Scary Story Contest 2015
Coquitlam and Port Moody public libraries partnered with The Tri-City News to present the Scary Story Contest, which asked Tri-City young people from 11 to 18 years of age to write a terrifying tale in time for Halloween.
Dozens responded and local librarians read all the entries, narrowing them down to shortlists of about half a dozen stories in each of the two age categories (11 to 14 and 15 to 18 years); the winners were chosen by a Tri-City News judge.
And the winners are:
FIRST PLACE WINNER
A Mother's Special Love by Sherry Lu, 16, Coquitlam
" Mummy, mummy..." I can barely make out the word. Crawling up the stairs, I then totter and reach out my plump hands for the door. The door opens before I touch it and leaves me falling to the floor. The darkness inside the room makes me cringe. A mournful atmosphere clings to the air. It even stains my mother's face, despite the smile she puts up. I can barely see her face, only the pale skin and the whites of the eyes. When I look at where the pupils should be, I instantly fall into an abyss.
I wake up in sweat. From the bed, I see the gloomy sky outside the window. It is probably midnight.
I get up and walk to the bathroom. What was that dream about? At this age I still can't get over my mother's uncanny death. She was found in a lake a few nights after I have that drowning dream. Maybe this house is just too full of memories.
I splash my face with water. Although it cools me slightly, my head still feels tight. Then I look into the mirror. A dark figure stands on the other side. It creeps me out and I turn on the light immediately.
I see myself on the mirror. Then I look into the eyes, the dark pupils. Suddenly, what I see pierces through my drowsiness. A woman who looks like my mother is in the mirror. There are only dark hollows under her thin eyebrows. Her skin is greyish and ghastly. Her loathsome dark hair lies flat and tangled on her head. A cracked voice comes out of her bloodless lips, "Help me... let me have your life... I gave you mine…" I want to scream but something represses the impulse.
She leans toward me and reaches out her right hand. It almost touches my arm. The instant movement makes me think of nothing but running out of the bathroom. I trip to the floor, and half-crawl, half-run to my room. I slap the door shut and lock it. I turn on the light. With my back against the door, I am quivering and my heart beats hard.
Suddenly a shift in the window reflection catches my attention. The door opens, and now she is here. Strangely, I can feel her dark hollows' stares. She walks to me. My mind is spinning and I go with my instinct—to turn off the light.
The image on the window is gone, but fear still engulfs me. What I see in the bathroom repeats itself over in my mind. The loneliness and hopelessness erode me. All that is moving right now is my chest and my beating heart.
I don't know when I pass out, but when I come to, it is sunny outside. The green leaves on the tree dance with the breeze. I can hear the birds' trills.
Then I freeze. In the window reflection … is mummy.
SECOND PLACE WINNER
The Dreams That Haunt Us by Angela Wu, 17, Coquitlam
There was once a girl with the lovely features of a porcelain doll. Her alabaster skin was so perfect it seemed to have been sculpted from marble; her long ebony hair cascaded down her shoulders in waves. Perhaps her most striking feature, were her eyes, like little chips of blue ice that seemed to glow from afar. But ever since childhood, she was plagued by nightmares, haunted by glowing red eyes that watched her in the darkness. In her sleep, she screamed, begging the man to stop, helpless as he smashed her delicate skin. Every night, her parents would rush in to the mournful sounds of their daughter’s cries and see her perfect as ever.
They began sending her to a doctor, the best that money could buy. A man with spindly limbs like a spider who always came to work impeccably dressed, in a suit and bowler hat. He was good with children, funny and likeable, but this girl screamed and cried. She didn’t want to see a doctor or take pills. But her parents persisted, and fed their little Porcelain Doll pills every night for a long time. She no longer woke the night with screams. The pills kept her quiet and though every night, the loathsome dreams haunted her, when the sun rose she was too exhausted to remember them. Soon, the visits to the doctor stopped and the pills were thrown away.
But that night, the dreams returned, beginning the same way they always did. A small, uncanny sound would wake her. Her eyes would always flicker to her window and paralyzed with fear, she would watch it creep up, inch by inch. When the window was fully open, a man with eyes glowing like embers would crawl into her room on all fours, like a dog and climb onto her bed. Every single time, she was unable to speak or move as he produced a small chisel from his pocket and began to hack away at her lovely face. He giggled and pressed a finger to her lips, telling her not to make a sound. When all of her was gone, save for her mouth, she would find her voice again and scream until her parents came running and she would wake to find herself unharmed.
The next morning, the parents came to greet their Porcelain Doll with wide smiles. They screamed instead. Her smooth skin was peeled away to reveal the angry red flesh beneath. Her perfect cheekbones sawed off her face. Her beautiful hair shaved, and perhaps worst of all, were her eyes. They had been gouged out, leaving empty holes in her face. Neither parent noticed the bowler hat sitting in the corner of the room.
