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Scary Stories

TRANSCRIPT

JAI SRI RAM

SCARY STORIES

Compiled byS.Geethapriya

Price – Rs. 22.00

Published by

Sri Aanjineyaa Pathippagam

1849, P.K.N ROAD, MUTHU CYCLE COMPLEX,BYE PASS ROAD, SIVAKASI-626 189

CELL : 90034 - 58722

CONTENTS1. The Witch's Messengers 5

2. Helga The Witch 9

3. Snidely the Bridge Troll 14

4. The Skull Tree 18

5. Corpse 24

6. When shadows come 30

7. The Wild Night 37

8. Raw Head and Bloody Bones 41

9. The Devil on Washington Rock 49

10. The Death Waltz 53

11. Aunty Nelly's new house 58

CONTENTS12. John Smith's long curly bright red

hair

63

13. Peter's ghost dog 67

14. The helpful ghost 70

15. Screaming Jenny 74

16. Bloody Mary 78

17. The Candle 81

18. Night Dream 84

19. The Werewolf's Bride 89

20. Mr. Smith and the UFO 92

21. The Beck of Roses Red 95

5

1. The Witch's Messengers

The wind blowed in Maria's hair. It reminded her of the curse. She struggled on, the wind almost knocking her over the edge. 'Thalia!' she cried before stumbling on a pebble. 'Thalia!' Maria was looking for her long lost daughter and a fortune teller had told her to seek BloodhurstCave. Years of searching had made her desperate for help and she would go to every petty fortune teller, every fake oracle, just to be given some hope and then be beaten down. This was her last chance.Suddenly, in the distance Maria spotted a plume of red smoke. 'Thalia!' she cried  again and began to run. She stumbled again and her knees began bleeding but still Maria ran. When she got to the source, she found a hole, just large enough to walk into if she stooped. Maria checked her photo of the cave. Yep, this seemed right. She ducked and stepped in gingerly reaching out in the powerful darkness. She peered behind her. 

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The cliff face of Scurrying Ridge lay behind her. Maria shivered and carried on forward. 'Thalia?' she whispered loudly. Silence.Maria bit her lip and began to run. Her knees hurt and she was tired, but Maria was impatient. She kept bumping into the walls until she found what she was looking for. In a large room, deep inside a cave, on top of a ridge that was ten miles high, travelling on foot and horse, donkey and carriage, she had made it. In the room there was a witch, lighting blood red candles whilst chanting strange words. The witch didn't look up as Maria stepped into the pale light.'quis es?' asked the witch in a young voice.'Beg pardon ma'am, I do not speak that language.' Maria said uncertainly. The witch laughed a high, brittle laugh. 'Of course you do not, child. Here is the potion to make her wake.' the witch handed Maria a tiny vial, no bigger than a child's thumb. 'Through there.' she pointed behind her.Maria stepped into a tiny door, only just wide enough to let her through. In the room there was a stone bed. On the bed lay a young girl. She had been cursed by the witch after stealing some bread form the market and some lettuce form the witch's private stock. 

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Then (accidently) she had set fire to an important spell. So the witch had said she would sleep until one of her relatives discovered the curse and found the place to set her free. Maria took out the stopper with trembling fingers and poured it into Thalia's lips.The girl did not respond.Suddenly, her eyes opened. She was twelve, no older than the days she was cursed. Mother and daughter embraced and Maria smiled. It had been worth the journey to see her daughter. She was middle aged but too old for ten miles travel in one day. She was exhausted.'Good bye, my child.' Maria said through silent tears and helped Thalia up.'Mummy?' whispered Thalia. Maria nodded and sunk to the floor.'Good bye.' she whispered again and died. Thalia began to cry and the witch came in.'She made a great journey.' the witch said grimly and placed a finger on Maria's lips. Color shined in her face once again as Maria began to cough. 'Life.' the witch said quietly and disappeared suddenly. On the floor lay a pile of robes. On top was a piece of paper. Maria opened it and read it with a trembling voice to Thalia. It read:

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Dear Maria and Thalia,    You have passed my test and proved yourself worthy. You are witches of the highest kind. The ones who are noble and truthful. You must return to this place once a year and light the red candles, and then you will discover new truths each time. Your first truth lies here, on the back of this note. Turn it over. Maria turned over the paper and both women's faces filled with wonder. For on the back it said in curled writing: Have hope, children, for the noble king will rise in once more. Find him in the great cavern and wake him or he shall lie there and grow dusty. Find him, children, find him or when next he is needed and called, he shall sleep. Find him or forever bear the burden. For you are Queen Yia-Liheskia's messengers, messengers to the queen of the witches. That is your truth. Awaken the great king, known as King Lyanor, king of the centaurs, king of the elves, king of men.

- THE END -

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2. Helga The Witch

Helga's long matted hair fell over her coal black eyes.  She leaned over her crystal ball and shrieked, "Those children must be stopped!" Everywhere she looked there were children laughing and playing. It was enough to make any witch cranky.  But Helga was not just any witch.  She was one of the most powerful witches that had ever walked the earth, or flew in the sky, for that matter.  Helga raised her magic wand and cast this spell:Water play, water fun Makes me sick, I'll have not one Drop of water, left for playI cast this spell, right away. At that very moment, the sky turned black, the wind whistled through the trees and the magic took hold over the entire earth. Every drop of water, yes, every drop of water, vanished into thin air.  Bathtubs were dry, with little soapy boys and girls calling for their mothers. Children were left stranded halfway down hills on toboggans. The beaches were just a lot of sand and flopping fish. Everyone wondered what had happened. A little girl named Claire noticed the glow from the castle just before the darkness. 

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She had heard the stories of the wicked old witch that lived there.  She was afraid, but she had to find out if the witch had anything to do with the water disappearing. She walked up the creaky steps, and knocked on the castle door. The huge door half-opened. Helga's bony hand appeared.  Claire could only see a dark shadow flickering by the candlelight."What do you want? Be quick about it.  I have no patience for children," barked the witch. Claire stood tall and said boldly; "You must return the water!" Helga laughed, "What spirit for a puny little girl.  How amusing.  Why should I listen to such a mouse?" Claire cleared her throat, and then she said, "Surely a powerful witch such as yourself is willing to accept a challenge from a little mouse." "Challenge? What challenge? What could you possibly have to offer me?" asked the witch. "I bet, that before sunset, I can convince you to return the water." Claire swallowed a big gulp, and she added, "and if I fail, I will be your willing servant for the rest of my life." Helga grinned; this mousy little child was brave, but not too bright. "All right, you have a deal," Helga chuckled as she stepped out from the shadows. Claire stepped back, as the witch towered over her.

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She looked just like the witches Claire had read about in the fairy tales, only she was bigger, scarier, and smellier. Claire took a deep breath, and walked passed her into the castle.Helga looked puzzled when Claire took her shoes off. Claire said rather boldly, "What are you waiting for? You have to do as I do 'till sunset." When the witch took off her gray galoshes, her feet were shades of green, with warts protruding in every direction. "What now, you silly girl?" said the witch.  Claire dug a hole in the dirt floor, and asked the witch to fill it with water. Once this was done, she stuck her feet in the mud. "Surely you do not expect me to put my feet in there?" asked Helga. Claire nodded, then said, "Unless you wish to quit already?" The witch frowned, but when the cool mud squished through her toes, Helga cackled, "Child, you are making this too easy." "Next, I need a hoop, some water and soap." When Helga conjured up these supplies, Claire made a huge bubble, which glistened in the sun with all the different shades of the rainbow. "Ha!" said Helga, "that is child's play." Helga blew a bubble that grew bigger and bigger and bigger 'till it filled the room.  When it popped, water sprayed everywhere and Helga chuckled. 

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Claire was impressed but she tried not to show it. "I thought witches had magical powers.  Take me to the lake." Helga summoned her broom, and they flew off.  The lake was deserted, and there was not a drop of water in sight.  Claire turned to Helga and said, "I will need water, follow close behind." Claire ran splashing into the waves. Helga floundered in the water, but soon she was floating.  Claire had to wait for Helga to return to the shore.  Claire had already finished making a sandcastle.  Helga laughed, "You call that a castle?" Helga made a castle one hundred times the size, and she surrounded hers with a moat.  When a fire-breathing dragon appeared, Claire quickly stood up, and agreed she was beat on this one. "Where to now, my little servant girl? " Claire thought for a moment, then she smiled.  "To the amusement park," she responded.  Using some magic dust, there was a puff of smoke, and both were standing next to the log flume. As before, it was necessary for Helga to produce some water. As the two went hurling down the ride, Helga could be heard for miles letting out an earth shaking scream. Helga smiled briefly, but then her face was once again cold and gray.The sun was about to set.  Helga taunted, "Soon you will be feeding my pet lizards their bugs, my little one. You might as well give up now, victory is mine."

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Claire knew she only had one more chance. "Helga, please make it rain." Claire caught a drop of rain on her tongue.  Cool water splashed on Helga's face.  When she tasted her first raindrop on her tongue, her cold exterior melted away. A good witch now stood before Claire.  Helga smiled at Claire, "you are both brave and clever my little one.  You win." Brightly colored lights flashed across the sky as Helga spoke these words,Water sweet, water cold Fall to earth as in days of oldThis witch now knowsThe richness water bestows.  From that day forward, Helga and Claire were best friends. So if you ever see a large angel next to a small angel in the fresh fallen snow, look around. Helga and Claire might just be playing in your backyard.

- THE END -

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3. Snidely the Bridge Troll

Once upon a time there was a troll that lived up under The Creek Bridge down at Low Hollow creek. He was a short ugly fellow, but very strong. His hair was straight, red, and stuck out like a mop. His skin was really wrinkly and felt like sandpaper. His clothes were always smelly. His name was "Snidely."One day, Snidely was sleeping and something woke him up.Someone was coming! It was a young boy and girl in a carriage.

