Spending Halloween At the Spooky Cemetery

Submitted into Contest #65 in response to: Start your story with two characters deciding to spend the night in a graveyard.... view prompt


Bedtime Horror Teens & Young Adult

“I think you are chicken!” Jenny yelled at me.

     “No, I’m not!” I yelled back.

     “Then prove it!”

     “Fine! I will! I bet you I can spend the entire night at the spooky old cemetery on Locke Road and you can’t,” I said with a huff.

     “I’ll take that bet,” said Jenny with a smug look on her face.

      “What does the winner get?” I asked.

      “The loser does the winners chores for a month,” said Jenny.

       “No, two months,” I shot back.

        Jenny and I had been fighting for days about who was the bravest between the two of us. She is a few years older than me and in the seventh grade. I am only in the fifth grade. She is afraid of spiders and snakes but I’m only afraid of snakes. She can’t possibly be braver than me, can she?

        “Okay, this is what we are going to do,” Jenny said as she started explaining her plan for Halloween night. “We are going to tell Mom and Dad that we are staying over at Aunt Suzie’s house. I already asked Aunt Suzie and she said we could stay. We are going to get dressed up in our Halloween costumes and pretend like we are going trick or treating…”

         “They are going to think we got kidnapped when we don’t return from trick or treating,” I interrupted.

         “Oh, I didn’t think of that,” said Jenny.

“We are going to have to go trick or treating, go back to Aunt Suzie’s house, and then sneak out and go to the cemetery,” I told her.

“Sounds like a plan then,” said Jenny.

“What are the rules for the night in the cemetery?” I asked.

“Simple, the first one to leave the cemetery loses. If neither of us leaves before the sun comes up then it is a tie,” answered Jenny.

“Deal!” I said without hesitation, holding out my hand ready to shake on it.

     “Deal!” Jenny said shaking my hand wildly.

I had a lot of work to do. I was going to scare my older sister into leaving the cemetery before me and I knew just who to call to help me, my best friend Kelly. Kelly and I had been best friends practically since birth and she loved everything that was spooky, gooey, slimy, and scary. She would help me set the stage for scaring my sister. That will teach her to call me a chicken.

Kelly answered the phone on the first ring. When I told her about the bet, she got really excited. She was so eager to help that she started telling me some great ideas she had to decorate the cemetery for our night of Halloween fun.

Kelly and I put together a plan. She was going to decorate the cemetery with life-like severed arms, legs, and other body parts. Then she was going to add some fake giant spiders set up to jump forward when their line was tripped. Next, she would add a fog machine so that the cemetery would get even spookier.  Lastly, she was going to hide in the cemetery with her two younger brothers and they were going to play tricks on Jenny to help scare her out of the cemetery.

When I hung up the phone I was just as excited about Halloween night as Kelly was. I called Aunt Suzie and told her about the plan. I didn’t want to sneak out of the house.  I wanted another adult to know where we were besides just Kelly’s parents and Aunt Suzie was the perfect person.

“What’s your plan, Maggie?” asked Aunt Suzie.

“Kelly and I are going to scare Jenny right out of the cemetery,” I said over the phone.

I told her the plan and she said she was in, she wanted to help decorate the cemetery and add some secret stuff that even I didn’t know about to see if I got scared too.

“You know Jenny is going to be mad when she finds out that Kelly helped you,” said Aunt Suzie.

“I overheard Jenny this morning talking to Macie on the phone and they were concocting ideas of their own for Halloween night. It sounds like she is going to have plenty of help in her corner too,” I said.

“This is going to be lots of fun, Maggie. I haven’t played in a cemetery in a long, long time. Thank you for wanting to include me,” said Aunt Suzie.

“Of course, Aunt Suzie, you are the most fun aunt on the planet, and I knew you would want to participate.”

I hung up the phone and pulled out a pencil and paper. I needed to make a list of supplies that I could take from the garage and I needed to hurry up and get them before Jenny did.

I quietly snuck out of my room, tiptoed down the stairs, and slid around the corner to the garage without anyone seeing me. I opened the garage door and ran straight into my Dad who was reaching for the door handle on the other side.

“Whoa, Pumpkin, what’s the hurry?” he asked catching me, so I didn’t fall.

“I need some stuff for Halloween, so I came to look around in the garage,” I told him.

“Is there anything, in particular, you need my help with for the cemetery?” Dad asked.

My head whipped around super fast and I stared at him with my mouth open.

“Don’t look so surprised. Jenny told me all about it,” Dad said with a smile.

“You’re not mad?”

“Of course not. Why did you think I would be mad?”

“Because we are kinda sneaking out late at night,” I said cautiously.

“Oh that, well it is Halloween after all, and your Aunt Suzie will be there…” he stopped in mid-sentence waiting for me to figure out that he knew Aunt Suzie would be there too.

“Daaadddd, who told you about Aunt Suzie?” I whined.

“Aunt Suzie,” he said with a pat on my shoulder. “Let me know if you need any help from me, okay, Pumpkin.” He kissed me on the top of my head and left the garage.

When he was gone, I did a little angry dance in the garage, stomping my feet and waving my fists. Jenny had told Dad. Dang, it! Hearing that took the wind out of my sails, so I left the garage without any supplies and went to go call Kelly.

“There is nothing we can do about it; the rules are there are no rules. She can invite the whole town to join in if she wants,” Kelly reminded me.