Several continents away, a man sat sipping tea. Women giggled as they passed by for he had a perfect face that seemed to have been sculpted from marble. Soft black hair. Long, elegant limbs. And beautiful blue eyes that seemed to glow like chips of ice.
THIRD PLACE WINNER
by Moay Sakata, 15, Port Coquitlam
I’m the Normal Girl
People seem to think all loathsome murderers share the same look: dark hooded clothes, bulky bags, sunglasses, an unkempt beard.
So nobody suspects me: an average-looking schoolgirl with dyed hair, wearing clothes that look great on models but drab on shapeless teenage girls. Nobody ever expects I carry the knife I keep at the bottom of my colourful schoolbag. When I sit at the back of the bus, others don’t think to consider I am scanning each passenger and plotting how I could kill them one by one.
It’s the normal ones who get you. At home, I am the only child who always impresses her parents; at school, I am the teacher’s pet with perfect grades; on the bus, I am the girl who sits in the corner, looking out the window wearing earphones and no expression. Nobody suspects a thing, and I like that. I love seeing the shock on my victims’ faces when I emerge from the shadows and stand before them, my hand clutching the knife I’ve sunk into them.
I could say I grant them a quick and painless death, but that’s no fun. I like to make them suffer and scream until my blood curdles. Call it a disgusting fetish or kink; I love it. I love holding life and death in my hand, playing with their minds, twisting my blade in their trembling bodies, watching the life leave their teary eyes, feeling their last mournful breath against my smiling face.
If you’re wondering what I do with the bodies, it’s simple.
I eat them.
Human flesh is tender, juicy. I drag my corpse into an abandoned playground, build a fire in the sandbox and roast it. I eat a fair amount and leave my leftovers in the woods.
If I’m ever asked where I go, I say I have dance, or I’m getting a snack. Nobody questions me; I’m the normal girl. Little do they know, I’m stabbing and feasting upon their friends.
If you’re wondering how I choose my victims, I go for whoever has the tastiest-looking flesh. I prefer people with fat on them. Their flesh melts in your mouth. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I also choose people who might finally be catching on that I am a psychopath. I have an uncanny talent for tracking them down or meeting up with them, and then sinking my blade into their skin, feeling the blood gush out. I stare into their eyes, their blood splattering my grinning teeth. When they crumple to the ground, I eat them raw. It’s much more fun.
Speaking of which, you’ve read this now. I wrote it, so someone was bound to read it. Is this a turn you were expecting this to take? Do you still believe this is just some story for a contest? Don’t you think that maybe I wanted you to read this, so I’d have an excuse to kill and eat you? No?
Well, I advise you to turn around.
FIRST PLACE WINNER
Too Late by Hannah De OCampo, 14, Coquitlam
A young girl was walking home from the library one late September night. It was getting dark and the sun had already set. Her ignored phone was bursting with unread messages and missed calls from her worried parents. Her skin prickled with a sense of discomfort and she had the vaguest realization that someone was following her. She swallowed her spit and tugged her wool cardigan closer around her as if it was a shield. Her footsteps quickened as she turned right into an alleyway to see if they were really following her.
Her breath was uneven as she risked a look behind her and saw that it was a man in a dark grey hoodie. Fear coursed through her veins as she sprinted into a run. He followed in pursuit and she was horrified to discover that he was catching up to her. Her usual route to home was abandoned and she spotted a rundown shack nearby. There, she thought, I would lose him there. It was almost uncanny how it just happened to be there, although the girl did not waste her time in being skeptical and flung open the door to the shack.
She did not realize how stupid she was until her back was to the door, pushing against his attempts to get in. She had just trapped herself. What was she going to do now? Wait until he gets bored and leaves? He was now shouting but the girl tuned his cries of persuasion out. But he was not trying to persuade her to let him in, she realized. She thought she could hear the tone of his voice turning mournful, as if he was too late. Too late for what? A disembodied voice answered her question.
“Too late to save you.” Their voice was ragged and dissonant. The girl could hear centuries of savagery and discontentment molded into one voice. It shook her with fear and even made her want to run outside to her stalker. His cries grew louder and the abandoned shack seemed to shake with his volume. From the shadows of the room, appeared a girl with unruly long black hair that covered most of her pale face. She was clad in a tattered wedding gown, stained red. Her expression was one of loathsome delight, as if she was getting a new toy. Her teeth were stained the same red that was on her gown.
Only then did the young girl understand what the man outside was trying to say to her.
“SHE WAS FOLLOWING YOU.”
SECOND PLACE WINNER
Pass It On by Rachel Chen, 13, Coquitlam
Anna strained her eyes to read the dusty letters inscribed on the attic wall: “Release will only come if you pass it on.” Release from what? As Anna wondered, she felt a cold hand slide down her back. She spun around shocked, only to find no one there. That was the first time. Shaking her head, Anna decided to focus on the letters again. No matter how hard she pondered, she couldn’t fathom their meaning.
