Other Halloweensie Contenders

I’ve already posted my entry for Susanna Hill’s annual Halloweensie kid lit contest this year. But, I had so much fun writing stories of 100 words or less using the words goodiesglow-in-the-dark, and goosebumps that I thought I’d create a post for the runner ups that I wrote. I could have entered multiple times, but I decided to just pick my favorite–which you can read here.

Below are the 2 other stories I wrote using the contest guidelines. Both of these come in at exactly 100 words. I hope you enjoy them!

Truth or Scare

On Johnson’s Farm, Jack-O-Lanterns flickered, dimmed, and finally darkened.

Goody wrappers littered fields.

Dried leaves became tumbleweeds.

Inside the barn, Gary Goose, Sam Sheep and Penelope Pig huddled in an empty stall for their annual “Scaredown”—repeating gossip overheard from humans.

“Junior wants a glow-in-the-dark wool hoodie,” whispered Penelope.

Sam shuddered, imagining the buzzing sheers.

“Grandma wants a new down pillow,” she added.

Gary shivered, remembering those awful goosebumps after plucking.

“What’ve you two got?” asked Penelope.

Gary and Sam gulped, and exchanged glances.

“You win.”

They simply couldn’t tell her about the weekend’s breakfast menu…

Sausage biscuits with gravy.

The Best Costume Ever

“Is my costume ready?” Lilly called.

Her mom made the best costumes. Last year Lilly was a glow-in-the-dark robot from outer space. The year before she was a ghastly ghoul that gave everyone some serious goosebumps!

This year, Mom had a new baby—and a whole lot less time.

Lilly tried to understand. Mom was tired and busy. But sometimes Lilly missed having her to herself.

“Ready!” call Mom.

When they set out for trick-or-treating, Mom’s hands were free for taking pictures, and holding collected goodies.

Lilly’s costume was the best ever.

A kangaroo…with her baby brother in her pouch.

And that’s a wrap for Halloweensie 2021! Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Halloweensie 2021

I won a prize in the fabulous Fall Writing Frenzy Contest earlier this month, so I decided to enter the amazing annual kid lit contest Halloweensie again this year. It’s hosted by author and blogger Susanna Hill. The rules are to write a 100-word Halloween story, using the words goodiesglow-in-the-dark, and goosebumps.

Thanks for stopping by! Here is my entry:

Title: Home for Halloween

Author: Melissa Miles

Word Count: 99

Sis and I decide to decorate our home for Halloween.

We cover the door with some Spanish Moss littering the curb. Spooky.

Someone’s discarded glow-in-the-dark stickers beautify our windows. Creepy.

Our woven plastic bag welcome mat is colorful. Cozy.

“There,” we say. “Not bad.”

We know the costumes we’ve created from clothes in our shared suitcase won’t give anyone goosebumps, but hopefully they’ll score us some goodies.

“I’m proud of you girls,” Mom says. “I promise it’s not forever.”

We set off hand-in-hand, leaving behind the parking lot’s glaring lights.

Hoping next year, our home won’t be the car.

*****UPDATE! I received an honorable mention for this story. Thanks to Susanna, and all the others who helped make this contest possible.

The Badge I received along with a gift card. Very nice surprise!

Fall Writing Frenzy 2021: The Accusation

I’m back to throw my hat into the ring for the third annual Fall Writing Frenzy, run by the amazing duo Kaitlyn Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis! Check out the contest link for all the details, but basically I’m writing a 200 word story based on the picture below. When I saw this old church in autumn, a strange story began to unfold. It’s written for a teen audience. Special thanks to the prize donors and special judge Ameerah Holliday! I hope you enjoy!

Photo Credit: Unsplash: Julia Solonina

The Accusation

(200 words)

The rising chants spur me forward. They’ve grown almost loud enough to drown out my hammering heart, and the crunching of leaves under my feet.
Am I too late?

The church comes into view.

Smoke prickles my nose.
What have I done?

I’m close enough now to hear shouted taunts—

“Witch!”
“Heretic!”
“Devil!”

All lies. But, who’ll believe me now?

Orange flames lash the pole. Crackling. Popping.

“Father!” I shout in vain. I’ll make him believe me.

But, I can’t push through the frenzied mob. I’m too late to stop this.

Even now, bound in ropes, Anna looks beautiful—chin high, face proud.

Does she know what I’ve done?

Guilt knots my insides.

But, Henry had wanted her. My Henry.

