So this story isn’t really about Halloween. It’s not even stated that it’s set in that time of year. But I have called it this because of when I was written and “published”. So when I started high school at the ripe age of 13 (my high school started with 8th grade), I decided to join the school newspaper called 20/40. For the Halloween/October issue, I wrote a scary story called “Who’s Following Me?”. Now, to age myself a little bit, I either wrote this before the invention of flash drives or when they had just started coming out and were so expensive only CEO’s could afford them. Either way, I didn’t have a digital copy of it anywhere, so I had to type it out. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO NOT EDIT SOMETHING SO BAD? Very difficult…. in case you didn’t know that (I did zero editing or rewriting). So, for this weeks post, I am going to show everyone just how bad I was 14 years ago. Spoiler alert: the only horror in this story is the grammar, structure, plot, character depth, and word choices.
*Interesting fact, according to a poll also published in this issue, in my school in 2002, Haunted Hill was the most popular scary movie followed closely by The Ring. Fatal Attraction got one vote by the principal.
Who’s Following Me?
Sarah-Marie hurried to get her house keys.
“Where are they!?” She looked in her purse, again. Not there. She ran upstairs, knowing that the bus had just turned on the block. She ran in her room and started looking frantically. Nowhere. Where could they be? She thought as she heard the bus honk hurriedly out front. Oh yeah. Now I remember. They’re in the key cupboard. She thought angrily to herself. How can I be so stupid?!
She quickly poked her head out front and yelled out to the bus, “I’m coming1 Just let me lock the doors.” She ran back to the door, pushed it aside, and grabbed the keys from the hook. She grabbed her school things and dashed to the front door. She hurriedly tried to lock the door which she could have done if she was patient. She calmed down and locked the door, but just as she turned around she thought she heard a creak on the porch just behind her. She turned around hoping she hadn’t accidentally let out her cat Fifi. Weird, she thought. She had started to think what could have made such a sound when somewhere in the distance in the back of her head came the sound of the school bus honking loudly. She turned around slowly. Then she ran to the bus as quick as a flash when she had gotten back to her senses. She sat with her friend Jane on the bus.
“What took you so long?” Jane asked Sarah-Marie awkwardly. “I couldn’t find the keys.” Sarah replied. Jane went on as though why her friend couldn’t find her keys was so important to hold up the entire bus.
“Oh. Well anyways…”
“Sarah-Marie will you pay attention!” Snapped Sarah’s English teacher. Sarah had been busy day dreaming about the ford she was going to get in just two weeks. “Now as I was saying,” droned on her teacher. “Your essay is to be exactly four pages long. You can type it if you want, but the font can’t be any bigger than 12 and it has to be double-spaced.”
The class groaned at the very thought. How in the world could she get her paper done if its 12 font and four pages long?!
“Sarah hurry up!” Urged her boyfriend, Allen.
“Ok… done!” Replied Sarah after a moments second or two. Ding, ding, ding. The Riverside High School bell rang. Sarah and Allen walked out of the school talking about the car Sarah was going to get in just a couple weeks.
“Blue or red?” Allen asked Sarah.
“Uh… blue.” Replied Sarah. They got into Rick’s, Allen’s brother, car.
“Bye Sarah. See you tomorrow.” Allen gave his girlfriend a kiss on the cheek.
“Boy I can’t wait until you get over your cold!” groaned Sarah. “Well, bye.” She slowly got out of the car hoping her boyfriend would pull her back in, but he didn’t.
As she walked to the house, she fumbled for her keys in her bag. She looked to see if there were any messages on the answering machine. When she pushed the play button, all it said was “No messages.”
Why are all the clocks flashing? Sarah thought mysteriously. The power must have gone out. She headed for the kitchen. Was that a creak I heard? She thought to herself. She entered the dark, clustered kitchen. Are those footsteps in the hall? Sarah thought as she spun around to see if her parents were home. No one. She shrugged as she sat down in her chair at the bar.
She had just started her math homework when she felt a chill run down her back. She looked at the window. It’s not even open! She started to panic. She shook her head and told herself to get real and to get working on her homework. Just as she got to number 5 on her math homework, her cat Fifi, leaped in her lap and started rubbing her back against Sarah’s stomach. “Hey Fifi!” Her cat purred as she rubbed Fifi’s belly with her forefingers. She finished her homework, then ran upstairs to call Jane.
“But Jane it was weird!” Sarah said to her friend frantically.
“I know Sarah, but you could have imagined it!” Jane yelled back to her friend.
“Do YOU think I’m going crazy?” Sarah had barely gotten the words out of her mouth when she heard a creak loud enough for the neighbors could have heard it. And if they could hear it then her friend most certainly would. “Did you hear that?!” shrieked Sarah.
“No,” Jane replied slowly.
Later on, when Sarah was lying in her bed, she kept on hearing the loud creak that she had heard when she was on the phone with Jane, and the curious response when she asked Jane if she had heard it. She got out of bed in her overlarge T-shirt and her flannel pajama bottoms. Sarah quietly crept down the stairs and went into the kitchen for some water and crackers. As she sat down into one of the spindly chairs she heard a whisper in her ear. It was as cold as ice and it chilled her body as though she had stepped into a large freezer. She ran out of the kitchen. She ran out of the house knowing that the culprit was right behind her. She had had enough. She was going to the police and see if he followed, and if he didn’t, she would just tell them that someone wouldn’t leave her alone.
Sarah decided to take a shortcut though the alley, and turned left. In case he doesn’t follow, I need to see his face so I can describe him to them. She turned around as she thought this. No one was there. She slowed down until she stopped. Then what made her run again frightened her so much she couldn’t move for a moments flash. She heard footsteps pounding loudly on the concrete, but didn’t hear two sets of them. She turned her head for a second to manage to get a glimpse of him. Still no one. She had finally gotten to the police station.
“May we help you?” asked the officer behind the desk.
“Someone….. keeps…. Following….. me,” Sarah replied, only able to get one word out of her pale lips with every breath she took.
“Who?” asked the officer, looking around her to see whom.
“I don’t know, but someone.” Sarah explained to him like she couldn’t understand why he didn’t believe her.
“Look kid, it’s not funny to make it look and sound like someone’s following you.” he told her furiously in his southern accent.
“But there is someone!” she replied angrily at the officer, shaking her head.
“Hey maybe I can give you a ride home,” the officer said, with a look of sympathy in his eyes.
Sarah thought about it. “Ok,” she said after a while.
“So no one was following you?” Jane asked her the next day at school.
“That’s what he said.” Sarah replied, satisfied.
Just as when she was going to get onto her bus, she heard a voice.