October 31, 1984.
Vermont, United States of America.
A short horror story written by Alabede Jude (Peejay).
It was that night; the night of Halloween when children dresses as witches and ghosts. An adventurous night for all american kids.
I had no plans for the night. All I had in mind was to sleep and drift off to my fantasy world but that didn’t happen. Corey, my younger sister had cajoled me into going out for the Hallows’ night and here I am, on the field with other kids.
All were dressed in spooky and creepy costumes, romping and giggling around the field.
The breeze was friendly that night as it blew gently through my spiky auburn hair, caressing my soft skin. Loud howls and rappings of kids filled the air which sounded like creepy creatures but it was only the kids having fun.
Not far away, some kids were going door-to-door demanding candy with menaces.
I narrowed my gaze at a white figure with dark hollow eyes approaching me. I reeled back with tentative steps as the figure kept on approaching. It was moving fast, coming closer, closer, closer and it was just inches away. Extremely terrified, I closed my eyes anticipating the creature’s next move.
After a long wait, I eventually opened my eyes to see Corey laughing hysterically like a mad gawk. She was wearing a long white dress, and her face was really hideous-white as a skull with dark circles where her eyes should be.
“You scared me” I said.
“You’re not brave” she managed to gasp amidst pearls of laughter.
“No, I am.” I retorted.
“You’re not, you were scared of me” She said, still sniggering quietly.
“I was only a bit terrified”
There’s no point arguing. The truth is; I was scared, scared to the core that I forgot we both planned the costume.
“Its the Hallows’ day” She shouted as she rummaged through her suitcase, scattering clothes everywhere. At last, she found what she was looking for. She held up a white nightgown and swirled it in front of me.
“This would fit for the night” she said grinning while I nodded.
“But, that won’t make you scary” I said, resting my back on the wall in the room.
Corey sighed the way she always did whenever she thought I was too stupid to be her brother.
“I know but we’ll ride bikes to middlebury and buy white make-up and that black sfuff teenagers use on their eyes. Maybe we can find a long filmy scarf to hide my hair. At night, I’ll smear my face dead white and make big dark circles under my eyes, like empty eye sockets. I’ll put on my nightgown and dance around under the trees in a scary way, moaning and groaning”
“So that’s the plan- you impersonate a ghost and scare me?”
Corey shook her head, “No, to scare mom and dad”
“Do you think they’ll get scared by those silly pranks?”
Corey sighed again, I knew at once that she was pissed at the question.
“It’s a start. We can think of more stuff, like footsteps, moans, groans and crying babies” She grinned. “you know, there’s no baby in the house.”
I grinned too, letting out a chuckle. It was a good plan to get mom and dad cold feet.
At noon, we rode to a tourist-bait shop on Middlebury’s main road. We bought white and green face makeup, black stuff for Corey’s eyes, dark purple lipstick and a bunch of other junk-rubber eyeballs that glowed in the dark, plastic spiders and rubber snakes, candles and flashlights that cast a blue beam. In a second hand store, Corey bought a long white filmy scarf. And here she was looking creepy like a ghost who undoubtedly got me shaken to the core.
We walked back home after playing with some kids on the field checking on who looked scary the most and Corey won. She looked scarier, like a crazy clown. No, a ghost would suit that description. It was ghost-like. We got home to see mom and dad already sleeping in their room.
I looked at Corey and said, “its time”
She nodded and ran off to her room while I went to mine. I climbed into bed, I was too excited to sleep. I lay awake a long time awaiting Corey’s pranks.
Not long after, Corey tapped my door and poked her head in. I motioned her in and she walked in slow strides.
“Do I look horrible enough?” She asked.
“If you looked any worse, I’d be scared of you”
She sneaked out the back door and ran across the lawn while I stay put on my bed, watching through the open louvre.
Corey stepped onto the moonlit grass, waving her arms slowly and dramatically. She glided along, sleeves and scarf fluttering. She dipped and swayed, moaned and groaned and then turned to stare at me. Stretching both arms, she pointed her fingers, threw back her head and screamed like a banshee.
The leaves of the trees rustled and shook, as if Corey had awakened sleeping squirrels and birds. Something twittered softly and the bushes swayed. With goosebumps racing across my skin, I watched Corey run into the house. I jumped into bed and burrowed under the covers.
Moments later, Mom called, “Ralph? Are you awake?”
I pushed back the blanket and sat up, blinking at her.
“What'” I croaked, trying to sound as if she had woke me from deep sleep. “Huh?”
“I heard a noise” she went to my window and peered out. “it sounded like it came from that grove of trees.”
“Didn’t hear it” I muttered and lay back down.
Mom went to my sister’s door. I heard a ruffled tone which I guessed should be Dad. They talked in low tunes. Then, they left for their room.
Everywhere became silent again.
I curled up under the covers and tried not to laugh out loud. After a while, I heard Corey tiptoeing down the hallway to the bathroom. She was in there a long time but before she went back to her room, she stopped to see me.
“Ralph, that stuff was really hard to get off. My whole face stings.” she touched her cheek and winced. “If I hadn’t found some cold cream, I’d still be scrubbing.
“You were great, you sounded like a banshee” I told her.
She bounced on the bed and laughed. “I scared mom and dad, I guess”
“Yeah, you scared me too”
She laughed and I hushed her.
“Don’t wake mom and dad with your laugh”
She left my room and went to hers but nothing was ever going to be as usual again. I closed my eyes and drifted off to wonder land.
Around two thirty A.M, someone shouted in a childlike voice and I woke up with a start. At first, I thought it was Corey but it wasn’t her. Later, I began hearing whispers which almost sounded like giggles. Then, an owl hooted. The lights flickered and went off. Flicker and went off again throwing me into abject darkness. I slouched and reached for the bedside lamp, turned it on and almost immediately it went off. I turned it on again, yet it went off. Click, click, click, The lamp adamantly remained switched off. At that moment, beads of sweat had already formed on my body and chills of shudder slid down my spine.
Just then, every light came on, almost blinding me with its brilliance. The refrigerator began humming and the dishwasher started- even though it hadn’t been running before the power failure. Radios and TVs all over the house came on, blasting noise at top volume. Then, the giggles began and baby cries followed which sounded like hundreds cries of babies. Shadows danced around the room taunting me and for a moment, every noise seized.
My door suddenly flung open and Corey ran in with trepidation, shaking all over like she was catching a cold.
“There’s a ghost in here” She muttered as she sat on my bed.
I opened my mouth to talk but nothing came out, it felt dry like an empty glass. The lights suddenly went off and the bed began to shake. Back and forth, up and down, jolting us like a carnival ride, harder and faster. We tried to hold onto the headboard but in seconds, we were thrown to the floor with a loud, bone-jarring thud. Too stunned to move, we cowered together while invisible fingers pinched us and pulled our hair and tweaked our clothes.
“Stop it!” Corey yelled at me. “You’re hurting me, stop it!”
“You stop it” I shouted pushing her away.
At that, the room’s dark corner rang with laughter. The empty bed bounced as if a gang of kids were jumping on it. The radio blared from one end of the dial to the other and the bedside lamp flashed on and off. The closet door opened and slammed shut. Opened and slammed shut, over and over again. Things thudded and thumped all around us. A book hit me in the head. A picture fell, and the glass in the frame broke.
“Happy Hallows’ day” a tiny pitch voice shrieked.
Everything died down and the lights flicker and came on.
The door opened and my Dad poked his head in. “Are you alright?”