By Elizabeth Langston, Tribune staff writer
On Halloween, my friends and I were in the woods, looking to prank the one kid from our school that lived there with his parents. He was a jerk. He thought he was so cool, even though he beat up the 6th graders, just because he was in high school. Well, me and my friends were gonna give him a taste of his own medicine.
In our masks, we trekked through the trees towards the bully’s house. It was getting darker by the minute.
“That’s good, guys! It’ll scare him more!” My friend, Bea, tried to persuade us. The rest of us were still a little hesitant, but we followed anyway. When we finally got to the house, all the lights were on. I groaned. We were going to get caught by his dad, the chief of police. “It’s okay. My mom is a police officer, too. They can work it out,” the daredevil friend, Trina, assured. She had suggested this whole endeavor in the first place. Ironic. The daughter of a police officer, getting into trouble and screwing up people’s Halloween.
Me and most of the girls from our group crept close to a window. The only one who didn’t was Addylin. “Come on!” Bea hissed. “Don’t be a scaredy-cat!” Instead of following us, Addylin started screaming like a banshee. Startled, the others started shrieking too. The bully’s dad burst out of the door, holding a gun. “ WHO’S THERE?!” He bellowed. Trina tore past me, barreling into the house. The other girls followed. I was more confused than scared, until the chief of police started screaming like a little girl. I whipped around to come face to face with a monster. It looked like one of those Mexican hairless dogs, except it’s face was…different. Instead of a regular pointed snout, it had a smashed face, like a Persian cat. It drooled like a bulldog. It was basically a mashup of all those animals. It barked, a horrible sound like a fork in a garbage disposal. That’s when I started to wail. I scrambled for the door. The last thing I heard was the bark, and the last thing I saw was teeth.
Drifting through the trees, I look for the thing. My transparent body slides easily through the branches that would’ve cut me if I were still alive. It’s getting dark, much like it did the night that I died. I’m starting to think that this might be the night, the night that I kill the thing. I won’t let it hurt anyone else.
I hear a rustling in the trees, and I whip around. Bingo. I’m looking at a dark figure that stands in the trees. A terrible noise echoes around me, but I don’t cover my ears. It’s the bark, and I’m used to it resounding in my head all. The. Time. It thinks I’m another human for it to snatch for dinner. Not this time, buddy. Before I can fly forward, it leaps out at me. Startled, I throw my light body backwards, straight into the arms of another monster. Another one. I have so many thoughts in my head right now.
NO. Not again.
Wait, what?! Why is there another one?!
Somebody get me out of this mess.
But no one can. I’m dead. Dead as a doornail. Translucent tears are sliding down my face until…I realize. I’m dead! I can’t die again, but I can’t defeat these monsters when I have one of their slobbering mouths next to my ear. Gliding out of the thing’s grip, I suddenly have an idea. If I can figure out how to possess these guys or something, maybe I will be able to get them to destroy each other…
I push my mind as hard as I can to stretch to the monster’s brains. When I get to their subconscious, I am immediately suffocated by neverending, fuzzy-looking darkness. I almost get trapped, but I remind myself to stay on task and I imagine the creatures growling and barking and yelping as they rip at each other. When both of their heads fill with static and white noise, I know my job is done. Floating back to the afterlife, I smile to myself as I think of the dead bodies of the terrifying mutants laying in the soft pine leaves on the forest floor. I’ve avenged myself, I think, chuckling. I’m happy until a metallic bark sounds from behind me. Slowly twisting around, I can barely get a glimpse of the newest monster, baring its flat, yellowed, glistening teeth.