Thank you to all the Stackers who have been submitting their chapters to the STACKS Creative Writing Team. It has been so much fun reading everyone’s submissions and receiving so much help in writing this spook-tacular Halloween story.
A Night of Fright: Chapter 3
A flock of bats dove toward Veronica and Timmy. The pair ducked out of the way and began to army crawl toward the front door.
“Who could that be,” Timmy questioned.
“I don’t know,” replied Veronica, “But, I think they’re our only hope.”
Another knock echoed through the apartment. This one was louder and had a sense of urgency to it. The ghosts stopped and turned toward the door. So did the headless straw man. Veronica noticed the knocking had attracted the attention of the ghouls.
“Timmy, hurry!” she screamed.
Realizing they had been caught, Timmy rose from the floor and ran for the door. He dove for the bronze knob and turned it, hoping what lay behind wasn’t more terrifying than the creatures that already haunted the apartment.
The door slowly opened and standing behind it was a small child, wearing a baseball cap backwards on his head.
With a confused look on her face, Veronica could only manage a quiet, “Johnny?”
Yes, standing behind the door was Johnny Fenderbottom, a lanky fourth-grader who lived a few doors down.
“I’m here for the haunted house!” Johnny exclaimed. That’s when he saw the walking straw man, the floating ghosts, and creeping spiders. “Oh cool, they’re so lifelike!”
Veronica was aghast at his response. She was frozen and couldn’t manage to utter a word of warning, to urge Johnny to leave. Instead, the boy began his way through the haunted apartment, shrieking with joy.
When he finished his lap through the apartment, he took a piece of candy from the bowl at the end and turned to Timmy and said, “Man, that was great. I can’t wait until next year!”
And with that, Johnny was gone. But soon, he was replaced by Maxine Tennerhouse, an older girl with a forest of red hair atop her head. Then came the Hellerman twins who lived across the hall, and Stewy Valentine, who lived on the third floor.
Each child entered the apartment and was immediately in awe of the living decorations. The apartment was soon filled with the screams of satisfied patrons of the haunted house.
“I don’t get it,” Timmy said. “They’re scared. But they’re enjoying it.”
“They don’t know we’re not controlling any of this,” Veronica replied.
After a full night of happily scared children, the last customer picked a piece of candy from the bowl and exited the apartment. Veronica closed the door behind him and turned to face the creatures that infested her home. As if they knew they weren’t needed any more, the ghosts and bats ceased to move and lifelessly fell to the floor. The headless man bowed to both Timmy and Veronica, as if acknowledging the success of his performance, before crumbling into a pile of fabric and hay.
“Well, Timmy, that may have been your best haunted house yet,” Veronica joked, a smirk slowly forming.
“Yeah, I’d say it was,” Timmy said with a laugh. “Hey, you want to catch the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers?”
“But you said that was too scary for me.”
“Yeah, but I think you earned it.”
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