Pixels & Pages

Calling all creative teens! Send us your best poetry, stories, and artwork! Accepted entries will be featured on this page, with a chance to be published in Pixels & Pages, our annual Teen Magazine! Submit your work at any MCPL location, or online at www.mcpl.us/teenzone/publishing.
OCTOBER 25, 2012
The Nightmare of the Haunted House
                It was the week before Halloween, and I desperately needed a job. I couldn't afford the costume I wanted. So, to get the money to pay for it, I went out searching downtown.
                There were glamorous beauty salons, crowded grocery stores, and creepy, mysterious store outlets. Since it was close to Halloween, the haunted houses were just beginning to come together.
                That's when an idea rang in my head. I would be one of the clerks that locked up after the work day was over. I had heard horrible stories about the job. How brutes and demons lurked through the darkness of the haunted house. Many people didn't believe it, for they said the people who took the job, were just completely insane. I knew that it was a risk to take, but I needed the money and the risk was worth taking.
                I happily skipped to the nearest haunted house that was in my point of view. It had a large, torn tarp covering most of the building. The walls were made of rough cement and every few inches there seemed to be dents forged into the concrete. 
                A dusty old man slowly hobbled up to me. He had a long, wooden cane that seemed to be the only thing that kept him walking. His clothes were raggedy, with holes down the sides of his plaid shirt and rips in his denim jeans. He had a long, pearly white beard. Though it was tangled. And his crooked smile showed many rotten teeth.
                I smiled nervously back at him and said with a daring soul, "I was looking for a job and I thought I could close up the haunted house every night at midnight." I hollered. The old man started to laugh, like he thought it was some sort of joke. Drool dripped out of his mouth and soaked his long beard. Some dripped onto his arm, and that's when I noticed a dark, red scar. Three scratch marks dug deep into his skin. It seemed to glow an outrageous green when it hit the shadows, but when the light was struck onto it, it remained the same gleaming red of a normal scar. My eyebrows crinkled, how mysterious.  
                "Yeah, you can lock the ole place up, I'd rather not have to walk in the dark of the night. How about I pay you seven dollars a night?" his voice sounded scratchy, but he still seemed to be chuckling. Nodding my head, he handed me an old, clanky key. It was in the shape of what seemed to be a dragon. How unique. I smiled to the man and waved goodbye, telling him I would be there tomorrow night.
                The next night, I got there right at closing time. Couples strolled out, holding hands and staring into each other's eyes. Young children seemed to be looking both directions with alarmed looks on their faces as they ran to their parents and grasped onto their legs with utter fear. My lips curved downward as I watched all of the people scurry off. Digging into my pocket, I pulled out the key and headed to the door. The door was dusty and seemed like it was a thousand years old. The glass window on the door was cracked.
                 I was in the middle of locking the door, when I decided to walk through the haunted house to make sure nobody else was left inside. I stepped onto the floor panels and the floor creaked loudly. My eyes widened and I shook my head. What did I have to be scared of? As I kept on walking, skeletons and spiders jumped out at me in all directions. Maybe they were trying to pose a threat, but they just made me laugh hysterically.
                At the end of the haunted house, there was a mound of giant boulders. There seemed to be no reason for the boulders to be there. Strolling up to the mound of rocks, I poked one of the boulders and immediately tore my hand back, thinking something would pop out at me. Nothing happened. I glared at the boulders and started to walk back out of the haunted house.
                When I was almost back at the door, a loud rumbling stirred behind me. My eardrums shook and my stomach fell flat. That was not a good sound. I slightly turned my head sideways, just enough to see the boulders forming a beast. The boulders lifted into the air and banged into each other with an extreme force as the form of a dragon came to life. Taking a step back, gleaming red eyes turned to me and a piercing roar sent me hurtling backwards.
                Screaming madly, I tried to crawl to the door, while the dragon was clomping it's heavy stones after me. Smash, Smash, Smash. I felt my body shaking and I huddled into a dusty corner. Pulling my legs up to my chest, my breathing rapidly increased. I thought my life was now over.
                Seconds later, the beast was hanging above me. Its steamy breath cast down onto my fragile body. Cringing, I waited for the searing pain that would end my life.
                It seemed as if hours had passed, and still nothing happened. I opened one eye and the beast grinned wickedly at me. It's eyes turned a menacing green and its teeth dug into my arm. I wailed as the pain struck my body. The blood oozed over my thin legs and my arm that now seemed to be torn apart. Hot tears fell from my eyes as I tried to calm myself.
                 Finally, the terrible beast let go of my arm and tromped back to its pile. Suddenly, it fell back into the boulders it was before. I  looked down at my arm, and it wasn't bleeding, but it was glowing an illuminating green. I looked towards the door and the old man was standing in the cracked window, chuckling and holding up his glowing, green arm. I shook my head as if joking and gave the man a menacing grin. It seemed as if I had this scar for the rest of my life. The money was not worth the horror I had seen tonight.


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