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Shrieking

By , east grand rapids, MI
It was Halloween night, and my mother had taken my younger sister trick or treating. I was home all alone watching, “Murderer on the Roof.” My locks of black hair hung past my ears streaming down my back. It was an old movie, the animation was horrible, and the fake blood looked like…well, fake blood. I picked up the remote and turned it off; this was completely lame- slumped on the couch, on the scariest of all nights. It was pathetic. I’d much rather be in the forest across the street. It’s even known to be haunted, but mother had forbidden me from going. Then I felt it- the want, the need to go out into the forest. I didn’t want to- I had to. Creeping out the back door I felt the need again, the need to go, slip off undetected, unnoticed. The empty street echoed as I clambered across it not bothering to look both ways. In my rush I nearly knocked over a kid in a werewolf costume. I barely had a chance to say, “sorry,” before I was off into the dark unknown.


Once in the forest I felt the leaves crunching underneath my feet, like old weary bones. The trees swayed in the wind, their bare branches looked like long fingers stretching out to get me. The moon and stars were hidden within the deep gray clouds making it difficult to see.



That’s when I heard it, a kind of whooshing sound. I turned around, but nothing was there. I continued to walk deep into the forest, the harsh wind slapping my face, rustling the leaves, and helping the cold seep into my already freezing skin. That’s when I got the sense that something was watching me, staring. I saw a glimpse of bright yellow eyes; a shiver ran down my spine, cold and unforgiving. “It’s nothing,” I told myself, but lying didn’t help. The path was becoming less and less worn, until there was no trail at all. But I continued walking.

I walked until I couldn’t recognize a single tree, not one rock; this was the farthest I’d ever gone into the forest. Whoosh. Something was in the trees! I was sure of it now. Not a bird, something larger, jumping tree limb to tree limb. I looked down at my glowing watch. It was midnight, and I could hear the distant church bells ringing dong…dong…dong .My hands were now quivering, but not from the cold; it was from the pure fear running through my veins. All that I knew was collapsing around me like a line of dominoes, each one falling and clattering to the ground. The moon then rose out of hiding and was center stage.

As the moon took its rightful place in the sky, I saw its silhouette tall and dark among the trees. I started to back away, toward home, toward safety, toward reality. But I stopped walking; I yet again felt that need to stay. I couldn’t see it any more. The light was gone, and terror overtook my body, swallowing me alive. Numbness coated me, so thick I couldn’t move. The final dong from the clock echoed throughout the forest, whispered in my ear like the maker of fear and fright, the beholder of death, the grim. That’s when I knew it; that’s when I knew I was going to die.

I heard a voice speak to me from deep within the trees. “Alone in the forest on Halloween night? You know someone might try to…get you.” My scream pierced the night, like long sharp claws through blood sodden flesh. Unnerving, blood curling, shrieking. Each Halloween thousands scream just like this. There is only one name for it- the scream of death. If you listen closely you can hear them, every last one. Can you hear the shrieking?





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