'10 Till Midnight' - Spooky Story Challenge


October 17, 2016


   Halloween is on the rise - it's the time of year for candy, getting ready for NaNoWriMo (we're not thinking about that right now), costumes, and spooky stories. And I'm joining in Jenelle Schmidt's Spooky Story Challenge (unfortunately I couldn't get her graphic to work, so you don't get to see it), which ... is fairly self-explanatory. Enjoy.


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   There was no wind that night. Only silence and shadows and the angry moon, watching over the world with its stony eye.
   And they alone saw the strange creatures creeping down the trail, set free and hungry. They had not eaten for three years.
   So hungry.

   The book’s worn pages crinkled beneath Lucy Aberon’s fingers. The house was still except for the noise of her breathing. Her older brother had gone out to roam the street and cause ruckus, while she preferred to stay home and read. Besides, they had just moved into the neighborhood and she didn’t know anyone.  Halloween night wasn’t really for her. But it was good for a book. 
   She pulled her blankets closer to her chin and scooted towards the tiny candle she had lit. Her family called her old-fashioned, reading by candle light, but she liked the way the candle flame danced.
   She turned to the next page. Whoosh, and the candle blew out.
   She sighed. Maybe her family was right. She stood up and was about to go turn on the light when moonbeams reached through the window and illuminated the book’s pages.
    There was a post-it note attached to them.
   Squinting in the dim light, she reached down and pulled it off.
   10 minutes was scrawled across it in spidery handwriting. 10 minutes. Her eyes flickered up to the digital clock on her nightstand.
   11:50. Ten minutes till midni –
   Something hit the window. She whirled around, dread knotting her stomach. The wind had started up and pale papers were blowing up against the window.
   10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 minutes read every one. Her bedroom door was thrown open of its own accord. More paper blew in –  10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10
   She stumbled backwards and hit the headboard, post-it note clenched in her hand, and screamed. Screamed and screamed and screamed, until she couldn’t hear the paper whirlwind anymore.
   And when she stopped, it was silent. Too silent. The papers fell to the floor like dead moths. She shivered in the freezing air, waiting, too scared to move.
   And then the shadows quivered.
   A whirlpool of blackness formed in the middle of her room. The shadow straightened like a deathly flowering blooming and looked at her with two blood-red eyes. The inky figure pointed one long finger at the paper she held.
   “You have been warned,” it rumbled. “Aberon blood will be spilt this night.”  
   And then the figure burst, sending shard of shadow across the room. She didn’t even have time to scream. Only to stand and stare, bits of black caught in her hair and eyelashes.
   As the dark faded from her skin, all she could think was I have been warned.
   Lucy Aberon had been warned.
   But her brother hadn’t been.
   Throwing on a white coat and jeans, she dashed out of the house and into the frozen night.
   And three thin pieces of paper floated listlessly on the wind. Above the trees and into the midnight sky, like wandering birds. 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 minutes.

   The leader raised his nose and sniffed. They were close. He could smell human flesh.
   Human flesh. It had been so long. Three years.
   So long.
   He gestured with one long, grotesque hand and lurched down the path, following the human-flesh scent.
   So close.

   She had forgotten her phone. But she guessed that it wouldn’t have helped – there were strange forces at work
   She tried not to think of what 10 minutes could lead too. Only ran down the street like a ghost out for revenge, looking for her brother.
   10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10
   There was a crack. She skidded to a stop and tripped, shredding her hands on the cement and leaving blood trails.And she laid there, freezing, trying to still her pounding heart.
   Paranoid. That’s all it was – she was paranoid. Inhaling shakily, she climbed back to her feet and moved more slowly, wrapping her arms around herself. Her palms stung and were probably leaving stains on her clothes. She didn’t care.
   She had to find her brother. 10 minutes.

   He smelled blood. A growl built up in his throat. Blood.
   And it was close.
   A cascade of growls and insect-sounding clicks erupted from his pack. They were impatient. They wanted to feed.
   He sniffed the air again. Yes, blood. And human flesh. So close.
   It was time to hunt.

