieces. A hand comes through the broken mirror and sucks me in like a vacuum. Suddenly, I end up in a dark, cold, eerie place. I hear a giggling noise.

“Amelia?” I say, jittery.

“You got what you wanted!” Amelia says.

She giggles more.

“You wanted to get as far away from me as possible, right? Well, there you have it.”

She giggles louder. “Bye, bye.”

She disintegrates into the air.

I knew I was never going to see Amelia or my family again . . . I break down on my knees, and weep in the middle of nothingness.


Art by Katie Schaaf, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary

Suddenly I was pulled in, and while in outer space I could have sworn I saw a pumpkin. It was weird, but before I could even process it, I landed with a thud on something that felt like veins, and that’s all I remembered before I passed out. Fast forward 20 minutes later, I woke up to a bunch of PUMPKIN PEOPLE staring at me, and I started screaming like a LUNATIC! I had so many questions. — Angie Castillo, Grade 4, EHMS


Art by Mia Brown, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary

SECOND PLACE WINNER

Undercover

Stella Brecker, Grade 6, East Hampton Middle School

You know they say that a child’s laughter is the best sound in the world, right? Well, except if it’s 3 AM, and you don’t have a baby . . .

Hi. My name’s Suni. It’s the year 1692, and I’m in real big trouble. The Salem Witch Hunts are going on right now, and I’m being accused of being a witch. There is one big problem though . . . I am a witch!

Born October 13, and on a Friday as well, with my smarts for alchemy, and love for cats (especially black cats), I’m a big target. I live next to the cemetery, and hauntings happen at my house more often than not, so that’s why they began accusing me! A family of a husband, wife, and a baby died of a famine on my property, and because no one believes in ghosts (only of course, if a witch summons it), they think I am a witch. I have to get out of here as fast as I can, before I get caught and, very possibly, executed!

As I packed all my stuff to run away from home, I heard aggressive knocking at my door.

“BY THE ORDER OF GOVERNOR MOLOCH, OPEN THE DOOR!” ordered a guard.

No. No, I mumbled. They can’t be here now!

I opened the door. Bad idea.

“YOU’RE UNDER ARREST!”

On the carriage to court, the only thing I could think about is what my death trial was going to be . . .

“Suni HargenBerger, accused of being a witch, the governor would like to have a word with you,” said a guard.

Governor Moloch looked like an apple that has been rotting for a month, if you can imagine how wrinkly that looks, with a ghost-like expression, topped off with gray hair with some white streaks.

“Suni,” said Moloch, with his tone changing into a raspy, soul-draining voice, instead of his sweet, timid normal voice. “I’ve been using the witch trials to keep eyes off me, and keep my true identity a secret.”

Moloch shed his skin like a snake, revealing a shadow figure, with a huge mouth smiling creepily with hundreds of teeth, and slits for eyes.

“I shall destroy all mankind, and supers too! I’ve been watching you, and I don’t like what I’ve been seeing . . . your talent for the supernatural is a threat to me. Everyone shall be under MY control!”

“Zusika!” I yelled.

The spell made the governor fly straight back, THWUMP, slamming into the wall.

“Ashbah!” shouted the governor.

A dozen shadows materialized and surrounded me in all sides. WOOSH! All hope was drained out of me. Dementors, I thought, trying to think about my best memory . . .

Casting my first spell!

“EXPECTO PATRONUM!” I yelled.

A ghost of a bear developed and all the Dementors fled, including Moloch. After that, I darted to the stables, with the guards chasing me down the meadow. I finally got on my horse, and I never saw anyone from that town again.

My house, abandoned . . . except for one time, in which a couple moved in and then moved out instantly because of the hauntings. All spirits, including Governor Moloch and his Dementor friends, are still roaming the property to this day.


