I have looked for a Halloween story for T’s Special Reading Assignment for Halloween and after reading a few, decided to write him one myself. This way I can take his answer to, what do you think will happen next, and develop it into a second part which we can do together. You can too. Here is part one of our Halloween Story with the assignment below and I will be posting part two once we complete it together.
It was Halloween night in the little town of Bowdoinham, Maine. The school gymnasium overflowed with the sounds of children, laughing and shrieking within, as the annual Halloween Party hit its peak. Inside a little blond witch watched her best friend, a dark-haired princess, bowl with little pumpkins in an effort to knock down pins which were painted to look like Indian corn. She didn’t hit any but Mrs. Smith awarded her attempt with two tickets anyway. The girls huddled together and counted their tickets to see if they had managed enough to cash in for the art case that was teasing them from the Prize Table. They discovered they were ten tickets short so they headed over to stand in line at the bean bag toss where they were expected to throw candy corn bean bags into the giant holes of a cardboard owls eyes. The little witch, her name was Gwen, searched through her goodie bag and came out with a green lollipop while the little princess, Layla, chomped on a piece of grape Hubba Bubba bubblegum.
Eight o’clock was just moments away as they waited and outside of the school the full moon slipped behind a cloud and the world outside fell into thick darkness.
Mr. Belbie approached the girls and they laughed as he stumbled their way, playing the part of the scarecrow he was dressed as. He taught their third grade class.
“How do you do?” He asked as he fell into a bow before them. “Pleased to see you, Princess.”
“And you.” Layla responded as she curtsied before him.
Mr. Belbie leaned closer to whisper into her ear. Pieces of straw escaped from under his hat as he bent and floated to the floor.
“I just wanted to alert you that I had noticed a witch seems to be following you around tonight. Were you aware?”
Layla laughed and threw her arm around, Gwen. “It’s just Gwen, Mr. Belbie!” She exclaimed.
“It cannot be the fair and kind, Gwen!” he argued. “This witch beside you is much too scary to be our Gwen.”
Gwen jerked the pointed black hat off and smiled up at Mr. Belbie who pretended utter shock at the reveal. They all laughed together. Just then Mrs. Ronald’s voice rose above the rest calling for Mr. Belbie.
“Oh Dear,” he whispered forcing his face into a look of sheer terror, “While you are clearly only pretending to be a witch, sweet Gwen, the real thing has been chasing me around all night. She keeps muttering something about apple spiders and hot Cuckoo birds. I refuse to help her with a spell.” And he was off through the crowd before they had a chance to reply. A moment later the girls burst into laughter when they spotted Mrs. Ronald, painted green and dressed as the wicked witch of the West, serving apple cider and hot cocoa from a booth by the door.
The girls had only managed three more tickets and two popcorn balls by the time they left the bean bag toss so they wandered around looking for something else to play. Realizing that they had been through most lines twice they exchanged a glance before turning toward, The Haunted Kitchen. The school kitchen had been transformed into a haunted house and the sign at the cob web covered door announced, Make it through and four tickets for You – Enter if you Dare. The girls had decided earlier that there was no chance they would be frightened by such a silly thing but haunted houses were stupid and they would not be part of that. But now, the art case called to them. It was full of beads, markers paint and much more and it was the last of its kind. If they didn’t cash in soon, someone else would go home with the gold. Children’s screams escaped through the door.
“What do you think?” Layla asked.
“We could make a lot of Christmas presents with all those supplies.” Gwen answered.
“It can’t be that scary anyway,” Layla concluded. “It’s one of the Kindergarten teachers who organized this part. Let’s do it.”
Slowly the girls walked towards the entrance. Mr. Birds, the school principal, stood guarding it dressed as a Grim Reaper. He wore a hood and his costume made his eyes look red, their glow was eerie as it shone out from his dark hood. They only knew it was him because when the Monster Mash song had come on earlier, his dancing had gotten a little frenzied and his hood has fallen away. It was hard to be scared of him now while they could still so freshly picture him dancing the twist and flinging his arms all around with the music. Layla stifled a giggle as he threw his sickle in their path and in a most menacing voice growled, “Stop!”
The girls stopped and smiled up at him.