   Her feet were blistered. She didn’t know how far she had gone – she barely knew where she was anymore. She could hardly see.
   So she just kept walking and calling her brother’s name, hoping she wasn’t too lost. Then she heard a shout.
   She whirled around and dashed across whoever’s yard she was in, tripping on sticks. No one would see her – it was too dark. But she had to find out who screamed. Something about it felt wrong.
   She rounded the house, and slowed as the moon shot its dim and deathly light across the backyard. And she saw her brother. He was in the yard, crouching, hand on his leg. It looked broken. How …
   “Ashland!” She cried, rushing forward again.
   She didn’t know what time it was. But the shadows and the moon did. And they watched as every clock struck twelve and a grotesque hand clamped down around the unsuspecting girl’s arm.
   She had been warned. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ Savannah Grace

34 comments :

  1. *shivers* Oh, spooky. And now, I really want to read more! Great job, Savannah!

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    1. Glad you think so :D. It was super fun to write *nods*. Thank you!

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  2. I don't consider myself a fan of spooky stories, but you did a good job! ;)

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    1. Thank you, Hanna! I wasn't sure if you'd read it (I know you don't like creepy things *nods*), but I'm glad you thought I did good :D.

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    2. You know me well! I thought about skipping it, but I decided I'd read it. I guess I did read the end first, so as not to get too creeped out. ;)

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  3. Wow...Nice job! I don't think I could manage to write something that sensible. xD I'd have to toss in a couple of random amusing comments. :P

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    1. Thanks, Prill! You should join in the challenge, just for fun *nods*. I'd love to see what you'd write (and who says it has to be sensible? XD)!

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  4. Oh my goodness! I want more!!!! You cant leave me hanging like that! *takes breath* Lovely writing, and I totally want it in my hands. I couldn't stop reading it, and really love the mystery and everything! PLEASE say you will be continuing this on.

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    1. I agree with Soleil!! Please write more, that was so creepy and so GOOOD, and you really truly need to turn this into a full-fledged story!!!!
      -Ariel

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    2. Soleil- OOH, thank you so much! Yes, I gave you a HORRID cliffhanger, didn't I? XD Maybe I'll write more if it, when the want to hits me ...

      Ariel- I might, I might ... but I'd have to wait for a pretty good plot bunny *nods*.

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  5. SAVANNAH GRACE WHAT HAVE YOU DONE????? THAT ENDING WAS NOT OKAY. As others have said, WRITE MORE. IMMEDIATELY. THIS IS NOT OKAY.

    But...but...SAVANNAH. Your writing!!! Oh my goodness, it was so GOOD. The imagery was so eerie and vivid! The "stony eye" of the moon, the quivering shadows. AGH. ALL SO HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL.

    THIS WAS JUST EPIC. But how could you end it right there?! EVILLLL. *flails*

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    1. HAHA, I LEFT YOU ALL HANGING XD.

      THANK YOU, CHRISTINE! I think this was the first time I've publicly shared any of my story-writings, and I'm SO glad y'all loved it :D.

      Oh yes, I'm a very evil authoress *cackles*. But PERHAPS if I get the inspiration (you know how inspiration goes XD), I shall write more *nods*.

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  6. dude. o.o wat is this.

    AHJSDKFALSHDFLAWEKJHFSEAF.

    You know, I think you just inspired me to write this short story I've had planned for a few months now. THIS WAS SO AMAZING AND GLORIOUS AJHLKJHAKJSDHFALSDKJFHALKSDJFHLAKSJDHF *shivers and hides under blankets with stuffed animal*

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    1. ASJKLDASL, THANK YOU, Hannah! *grins* This was so fun to write - and it's especially fun to see all your reactions to it XD. (Also, YES WRITE THAT SHORT STORY. I have no idea what it is (... or do I and my memory is just faulty?) BUT IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN. *nods*)

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  7. Ahhhhh I love this!! BUT NO, THAT WAS NOT NICE. YOUR ENDING WAS NOT NICE. YOU MUST CONTINUE THIS.
    But your descriptions were just so hauntingly vivid and incredible, I could picture everything in my head perfectly. Stunning!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Misty! HAHA, yes, I just HAD to leave you guys on a horrible cliffhanger XD. So glad you liked it!

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  8. http://i.imgur.com/TLiTGAt.gif

    Well...that was morbid and creepifying...I liked it!

    I especially liked how you used the "Ten minutes" over and over, incredible how much suspense you created in such a short story.
    Also like the ambiguity you created: Do the shadows mean someone is going to die, if so who? Are they prophesying or just speaking fact when they say the blood will be spilled, meaning that her brother broke his leg, so they could get her and her brother together...so many possibilities! You have a lot of places to go with this...Can't wait to see if you continue.