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Every time someone tried to cross the bridge, Snidely would jump out in front, cross his arms and demand one Dollar. "You cannot cross my bridge without giving me a Dollar first," said Snidely, with a scowl on his face. If you didn't pay, he would throw you over the side. The boy and girl in the carriage were so scared they could hardly speak. "Ok, we will pay," said the boy to Snidely. "We have to get home before the storm," he said to the girl. Snidely let them through and waved as they got to the other side and rode out of sight. He really wasn't mean, he just wanted to see if people would really pay. Back under the bridge again, Snidely began to hear some wind and it began to rain. It rained harder and harder. Snidely began to worry as the water started to rise in the creek. He was a strong bully, but he could not swim.Higher and higher it rose. Snidely began to sweat. Snidely had to do something quickly or he would be washed down the river.He got out from under the bridge and went over to the tall fur tree next to the creek. He figured he would climb up high enough that he would not have to worry about the water.

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Just as he began to climb, he heard, "Stop, you can't climb this tree without paying me Five Dollars." It was Chunky the gorilla. Chunky was a nice gorilla, but he was very tired of seeing Snidely causing so much trouble with the people crossing the bridge."I only have four dollars," said Snidely. "I guess you'll have to swim for it then," said Chunky to Snidely. "I don't know how to swim," said Snidely. "I will surely drown! "That's a bummer, you should have saved your money" said Chunky. "I tell you what I'll do" said Chunky. "If you will agree not to charge people for crossing the bridge anymore, I will not only let you climb my tree, but you can come into my house and have dinner with me, as I was just getting ready to sit down and eat.""It's a deal," said Snidely.They sat down, ate dinner, and became very good friends. From that day forward, Snidely became known as the nice troll that lived under the bridge. Whenever someone came down in the hollow to cross The Creek Bridge, Snidely would walk and talk with the them as they went across.

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Sometimes he would even sell them drinks and food from the little store he started next to the bridge. Now people come to The Creek Bridge, whenever they can, to see Snidely. He is actually a real fun guy!

The end.

Snidely learned a valuable lesson that he kept for life."You should never bully people or act greedily towards others, because you never know when they may be in a position to really offer you a helping hand."

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4. The Skull Tree

All the children in the Glentown neighborhood knew

about the skull tree. It was just one of those things that,

hey, you know, kids know about. This is the story of

some of those kids.

Ally and Ryan Burch lived on Glenhaven Drive a couple of blocks from their school, Glenhaven Elementary, and the soccer fields. They also had a convenience store nearby that sold really good frozen cola and cherry drinks. On some school nights after soccer practice, they would ride their bikes by the store and buy a frozen drink. Ally liked the cola flavor, Ryan liked cherry. So before it became dark, they would pull in, park their bikes, buy those drinks, and take off for home--pedaling and slurping.

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But as you probably know by now, all fun things can have a drawback, or say, a downside. Ally and Ryan knew that they couldn't linger too long in getting home. Because if the darkness of nightfall set in, the big, beautiful oak tree located between the convenience store and their street, Glenhaven Drive, would drastically change. The tree had a big round black hole in it. This hole was about 15 feet up the trunk of that tree. In the daytime this looked like a hole any normal tree would have.But at night, as all the kids in this neighborhood knew, a big white skull would appear in the black hole. So the kids all dreaded going by this tree at night.So everyday when soccer practice was over, Ally and Ryan would stop by the convenience store, quickly buy their frozen drinks, and pedal and slurp all the way home.One night Ryan's coach kept him late, and Ally nervously waited for him on the bleachers. Finally it was time to go, but it was almost dark. They hopped onto their bikes and began to pedal home. "I guess there's no way we can stop for a frozen drink tonight," said Ryan. "No way," said Ally "let's just get home".But the night came too quickly, and it became dark as they pedaled.

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When they were almost to the tree, Ryan said, "Ally, don't look at the tree." So she squelched her eyes shut for a couple of seconds, but she had to keep her eyes open to ride the bike. And then curiosity got the better of her. She looked up, and there it was, the huge white object in the black hole of the tree. It was the skull! Her legs felt wobbly like jello and somehow she just barely managed to ride that bike as steady as she could. She didn't stop pedaling hard until she saw her driveway. And Ryan, too, had looked up, because he just couldn't help it! And he, too, had been pedaling fast."Whew" he said as he pulled into the driveway with Ally. "I'll never stay late after practice again." So they made it home every night after that, long before the darkness set in.But on one particular night things were different. It was October 31st, Halloween night. Ally, Ryan, and their good friend Andrew who lived next door to them were trick-or-treating all over the neighborhood. Andrew really wanted to fill his pillowcase all the way to the top with candy."Come on Andrew," Ally told him, "you've got enough candy. We'll never make it home before dark if you make us go to every house on every street."

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Ryan said, "Yeah, she's right Andrew. We've all got enough candy to last 3 months.""Just this last street," said Andrew. "If we do this last street, I'll beat my own record for the most candy collected at Halloween"."Well, we'll sit here and wait for you" said Ally, "but now it's getting dark and we'll have to walk by skull tree in the pitch black of the night." While Andrew went house to house, up and down the street, Ally and Ryan crouched down by the curb and sorted through their bags of candy. "This is definitely enough candy for me" Ryan said. "Me too" said Ally. Finally Andrew walked back to them. He was finished. Ally and Ryan stood up and they all began the long walk home in the dark. Darkness began to fall, and pretty soon, they all took their masks off because they just couldn't see a thing peering through the little mask eye holes in the dark. And with each step homeward, their bags of candy became heavier and heavier.Ally could see the skull tree off in the distance, and she told the boys, "When we get sort of close to the tree, let's run as fast as we can until we're way past it."Andrew said, "I'll never make it, this candy is too heavy."

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"Well, TRY!" said Ryan. "When I say go, make a run for it!"So when they were almost up to the tree, Ryan yelled "GO!" and they took off. But Andrew fell behind as he had to lug a heavier bag. "Help me! Help me!" he yelled. So Ally and Ryan turned back and grabbed his heavy, bulging pillowcase. As they tightened their grip and began to run, the pillowcase started to rip and the candy burst out all over the sidewalk, scattering everywhere. Ally looked up and realized they were next to the skull tree. "It's right above us" she whimpered, and the boys looked up in dread. "We've got to pick up this candy" said Andrew. So they began quickly scooping it up and stuffing it back into Andrew's torn pillowcase. As they did this, they heard a strange eerie noise. It sounded as if it came from the skull in the tree and sounded like "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!". Leaving the candy behind, they ran across the street to see what was happening, and to get away from it, whatever IT was.As they watched, the skull became wider and grew wings. It lifted out of the tree and smoothly soared up into the sky.

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"It's a skull with wings" said Ally.

"No, said Ryan, "It's an owl . . . a beautiful owl. All this time we've been so scared of something that is actually a great creature. Whew! Now we can relax."

"No", said Andrew, "I'm still going for a record. We've got to get the rest of this candy picked up!"

THE END

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5. Corpse

Aaahhhh! Out of nowhere came the murderous scream in the midnight hour in Lord Darberfield’s castle.  The maids, butlers and cooks were all the residents who lived in the castle and they came rushing out of their bed rooms holding their candles in their shaking hands and looking pale with utter fright, nearly all of them had chills running down their spines when they heard the bloody scream.  They looked at each other in puzzlement and ran down the stairs in such speed with curiosity into the Lord Darberfield’s room and saw a horrible sight a complete shock overwhelmed everyone in the castle as they stood still their frozen eyes focused on the stain blooded carpet and the person’s chopped of hand which was sitting on the blood, but for some strange reason there wasn’t any sign of a weapon near the blood or the hand.  All of the maids were shivering, but only one of  the maid’s  Miss Smithers was the first one to pop the question because the rest of them were still frozen stiff with shock ‘who’s blood and chopped off hand is this’ asked Miss Simthers timidly.

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One of the butlers Mr.  Woods replied bluntly ‘I don’t know miss but I am guessing it must be someone outside this castle as everyone is here present except for the Lord’.‘Shouldn’t we call the police’ Shouted Miss bates she was one of the cooks in the castle.‘No we can’t because the police might suspect us after all we do live in the castle and we maybe accused of disposing  the body somewhere and they will question us down to the police station,’ replied Mr.  Woods, who had sweat drops slowing pouring down his face.‘Where is the body’ asked Miss Stevenson she was another maid who looked directly at the angry servant Mr. Hobbs.  ‘What do I look like detective Colombo, I don’t know the killer must have buried the body or thrown it into a river’ said Mr. Hobbs, who was always sarcastic even in serious cases like these.As soon as he said that the other maids and servants got slightly suspicious of him they thought in their minds could he have been involved in the murder or was he the killer.‘Well what are we going to do’ said Miss Betsey out of the blue she was one of the youngest maids in the castle, she was the one who asked the most important question.‘The first thing we should do is find out who’s blood and

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hand this belongs to and see if we can clean the stains of the carpet because if anyone comes in the castle they are most likely to get suspicious and no one believe that we are innocent’ Replied Mr.  Woods He was always kept the head of the castle every time when Lord Darberfield was away on a trip or a meeting with the queen because he was a trustworthy reliable butler.  Before they all went to bed each and every person in the castle searched for any more clues that the murderer left behind and for the body but found nothing no weapon no other traces of blood no other body parts in the castle.The next day everyone searched for more evidence and finding the missing body.The servants went digging in the castle gardens and grounds, some of the cooks searched in the maze and the butlers went and searched around the woods which was 10 miles away from the castle, but no one found any clues or no such evidence that can help solve the investigation so it was left to be a mystery as they couldn’t find the body to identify the person or the clues to find out who the killer is.  The only way they can find out whose blood and hand this is and the killer is by reporting to the police as they have forensic testing equipment there.  Miss Smithers was getting worried and wanted to call

