Editor’s note: Mead Public Library and the Sheboygan Press teamed up this fall on a scary story contest for students in grades 3-12. More than 100 entries were received and seven winners were chosen, with one overall first-place winner selected. Each winner will receive prizes from the library and also have their entries published here in the Press. The first-place winner will be published online Oct. 28 and in print Oct. 30 with the others being published in the days leading up to that one. The following is the fourth of the six runners up.
By E.R. Boxrucker, ninth grader at Plymouth High School
The concrete was still saturated from the rain from the night before and made a soft squelch with each step down the street. Front steps and lawns are covered in rotting pumpkins and cheesy fake decorations, piles of decaying autumn leaves yet to be discarded sat dormant in the suburbs. The pavement soon turned to gravel as the road stretched out of the city and into the countryside. Tall pines towered over the rocky path, only allowing glimmers of moonlight to whisper through. Ravens perched in pairs of six in the canopy above, singing their shrill warnings on deaf ears.
Rustic would be the most gentle way to describe the house at the end of the seemingly endless walk. The roof caved in areas. The windows were smashed out. Moss and vines covered the exterior and undoubtedly the interior, too. The only light was coming from the pearlescent orb in the sky and from a small flashlight illuminating a path into the house continuing the journey onward. Bugs hid from the ever shifting light. Mice ran for shelter in the floorboards and beyond. An odd viscous red liquid shone almost everywhere around the house, like an opal, constantly shifting and iridescent. It was almost beautiful, except for the smell of blood and bloated roadkill that seeped from the blotches.
A faint thump echoed throughout the ruins, making an eerie beat that no one wanted to dance to. The sound radiated from the basement entrance. As the floorboards creaked, the thumps turned into slams and wails, screaming all separately but still somehow in unison, like a music class of kids equipped with recorders. The basement door started to shake from something — someone knocking against it before it swung open. A mass resembling chewed gum blocked off the basement. On closer inspection, it’s a tangle of exposed nerves and loose flesh sticking like cobwebs in the stairwell. Openings covered its entire body, containing sunken eyes or gaping mouths with jagged teeth. It oozed the opal-like fluid, soaking the carpeted stairs.
“Hello.” the mouths responded together, unhinging its body and swallowing its prey in one pounce. A blanket of blood-soaked crimson embraced the poor soul who dared enter its den. The basement door slammed shut. Its prey tries to push against the door of death, attempting to pry back to freedom. Only the animals living inside the ruins heard the prey’s muffled calls for help in its attempt to leave. The knocking on the door was too loud, too erratic … then silence and an endless void of black.
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