Friday, November 6, 2015

Halloween Contest Runners-Up

These were the entries that were my top favorites! I've listed them in no particular order.

Ingrid didn't have to worry about hiding her wings at the old broken down cafe. No one ever came there. It was one of the only places she felt she could truly be herself. Even among her own, she had to pretend to be a different version of herself to avoid the mockery and disdain. As she gently walked across broken glass, cherishing the crunch, she plopped down into the rubble and opened her favorite book. Deeply engrossed in her book, she almost didn't hear the cat when it jumped onto the table. Ingrid sighed, "Can't I get just a little bit of peace? Why are you here, Alex?"

by Beth A.

$200 was cheap, but not this cheap. The ad at the cafe read, "Quaint one-bedroom flat available for rent," but as Brielle walked through the doorway of the decrepit building (sans an actual door), all she could think was, What a dump. Glass littered the floor and dirt covered every surface. There were mounds of dusty looking objects piled near the door. Upon closer inspection, Brielle realized they were heaps of books with yellowed pages and broken spines that looked as if someone had dumped them there and then proceeded to trample all over them. She shook her head, disgusted at the state of the building and the false advertising that led her here. That ad was an absolute mockery! I'm going back to the cafe and demanding they take it down at once. As she turned to walk out of the room and back to her car though, the heel of her boot caught on something slick. Her body pitched forward and Brielle fell to the ground. Luckily, her hands broke her fall and kept her from hitting her face on the hard floor. As she lifted the palm of her scraped hand and started to stand up, she noticed what she'd slipped on. See-through wings, the likes of which she'd only ever read about in fairy tales, lay glittering on the ground. They would have been pretty, almost magical, if not for the dark blood that coated the tips of each one. Brielle screamed, the sound reverberating through the room, and scrambled to her feet. She turned and ran in the opposite direction, seeking out a different exit. Her eyes alighted on another door, one she hadn't noticed until now. She was all the way across the room and nearly to the door when she stopped cold in her tracks. It's a hallucination. You're panicked and imagining things. Brielle was sure she wasn't though. Bile rose up in her throat, blocking out her ability to scream. Hung from the doorframe was a dead chicken, its pungent smell so strong she could smell it from where she stood. Although the chicken was strange, it wasn't the sight of the dead fowl that caused the hair on her arms to rise. It was the object underneath it, a life-size doll dressed in black. As the doll started to move, Brielle had one last thought before panic threatened to engulf her completely: This is what nightmares are made of.

by Emily Alfano

"Do you remember, darling, that cafe where you used to touch your feet against mine under the table, and I just wished you would kiss my cheek? You had a book on 'South Bridge Vaults of Edinburgh' that my fingers scavenged through at least once or twice, but it was such a mockery to the poltergeist on the fourth floor. I close my eyes now, touching scorched walls, broken glass crunching beneath my boots, and we've left so much hope at the door. You will never hold my backside at night again, alone in your bed, where I may have been missing wings, but I was still your angel. I'm not sorry that your bones poke up beneath the ash, but I'm afraid that you don't understand--we have burned to pieces as much as this cafe."

by Shannon Hawkins

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