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Lord Darberfield as he was away on a camping tree with an old friend.‘I am getting very worried I am calling Lord Darberfield he will know what to do about this terrible event after all this is his castle.’ ‘No we mustn’t disturb him on his outing after all he needs a mini holiday to go camping away from all the stress besides we are capable of handling this investigation ourselves without any help,’ said Mr. Woods, who for some strange reason had gone very squeaky on the voice.  So as the days went by everyone searched for the missing body and more clues to track down the killer, they were also wondering  why Lord Daberfield hasn’t returned from his camping trip as he was only going for a few days and it has been two weeks since he hasn’t come back.  So the servants decided to ring him up despite Mr.  Woods’s permission.   For some strange reason Lord Daberfield didn’t answer.The days soon passed to months and the months soon passed to years and yet no one has seen Lord Daberfield and now everyone had given up search for the missing body.  But now they were more careful in security of the castle making sure no stranger or an unwelcome guest penetrates the castle grounds.They had a sinking feeling that he might be dead as they went to the mountains for the tenth time where he had

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last camped and was no where to be found, the residents searched outside of the mountains asked passer bys no one had seen him or his close friend Count Darcy, some servants began to think he and his close friend have completely disappeared with out a single trace.Having the castle to themselves, they were free and did what they wanted to do so other were happy although the residents did miss Lord Daberfield as he was a kind lord always considerate to the servants and butlers and grateful he wasn’t selfish at all even though he was filthy rich and had no wife but not all of the residents but which one.One day Mr. Woods decided to go to the woods he brought a shovel with him, he went deep into the woods and started digging right in the centre of the whole forest, he dug and dug until he had uncovered a leg and a tie which appeared to belong to Lord Daberfield, so he was the person who had been murdered and his body was buried in the heart of his woods.   How did Mr. Woods know where the body was, and for what possible reason did he want to dig it up for.  Today it was Lord Daberfield’s birthday. He was going to be 64 years old and Mr. Woods wanted to give a last present to him; a rose, and when giving him the rose he said ‘Happy Birthday Lord Daberfield, enjoy your everlasting sleep and one more thing thanks ever so much for the money and your castle’.

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Mr. Woods then dug him up again and gave an evil wicked laugh; he was the murder of Lord Daber field.  Lord Daberfield was in his room that night  when his butler came out of the blue, he got a gun out from his pocket and didn’t hesitate to shoot, he shot him 3 three times and at his hand which came off, the scream was then heard so he had thrown the body over the window and it landed on top of the maze he then went upstairs and acted shocked and surprised as the rest of the residents were the next day he took the body and buried it in the woods and told a lie to the servants, maids and cooks that he searched for the body in the woods.  So you see the murder of Lord Daberfield was all planned by one wicked butler which was once a faithful butler and Lord Daberfields favorite and a friend of his.  And what is even worse is that the servants, maids and cooks didn’t even have a clue that it was him and him alone that had killed Lord Daberfield so no one knew who the killer really was and they will never know…….

- THE END -

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6. When shadows come

"Creepy here," Melanie said, looking around grandma and grandpa’s farm in the country. "It's cool," Adam added cheerfully. His sister’s scowl made him change his mind.“I mean, I’d rather be home with my friends,” he stammered.Five-year old Colin shrugged his right shoulder. As mom and dad drove away, his waggling fingers meant, "See you later, alligators." Shaped shadows covered the ancient looking farmhouse. An owl hooted. Trees shook in the wind. And the moon’s face gleamed like a toothpaste commercial. “It’s so dark here,” said Melanie. “Is that why you have the flashlight, Grandpa?” Adam asked. “Yes. Besides, our lights went out a few times today,” grandpa answered.  Climbing the stairway seemed higher than the tree house in their backyard. Finally, adults and children arrived at a large bedroom.“This is where you boys can sleep,” grandpa said.Colin held tightly onto his teddy bear.

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His neck hurt looking up at the high ceiling. “And Melanie,” grandma said, “Your room is just next door.”“Can’t they afford stronger light bulbs?” Melanie whispered to Adam. Shadows were everywhere. Cobwebs filled with spiders must be around too, she wondered. "Me scared," Colin said. "Not me," boasted Adam.Their grandparents made sure the children were comfortable with extra blankets. "Don't let any strange sounds bother you," grandpa said with a wink.Adams' eyes grew large. Shivers slithered down his neck. The adults 'yawned' loudly then headed off to bed. Colin changed into nightclothes and jumped under the covers. Melanie and Adam decided to watch some TV downstairs in the family room? Only one channel worked. “Let’s explore instead,” Adam suggested. The building seemed large as a castle, and he loved to wander through old houses.Suddenly the ceiling lights went out. They sat quietly, intakes of breath sounding loud in the stillness.

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A grandfather clock “ticked” off the hours loudly. Trees scraped against the roof. Was that a loose shutter banging in the wind? Melanie thought.“Hey, this is just like a horror movie on TV!” Adam exclaimed.“SSSH!” Melanie said from the darkness. “Something’s moving in the hall.”    “Could be grandma or grandpa?” Adam asked.“Maybe it’s Colin sleepwalking,” answered Melanie. Both children got up, pressing their hands along the surface of the wall. Melanie found a doorknob and pulled. “It must be a closet,” she said. Her fingers wrapped around a flashlight on the dusty shelf. “It works,” she said happily.“Just like finding treasure,” Adam said. Now to find the electrical box, Melanie thought. A large spider web stared through the flashlight beam. "YAHHH!" Adam screamed. "That shadow moved!" he pointed."Don't be such a sissy," Melanie huffed."It's true, I saw something." Adam moved the beam of light up and down the corner of the room. Nothing.

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"But, it was there," he whimpered.Melanie was sure she heard something too. But didn't want to frighten her brother. To her, it sounded like voices on another floor.  “Look,“ she said. “Another set of stairs.” To get to them, brother and sister had to step around old barrels, a bicycle and piles of boxes. "What’s in them?" Adam asked."SSHHH! Not so loud, you might wake up grandma and grandpa. Probably old newspaper and magazines," Melanie answered. “Any rum in those barrels?” Adam asked. “That’s what pirates drink. Maybe grandpa was one.” Melanie placed her hand on Adam's shoulder. “Don’t be silly,” she said. “They probably only drink weak tea.”Voices were definitely coming from the top of the stairs. Adam followed his sister as they went to investigate. It was hard to breathe from the dust. “Why doesn’t grandma and grandpa ever clean up here?” he quietly asked. Melanie stopped suddenly and her brother crashed into her. A shadowy figure stood at the top of the stairs! Someone was tying up what looked like a small bundle.

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Then a child's sobbing sounded familiar. Adam shone the flashlight and spotted Colin. “Help me,” he said, rolling around as if trying to escape from something. It was not the right time to ask why he wasn’t in bed, so Melanie and Adam charged up the stairs. But, Adam tripped and lost his flashlight. “Oh no!” he yelled.Just before the lights came back on, someone screamed. And a thud landed below them. Adam and Melanie found a rope hanging from the banister and pulled it up. As they pulled, pieces of straw kept falling off. “Where did Colin go?” Melanie asked. Instead of answering, Adam asked, “How can grandma and grandpa sleep with this racket going on?” Suddenly laughter erupted from the loft above them. It was hard to see, with only a 25-watt bulb in the hallway. Old family pictures covered the walls. And brother and sister could find no windows to look through. “Colin, you up there?” they called. “Grandma! Grandpa!” Both children climbed the last flight of stairs, finding a door leading to a balcony.They breathed in fresh air.

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Then hurried down an outside fire escape.Shouts of, "There they are!" greeted them. Three figures with droopy hats and long coats stood outside the barn. They were pointing and waving long sticks. Melanie and Adam jumped from the remaining steps. They had to get away. Mom and dad should be returning soon. Later they could all search for Colin. Adam needed someone to explain what was happening. One of the shadows ran forward and whacked him on the backside with a large broom. "Ouch, that hurt!" he yelped. It felt like a porcupine quill pierced him.  The wind began to howl, and another shadowy figure ran towards them. Melanie shouted, “Let’s scat!” And feet flew quickly as a rabbit chased by coyotes. Gusts of wind pushed Adam ahead of his sister.  Suddenly, their parents drove up. What a tale they began to tell. Before you could say, "What's for breakfast?" a decision was made. Parents and children marched towards the farmhouse. They were like a posse on their way to rescue Colin.As they approached, three figures came out of the barn. One was quite short.“Colin?” Adam gasped.

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The others were grandpa and grandma.“What’s going on?” Melanie asked.All four adults exploded with laughter. Colin did his little boy giggle, since he and teddy were part of the joke.“Remember?” mom said. “You thought coming to grandma’s and grandpa’s might be too dull. Well, what do you think now?” she chuckled.The older children shook their heads and finally smiled. They were upset at first, but soon joined in the laughing. Yes, the joke was on them.Melanie turned to her mom. “May we come back again next weekend?” she asked.

- THE END -

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7. The Wild Night

The night was cold.  A breeze chilled the back of my neck as I stepped closer to the old oak. 'Mother Ursula?' I asked nervously.  The night was silent. I straightened up slightly.'Oh, Mother Ursula?Suddenly, the night exploded.  The tree's leaves burst into fire and an owl hooted. A red figure rose out of a circular patch of soil in front of me.  It cleared to become the demonic shape of a hunch-backed woman with a long crooked nose. 'I have been expecting one so young!' the figure crowed.  'One to swap places with!' The breath left my body.  So it was true.  Mother Ursula was real. My friend, Alex Tupperman, had told me the tale and it had never left my mind, now, at fourteen years old, I knew the truth.He hadn't been lying.  She was real. Mother Ursula had been a healing woman four-hundred years ago. She was burnt as a witch, but had left her spirit on the patch of earth where her bonfire had been built and she had died. And now, at midnight on Halloween, she had risen again to swap places for one month with anyone foolish enough to go near Old Oak Way at night. 