Art by William Sultan, Grade 4, Westhampton Beach Elementary

It was 1 AM. Blair began screaming a lot. Her mom tried to help her, but the father said, “She is fine. She is probably just dreaming.” Damien then said, “If you get out of bed, I will divorce you.” — Mackenzie Lenahan & Paige Herlihy, Grade 7, Montauk Public School


Art by Leo Bonawandt, Grade 2, Westhampton Beach Elementary

THIRD PLACE WINNER

The Hand

Aidan Mansir, Grade 7, Springs School

Every night since I was five, I constantly heard click, click, click, like little feet walking around non-stop. One night, I got out of bed to go see what the clicking was.

I looked to the left . . . nothing . . . I looked to the right . . . nothing . . . and I catch a glimpse of the family portrait. I never realized it before, but my grandfather’s right hand was missing. The portrait was made in 1771. It is the year 1808 now. It sent a cold shiver down my spine. Then, I heard it again. The clicking!

I slowly walked towards the sound. Is it in the closet? I opened the door. I didn’t see anything, but when I shined the candle towards the closet, something scurried over my foot. I stumbled backwards, and with a HUGE crash, I was on the floor. The candle rolled and went out. I was in the dark again, but not for long. My parents came running out to see what had happened.

“Draco, what happened?”

“I heard something, so I went to check the house, and something —”

“It is going to be the morning hour soon.”

The next night, I can’t go to sleep. I stayed up wondering what it could be. I am prepared tonight. I have a net to catch whatever it is that is crawling in the house. All the candles have been extinguished for the evening.

Then, something jumps onto my bed. I am horrified. It was inching closer and closer to me. That’s when I can make out the outline of . . . a hand! Suddenly, it pounces up onto my face and starts scratching me. My dog, Bear, ran into the room and clamped down on the hand so hard it stopped moving. The hand is lifeless.

I was so shocked and exhausted that I passed out. When I came to, I realized that my right hand was missing! Was I dreaming?

When I got up to go get my parents, I smacked my head against the painting of my grandfather. I saw that his right hand was now in the picture, complete and looking strangely like mine. I recognized the dirty thumb nail. I finally figured it out: Every night since I was five, my grandfather had been searching for a replacement hand!


He saw the ants carrying the head towards him. When he was pounding the window, the ants just got closer. He could not do anything because there were ants on the ground everywhere. When the head got onto his lap, he was like “Ewwwww.” Then the head exploded with blood everywhere. When it exploded, his mouth was open. The blood got into his mouth and he accidentally swallowed it. Then he died because it was someone else’s blood. DUN DUN DUN DUN!!! — Colton Soloviev, Grade 6, EHMS


Art by Lea Cavaliere, Grade 5, Westhampton Beach Elementary

WINNER

The Pumpkin

JJ Hillen, Grade 3, Hampton Bays Elementary School

I see a pumpkin with a haunted face. The kind that ruins dreams, and scares a heart one by one. It has sharp claws, dangling like earrings, curved into frightening fists. It looks as if it is waiting for dinner to be served, and I am the main course!

The pumpkin stares at me. I run! My steps like a rabbit, a rabbit with fangs! My heart stops and I awake with a start.

Phew, it was just a dream.

“Henry,” my mom calls. “I bought you a pumpkin today for you to carve for Halloween. It’s on your desk.”

I look over in fear. Sitting on my desk is the same pumpkin from my dream, already carved, and drooling for my flesh.


Hello. Are you looking for a house? Well, you’re in luck because we are selling a house! There are loads of cobwebs and some blood on the walls . . . — Alexander Ramirez, Grade 4, OLH


Art by Keyla Lopez, Grade 3, Westhampton Beach Elementary

WINNER

Halloween School

Conner McVeigh, Grade 4, Our Lady of the Hamptons

Jack woke up today on his first day at Halloween School. When he got to school, he saw skeletons as teachers, zombies as janitors, and the ghost. Jack was having second thoughts about this school. Then he realized something: this school is for monsters, not people!

He was freaking out! What would he do! When he walked into his classroom, he was the only one in the room. Then the door shut on its own and locked. Jack had no windows, no door. But then the Janitors bust in and grabbed him. Then it was time to go home, so he got on the bus and went home. When Jack got home, he told his parents what happened, and his parents signed him up for a new school.