That was a month ago. She knew what they meant now.
There was always something uncanny about the old house. They moved in six weeks before. After that first time in the attic, Anna heard screams and moans and music from an empty music room. The rusted doors and old windows opened and closed randomly, and worst of all, Anna felt the touch of that cold hand on her back whenever she was alone. She told her mother. Her mother said it was just her imagination.
Anna was in her bedroom. She saw her mom, a mournful expression etched on her face as if it had been imprinted for a thousand years.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” she inquired.
Her mother ignored her, picking up one of her dolls and sadly stroking its hair. She sighed, shook her head and then headed for the door. Anna tried to follow her, but her door closed before she could reach it. Anna desperately tried to open it, but it was locked. Why can’t I get out of my own room? She thought. She stared down at her feet and gasped. Somehow she’d walked through a stool! How can that be? Anna asked herself. She wandered around her room and found she could walk through her closet and desk. She could even walk through her bed! Anna looked down and gaped. Halfway through her bed she saw a blood-stained knife.
Then the memory hit her like a meteor. She remembered.
Her door had creaked open and a pallid, tired girl with a translucent knife in one hand had entered. Anna had frozen as the girl had approached her.
“I have to do this to be free, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….” The words came like a chant from her pale lips.
Then it dawned on her, and the loathsome meaning of the letters on the wall suddenly became clear: Release from death will only come if you pass it on! The girl was a ghost. She’d killed Anna to be free from her own torment, trapped in a state of half-death. She’d been causing all the noise in the house! Pass it on. That meant Anna had to kill someone, or she’d be a ghost forever.
She knew what the words meant now.
Anna’s mother entered her room to pack away her dolls. Anna slowly approached her, whispering “I love you mom, I’m really sorry, I need to do this, I love you, I’m sorry.”
She pointed the sharp blade towards her mother’s chest....
THIRD PLACE WINNER
The Phantom Figure
by Hannah Kullmann, 13, Port Moody
It was a dark and stormy night. The sky was the colour of grief. The wind gave a mournful howl. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled; rain clouds released their sorrows. The water pounded, bled and splattered. The soupy fog was so thick with ghostly spirits that the misty air was tangible. The harvest moon was shrouded in storm-grey clouds.
The shadows moved as if alive. Along the cracked drive; dozens of jack-o-lanterns grimaced, grinned and cackled. Their light created shadows, dancing to a blood-curdling tune. Looking out the cracked, grimy window, I could tell it was Halloween night.
I turned away from the wretchedly uncanny sight. My bloody hand brushed across the glass. I let it drop against my filthy jeans. My clothes sagged, they hadn't fit for years. I had lived here for a while. Well, not really but it didn't matter; there was no hope for me.
I glanced around my filthy prison. The tattered curtains drooped, sun-bleached and fading. The peeling wallpaper was torn and spattered. Mold crept across the floor, along the rotting floorboards. The door was sturdier than the rest of the room and it was locked tight.
My eyes widened in horror as the doorknob slowly, silently turned, the door screeching open. I scrambled across the floor. The all too familiar phantom glided toward me, grabbed my hand and hauled my weightless figure across the room.
The loathsome, deathly white hand was entirely bone. I paled in horror as the mournful figure transformed into my worst nightmare. It took me through the decaying mansion to the front hall; holding me firmly in front of a dusty mirror. I looked up at my unfathomable reflection. I was the phantom figure. I was a ghost. I was dead.
If I was the phantom, then who was the figure standing right behind me? I whirled around and there was my reflection, tattered white hoodie, disintegrating jeans and my bare feet. I gazed upon my sunken cheeks and my ruby-like eyes stared back at me. This was my future.
I whirled around to the mirror.
I was a ghost, but not the phantom that floated behind me. I wondered how I would come to be like my future self. Maybe the phantom was trying to help me. He nodded, sensing my question.
I peered closer. His eyes were swollen and red, from crying I guessed. The phantom was paler than I was, and fading away. He smiled kindly, everything would be alright. I smiled back, watching as the phantom dissipated and as I vanished too.
I awoke sweating under my sheets; an awful nightmare. Looking through my pristine window, the moon was bloody-red and glowing eerily. I remembered it had been an eclipse on Halloween night. I closed my eyes and slept fitfully.
I awoke to the feeling of breathing down my neck. My eyes fluttered open. To my surprise I saw a pair of ruby eyes boring into mine. The Phantom Figure was back…
© Copyright 2015 Tri-City News
Winners in each category receive Coquitlam Centre Mall gift cards.
- First prize: $50
- Second prize: $30
- Third prize: $20
Email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or Maryn at email@example.com.
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