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And the person she had swapped places with would vanish of the face of the earth, never to be seen again. Alex was the one who had dared me to go there, called me a wimp. And now I would die.I couldn't scream. I was choking; I stepped back and fell into a pit that had not been there before. Mother Ursula stepped closer, out of her circle of earth.Suddenly, she screamed an ear-splitting scream that made my spine tingle. A fire had appeared in the circle of earth. My friend Alex stepped out from behind the old oak and was shining a torch in her face. Mother Ursula screamed and vanished in a puff of dark red smoke. A sob rose in my throat. Tears streamed down my face. Alex peered down at me and reached out a hand. I took it and rose unsteadily to my feet.'Are you all right mate?' he asked in his strong Australian accent.I nodded because my mouth was too dry to speak.'You saved me.' I said eventually 'How? You told me there was no saving captured souls!' Alex nodded grimly. It was obvious he too was petrified by what he had seen.'My sister told me last night. Mother Ursula can only capture the souls when they are totally alone. 

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So I crept behind the tree as she rose and shut my eyes and covered my ears so I wouldn't realise what she was doing. Then, I decided it was time to save you so I stepped out and Mother Ursula was bound by her curse not to capture you soul. Now Mother Ursula shall be bound to that circle for another year. But you are right. There is no saving captured souls. But you can stop her form capturing you in the first place.' I leant against the tree. And that was when I saw it. Just behind the  oak, near the circle of earth where Mother Ursula had rose from the dead, was a stone, about a foot long and a foot wide. Engraved into the stone were strange words, reading: And here shall Ursula Blake, otherwise known as Mother Ursula, be executed by burning.

Et carése le fortuné dea se bruo capúlenevoir se vour le cour madwa.And thereson deevere consorté la macronté. I shivered. 'C'mon Alex, let's leave.' I said quietly and we ran away as fast as we could.The next day, Mum said to me 'Jo, you're looking pale. What's wrong?'

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I turned to her and whispered something but she couldn't hear.'You'll have to speak louder than that.' I repeated myself louder but faster.'I'm-saw-Old-Mother-Ursuala-and-she-almost-got-me!' Mum laughed but her laugh got deeper and deeper until it was Mother Ursula's harsh croak.'You'll never be free of me boy!' she cackled and then all went dark.

 - THE END -

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8. Raw Head and Bloody Bones

S. E. Schlosser

Way back in the deep woods there lived a scrawny old woman who had a reputation for being the best conjuring woman in the Ozarks. With her bedraggled black-and-gray hair, funny eyes - one yellow and one green - and her crooked nose, Old Betty was not a pretty picture, but she was the best there was at fixing what ailed a man, and that was all that counted. Old Betty's house was full of herbs and roots and bottles filled with conjuring medicine. The walls were lined with strange books brimming with magical spells. Old Betty was the only one living in the Hollow who knew how to read; her granny, who was also a conjurer, had taught her the skill as part of her magical training. Just about the only friend Old Betty had was a tough, mean, ugly old razorback hog that ran wild around her place. It rooted so much in her kitchen garbage that all the leftover spells started affecting it.Some folks swore up and down that the old razorback hog sometimes walked upright like man. One fellow claimed he'd seen the pig sitting in the rocker on Old Betty's porch, chattering away to her while she stewed

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up some potions in the kitchen, but everyone discounted that story on account of the fellow who told it was a little too fond of moonshine. "Raw Head" was the name Old Betty gave the razorback, referring maybe to the way the ugly creature looked a bit like some of the dead pigs come butchering time down in Hog-Scald Hollow. The razorback didn't mind the funny name. Raw Head kept following Old Betty around her little cabin and rooting up the kitchen leftovers. He'd even walk to town with her when she came to the local mercantile to sell her home remedies. Well, folks in town got so used to seeing Raw Head and Old Betty around the town that it looked mighty strange one day around hog-driving time when Old Betty came to the mercantile without him. "Where's Raw Head?" the owner asked as he accepted her basket full of home-remedy potions. The liquid in the bottles swished in an agitate manner as Old Betty said: "I ain't seen him around today, and I'm mighty worried. You seen him here in town?" "Nobody's seen him around today. They would've told me if they did," the mercantile owner said. "We'll keep a lookout for you." "That's mighty kind of you. If you see him, tell him to

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come home straightaway," Old Betty said.The mercantile owner nodded agreement as he handed over her weekly pay. Old Betty fussed to herself all the way home. It wasn't like Raw Head to disappear, especially not the day they went to town. The man at the mercantile always saved the best scraps for the mean old razorback, and Raw Head never missed a visit. When the old conjuring woman got home, she mixed up a potion and poured it onto a flat plate. "Where's that old hog got to?" she asked the liquid. It clouded over and then a series of pictures formed. First, Old Betty saw the good-for-nothing hunter that lived on the next ridge sneaking around the forest, rounding up razorback hogs that didn't belong to him. One of the hogs was Raw Head. Then she saw him taking the hogs down to Hog-Scald Hollow, where folks from the next town were slaughtering their razorbacks. Then she saw her hog, Raw Head, slaughtered with the rest of the pigs and hung up for gutting. The final picture in the liquid was the pile of bloody bones that had once been her hog, and his scraped-clean head lying with the other hogsheads in a pile. Old Betty was infuriated by the death of her only friend. It was murder to her, plain and simple. Everyone in

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three counties knew that Raw Head was her friend, and that lazy, hog-stealing, good-for-nothing hunter on the ridge was going to pay for slaughtering him.Now Old Betty tried to practice white conjuring most of the time, but she knew the dark secrets too. She pulled out an old, secret book her granny had given her and turned to the very last page. She lit several candles and put them around the plate containing the liquid picture of Raw Head and his bloody bones. Then she began to chant: "Raw Head and Bloody Bones. Raw Head and Bloody Bones." The light from the windows disappeared as if the sun had been snuffed out like a candle. Dark clouds billowed into the clearing where Old Betty's cabin stood, and the howl of dark spirits could be heard in the wind that pummeled the treetops. "Raw Head and Bloody Bones. Raw Head and Bloody Bones." Betty continued the chant until a bolt of silver lightning left the plate and streaked out threw the window, heading in the direction of Hog-Scald Hollow. When the silver light struck Raw Head's severed head, which was piled on the hunter's wagon with the other hog heads, it tumbled to the ground and rolled until it

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was touching the bloody bones that had once inhabited its body. As the hunter's wagon rumbled away toward the ridge where he lived, the enchanted Raw Head called out: "Bloody bones, get up and dance!" Immediately, the bloody bones reassembled themselves into the skeleton of a razorback hog walking upright, as Raw Head had often done when he was alone with Old Betty. The head hopped on top of his skeleton and Raw Head went searching through the woods for weapons to use against the hunter. He borrowed the sharp teeth of a dying panther, the claws of a long-dead bear, and the tail from a rotting raccoon and put them over his skinned head and bloody bones. Then Raw Head headed up the track toward the ridge, looking for the hunter who had slaughtered him. Raw Head slipped passed the thief on the road and slid into the barn where the hunter kept his horse and wagon. Raw Head climbed up into the loft and waited for the hunter to come home. It was dusk when the hunter drove into the barn and unhitched his horse. The horse snorted in fear, sensing the presence of Raw Head in the loft. Wondering what was disturbing his usually-calm horse, the hunter looked around and saw a large pair of eyes

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staring down at him from the darkness in the loft. The hunter frowned, thinking it was one of the local kids fooling around in his barn. "Land o' Goshen, what have you got those big eyes fer?" he snapped, thinking the kids were trying to scare him with some crazy mask. "To see your grave," Raw Head rumbled very softly. The hunter snorted irritably and put his horse into the stall. "Very funny. Ha,ha," The hunter said. When he came out of the stall, he saw Raw Head had crept forward a bit further. Now his luminous yellow eyes and his bears claws could clearly be seen. "Land o' Goshen, what have you got those big claws fer?" he snapped. "You look ridiculous." "To dig your grave…" Raw Head intoned softly, his voice a deep rumble that raised the hairs on the back of the hunter's neck. He stirred uneasily, not sure how the crazy kid in his loft could have made such a scary sound. If it really was a crazy kid. Feeling a little spooked, he hurried to the door and let himself out of the barn. Raw Head slipped out of the loft and climbed down the side of the barn behind him.

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With nary a rustle to reveal his presence, Raw Head raced through the trees and up the path to a large, moonlight rock. He hid in the shadow of the huge stone so that the only things showing were his gleaming yellow eyes, his bear claws, and his raccoon tail. When the hunter came level with the rock on the side of the path, he gave a startled yelp. Staring at Raw Head, he gasped: "You nearly knocked the heart right out of me, you crazy kid! Land o' Goshen, what have you got that crazy tail fer?" "To sweep your grave…" Raw Head boomed, his enchanted voice echoing through the woods, getting louder and louder with each echo. The hunter took to his heels and ran for his cabin. He raced passed the old well-house, passed the wood pile, over the rotting fence and into his yard. But Raw Head was faster. When the hunter reached his porch, Raw Head leapt from the shadows and loomed above him. The hunter stared in terror up at Raw Head's gleaming yellow eyes in the ugly razorback hogshead, his bloody bone skeleton with its long bear claws, sweeping raccoon's tail and his gleaming sharp panther teeth. "Land o' Goshen, what have you got those big teeth fer?" he gasped desperately, stumbling backwards from the terrible figure before him.

