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A Haunted Trail

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The crunch of gravel as I walked up the trail in the dark woods grated on my frazzled nerves. For some unknown reason I had decided to be uncharacteristically courageous a go down the trail with less than half of my original Girl Scouts troop and a few willing mothers. Three of my close friends bailed as soon as they heard the faux-pained moans and groans of the people that were in the wooden coffins placed around the beginning of the woods. I was mildly shocked since we had talked about the annual Girl Scouts Haunted Trail excessively all week, to the point where our 4th grade teacher Ms. Jackson separated our desks because we were a “distraction” to our classmates. Yet they had chickened out so quickly, but I realized that in the end it was for the best since I’d be able to rub their noses in it later. One girl even began to wail in hysterics when she heard the sound of fists beating against the inside of the coffins, the ‘undead’ frantically trying to escape from their confines. As soon as the crystalline tears leaked from her big blue eyes, one of the parent chaperones took her hand and quickly whisked her away to the clearing where other girls that had become petrified at the beginning of the trail gathered around the picnic tables with Capri Suns in their trembling hands. I scoffed at them. They were such children and I gave myself a mental pat on the back for being undaunted by the trail thus far. I turned to the person next to me and grabbed her hand, “Come on, mommy.” My mom smiled at me and we went deeper into the woods.

Ironically, the trail seemed relatively harmless as we continued to walk past the coffins. I became somewhat disappointed and thought of the girls that had absolutely feared this trail; and to think they were scared of the relatively frightful beginning. Soon I let go of my mother’s hand (I had been holding it since we began walking the Haunted Trail) and let my guard down. After all, how scary could this trail be? It appeared that our troop had gotten to a peaceful part of the trail and I could hear as we all released collective sighs of relief. Suddenly, a mixture of teenagers and adults jumped out at us dressed in zombie and vampire costumes. The vampire closest to me cocked his head to the side while looking at me and began to advance. The moonlight illuminated his face with an eerie glow, highlighting his stark white face and his irises that were outlined with crimson. My feet seemed to be super glued to the ground but were emancipated from the soil ground when he opened he mouth and I got an eyeful of fangs and blood. I ran for my life screaming and ran smack dab into my mother. Luckily, I had no reason to be embarrassed by my screams because I all the girls were screaming as well, my mother included. I buried my face in her stomach a willed my heart to calm down. I felt the same frantic staccato rhythm coming from my mom’s body and correctly assumed she was also frightened. “Taylor, we don’t have to walk down the rest of the trail if you don’t want to.” She said while clutching her chest. “No, I’m fine.” I forced my voice to display confidence and strength while I was crumbling on the inside. I could do this. We continued to walk down the trail, now clutching each others hands with an equal amount of force.
The Haunted Trail consisted of scary creatures jumping out at our troop, the next creature being more terrifying than the last. Finally, I thought as I saw the end of the trail—the trees were opening up to the clearing, its over. The woods were quiet and our troop was about 5 feet from the clearing. “Aaron Carter is so cute! I wonder if he’s a nice person ….” My best friend Carly contemplated aloud.
“He has to be,” Miranda answered, “Guys that can sing and dance have to be nice.”
I turned to my mom, after nodding absently in agreement with Miranda’s statement, when abruptly a chain saw turned on that sliced the quiet atmosphere in half. I was so startled that I jumped 6 feet into the air and on the way back down I wrapped arms and legs around my mom with all my might while she ran out of the woods at top speed. She kept on running even when we reached the clearing and didn’t stop until we reached the picnic tables. She put me down with steady hands as we giggled about how hysterical we just were but then she looked me straight in the eye with a serious expression, “Taylor, you have to promise me that we will never ever agree go into anything with the word, ‘haunted’ in the name.” I agreed right away and sealed it with a kiss and a pinky promise.





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