His chicken was breathing fire and grew fangs. “Oh no,” Jack whispered. He ran, the chicken followed. Naturally, it had TNT in its brain. Long story short, it blew up. — Angelo Londono, Grade 4, OLH


WINNER

Revenge Of The Lumberjacks

William Tintle, Grade 6, EHMS

Deep in the mountains of New York lived Clarice Givens. She was a middle-aged woman whose husband died on Halloween 13 years ago.

Tonight, she was in her cabin, and decided to go to dinner at the tavern in the nearby town. She walked through the forest and into the town. She entered the tavern and took a seat.

Soon, a nice man walked up to her and kindly exclaimed, “Evenin’ ma’am, mind if I share dinner with you this wonderful night?”

She exclaimed calmly, “I don’t see why not. Have a seat.”

He was a tall man, about six-and-a-half feet tall. He was dressed like a lumberjack. His hands were the size of baseball mitts. He asked her if he could walk her home, and she answered, “Yes.”

She stepped outside the tavern. The night was dark and cloudy with the harvest moon barely peeking out from the threatening clouds.

They started walking through the woods and Clarice asked him where he was from. No answer. Then she looked around. Nobody was there. Soon, she heard rustling around in the woods and a creature emerged from the woods. This creature was as tall as Shaquille O’Neal. He was covered in gray fur from head to toe and was wearing a ripped shirt that looked exactly like the shirt the man from the tavern was wearing. He pounced on her, and his razor-sharp claws dug into her skin. He started talking, he shouted madly at her, “Your husband hunted me and my kind for many years. We already got our revenge on him . . . now for you.”

He then ran back into the woods, leaving the terrified Clarice alone. She ran back to her cabin and cried herself to sleep.

The next morning, Clarice walked into the woods to get some groceries. The path looked different, but she thought she was just hallucinating. She walked down the path, but later realized something was wrong. She started crying for help, and soon the man from the tavern came out of the woods. Then more lumberjacks came out of the woods. They all said simultaneously “revenge,” and then changed into the werewolf-like creature that the man had turned into last night. They lifted their axes and pounced like cats.

To put it simply, Clarice Givens was never heard from again. To this day, the Lumberjacks haunt hikers taking walks in the woods. So, when you’re walking in the woods, watch out.

Happy Trails.


On the window, there was blood that wrote, “Don’t come here unless you want your blood sucked.” Tim thought it was just a decoration, but Joe was not so sure. When the door opened, a vampire jumped out and tried to suck their blood! But luckily Joe had a flashlight and turned him to stone, because vampires don’t handle light too well. — Michael Campbell, Grade 4, OLH


Art by Yeshua Estrada, Grade 4, Westhampton Beach Elementary

WINNER

The Ghost And The Kid

Hudson Hanbach, Grade 1, Hampton Bays Elementary School

There was a little kid that went into an old looking house. He saw a big yellow ghost. The ghost was super lonely and needed a friend.

The ghost turned to the boy and said, “Can we be friends?”

The kid said, “Yes.”

The kid brought the ghost around his other friends to play, but they were scared of the ghost.

The kid said, “Maybe we shouldn’t play.”

The ghost and the kid went back to the old looking house. The ghost had an idea.

The ghost went back to all the scared kids and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t eat you. I just want to play.”

Everyone was friends and played together.

The End


I was scared at first, but then I went in and I saw bats and many Draculas. — David Giraldo-Ortega, Grade 4, OLH


Art by Frankie DiBiaso, Grade K, Westhampton Beach Elementary

WINNER

The Shadow

Kelly Lynch, Grade 6, EHMS

October 30

The decorations are up, candy stores packed, and people are lining up out the door for costumes. Some people say it’s the “best day of the year,” but I say it’s the worst. Why is it so fun walking around in itchy costumes, getting candy bars the size of a penny, and it’s not really scary? Everybody calls me Boring Bella, and I call those people annoying. Except Mandy, my best friend.