“We know that’s you, Mr. Birds!” Gwen announced. The dark figure slowly shook its head no. The girls wouldn’t be fooled though. “We saw you dancing.” They couldn’t help but giggle. Gwen mimicked his frenzied dance moves, leaving her breathless with her hat standing crooked on her head. She beamed up at him, expecting laughter but instead he just shook his cloaked head again, no.
Suddenly Mr. Belbie’s voice filled the gymnasium drawing their attention to the stage.
“Best Costume Awards will be given in ten minutes so we need all you goblins and ghouls who entered to begin lining up by grade at stage right, please. Remember, first prize is $10.00 and tickets for you and a friend to spend the day at Roller World. Jack-O-Lantern judging will follow!” Just then another teacher, dressed as the Headless Horseman came running across the stage shrieking, holding an old-fashioned lantern in his hand. He flew toward the table covered in Jack-o-Lanterns and grabbed one before rushing back across the stage and disappearing behind the curtains. Students and parents laughed.
“Whose being the Headless Horsemen this year, Mr. Birds?” Layla asked the Reaper. He didn’t answer, instead he reached out and pushed the door to the Haunted Kitchen open. The girls could see that his hands were painted black and long black fingernails were attached to each finger.
“You should probably enter the costume contest, Mr. Birds.” Gwen announced before reaching for Layla’s hand and entering the Haunted Kitchen.
It was very dark inside and oddly silent. Only moments ago the sounds of children screaming had filled the kitchen but now, all was quiet. They stood just inside the door waiting for their eyes to adjust. Neither girl uttered a word, afraid fear may be heard in their voices. After a minute, Gwen decided to take the lead. She raised her finger to her lips and whispered, “shhh” and then took two steps further into the darkness. Layla clung to her hand. Their ears strained to hear movement or any warning of what lay ahead. Nothing, but silence and the distant laughter from the gym could be heard. Two more steps and still nothing. The girls began to relax just a little and dared another four steps into the dark and apparently empty kitchen. Suddenly, Layla became aware of someone standing behind her. Right behind her! Discovering she could not seem to manage a scream she pushed Gwen ahead and tried to run. Just then a hand reached out and grabbed Gwen’s ankle. Gwen had no trouble managing a scream. The sound echoed through the kitchen as she kicked and struggled to free herself. Layla kicked too unsure of where to aim but determined to help her best friend. Suddenly strobe lights kicked on and the rapid flashing seemed to send their world into slow motion. Layla dared look behind her and sure enough in one flash she saw Mr. Birds in his Grim Reaper costume reaching out for her. In the next flash he was gone. In the next he stood before the girls and in the next he was gone again. Layla and Gwen shrieked, kicked, and then ran for the exit! They burst through the back door into the school hallway and were stunned to see Mr. Birds standing there in pants and a shirt and tie ready to hand them four tickets each!
“Mr. Birds?” Layla panted, trying to catch her breath. “Mr. Birds?”
“Pretty scary in there, isn’t it?” He smiled at them.
“How did you change so quickly?” Gwen demanded.
“Change? Oh, I spilled apple cider all over my costume an hour ago. I had to take it off.”
Layla realized two things: one – she had swallowed her Hubba Bubba and two – that Grim Reaper was not Mr. Birds.
“Who…. Who else is dressed as the Grim Reaper?” She asked Mr. Birds.
“There is no other Grim Reaper,” he answered. “Why? What’s the matter girls?”
Suddenly, Gwen started laughing. “I get it. I get it. This is all part of the Haunted House thing right? It’s just a trick, Layla.”
Just then the door behind them flew open and a gust of cold air slammed into them so hard it sent Gwen’s hat flying right off her head where it landed by Mr. Birds loafers. The flashing strobe light flickered behind a dark figure which loomed as tall as the doorframe. Mr. Birds gently pushed the girls behind him protectively and starred wide eyed at the giant in black.
“Who are you?” He asked.
The End of Part One
Questions for Assignment
- Who are the main characters? Name at least three.
- Which character is your favorite?
- Where does the story take place?
- Why do the girls decide to brave the Haunted Kitchen?
- Tell what happens that changes the tone of the story?
- When does the story take place?
- Tell in your own words what you think will happen next.
Ok readers, your turn to flex your creative muscles and help T with his assignment. Any ideas on where we should take it, comment below. Or just let us know what you thought about part one. We love to hear from you Yes, you. Every one of you so don’t be shy. Comment away below!