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"To eat you up, like you wanted to eat me!" Raw Head roared, descending upon the good-for-nothing hunter. The murdering thief gave one long scream in the moonlight. Then there was silence, and the sound of crunching. Nothing more was ever seen or heard of the lazy hunter who lived on the ridge. His horse also disappeared that night. But sometimes folks would see Raw Head roaming through the forest in the company of his friend Old Betty. And once a month, on the night of the full moon, Raw Head would ride the hunter's horse through town, wearing the old man's blue overalls over his bloody bones with a hole cut-out for his raccoon tail. In his bloody, bear-clawed hands, he carried his raw, razorback hogshead, lifting it high against the full moon for everyone to see.

- THE END -

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9. The Devil on Washington Rock

The dream was so vivid, she didn't realize at first that it was a dream. The party was crowded, the guests cheerful, the food delicious. Then a rumor began to circulate among the guests. The Devil was coming to the party. The Devil was on the way. She didn't pay much attention at first. Until a hush came over the crowd. Turning to see what it was, she saw a tall, handsome blond man standing in the doorway greeting his hostess. Around her, the murmurs began. It was the Devil. He had come.She watched out of the corner of her eye as the Devil made the rounds of the room. He looked so ordinary, it was hard to believe he was the Devil. Then he came to her group. As soon as he joined them, she knew the rumor was true. This was not someone to be trifled with. Frightened, she grabbed for a Bible her hostess had left lying on a nearby end-table and threw it at the Devil. For a moment, their eyes locked. The Devil's eyes were full of ferocious anger, terrible evil, and malevolent malice directed right at her. She thought she was dead.

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Then she woke, and lay trembling in her bed with the light on until dawn. The next morning was the end of term. Her parents and younger sister helped her clear out her dorm room and packed the car. It was dusk before they settled into their seats for the two-hour drive home. They talked excitedly as they drove towards their home in New Jersey, interrupting each other often, contradicting themselves and laughing. It was good to be together again.They were fifteen minutes from home when they left the highway. Her father turned onto Washington Rock Road that led up the mountain, through the C-bend around the Washington Rock State Park and then down the other side of the mountain. As they drove up the steep hill, a noisy motorcycle tail-gated them, trying to pass even though the road was windy and narrow. Finally the hill grew so steep that the driver was forced to slow down and eventually, they pulled away from him entirely. The car reached the top of the hill and started around the long C curve that took them through one end of the park. The park was dark and still. The whole family automatically looked to their right, out over the gorgeous view of the New York City skyline.

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They all saw the small park cart, sitting next to the road just inside the park boundary. It was parked directly underneath the only streetlight, where you couldn't fail to see it. And inside the vehicle.... She started trembling fiercely. Inside the vehicle was a tall, handsome blond man with eyes full of ferocious anger, terrible evil, and malevolent malice. It was the man from her dream. The man everyone said was the Devil! The tension in the car was palpable. She had mentioned her dream to no one. But her parents and her sister all felt the evil pulsing from the still figure in the cart. No one spoke as they drove past the man.Suddenly, the engine gave a strange cough. Her father gunned the motor, once, twice in a silent, desperate battle to keep moving. She gripped her hands together, praying silently as she stared at the figure opposite their car.The engine caught again and her father pressed down hard on the accelerator. Then they were past the man and roaring away from the park and towards the downward slope of the mountain. She was sweating profusely, unable to stop shaking. She looked back out the window at the man in the park, and saw the motorcycle come roaring at last to the top of the hill.

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It drove half-way around the C-bend and as it drew opposite the figure in the cart, she heard the engine of the motorcycle cough. And then stall. And then the park was out of view and they were riding silently towards home, not daring to speak until they were safely indoors. She often wondered what happened to the man on the motorcycle.

- THE END -

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10. The Death Waltz

Within an hour of my arrival at Fort Union, my new post, my best friend Johnny came to the barracks with a broad grin and a friendly clout on the shoulder. He'd hurried over as soon as he heard I had come, and we talked 'til sunset and beyond. As soon as Johnny mentioned Celia's name, I knew he had it bad for her. To hear him talk, Celia was the most amazing woman who had ever graced God's green earth. She was the sister-in-law of the captain, and all the young men on the base were infatuated with her. Celia was the prettiest of the eligible ladies that graced Fort Union society. She liked the spice of adventure to be found so near the wilds. Johnny alternated between elation when Celia talked with him and despair when she flirted with another man. I watched their courtship from afar and was troubled. There was something about Celia that I didn't like. I never mentioned it to Johnny, but I thought she was too much of a flirt. I wished Johnny had fallen for a nicer woman. About a month after I arrived at Fort Union, a birthday dance was given for one of the officers.

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To Johnny's elation, Celia agreed to be his partner at the dance. Johnny was dancing on cloud nine all night, until a messenger came gasping into the room to report an Apache raid. With a small scream of terror, Celia clung shamelessly to Johnny and begged him not to go even though he was the lieutenant put in charge of the mission. Well sir, Johnny proposed to her right then and there and Celia accepted. Furthermore, Celia told Johnny that she would wait for him, and that if he didn't come back she would never marry. I doubted Celia's sincerity, but Johnny just ate it up. I was assigned to Johnny's troop, so I had to leave too. We started out the next morning, and had a rough week tracking down and fighting the Apaches. Johnny split up the troop; taking command of the first group and giving me command of the second. My men reached the rendezvous point with no casualties, but only half of the other group arrived, and Johnny was not among them. They'd been ambushed by the Apaches. I had to take command of the troop. We searched for survivors, but never found Johnny's body. As soon as I could, I ordered the men to turn for home. Celia made a terrible, heart-rending scene when she found out Johnny was missing.

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She flung herself into my arms when I gave her the news and sobbed becomingly. The display turned my stomach, it was so obviously insincere. I excused myself hastily and left her to the ministrations of the other soldiers. From that time on, I was careful to stay away from Celia, who mourned less than a week for my friend before resuming her flirtatious ways. About a month later, a rich handsome lieutenant arrived at Fort Union. He was from the East, and Celia took a real shine to him. Johnny was completely forgotten and so was her promise to him. It wasn't long before Celia and the lieutenant were engaged and started planning a big wedding. Nothing but the very best would suit Celia, and her bridegroom had the money to indulge her. Everyone in Fort Union was invited to the ceremony, and the weather was perfect on the day of the wedding. Everyone turned out in their best clothes and the wedding was a social success. After the ceremony, all the guests were invited to a celebratory ball. We were waltzing around the ballroom when the door flew open with a loud bang. A gust of cold air blew in, dimming the candles.A heart-wrenching wail echoed through the room.

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The music stopped abruptly and everyone turned to look at the door. Standing there was the swollen, dead body of a soldier. It was dressed in an officer's uniform. The eyes were burning with a terrible fire. The temple had a huge gash from a hatchet-blow. There was no scalp. It was Johnny. The whole crowd stood silent, as if in a trance. No one moved, no one murmured. I wanted to cry out when I recognized Johnny, but I was struck dumb like the rest of the wedding guests. Johnny walked across the room and took Celia out of her bridegroom's arms. She was frozen in horror and could not resist. Johnny looked at the musicians. Still in a trance, they began to play a horrible, demonic sounding waltz. Johnny and Celia began to dance. They swept around and around the room, doing an intricate waltz. Johnny held the white-clad bride tight against his dead body while a deathly pallor crept over her face. Her steps slowed but still Johnny held her tight and moved them around in a grisly parody of a waltz. Celia's eyes bulged. She turned as white as her gown and her mouth sagged open. She gave one small gasp, and died in his arms. Johnny dropped Celia's body on the floor and stood over

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her, wringing his blood-stained hands. He threw back his head and gave another unearthly wail that echoed around the room. Then he vanished through the door. Released from the trance, the crowd gasped and exclaimed. The bridegroom ran to Celia and knelt beside her, wringing his hands in the same manner as Johnny. His cries were all too human. Unable to bear the sight of the stricken bridegroom, I took my captain aside and asked permission to take a small detail back to the place where our troop had been attacked by the Apaches to search once more for my dead friend. He sent a dozen men with me. We combed the area, and finally found Johnny's body hidden in a crevice. It looked exactly the same as it had appeared on the night of Celia's wedding. We brought Johnny back to the fort with us and the captain buried him beside Celia. Celia's bridegroom went back East shortly after we buried Johnny, and I resigned my commission a few days later and went home, never wanting to see that cursed place again. I heard later that Celia's ghost was often seen at dusk, weeping over Johnny's grave, but I never went back to Fort Union to see it for myself.

- THE END -

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11. Aunty Nelly's new house

Aunty Nelly was really excited. She had just moved into a new house. Well, actually it was a hundred years old, but it was new to her. It was a lovely house, overlooking the sea and harbor in Lambs gate. Aunty Nelly was looking forward to sitting on the upstairs balcony reading her books and watching the yachts come and go.Aunty Nelly thanked the moving men and began unpacking her things. All her life she'd dreamed of moving from the big city to the seaside and now her dream had become reality.In a cupboard in the bedroom, right at the back on the floor, Aunty Nelly found a teddy bear. He was a bit old and had some loose stitches and a missing ear. But he looked cute. She didn't know why, but she decided to call him Albert. The name just came to her. She placed him gently on her dressing table.Tired after a busy day she made herself tea, had a bath, and took her book to bed for an early night. It wasn't long before she was fast asleep.But after a while Aunty Nelly woke. There were noises in the house.