Before Anna came, I’d been enough.

So, I lied. “She cursed our crops.”

They needed a scapegoat, so they believed. It was easy, really.

Suddenly, there’s a loud bang, a green flash. I’m thrown backwards into the crowd.
Fear grips my throat like a fist. I’ll be trampled!

At the crowd’s collective gasp, I follow their gazes skyward.

Anna soars above us, one finger pointing at me.

Our eyes meet.

Then…
she’s gone.

Again, I wonder. What have I done?

UPDATE**** I won a critique from amazing kidlit author Dorian Cirrone. Thanks to everyone who puts this together every year!

Rocky’s Tale: Couch Pup to Mountaineer

Dog Superman GIF from Tenor.com

I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring again this year for the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest. Click here to learn more about this fun contest, and the wonderful folks who put many hours of their time into making it happen! Thank you to the amazing Kaitlyn Sanchez and Ciara O’Neal and ALL of the generous prize donors!

Rocky’s Tale: Couch Pup to Mountaineer

150 words

“Just a week until spring break in the mountains, Rocky!” My person says, scratching my belly.

The mountains? This couch pup better get in shape!
I make a daily schedule:

  1. Cut back on kibble
  2. Hit the treadmill
  3. Drink lots of water (Thank goodness there’s a doggie door!)
  4. Chase tail 3 times
  5. Chase squirrels around backyard
  6. 30 doggie push-ups
  7. Cut back to 5 naps
  8. No looking pitiful to score treats

I stick to my schedule—even #8!
I’m ready. A champion mountain dog. Super Rocky.
We’re finally on the road…
I yodel out the window. “Rodel-ray-re-roo!”

Finally, the car stops at a cabin.

I survey my new domain.
TV, check.
Comfy couch, check.
Treacherous hiking trails… Nope!

My kind of place!
I shamelessly beg for treats until my belly’s full, then snuggle into the couch.
Nap time.
Maybe we’ll have steak for dinner.

Impossible Assignment?

I decided to write two completely different stories for Susanna Leonard Hill’s tenth annual Halloweensie Writing Contest this year. So, here’s the second one. It’s kind of an inside joke for all of us who first looked at the contest rules and thought we couldn’t do it! I hope you enjoy it!

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

The Impossible Assignment

97 words

“What’s wrong?” Henry’s sister Rachel asked.

“This assignment’s impossible. It’s bad enough having school on Halloween.”

She scanned his computer. “It’s definitely possible.”

“I can’t write a story in only 100 words using these three exact words.”

“Sure you can!”

“But how?” he wailed. Henry couldn’t trick-or-treat until he finished.

“Hmmm,” Rachel said. “I’ll be right back.”

At the sound of footsteps, Henry looked up.

“Why are you wearing my creepy skeleton mask?”

“There’s your story!” she said. “Write it down, and keep it short!”

“You’re the best!” Henry said with a grin as he started typing.

Sammy Skeleton’s Sticky Situation

I wrote this little story for Susanna Leonard Hill’s tenth annual Halloweensie Writing Contest. It’s a fun and challenging task to write a Halloween story in only 100 words. To make it even more challenging, some form of these words has to be included in the story: Skeleton, creep and mask. I hope you enjoy it!

Image used with permission by its creator, DazzlinggirlDIYShop

Sammy Skeleton’s Sticky Situation

99 words

Halloween was Sammy Skeleton’s favorite!
But, before he’d gotten far…
Squish.
“What creep threw gum on the sidewalk?”
His metatarsals were icky.
His cuboid bone was sticky.
“I’m a mess!”
Tears filled his Sugar Skull mask.
Before Sammy’s candy bucket was half-full, grass and leaves clung to his foot.
Gretchen Ghoul laughed.
Tommy Troll pointed with his club.
But, Wendy Witch said, “Let me brew some Go-away Goo.”
Clank. Clatter. His foot plunged into her cauldron.
Sizzle. Frizzle. Then…
“The gum’s gone!” Sammy shouted. “Thanks!”
“Let’s finish trick-or-treating,” said Wendy.
“Great,” agreed Sammy. “But, first I’ll get my shoes!”

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Thanks for reading! And if you love the gorgeous mask in the picture as much as I do, purchase link is in the caption. 🙂

The First Step

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So, The Fall Writing Frenzy challenges keep coming! Kaitlyn Sanchez, one of the contest organizers, posted this challenge: take a line from your original story and create a whole new story from that line. As before, we’d love for you to share with our community by posting to your blog and sharing using the #FallWritingFrenzy hashtag!

