This term we invited members of the Creative Writing Club to write a story based on the theme ‘Halloween.’ We had lots of really amazing stories but chose Jessica W’s as the winner. We hope you enjoy reading this extract from the winning piece as much as we did!
Ever since my sixteenth birthday things have been different. My mother and friends can’t even look at me, sometimes I wonder if it’s out of pity. I sit at the back of class, next to the window and some girls I don’t even bother trying to engage with anymore, the thought of doing so is disastrous. Today the girl on my left slyly moved her hand under the desk to reach for something in her pocket… a note?
It’s bright orange, not at all subtle, and when the girl puts the note out onto the desk to read it I realise that it’s a pumpkin shape. The words “Saturday Spooktacular” are written onto it with dark red ink, a cheap attempt at blood if you ask me, with an address and the time six o’ clock. I know I’m not invited but it would be rude of me of all people not to go to a Halloween party.
It’s better than sitting at home and listening to my mother try and sympathise with me, brushing her fiery hair with her fingers and saying that death isn’t the end. But, of course, it is. I catch a glimpse of myself in one of the windows, of course it’s a bit distorted, and I realise that I look nothing like myself. Perfect. The girl from my class opens the door to the crowd that I’m nestled into, her costume makes all the boys whistle. I laugh to hide the jealousy. School functions were always what I detested most, but now I see that I just detested the people, they always interacted with their people, never once daring to adventure beyond the realms of school cliques. I want to offer her something to keep her warm but that would be like someone offering the ocean a glass of water, instead I step inside the house that is crowded with odorous teenagers. I weave my way through the crowd to where I should be standing with my friends, my people. Fleur is there in the corner, dressed as a cat, her black hair matching the cat ears and tail that she has artfully sewn onto a hoodie, textiles were always her passion so I’m glad that she is still fuelling her creative passion. Teresa is there too, wiping away her tears, she’s not even dressed as anything, just wearing trousers and a hoodie.
I put my arm on her shoulder, “I’m sorry.”
Teresa doesn’t even look up as she wipes away a tear from her cheek.
“Fleur?” She stands like a statue, her face even beginning to match the grey hue that all three of us have tried to recreate for our statues art project in Year 8. That was before the accident, when we could lighten up a classroom of people who, as they are now, would just awkwardly stand in groups of people and try to encourage conversation.
Finally one of them speaks up.
“Happy Halloween, Fleur.” Teresa mutters, as if she’s spitting out gum.
“Don’t say that Terri, we aren’t.”
“Aren’t what? We aren’t gonna talk about this?” Teresa shoves her hand into her trouser pocket, her hair now hiding the anger on her round, freckled face. “It’s Halloween, one year ago today there was the accident, where me, you and Sasha should have been at a party just like this one. Sasha, always the hero. But us three can’t just… we are the only people who know.”
“Stop!” Fleur yells at the top of her lungs. The entire house full of people turn to look at her, including the very unprofessional police officer, but Teresa keeps digging in her pocket until she retrieves what she was looking for. A photo that I sent the girls when I went searching for a dead man…
- Extract from short story by Jessica W (Year 12)
- English Prefects: Ellie F, Sophie E & Alix M (Year 13)