October 31 / 7 PM /Mandy’s house

Every Halloween, me and Mandy always hang out and eat Halloween candy.

“So, peanut butter,” said Mandy.

We were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I hate trick or treating and costumes, but I did it for Mandy.

“Yes, jelly?” I replied.

“Do want to hear a ghost story?” Mandy asked in a spooky voice.

I sighed as I said, “Sure, Mandy.”

“Ok,” said Mandy. “Every Halloween, there’s a shadow that lurks in the darkness, and it has one purpose . . . to find non-believers.”

“Here we go,” I uttered, unamused.

“Shhh. I’m telling a story,” Mandy remarked.

“The shadow would find non-believers and take their shadows from their bodies, and their souls with them. The villagers were angry that the shadow was taking so many souls from innocent people. So, they struck back, and the leader of the group, Eamora, told the shadow never to come back.”

Intrigued, I said, “What happens next?”

“The villagers fought the shadow and finally, in a wispy dark voice it said, ‘100 years and I’ll be back and take the shadows of more and more!!!’ The end,” said Mandy. “And guess what?”

“What?” I replied.

“Tonight at 9 PM, the 100 years will be over,” she responded spookily.

“Yeah right,” I added.

Whack! The windows slammed opened in Mandy’s bedroom. Wind, leaves, and tree branches came rushing in. Mandy and I screamed.

Whooooosh! The wind threw me off balance and I tripped through the window.

October 31 / 8:33 PM

Thank god for the PB&J sandwich I was wearing, because it was so fluffy and squishy it saved me from the fall. I got up quickly and ran down the street. My neck was in pain, my legs feel felt they had splinters, but I still ran. My mom wouldn’t be home until 9:30, so I ran upstairs, changed out of my sandwich, and went to bed.

October 31 / 9 PM

There was a BANG on the roof, and walking across to the edge, and then there was a big thud outside and the rustling of bushes . . . something was outside of my house.

“It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real,” I told myself over and over again.

There was a knock at the front door . . . Whack! The door downstairs threw open. Then there was “creak,’’ “creak,’’ “creak’’ from stairs, then a pause . . . “creak,’’ “creak,’’ “creak’’ . . . another pause. One final last “creak.’’

When I finally swallowed back the fear in my voice, and said “Go away, I never did anything to you!” there was one long “ccccccccrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkkk,’’ and my bedroom door threw open and all the light from my room disappeared. . . it was black.

In the darkness, there was the wispy dark voice from Mandy’s story . . .The Shadow.

“You did do something to me . . . you never believed. And as an apology, I will take your shadow forever!”

For the first time, I believed in Halloween, but it was too late.


When Lumpy saw the broad figure move, he hesitated, then started to waddle faster. This Halloween, Lumpy is Donald Duck. — Susie Disunno, Grade 6, East Hampton Middle School


WINNER

Halloween Nightmare

James Corwin, Grade 6, EHMS

It was Halloween, and Jarret Anderson was walking home from McDonalds, chomping on his chicken sandwich and medium fries, when he noticed an odd, middle-aged man wearing jeans, a green hoodie, and a Yankees cap. He had a beard that looked like he had never shaved in his life. The strange thing about the man, was that he was following Jarret.

He followed Jarret all the way home. Jarret was scared, so he took a nap, hoping that when he woke up, the man would be gone.

When Jarret woke up, he forgot all about the man, so he was horrified when he saw the man standing in front of his house, staring at Jarret’s front porch. Jarret decided he needed to do something, so he went outside to talk to the man.

Jarret asked, “Do you need something?”

The man mumbled in a mysterious tone, “Trick or treat, and don’t look under your bed tonight,” and walked down the street.

Jarret lived on the main street for trick or treating in Bridgehampton, so he went and bought some candy to hand out that night.

He went home and watched game two of the World Series, Yankees vs. Mets. The Mets were winning, 12-3, when Jarret turned it off to start handing out candy. Jarret almost fainted when he went outside and all of the kids were dressed in costumes of the strange man (jeans, green hoodie, and Yankees cap).

