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Spooky Scribbles Writing Contest: INSTINCTS

by Sydney Kellar (12 years old)

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 12-year-old Sydney Kellar’s winning submission.

Instincts

by Sydney Kellar (12 years old)

Breathing. My steps felt excessively heavy as I trudged toward the gloomy black forest. Leaves and fallen twigs crunched beneath my feet.

“Cam?” I yelled into the woods but my voice only echoed back at me. “Cameron?”

Gradually, I made my way to the edge of the forest.

“Cam, this is unlike you. Come out here.”

The sky was black and the world was asleep as I should’ve been. I pulled a flashlight from my pocket and clicked it on. A stream of light lit up the trees in front of me.

A crow was perched atop one of the nearby pine trees, observing my every move. I watched it as it flew into the forest, silent and quick. Something crashed to my right and I spun toward the sound, shining my light on it.

A pumpkin lay smashed and rotten only a few feet away. I noticed a few bugs creeping out of the carved eye and mouth holes.

“Ha ha. Very funny Cameron. You can stop hiding now!” my voice rang out in the silent forest. Another crash caught my attention.

I turned to my left and gasped slightly. Another smashed pumpkin lay there, crawling with insects. My instincts kicked in and I dashed back into the city. As I ran, the only sound I could hear was the clashing of my boots against the sidewalk. I slid into the 24-hour convenience store and the bell hanging above the door clanged.

“Whaddya want?” The store clerk had a strong Italian accent. He had a jar filled with candy sitting on the counter next to a small uncarved pumpkin.

I walked over to the phone on the wall and pointed at it. The man nodded and I dialed Cameron’s phone number on the keypad. The phone was on the wall right beside a window facing the street. The phone rang until it went to voicemail. I hung up and dialed again, watching the road like a hawk, when I saw a man leaving a store across the street.

No. Not a man. A black shadow of a man with a cane stood there facing me as a colony of bats fled the building behind him. He pointed his shadowed cane at the window in front of me. My instincts screamed in my head, “Hide.” I ducked from the window in fear and leaned my back against the wall beneath it. Cameron finally picked up the phone. Only it wasn’t a voice, just heavy breathing.

“Cam? Cameron are you there?” My hand trembled as I yelled into the phone. I waited for a response or anything to indicate where he was. I met the store clerk’s eyes and saw a flash of sympathy within them. Finally, a voice came through the phone.

“Look out the window.” Its voice was scratchy and deep yet flowy as well. Slowly, I turned around and peeked up and out the window. Nothing. Just an empty street with some buildings and a flickering street light.

I spun back around and the man was no longer there. Only a shadowed version of him, standing lifeless behind the counter. I tried to scream but nothing came out.

I pulled the phone from my ear and looked down at my hands. They were shadowed as well.

The line cut out and I dropped the phone. Standing before me was the shadowed man still holding his cane at his side. Except this time, in his other hand, he was holding a phone. Only, it wasn’t his phone. It was Cameron’s.

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