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They sounded like footsteps. Was it a burglar? She looked at her clock. It was 3:33 in the morning. Aunty Nelly was just about to call the police when all when the noises stopped. She lay awake awhile, feeling a little scared, but then drifted back to sleep.In the morning she almost forgot about the noises in the night until she was having breakfast. She checked around. All the doors and windows were tightly locked and nothing had been disturbed. Perhaps she dreamed it. Perhaps it was just the old house creaking like her old bones sometimes did. That was OK. "Old houses are so much prettier than new ones", she thought to herself.Next night she also awoke at 3:33 to what sounded like footsteps, and the night after, and the night after that... Soon she learned to just turn over and go back to sleep.Sometimes Aunty Nelly would hear the sound of crying. She wondered if one of her new neighbors had a baby or young child.Aunty Nelly loved crossword puzzles. One morning she was just about to do the crossword puzzle in her newspaper. She went to get her lucky pen from the top of the television, but to her surprise it wasn't there. She looked on the floor to see if it had rolled off. It hadn't. She couldn't find it anywhere so she had to use the spare pen

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in her handbag. The next day when Aunty Nelly was in the kitchen she thought she felt something brushing against her legs. It was a warm day and so the garden door was open. She wondered if a neighbor’s cat or dog had got in, but when she looked around there was nothing.She took a cup of tea into the living room to enjoy as she watched her favorite TV programme. As she switched the television on she was amazed to see her lucky pen, right back in its usual place.A couple of days after Aunty Nelly decided to go for a walk by the sea right after breakfast. It was such a lovely day she thought she'd leave the washing up until she came back. As she walked along the promenade she noticed how beautiful the little yachts looked with the bright sun on their sails. She particularly noticed one yacht in the harbor, it was called "Albert's return". She thought of the teddy bear on her dressing table. Aunty Nelly walked some more then she had a delicious lunch of fish and chips in a seafront cafe.As Aunty Nelly returned home she thought of the washing up waiting in the sink and decided to get it done so she could enjoy the rest of the day in peace.But when she went into the kitchen the breakfast things had all been washed, dried and neatly put away.

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"I must be going crazy", she thought to herself. That evening as she was watching TV she thought she suddenly felt a little chilly. The she thought she saw something moving in the corner of the room. She turned round quickly, but there was nothing there. A few moments later she saw it again. This time she just caught a glimpse of a little boy before he disappeared.Aunty Nelly felt angry. She'd heard there were some naughty children in the area, but how dare one of them come into her home. She checked all through the house, but there was no one there. She checked the doors and windows. But all were locked tightly shut."I am going crazy", she thought sadly to herself. But she wasn't, as she would soon find out.Next day there was a knock at the door. Aunty Nelly opened it to find a man, lady and little boy. Strangely, the little boy looked very much like the boy she'd seen in the living room the night before."We're terribly sorry to trouble you", said the lady. "We used to own this house before you.""We were wondering", continued the man, "If by any chance our little boy, left anything behind?"

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"He used to have an old teddy bear, Albert he called it. It was falling apart but he loved it so much.""Anyway, in all the chaos with moving, he must have lost it. We've tried buying him other bears and toys, but he just can't sleep without Albert."Aunty Nelly smiled. "Come in", she said.She offered the family tea and orange juice and went up to her bedroom. She came back down with Albert in her arms and gave him to the little boy. He smiled the biggest smile she'd ever seen as he hugged the tatty old bear.After the family thanked her and left nothing strange ever happened again in Aunty Nelly's new house .

- THE END -

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12. John Smith's long curly bright red hair

Once upon a time there was a little boy called John Smith.John Smith was a very popular boy, very clever and good at sports. He always had lots of friends. Everyone loved his witty personality, his lively sense of humor and his colorful clothes. But most of all people loved his long, curly, bright, red hair.John's best friend was Tommy. One day John was playing at Tommy's house. The two boys were practicing football in the garden when John took a great big powerful kick at the ball. He kicked it so hard the ball went flying through Tommy's mummy's kitchen window.Tommy's mummy came out demanding to know who had kicked the ball. Quick as a flash John told her that Tommy had kicked it. As much as Tommy tried to tell her it was John she didn't believe him. Tommy was locked in his room for a month and his pocket money stopped until the window had been paid for.

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From that day on Tommy and John Smith were no longer friends. Everyone else continued to love John, and no one believed Tommy when he tried to tell them what John had done.After leaving school John Smith quickly found a good job and began earning lots of money. Somebody told him that Tommy had moved to Australia.As a man John continued to be very popular. He loved parties, and had lots of friends. They loved his lively personality, his witty sense of humor and his colorful clothes. But most of all they loved his long, curly, bright, red hair.One Saturday night, or more accurately early Sunday morning, John Smith went to bed after an especially noisy party in his house. As usual he quickly fell asleep, but this particular night he was woken by a bright flash in his room. He was astonished to see his old friend Tommy, still looking like a little boy, standing by the side of his bed."You told a lie and caused me lots of suffering", said Tommy. "Now it's your turn to suffer. By midnight next Saturday I'm going to cut off all your long, curly, bright, red hair. And it'll never grow back again. Never, never, ever."

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Tommy laughed as he vanished into thin air. John was terrified. He was shaking and sweating. He tried to go back to sleep but he couldn't.Next day, as usual, John's friends called on him. They were surprised to find he wasn't his usual lively, joking self.At first John didn't tell anyone what was wrong, just saying he felt a bit tired. But eventually he told them about Tommy."Silly old John, scared of a bad dream", they laughed.But then they saw John was really scared. They all agreed to come over to John's house on Saturday night and to stay with him until midnight.The week passed quickly and soon it was Saturday. John's friends came over, but they didn't have a party. Everyone just sat quietly drinking tea and watching the clocks. Eventually midnight came. Exhausted, but relieved to still have his long, curly, bright, red hair, John said goodnight to everyone and went to bed.As his friends left the house they talked about how they had moved all John's clocks forward an hour to stop him worrying.

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How they would all laugh about it tomorrow.Next morning John was woken by the sun streaming through his bedroom window. He smiled at how he had been so scared.Then he put his hands up to his head. He was as bald as an egg. He let out a scream. Then he looked down. There on the bedroom floor was all his beautiful long, curly, bright, red hair. Every last bit of it.And it never grew back again.

- THE END -

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13. Peter's ghost dog

Once upon a time there was a boy called Peter. Peter went to pre-school but when he wasn’t at school he sometimes felt lonely. All his friends had brothers or sisters or dogs or rabbits, but Peter only had his toys and books.Peter’s birthday was getting near so he asked his Daddy if he could have a dog. “Hmmmm,” said Daddy, “we live in a flat and me and Mummy have to work and soon you’ll go to big school so there won’t be anyone to take the doggy out. It really wouldn’t be fair to the dog.” Daddy noticed Peter looked sad so he added, “soon, if we all work hard and make money we can move to a big house by the seaside, then you can have two dogs if you like.”Peter went to his room. He cried and cried. He didn’t want two dogs some time in the future.He just wanted one dog now. Just then Peter noticed a little brown dog sitting on the corner of his bed. It was looking at him lovingly. Perhaps the dog had come in through the open window. Peter picked it up and hugged it. The dog snuggled into Peter’s shirt.

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What could he do? If he told Mummy and Daddy they’d make him give the dog back. But he couldn’t do that, it was already his best friend. So Peter made a bed for the dog out of a cardboard bix and kept it under his own bed. He decided to call the dog Sniffy because it always had a wet nose. He would save some of his own dinner to give to Sniffy.Next day Peter wrapped Sniffy in his coat and took it to show his friends in the park around the corner. His friends just laughed. Peter realized they couldn’t even see Sniffy. He didn’t care. He knew Sniffy was real, but he also knew Sniffy was a very special doggy.Over the coming weeks and months Peter and Sniffy spent hours and hours playing together. In his room, and in the park. But still no one else could see Sniffy. Peter’s Mummy became worried because he was spending s much time on his own. She even took him to see a doctor who asked if anything was wrong. Of course Peter couldn’t tell him about Sniffy. The doctor just told Mummy not to worry.The next year Peter changed from pre-school to big school. Now he went to school all day and every day. He started to make new friends and was busy with

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and the school clubs he’d joined. He began to spend less and less time with Sniffy until the only time he saw him was when they cuddled together in bed at night.One night when Peter went to his room Sniffy wasn’t there. Peter called for him, but he didn’t come. Peter started to cry. He felt sorry that he’d neglected his best friend. All of a sudden Sniffy was beside him on the bed. “Sniffy,” said Peter, “where have you been? I’m sorry I haven’t had time to play with you much I’ve been so busy at school.” Peter was shocked when Sniffy started to talk. “It’s OK,” said the little brown dog, “I was your friend when you needed me. But now you’ve started to make other friends and that’s good. Now I have to go to help other little boys and girls who feel lonely. But don’t worry, I’ll never be far away. You only have to think about me and I’ll be beside you and you can stroke me.Peter felt sad, but he remembered how he’d felt when he first met Sniffy. He wanted Sniffy to help all the other children who felt the same. Now he had his new school and friends and plenty to keep him busy. But he was happy to know that Sniffy was only a thought away.

- THE END -

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14. The helpful ghost

Jimmy was excited. Uncle Julius was coming to dinner. Uncle Julius was a civil engineer. He'd travelled all over the world building roads and bridges. And Jimmy knew that whenever Uncle Julius came over he always told stories about his exciting adventures in all the interesting places he'd to.But today was different. Instead of telling Jimmy about lions in Africa or the carnival in Brazil, Uncle Julius told a story about when he was a student, along, long time ago.I was studying at university. All year I'd been sharing an old house with some friends. After classes finished my friends all went back to their homes to revise for the exams. I decided to stay in the house alone because I had rather a large family and I knew it would be hard to get the peace and quiet I needed for study.One night I was sitting at the desk in my bedroom studying calculus. Mathematics wasn't my best subject and I think I must have been falling asleep when all of a sudden I heard the floorboards in the hallway creaking, as though someone was walking.