Jarret handed out candy to the first child, and he said mysteriously, “Trick or treat, and don’t look under your bed tonight.” Jarret was so petrified, that he dropped and shattered the candy bowl and went right to bed.

He woke up at about midnight, and remembered what the man and child had said: “Trick or treat, and don’t look under your bed tonight.” Jarret was a very curious person, so of course, he looked under his bed, and saw a pair of jeans, a green hoodie, and a Yankees hat, all folded up nicely. Jarret looked up, and saw the man, standing at the foot of his bed.

The man grumbled, “I told you not to look,” and jumped on top of Jarret.

Jarret woke up, and it was 6 AM. He looked outside and saw normal kids walking around the streets. Jarret sighed in relief because everything was just a dream.

Jarret had a great Halloween.


It was a foggy night. Mr. Pickles and Mr. Messi went to the circus. There were so many things, like strongman, and a fat-man, a tiger, lion, tightrope walker, and a bear. There were also five clowns that looked creepy. — Hunter O’Brien, Grade 3, Montauk Elementary School


WINNER

Wandering, Wondering

Caleigh Barletta, Grade 7, Springs School

I looked up at the black sky. I hadn’t expected to be up so late. I knew there was a long journey home. The quickest way was to go through the deep woods. I thought about what happened last night . . . I didn’t know what I did could be wrong. All I knew was I had to get home, so no one knew. I stepped cautiously through the unwelcoming woods, through dark shadows of the tall oak trees. I could hear every noise, every crunch, every snap.

Time passed, yet the minutes felt like hours, and then days. The farther I went, the darker it got. My breath got louder in the humid air. Soon I could hear my own heartbeat. Everything started to close in on me. Was I dreaming? I started thinking of my life at home. My family, my friends. I glanced around and found myself looking right into a pair of black, glossy eyes, peering at me through the mud-green bushes. Goosebumps went up my spine.

I knew at that moment I was not dreaming. Were those the evil eyes of a monster waiting for its next juicy meal? My breath became rapid. I took a large gulp. I picked up the pace, ready to burst out of my skin. I heard a THUMP, THUMP, and down I went.

I hit the cold, moist dirt. I looked down at my thigh, which was cut by a branch. My brain was telling me to run, but I couldn’t. My heart was beating out of my chest. I just wanted to be home, warm, and cozy. I told myself to be brave and strong, never give up (and please don’t die). The mysterious thing moved and began to follow me, some sort of goblin, some monster. My head spun around like an owl, and then I looked down at the creature before me.

But all I saw was a white, little puppy.

“Oh, thank goodness. I thought you were a monster sentencing me to death.”

The slobber smudged against my face. It was my little guard dog. Yet I still felt something was following me. There was silence for a few minutes. The puppy had a strange red glare in its eyes.

When a bright light appeared up ahead, I knew I was almost home. A happy feeling came over me. I saw a well, and next to it was a reflection of myself. But I was different. I was locked in a jacket. There were padlocks on my arms. My mouth was taped and closed. But why? I am not a bad person, just because I did one thing wrong . . . I just wanted someone to trust. I felt a dark cold tear run down my cheek.

I wasn’t home at all. The village was barren, unknown. I stared at my reflection, wondering why it was here. Why would the earth let me stay here? Does anyone want me here? Subsequently, I thought of that puppy. I looked around for my guard dog, but he was gone.

In the town, there was a glowing sign. I slowly walked toward it. It was an old store that was empty except for a single mirror. In its reflection, my hands were tied around my waist — and that puppy was still next to me, but it was gone in a rapid second.

I heard a rumble underneath the concrete. The mirror shattered into pieces. I look up to see that puppy with red, bold eyes staring right into my soul.

Everything went pitch black . . .

I was alone, wondering . . .


