In the spirit of the season, Jo Richardson has challenged us to tell her a spooky story – real or not real, doesn’t matter, in 300 words or less. If you joined me from Gemma Brocato, welcome. (And if you thought what she wrote today was scary, make sure you come back tomorrow. Gemma will be visiting my blog and talking about all the things she didn't know about being a published author. It will make your blood run cold! And then on Thursday, you can have a chance to win a copy of my book Chef d'Amour, on Gemma's site!)
I have to admit, I'm a wimp when it comes to scary stuff. I don't like horror movies, need to read spooky stories with all the lights on, and in general don't enjoy being frightened. I can still remember having to read “The Cask of Amontillado” for school and being petrified. So this was something of a challenge for me. But let's give it a go...
We moved to Elm Street a couple weeks before Halloween. I fully intended to spend the night reading in my room. My mother had other plans.
“You can use this.” She pulled a frilly yellow dress out of a cardboard box—one of the many in the basement waiting to be unpacked.
“I don't want to.” At ten, I was too old to be a princesses.
“I won't have you moping in your room all evening.” She flicked out the material, spangles and sparkles glittering. Before I knew it, I was out the door, clutching a pillowcase. “Have fun!” my mother carolled from the porch.
I stood on the sidewalk, humiliated and angry. Groups of kids swirled past me as if I wasn't there, laughing and talking like the best friends they were. I had never felt so alone.
“Do you want to trick-or-treat with me?”
Standing next to me was a girl my age. Her costume was simple—an old-fashioned, high waisted dress, her hair done in ringlets. She carried a basket. I thought she might be Little Bo-Peep. “Me?”
“Who else, silly?” She smiled, a dimple denting her cheek. “Let's start there.” She headed for the house next door.
We laughed and talked our way from house to house. By the time we circled the block, I was thrilled, excited—happy for the first time since we'd moved.
“I had fun tonight. Goodbye.” She skipped away, disappearing into the dark at the end of the street.
My mother greeted me at the door. “So, how was it?”
“Okay, I guess,” I answered grudgingly. “I met a girl.”
“Oh, sweetie, don't worry.” Mom hugged me tight. “You'll make new friends soon. You don't have to make things up to try and feel better.”
“I'm not making things up.” I pushed out of her embrace. “We did the whole block together.”
My mother shook her head. “I was watching you. You walked around the block. But you were alone the whole time.”
Want more chills and thrills? Head to Fiona Riplee next! And remember, come back tomorrow to find out more about Gemma Brocato's new release, Exposed to Passion!