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I got up and looked outside my room, but all was still and quiet.I called out, "is anybody there?" in case one of my friends had returned to the house. But there was no answer. I decided I must have been dreaming and went to bed.The next night I was also struggling with calculus, but this time I was drinking black coffee to keep me awake. Just as the night before I again heard the floorboards outside my room creaking. I got up and looked into the hallway. There was no one there, but I noticed it felt a little chilly and the chandelier was moving slightly as though there was a draft. I thought I must have left a window open, but when I checked they were all tightly shut.Next night again I tried to study calculus. But this time I couldn't concentrate. I was waiting for the sound of footsteps. Eventually they came. I leapt out of my chair and flung the door open. I just caught a glimpse of a door closing at the end of the hallway. It was the master bedroom and had been used by my friend Henry. I ran to the door calling Henry's name. But no reply.

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I knocked on the door. No reply. Then I opened it. The room was just as Henry left it before he went home. I went back to my room feeling a little scared, but I certainly wasn't prepared for what was waiting. As I went into my room I realized someone was sitting in my armchair with their back toward me. Before I had the chance to say anything, or more likely run away, the figure turned to face me. It was an old man. Strange, but when I saw him I stopped feeling scared; his face was so kind.He spoke in a soft and gentle voice, "Concentrate on chapter four." Then he turned away again. Before I had a chance to go over to the chair he had vanished.I poured myself a glass of wine, and remembering what the old man had said went back to my calculus and began to study chapter four. This time it seemed so much easier.A few days later my friends returned for the exams.As I sat at my desk waiting for the calculus paper I remembered the old man. "What a strange dream." I thought to myself.

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But when I opened the exam paper there wasn't one, or two, but three questions from chapter four.I passed the exam and eventually became an engineer.Later I found out that many years before our house had belonged to an old professor from the university. His subject was calculus.

- THE END -

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15. Screaming Jenny

The old storage sheds along the tracks were abandoned shortly after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built, and it wasn't long before the poor folk of the area moved in. The sheds provided shelter - of a sort - although the winter wind still pierced through every crevice, and the small fireplaces that the poor constructed did little to keep the cold at bay. A gentle, kindly woman named Jenny lived alone in one of the smaller sheds. She had fallen on hard times, and with no family to protect her, she was forced to find work where she could and take whatever shelter was available to someone with little money. Jenny never had enough to eat and in winter her tiny fire barely kept her alive during the cold months. Still, she kept her spirits up and tried to help other folks when they took sick or needed food, sometimes going without herself so that another could eat. One cold evening in late autumn, Jenny sat shivering over her fire, drinking broth out of a wooden bowl,

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when a spark flew from the fire and lit her skirts on fire.Intent on filling her aching stomach, Jenny did not notice her flaming clothes until the fire had burnt through the heavy wool of her skirt and began to scorch her skin. Leaping up in terror, Jenny threw her broth over the licking flames but the fluid did nothing to douse the fire. In terror, Jenny fled from the shack and ran along the tracks, screaming for help as the flames engulfed her body. The station was not far away, and instinctively Jenny made for it, hoping to find someone to aid her. Within moments, her body was a glowing inferno and Jenny was overwhelmed by pain. Her screams grew more horrible as her steps slowed. She staggered blindly onto the tracks just west of the station, a ball of fire that barely looked human. In her agony, she did not see the glowing headlight of the train rounding the curve, or hear the screech of the breaks as the engineer spotted her fire-eaten figure and tried to stop. A moment later, her terrible screams broke off as the train mowed her down. Alerted by the whistle, the crew from the station came running as the engineer halted the train and ran back

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down the tracks toward poor dead Jenny, who was still burning.The men doused the fire and carried her body back to the station. She was given a pauper's funeral and buried in an unmarked grave in the local churchyard. Within a few days, another poverty-stricken family had moved into her shack, and Jenny was forgotten. Forgotten that is, until a month later when a train rounding the bend west of the station was confronted by a screaming ball of fire. Too late to stop, the engineer plowed over the glowing figure before he could bring the train to a screeching halt. Leaping from the engine, he ran back down the tracks to search for a mangled, burning body, but there was nothing there. Shaken, he brought his train into the station and reported the incident to the stationmaster. After hearing his tale, the stationmaster remembered poor, dead Jenny and realized that her ghost had returned to haunt the tracks where she had died. To this day, the phantom of Screaming Jenny still appears on the tracks on the anniversary of the day

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she died. Many an engineer has rounded the curve just west of the station and found himself face to face with the burning ghost of Screaming Jenny, as once more she makes her deadly run towards the Harpers Ferry station, seeking in vain for someone to save her.

- THE END -

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16. Bloody Mary

She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living. Folks living in the town nearby called her Bloody Mary, and said she was a witch. None dared cross the old crone for fear that their cows would go dry, their food-stores rot away before winter, their children take sick of fever, or any number of terrible things that an angry witch could do to her neighbors. Then the little girls in the village began to disappear, one by one. No one could find out where they had gone. Grief-stricken families searched the woods, the local buildings, and all the houses and barns, but there was no sign of the missing girls. A few brave souls even went to Bloody Mary's home in the woods to see if the witch had taken the girls, but she denied any knowledge of the disappearances. Still, it was noted that her haggard appearance had changed. She looked younger, more attractive.

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The neighbors were suspicious, but they could find no proof that the witch had taken their young ones. Then came the night when the daughter of the miller rose from her bed and walked outside, following an enchanted sound no one else could hear. The miller's wife had a toothache and was sitting up in the kitchen treating the tooth with an herbal remedy when her daughter left the house. She screamed for her husband and followed the girl out of the door. The miller came running in his nightshirt. Together, they tried to restrain the girl, but she kept breaking away from them and heading out of town. The desperate cries of the miller and his wife woke the neighbors. They came to assist the frantic couple. Suddenly, a sharp-eyed farmer gave a shout and pointed towards a strange light at the edge of the woods. A few townsmen followed him out into the field and saw Bloody Mary standing beside a large oak tree, holding a magic wand that was pointed towards the miller's house. She was glowing with an unearthly light as she set her evil spell upon the miller's daughter. The townsmen grabbed their guns and their pitchforks and ran toward the witch. When she heard the commotion, Bloody Mary broke off her spell and fled back into the woods.

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The far-sighted farmer had loaded his gun with silver bullets in case the witch ever came after his daughter. Now he took aim and shot at her. The bullet hit Bloody Mary in the hip and she fell to the ground. The angry townsmen leapt upon her and carried her back into the field, where they built a huge bonfire and burned her at the stake. As she burned, Bloody Mary screamed a curse at the villagers. If anyone mentioned her name aloud before a mirror, she would send her spirit to revenge herself upon them for her terrible death. When she was dead, the villagers went to the house in the wood and found the unmarked graves of the little girls the evil witch had murdered. She had used their blood to make her young again. From that day to this, anyone foolish enough to chant Bloody Mary's name three times before a darkened mirror will summon the vengeful spirit of the witch.It is said that she will tear their bodies to pieces and rip their souls from their mutilated bodies.The souls of these unfortunate ones will burn in torment as Bloody Mary once was burned, and they will be trapped forever in the mirror.

- THE END -

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17. The Candle

I was in the basement of my grandma's house when my grandma called for me to come upstairs.  I ran up and she said she was leaving, but my cousin Shayla was coming over.  Well my grandma left and I stayed upstairs watching TV for a bit until Shayla came.  My grandma had just moved in to the house, so we weren't familiar.  We only knew that there was some mysterious storm shelter in the backyard that was bolted shut.We went outside to find the keys because we were 11 and didn't know what to do.  We found a locket, a key and 3 jellybeans in a box that was buried.  We tried the key.  It was too big, so we put everything back except the locket.  Then Shayla went into the shed and brought out a huge shovel.  She started smacking the shelter door with it.  After about 3 minutes of her smacking and me picking open the locket, a huge hole was in the shelter door. We couldn't see anything in there because it was too dark outside.We went in to get a flashlight when we heard a big "BOOM" coming from outside. 

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Shayla ran outside to find the whole entire shelter door caved in. I brought the flashlight and shined it in there.  Shayla went to get a camera but I wasn't sure why.  I looked in but right when I turned on the flashlight, it went dead.  So, Shayla got another.  She shined the flashlight and I just couldn't believe what I saw, but I knew it was true, and real.  Shayla snapped some pictures and we got out as quickly as possible.When grandma came home, we weren't there.  We were at the neighbor's house.  We went back to grandma's and she said, "I was looking for you two.  Where were you?"  "At Joey's house" I said with fear in my voice and eyes as I looked outside at the shelter.Shayla and I ran outside and guess what?..... The shelter door was back on, bolted shut, and everything was perfectly in place how it was before.  Shayla tried to tell grandma what happened, but grandma seemed mad about us snooping around.  Grandma said "I cannot believe what you girls are saying.  I just can't.  I mean it looks like you didn't break the door or anything."  

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At that point I knew it was all a dream; the dead man in the shelter, the locket, the jelly beans, the key.Everything!!!But then Shayla pulled out her digital camera and showed it to grandma.  It was a disturbing picture and I puked. Sorry, I would put a picture of it on here but I don't have it.

- THE END -

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18. Night Dream

“If you’re that worn out, then go to bed,” mom said. And I did, even if darkness didn’t come creeping yet outside my window. My arms were so weak I couldn’t get my socks off. They kept sticking to my feet. So I crawled under the covers. When I’m very tired, I dream……I have to go to the bank to get some money. Dad’s birthday is tomorrow. And I want to buy him something super-dooper special. “Hurry up,” mom said, “Before the bank closes.” She always reminds me I have my own money. Sometimes I forget my bankbook says I still have $36 dollars left. The bus driver is very nice when I tell him I have no money. “But, I’ll pay you back when I get some from the bank,” I say.We travel down busy streets, past tall buildings and I jump off the three steps from the bus. There is a long line of people at the bank. And the Teller’s wicket looks like it is a mile away. So I count bushels of butterflies while waiting. Finally it’s my turn. And I look up at this man behind the counter. He must be ten feet tall. At first I thought he was very nice.