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    1. Thanks, Evan! I'd hoped the '10 minutes' would come off right - I guess it did! :D
      Your comments on the story were awesome, Evan. I now have a bunch of plot bunnies hopping around and wanting to be written XD. Thanks!

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  9. SAVANNAH. DID YOU REALLY WRITE THAT?! o.o That is seriously stunning and creepy and haunting and perfectly described. You should definitely finish it. *nods*

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    1. NO, IT WAS THE DRAGON I KEEP IN THE BASEMENT. I finally let him loose XD.
      Thank you so much, Emily! I think I might :D.

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  10. Whoa... Not a story I'd want to read before going on a walk at night. Or something. XD

    Great job on the spooky story! You should expand this into a novel, or even a novella. I think it'd be awesome! There's a lot of questions I'd want answered, like who the strange creatures are, or why they only hunt at midnight.

    The imagery in the story was also stellar. A paper whirlwind? How cool is that?! (The answer is: very cool.) Thanks for sharing this piece of writing with us. :D

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    1. Haha, probably not XD.

      Thanks, Josiah! Glad you liked the imagery - I had so much fun with it! I don't normally write stuff like '10 Till Midnight', but I've found out that it's a lot of fun :D. WHICH means I'll probably be writing more of this story at some point XD.

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    2. It's good thing I didn't do that. XD

      You're most welcome! I could tell you did--spooky stories can make for some great imagery. And they can also be very fun to write, as you said. :D Ooh, let me know if you do!

      Are you planning on writing any more stories for the challenge, or are you just sticking with this one?

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    3. I MIGHT write another one (emphasis on 'might' - it's been insanely busy on my end XD), just because this one was so much fun. If I don't, I'll probably write something that ties into '10 Till Midnight' and post that at some point *nods*. Are you writing something for the challenge?

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    4. Well, if you're busy, I completely understand if you don't post another story. That would be pretty awesome! You should totally do that. *gives you my stamp of approval* XD

      Yes, indeed I am! My goal is to enter at least one story on Google Plus, since I have no blog as of yet. I've got a few ideas circulating around in my head, so we'll see how that goes. :)

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  11. ASDFGHJKL WAIT WAAAAAAAAHT HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THAT AND STAB US ALL IN THE HEART AND LEAVE US HERE???? SAVANNAH YOU EVIL WRITER YOU. <333333333

    *hugs you ferociously*
    THIS WAS DELICIOUS OMG SCREAMING

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    1. HAHA, I AM HORRIBLE, AREN'T I? But it's just so much FUN to leave you guys on a horrendous cliffhanger! XD *cackles and rushes off write*

      AAH, THANK YOU SO MUCH, ABBIE!!! *hugs*

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  12. Oh my gosh. Savannah Grace..............
    If I had read this at night I would have F.R.E.A.K.E.D. so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I literally have goosebumps right now........*shudders* Ooooooo.........*shivers*.....creepy moment of the day!!!!
    Are you just trying to scare me?!?!?!?!? CAUSE IT WORKED.

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    1. Hehe - it would have been kinda fun to watch you freak out! (should have made you wait to read it until you come over tomorrow *nods*(

      Maybe I was trying to, maybe I wasn't ;D.

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  13. Eeeee, *shivers* sooooo creepy! This had me on the edge of my seat, and it's not even dark outside right now!!!! Nicely done!

    Love it! Thanks for participating in the challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Jenelle! Loved your reaction to it :D.

      Your welcome, this was tons of fun! Thanks for hosting this challenge *nods*.

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  14. SAVANNAH. That was so eerie! I loooooved the paper whirlwind. And that ending, ARGH. WHYYYY? (Okay, I guess I need to be on the receiving end of a cliffhanger now and then. XD)

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    1. THANK YOU! Yes, everyone has to be on the receiving end of a cliffhanger sometimes (BUT I ALWAYS GO CRAZY WHEN /I/ AM THAT PERSON) *nods*. You left us on a cliffhanger too, so no room for complaining XD.

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    2. Cliffhangers are totally the realm of the ghost-story genre. You can get away with them there because....



      (see what I did there?) haha

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