Hi, over the last 2 weeks we’ve covered our Halloween party. First, we had scary Halloween decorations and then it was funny Halloween foods. This week I’ve got a spooky short story to make the kids jump out of their skin on Halloween night.
But before we get into the story, have you decided what to wear for Halloween? Find out by playing this fun game:
Wait until the Halloween fun is over and all is quiet, then read them this short story aloud and try and build the suspense as you go…
Janine by Barry S. Brunswick
It was midnight that night, a night that I’ll never forget. The rain teemed down and swept in waves across the windscreen. The wipers squeaked as they moved frantically back and forth. I crawled along the road, I dare not speed up. I couldn’t see much at all, even with the headlights on full beam. I knew my friend’s cabin must be nearby, but I don’t know if I’d see it, even if it was right in front of me.
I couldn’t have chosen a worse night to go but Dan had given me the keys to his cabin in the woods. I had needed to get out of the city for a while. For two weeks I would be alone there to relax and hike. But at that moment I couldn’t possibly relax, I was terrified. A young woman alone on these windy roads. Roads that were dark and slippery and that I’d never been down before. I wished I hadn’t left so late, but I had.
That was the moment my life changed forever. Things I had known as true, maybe weren’t true after all. In the headlights a silver flash shot across the road. I hit the brakes and screeched to a stop. My hands shook as I sat there trying to take in what had happened. It was a close one, but I didn’t hit it, whatever it was.
Suddenly, there was a bang on my car window. I jumped in my seat and whipped my head round. I looked at her face through the mist, and in an instant, it was etched into my memory forever. She was young, maybe nineteen, beautiful, yet clearly distressed. Her skin was pale, almost silver. A feeling crept over me. A feeling of uneasiness as soon as my eyes met hers.
I opened the car door. I was unsure, but I couldn’t leave her there on the road, soaked to the bone.
Before I could speak. “Can you take me home Miss?” she asked. Her voice trembled maybe from the cold, maybe from fear.
“Of course I can, get in.” I had to help her. She climbed awkwardly inside and sat soaking wet on the passenger seat.
“Thank you, kindly Miss.” She said in a strange accent. I looked her up and down. She was wearing a white old-fashioned sort of dress and her arms and legs looked blue from cold. I turned up the heat and smiled at her. She didn’t smile back. She sat staring ahead.
“Where do you live?” I asked, as I started driving again.
“That way.” She said, pointing a finger forward.
“What happened to you? What are you doing out here alone?” She stared eerily ahead, never making eye contact, not even for a second.
“I was searching Miss, I’m always searching.” She said, staring blankly at the road.
“Searching for what?” I asked. She said nothing. The distress on her face had gone. She was calm, spookily calm. Something wasn’t right with her.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Janine, Miss.” She didn’t ask for mine.
“Where are we going, Janine?” I was trying to get some information from her. It was clear she had been through some kind of ordeal.
“Turn left here.” She said. I turned where she pointed and drove into a narrow dirt road. Trees towered left and right, and it wasn’t big enough for more than one vehicle at a time.
“Do you live down here?” I asked.
“What do you mean, no?” If I had ever started to feel easy, it was gone now. She was so strange.
“I’m stuck.” She said.
“What do you mean, stuck?” I was unnerved. Where could she be leading me?
“Stuck.” She said staring ahead.
“Right, you’d better tell me what is going on.” I said firmly, this wasn’t right.
“Thank you, Miss.” She said. And then she vanished into thin air before my eyes. Rational thought left my mind as fear replaced it. My heart raced. I screamed. I sped up as panic filled my body.
I searched left and right to find somewhere to turn the car round and get out of there. But there was nowhere. The road was far too narrow. I couldn’t reverse, I could hardly see out of the front windscreen never mind the back. I had no choice, I had to carry on and hope to find somewhere up ahead.
The road seemed to go on forever and after a few minutes I started to calm down a little bit. I knew I wasn’t in danger. She was gone. But the thought never left me, if she could disappear into thin air, could she reappear in my car? I tried to shake the thought from my mind as I told myself to breathe. My mind whirred as I tried to make sense of the senseless situation.
Suddenly the road ahead opened up and a log cabin became clear in my head lights. Instantly I was relieved. I could turn around there and find where I was supposed to be going. As I swung the car round in a circle I saw a sign. This was my friend’s cabin.
I didn’t even get my stuff out of the car as I rushed inside. I opened the door as quickly as I could and as soon as I was inside I felt a little safer. I fumbled around for the light switch and as the glow filled the room, I felt even better. It was a beautiful cabin. Leather sofas and an open fire, rugs of deep reds and paintings of deer and other animals all around. There was a note from my friend on the table.
‘Hey there you, I’ve chopped some firewood and stocked up the cupboards.
Relax and enjoy, you deserve it. Dan’
It made me smile. I immediately went to the cupboard to make a hot cup of tea. I sat down, hugging the cup in my hands. While the crazy situation ran over and over through my mind. Had I imagined the girl? Was she real? Was I going mad? I just couldn’t make any sense of it.
Eventually, somehow, I settled down and fell asleep on the sofa. I was worn out.
I awoke from a strange dream. I wasn’t sure what the time was. A chill tickled goose bumps on my skin. It felt strange. I felt uneasy. I had that strange feeling again. The feeling I had in the car when I saw the girl. Again, my breath quickened, my heart started to pound.
‘KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!’
Did something fall on the roof?
‘KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!’
It was the door. I froze solid. And sat shivering in silence. Again, there were three knocks with exactly the same timing. Every part of my being screamed for me not to, but I stood up and headed towards the door.
“Who’s there!” I shouted. There was nothing but silence.
“Who’s there!” I shouted again. Again, there was silence.
A few seconds passed and then: ‘KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!’
I couldn’t think of anything worse than what I did, but I couldn’t help myself. I stepped towards the door. It was like I was being drawn by a force that I couldn’t resist. The three knocks thudded once more. I reached out a hand for the key.
There was a lingering whisper that I couldn’t quite hear coming from the other side of the door.
My heart was frantic, my breath blew steam in the chill. A silver mist rolled beneath the door and around my feet.
‘KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!’ The door went again.
I turned the key, reached out for the handle. I paused, drew breath and turned the handle. Slowly the door creaked as I opened it and suddenly…
Now scream loudly and watch the hilarious reaction!!!!!
Barry S. Brunswick is an author. You can buy his books on Amazon:
Dreamland Part 1 – The Fabric of Dreams
Dreamland Part 2 – The Masters of Light
The War of The Turnips
Barry Brunswick’s Tall Tales – A Short Story Collection
Inner Outer – A Poetry Collection