The creepy vampire

Dressed in slimy, gooey black pants

Smells like a skunk

Sounds like a cow mooing

Is greasy to the touch

And makes me feel

Like eating candy

-Dashiel Martin, Kindergarten, Sagaponack


WINNER

The Haunted Hospital

Tyler Rodgers, Grade 6, EHMS

It was on a stormy night a couple years ago in Wyoming, the day before Halloween. Five teen boys were visiting an abandoned hospital. The boys didn’t know what was waiting for them in the hospital.

Outside, the boys were arguing about who’s going first, until one long arm stretched out, grabbing the kid that wasn’t arguing and wanted to get out of there but was peer pressured to go in with them. The four boys didn’t even know he was gone until one boy realized.

Then they knew they had to go in there and save their friend. They all went in, tiptoeing without making a peep. They opened the door to the room were the arm reached out, trying their hardest not to make a creak, but then, “CREAK” the door yelled. As the four boys were staring in the door, one was quietly stolen by the extended arm, leaving three boys remaining.

Once the second boy was stolen, they began to worry even more. The three boys tiptoed down the hall a little further. A door suddenly went “BANG” against the wall. The three boys all jumped in fright. But the room was empty. It was just a hospital room, until they looked closer. There was a skeleton mumbling to itself, “Whoever enters will not exit.” The sound kept going, but every time it repeated, it got slower and quieter, until it stopped.

Now they were panicked. They all looked in different directions until one of them disappeared, leaving two hopeless teen boys.

One of them whispered, “We gotta get out of here.”

The other one whispered back, “Good idea. Let’s go out the back.”

They quietly walked over to the back exit. They pulled the door. It opened fast, but then the door suddenly closed leaving a big “BAM.” The kids looked back. The kid on the left looked left, but then when he looked back right, he realized it was just him all alone in an abandoned hospital.


What do you call a fabulous Halloween cat? . . . Spook-CAT-ular!!! — Harper Hanbach, Preschool, Hampton Bays ITAV/UPK


Once upon a time, there was a zombie named James. James is a very, very scary zombie. Everyone in the village was terrified of him. I mean, he tried to eat a man’s brain out! — Charlie Kellis, Grade 4, OLH


Right before the ship came into port, Captain Obvious saw something weird in the distance. He smelt the smell of tuna . . . — Robert Hernandez, Grade 6, EHMS


Then a crazy doctor-looking guy burst out the door grasping two needles in his hands, yelling “I’ve needed you Tommy, and HERE YOU ARE!” Tommy then yanked Borris by the shoulder behind a wall, and the insane doctor ran past them both. Borris was winded out of his mind and lungs. Tommy and Borris looked around and noticed a light. They turned it on and there was the crazy doctor dude! When he caught a glimpse of what happened, Borris’s mouth gaped so wide it touched his feet. — Jackson Trelease, Grade 6, EHMS


One day, Mr. Wormy was at home. It was a beautiful day, and then he went — wrong start, completely wrong! Why not a scary start, like . . . One stormy night, Mr. Wormy was at home. He was alone in the dark, in the middle of the night, with a thunderstorm outside. Mr. Wormy was scared of the dark, thunder, being alone, and the middle of the night. — JohnJohn Nevado, Grade 3, Sagaponack


They all fell asleep in the haunted house. When they woke up, they were miserable 10 years later. They would stay miserable for life. So, I suggest you go to Six Flags or go trick or treating with friends or family. — Xavier Johnson, Grade 4, OLH


They all left the house and went trick-or-treating. No one had candy at the houses, but one gave them sushi and three Gucci bags! — Harrison Schultz, Grade 3, Sagaponack


Then the pumpkin noticed, and he grabbed us and squished us. I cut his hand with the knife. Then we carved his face. Then he died. We made a haunted pumpkin pie with real eyes. It was delicious. We shared it with other people. They liked it too. — Alison Chica-Jacome, Grade 3, Montauk Elementary


Then Halloween was over and everything was back to normal. Except for the new vampires and the cursed people . . . but in two days, the curses would not affect them. — Oliver Nielsen, Grade 4, OLH