So, here’s my effort, coming in at just under 200 words. I kept the same character from my original, but aged her up to 18 and created a new story for her. The line from the original is in bold type. I hope you enjoy!

The First Step

I unpacked my shadow box, placing it gently on the desk.
“What’s the deal with the leaf?”
I looked over my shoulder, taking in my roommate’s smirk.
“Just something I’ve had since I was a kid.”
“Whatever,” she said, with a wave. “I’m walking to dinner.”
I blinked back tears. She belonged here on this campus filled with traditions and old money—the Ivy League and all that. From the minute Dad dropped me off, I’d known I would never belong here. An imposter. Had it really only been a few hours ago?
The essay that clinched my scholarship had been about that leaf—a tangible keepsake of Mom’s last wish. In the interviews, the selection committee told me how moved they’d been by my story, and my strength in sharing it with them.
“I do belong here.”
I said the words out loud, to steel my resolve. The committee had picked me. Me.
This would be my first step on a long journey. To become a doctor. To devote myself to researching cancer—and ways to stop it’s growth.
Placing my hand on the box, I said, “This is for you, Mom. I’ve got this.”
And I did.

The Antagonist’s Turn

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

My last post was my entry to the Fall Writing Frenzy contest. The protagonist of my little story was a young girl helping her mother see the leaves change color “one last time” after her mom’s cancer came back.

So, today I saw this Twitter post by Kaitlyn Sanchez, one of the sponsors of the contest:

I need a good writing challenge, so I decided to come up with a story from the antagonist’s POV. In the case of my original Fall Writing Frenzy story, the antagonist isn’t a person. It’s a disease. Cancer. Yikes.

Challenge accepted! Here’s my story, which I also kept to the word limit of the original contest.

The Day I was Beaten

People hate me. Wait, that’s not a strong enough word. People despise me. I get called “the C word”—as if my name is too evil to speak. There are T-shirts and bumper stickers proclaiming “Cancer Sucks”—and worse, believe me. But, I have to keep this clean for kids.

Not that I normally watch out for kids. I mean, I grow uncontrollably fast in their tiny bodies just as easily as I grow in adults—another reason I’m so despised.

One recent autumn day, I felt ‘death ray level’ loathing directed at me by a little girl riding in a convertible with her parents. The family was saying goodbye. Making memories to cherish once my work in her mother’s body was done.

But they don’t know what I know.

Exactly 24 years later, that little girl—all grown up—will receive the Nobel Prize in Medicine for curing cancer. She’ll dedicate that award to her mother, and hold up a small shadow box containing a leaf. Her father will lead a standing ovation at the ceremony, with a lone tear rolling down his cheek.

That’s what I know. That autumn day was the beginning of the end for me.

Witch Missy

Happy Halloween Everyone. I wrote this 100 word story for the 9th annual Halloweensie contest on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. Click the link to check out contest rules. 🙂 Enjoy!

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“I’m a witch,” Missy chants—red curls poking messily from her black pointed cap. “I need a wand.”
She snaps a twig from a leafless branch. Perfect.
Her costumed group reaches a spooky darkened house.
Missy stops.
A friend tugs her arm. “We only stop for lit porch lights.”
Cobwebs litter the deserted porch. Owls screech.
Missy shivers.
“Come on.”
Missy ignores.
“We’re leaving.” They really do.
Missy stares.
A nearby chorus of “Trick or treat!”
A cauldron! A real witch’s house! It could hold potions.
Missy moves.
Inching closer, squinting.
Then…
“MEOWWW!!!”
Missy screams.
The cat dashes.
Missy laughs.

Just One Child

Happy Halloween Everyone. I wrote this 100 word story for the 9th annual Halloweensie contest on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. Click the link to check out contest rules. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Creak. Her rocking chair broke the eerie silence.

“Just one child,” she thought.

She adjusted her pointy black hat, and rubbed her gnarled hands together greedily. “Just one.”

Yet, none came.

Her eyes scanned fake cobwebs and tattered scarecrows with disgust.

At long last, she rose to go inside—heart heavy, lonely.

Then, a chorus of voices behind her.

Trick or treat!”

A potion for her soul! She turned. Not just one child. Her great-grandchildren!

“Sorry we’re so late. It’s a long drive, but we wanted to visit on your first “nursing home Halloween”.

A full heart. A smile. Happy.