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Spooky Scribbles Writing Contest: FALLEN IN THE WOODS

by David Poelvoorde (age 17)

The Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre held a “Spooky Scribbles Writing Contest” for Halloween. Dozens of entries were received, in three different age categories. Winners were chosen based on the spookiness of the story and quality of writing.

Here is 17-year-old David Poelvoorde’s winning submission.

Fallen in the Woods

by David Poelvoorde (age 17)

The cold winds of autumn had been blowing strongly for the better half of a week now. The plants around us had started to die off as they began to turn into a lovely shade of gold and red. I couldn’t help but admire the wonderful sensation of peace it left me with. I only wish I could enjoy the scenery better.

School had only just gotten out and somehow, I found myself right in the middle of a chase. It was Michael, Bruce, and Charlie. They were well known bullies here in town, nothing ever scared them, and unfortunately for myself, they were in pursuit of me. I really wish I could say that the three of them had some sort of motive for doing what they do, but I think those three just cause mayhem because they simply enjoy it.

Michael sort of acted as the leader of the goons with Charlie being the brains and Bruce being the brawn. Charlie was lean and tall with thin little arms, when you’d get close to him, you’d notice that he has very little teeth remaining in his mouth. Not that he’d ever smile to show you of course. Bruce was much wider than all three of them, but he mostly followed orders, you would rarely ever see him taking charge.

They started catching up to me, I had to think fast to avoid them. That was when I spotted the picket fence to my right. It acted as a border to the old forest here in town. Rumour has it, a bunch of townsfolk tried to burn the whole forest down a long time ago. Nobody knows why they ever did that but our current rules of the town state that nobody, especially us kids, are ever allowed to go into the woods. However, I was in a dire situation here, I wasn’t sure what Michael, and his friends would do to me if they caught me, so I decided to take my chances and jump over the fence. Worst case scenario was that I may get a slap on the wrists from some of the adults here in town.

I underestimated how steep the drop into the forest was and began to tumble and roll all the way down the hill. When I came to, I was all covered in mud, and I could see the three goons looking down on me from the other side of the fence. It wasn’t long after when Michael decided to chase after me once again, despite the look of worry in both Bruce’s and Charlie’s eyes.

“Come on you guys he’s just over there!” yelled Michael. “Don’t tell me you honestly believe all the stories about this place.”

Unfortunately, that was all the convincing they needed, and so they continued their chase. Desperate to get out of there I started running as fast as I could, hoping that I had any chance of out-running them. I could swear that I was going in circles passing the same tree every few seconds, as I began to worry that I was getting lost. I tripped on a root sticking out from the ground. It was a very unique looking root; it had all the same details of a human foot. When I got back to my feet, I noticed I was all alone, I could not remember how I could have possibly lost those three. Then suddenly from deep within the woods I could hear screams as a heavy thick fog began to roll in. I started bolting towards the origin of the screaming, I knew it might mean danger, but I had to help whoever it may have been. While running, I found Bruce laying on the ground.

“It got Charlie!” he said. “We need to get out of here before it gets us as-”

Something began dragging Bruce further into the fog, I grabbed onto his arm but we both lost our grip quickly and Bruce was pulled away, nowhere to be seen. I ran towards where Bruce was getting pulled to until I ran face first into a tree. Horrified, I noticed this tree had very distinct details. The bark looked exactly like Bruce and Charlie’s faces. The roots were their legs, and the limbs were their mangled arms. From the corner of my eye, I saw Michael being pulled into a tree to the left of me.

“The trees are alive!” He screamed. “Quick take this, they hate fi-”

Before Michael could finish his sentence, he was swallowed by the tree; he became distorted like the others. With his final act he was able to throw me a small lighter. I had only one choice left. One small flicker of hope.