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“There’s no money here for you,” he said. “You must have spent it all.” “But…but, my mother said there’s some left,” I answered. “I saved it all myself, from my paper route.” “Then you should check with her again,” said the man sternly. “Or, you must have come to the wrong bank,” he said, showing off his teeth. I looked into his eyes. And watched his smile. Was he pretending to be a sly coyote? Last summer, I saw one in a field near my house. The animal looked sneaky with his bushy tail.On the way home I met a nice lady. When I told her my sad story, she felt sorry for me. She must have been rich because she gave me a whole suitcase full of money. I couldn’t carry it all. So I gave her back one stack of paper money. In case she needed to buy a bag of chips, or go to a movie. Now I don’t have to go home. I have enough money to get an awesome gift for my dad. “Something really special,” I say to a white rabbit, sitting on the seat beside me. I think he is following me home.

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“You be careful, the coyote doesn’t try to eat you,” I say. I show him my teeth. But it doesn’t scare him.  Around the corner, there is a little girl standing on the sidewalk. I get off the bus to see why she is crying. “My hands are cold,” she said. So I bought her a pair of red mittens. She is so surprised she forgets to thank me.Now I am hungry, and tired. So I sit down on the sidewalk and open my birthday gift knapsack. There is half an apple, a mustard sandwich, and two chocolate chip cookies. Soon my knapsack is empty, except for one crust of bread. It tries to hide in the corner. “If only I had some blueberry jam,” I told the bus driver waiting for me. “It would be delicious on this crust of bread.” “I’ll take you to where blueberries are large. And juicy,” he said. The bus brought me far from the city, and across a busy highway. Even past fishing boats in the harbor. Then the bus drove up a gravel road. I watched a pheasant hurry across the road.We went past fields of hay and a high hill, and we finally stopped. The bus had a flat tire.

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I got off and looked across a valley filled with blueberries. And waiting beside the first bush was that white rabbit. “How did he find me?” I wondered. I quickly filled up my knapsack with juicy berries. My hands look like they are painted blue. And my back is sore from bending over so much. So I sat on a log and took off my right shoe and sock. Then I began to cry. I was afraid the coyote would come and bite my toe. What was I doing here? I thought. There are no gifts for dad here. Besides, that sly coyote might find me. After running like thunder across a field I tripped over a log. Then fell into a little creek, with squishy mud. Was something chasing me? Maybe it was that white rabbit. I shook myself dry, the way my friend’s dog does. Spotty is his name. I mean that’s the dog’s name. I heard more crying. But it sounded far away. My eyes were closed tightly. Just like the front door when I slam it. …Then I open my eyes, one at a time. Mom and dad are staring at me.

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The cat is on my bed. And I am too. When I look out the window, the coyote’s face is there. And he is laughing.I hug my mother. She begins to laugh too. Oh…Oh. I forgot to get Dad’s present. Closing my eyes, I hurry back to my dreaming. Note: Once in a while, we believe it healthy to write something of fantasy. This story is based on a real dream. So in a sense, this story is a dream within a dream.

- THE END -

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19. The Werewolf's Bride

There once was a beautiful girl engaged to a soldier who caught the eye of an evil woodsman who had sold his soul for the ability to turn himself into a wolf at will. He lay in wait for the girl when she was walking home one day and accosted her, begging her to elope with him. The maiden refused, spurning his love and crying out to her love to save her from his advances. The girl's cries were heard by her eager fiancé, who had come searching for her when she was late returning to her parent's home. The soldier drove the woodsman away, threatening him with dire consequences if he ever approached the maiden again. The furious woodsman lay low for a few days, waiting for his chance. It came on the girl's wedding day.She was dancing happily at her wedding reception with a group of her friends when the woodsman, in the form of a wolf, leapt upon her and dragged her away with him. The enraged bridegroom gave chase, but the wolf and his bride had disappeared into the thick forest and were

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not seen again.For many days, the distraught soldier and his friends, armed with silver bullets, scoured the woods, searching for the maiden and her captor. Once the soldier thought he saw the wolf and shot at it. Upon reaching the location, he found a piece of a wolf's tail lying upon the ground. But of the wolf to which it belonged there was no sign.After months of searching, his friends begged him to let the girl go and get on with living. But the soldier was half-mad with grief and refused to give up. And that very day, he found the cave where the werewolf lived. Within it lay the preserved body of his beloved wife. The girl had refused the werewolf's advances to the very end, and had died for it. After his murderous fury had died away, the werewolf had tenderly laid the body of the girl he had loved and had killed into a wooden coffin, where it would be safe from predators, and he came to visit her grave every day. Lying in wait for him, the soldier shot the werewolf several times as he entered the cavern, chasing him down until the maddened and dying werewolf leapt into the lake and disappeared from view.

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The soldier sat by the lake with his gun, staring into the rippling waters for hours as the catfish ate the bloody bits of the wolf that were floating on the surface of the water. When his friends found him, the soldier's mind was gone. He babbled insanely about a werewolf that had been eaten by a catfish when it leapt into the water, and he sobered only long enough to lead the men to the body of his beloved before he collapsed forevermore into insanity. He died a few days later, and was buried beside his bride in a little glen where they had planned to build there house. Their grave is long forgotten, and the place where it stands is covered with daisies in the spring. But to this day, the people of the area have a prejudice against eating catfish, though no one remember why.

- THE END -

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20. Mr. Smith and the UFO

One day Mr. Smith had to work late at his office. He called his wife and told her not to wake up. He finally finished around 11:30 and got into his car to begin the long drive home. He was feeling tired and it was a dark night. He opened his window and put the radio on to help him stay awake as his car threaded its way along the winding country lanes. Mr. Smith had been driving for about a quarter of an hour when the radio started to crackle and the signal became weaker. Then it stopped working altogether. "Oh blast!" thought Mr. Smith as he pushed the button to play his cassette. But even the cassette player wasn't working. He carried on driving, feeling a little angry. Then, all of a sudden his car engine stopped. "I don't believe it!" thought Mr. Smith. It was nearly midnight and he was stuck in the middle of nowhere. He reached in his pocket to check if he had the number of his breakdown service.Just as he was doing so he was transfixed by a bright

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light in the sky that was getting closer and closer. Mr. Smith watched with a mix of horror and fascination as a spaceship hovered in the road just in front of his car. It was just like he'd seen in the movies. An upturned saucer with a dome in the middle.Only this wasn't a movie. He doesn't know how he got there but the next thing he remembered was lying on a table in a large, white circular room. He was surrounded by strange looking creatures, men, but not men. They were tall and thin with long, narrow faces. They didn't seem to be wearing any clothes. There were red ones, blue ones, purple ones and pink ones. Then a door opened in the wall facing him. An older looking silver creature entered. He said nothing, but Mr. Smith could somehow understand his words. "Don't be afraid. We mean you know harm. We are here only to learn." At that point a light from above shone over Mr. Smith's body.It started at his feet and moved slowly upwards until it reached the top of his head.Mr. Smith fell in and out of consciousness. Then a mechanical probe came towards him.

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Again the older creature seemed to say, "Don't be afraid." The probe touched his arm and he felt a warm sensation. Next thing he knew Mr. Smith was back in his car. He looked around. Everything was quiet, but it was just beginning to become light. He looked at the car clock. It was five past four. That was some dream. He tried the ignition key. The car started first time. Even his Jim Reeves cassette started playing. He drove home as fast as he could. When he got in his wife was drinking coffee in the kitchen. "Where HAVE you been?" she asked, "I've been so worried." Mr. Smith told his wife about his car breaking down and his strange dream. "Oh, you poor dear." she said, "You'd better take a shower and get to bed. You can't go to work tomorrow." Mr. Smith took her advice. As he was undressing in the bathroom he noticed a large red mark on his arm right where the probe in his dream had touched him.

- THE END -

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21. The Beck of Roses Red

Yesterday, I visited a beck.  Not very interesting, you might be saying as you read this.  But it is no big wow whatsoever.  This particular beck is haunted by a ghost who was brutally slaughtered in the War of the Roses.  Why did I go there? It was because of a stupid dare from my friend, Jerome.  He said I couldn't go to the beck without being afraid.  So, to prove that I wasn't, I accepted the dare.I decided to go to the beck at night, so I would be cloaked by the darkness of midnight.  I also brought with me a knife (not a butcher's knife, but a penknife) just in case the beck was really haunted.  My street at night is terrifyingly spooky.When I reached the beck, I dipped my fingers into the sparkling ink that was the beck turned scarlet.  Blood trickled down my fingers.  I screamed!!! I turned around and saw a figure wearing armor and holding sword.  The figure raised the blade above its head.  I couldn't move a muscle.  Its eyes were glowing like hot coals.I turned and ran, the horrible ghost running after me, laughing manically.  I crashed into an Oak tree, busting my nose.  I fell into unconsciousness, the figure fading away.

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I woke up, beads of cold sweat trickling down my forehead.  I realized it was all a dream. But the dream seemed too real, too vivid to just be a nightmare…Just to make sure the encounter with the ghost was not just a figment of my imagination, I decided to go back to the beck after school.I walked across the road leading to the beck, afraid that the demon of a Tudor Warrior would appear as soon as I touched the beck. I dipped my fingers in the beck, trembling.  No blood.  No ghost.  I was convinced it was a dream, but when I saw something next to five red roses, my dream theory disappeared.  Because next to those roses was… MY PENKNIFE!!!  

- THE END -