“I know, but now it isn’t a secret, everyone knows about it,” I said, still a little whiney.

“This just means we are going to have to outdo whatever she and her friends do. Why don’t you call Anna and Liam and see if they want to help, too? They love Halloween spooky stuff, so maybe we can add some more things to scare Jenny,” Kelly said with enthusiasm.

Kelly’s suggestion pulled me out of my slump. My cousins Anna and Liam were a few years older than Jenny. Liam was a mechanical wizard; he could build or fix anything that had an engine or power cord. Anna was a makeup artist master; she could create the creepiest, scariest makeup in town. I just needed them to agree to be part of my team.

I called Liam and he immediately agreed to help me. He said he would call Anna and get her on board with us. With the two of them on my side, I was sure to win.

The next day at school all of my classmates gathered around at lunch to think of some good ideas for the cemetery. Kelly and I had already picked a few things on our own, but we needed a bunch more effects to make it the scariest night ever.

“I can dress up like the Grim Reaper,” said Kyle.

“We need zombies,” said Ricky.

“And ghosts,” said Sherry.

“And a vampire,” said Sam.

“Bats, we need lots of bats to fly out at her,” said Bobby.

“We need to make the zombies look like they are trying to crawl out of the graves, that will really scare her,” said Gigi and everyone nodded in agreement.

“Who has an iPod we can use for creepy sounds?” I asked and five hands flew up into the air.

My whole class wanted to participate in the festivities, so everyone was assigned a job. Kelly typed up a list and shared it with everyone. 

At the end of the day, our teacher Mr. Kennedy told me I had heard about the bet with Jenny and wanted to know if there was anything he could do to help us. I asked Mr. Kennedy about his Halloween decorations at his house and he said he had a real-life human skeleton that he bought when he was in college that was used in his science class. He said we could use it if we needed to.

“That would be awesome, Mr. Kennedy. Thank you for asking me. I was afraid to ask you if you wanted to help because, well, because you’re my teacher,” I said softly with my head down, looking at the ground.

“Maggie, you should never be afraid to talk to people, no matter how old they are,” Mr. Kennedy said reassuringly, “but I understand what you mean. Go on, I will see you tomorrow.”

Mr. Kennedy was the nicest teacher EVER! He always said just the right thing to make me feel better. I left the classroom and headed to the cemetery to meet Kelly and the rest of the gang from class.

Kelly had designed a map of the cemetery and she handed one out to everyone. The map was color-coded and labeled with all of her ideas to make the cemetery even spookier than it already was. She had called Liam and they had put together the ideal plan.

“What are you doing here?” I asked Jenny when she and her friend came around the corner and were standing in front of us at the entrance gate.

“We are getting ready for Halloween. What are you doing here?” asked Jenny’s friend Kari.

“That is what we are doing too,” said Kelly.

“This isn’t going to work. The two of you are going to have to leave so that we can decorate and fix up the cemetery. It isn’t going to be scary if you both know where all of the tricks are,” said Kari.

Sometimes Kari was really smart, and today was one of those days. She was right. If Jenny and I helped them set up the cemetery then neither of us would be scared because we would know everything about the cemetery.

“She’s right,” I whispered to Kelly.

“I know, I can’t believe we didn’t think of that,” she whispered back.

“Why don’t the two of you go home and let us do this,” said Kari.

“Do you want to work together or separately?” asked Kelly.

“I say we work together,” said Kari smiling at Kelly, tapping her fingertips together like she had a wicked and sinister plan.

“Maggie and Jenny, time for you two to go home,” said Kelly with everyone nodding in agreement in the background.

“But I…” I started to say.

“No buts, go home,” said Kelly, clasping my upper arms and squeezing them a bit so I would look her in the eyes.

“Come on Maggie, let’s go home and let them do all the work,” said Jenny with a laugh.

“Fine,” I finally agreed.

Jenny and I left the cemetery and headed home. On the way, we stopped by Liam’s house but had just missed him, he was already on his way to go help everyone at the cemetery.

Halloween was tomorrow and I was already going stir-crazy. I wanted so bad to sneak over to the cemetery to see what was going on, but I knew that I couldn’t.  Jenny was getting anxious, too. She was hiding in her room and constantly on the phone with her boyfriend, but at least she wasn’t calling Kari to see what was going on at the cemetery. 

Everyone had promised to keep the spooky surprises a secret. I had been part of the planning with Kelly but when she grabbed my arms at the cemetery and made me look in her eyes I saw her wink at me. Kelly and I had been friends for so long that we had our own little secret silent language. Her wink was telling me not to worry, she was going to handle everything. It also meant that she was going to push Kari towards keeping most of Kelly’s fantastic ideas. But no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t sit still.

“Mom, where’s Dad?” I yelled from the open garage door.

“The cemetery,” she answered.

“Is everyone in town at the cemetery but me and Jenny?” I asked.

“Well, I’m not at the cemetery,” said Anna, walking into the garage behind me.

“Anna, what are you doing here?” I asked, running over to hug her.

“We need more rope and your Dad said there was a bunch in your garage, so he sent me here to get it.”

“How are things going?” I asked.

“Things are great.  You are going to love it, and that is all I am going to say,” Anna said not wanting to reveal any secrets.

Anna left with the rope and headed back to the cemetery.

When my Dad came home a few hours later, he said almost the same exact thing Anna had said about the progress at the cemetery. All through dinner he talked about how talented Liam was with his mechanical knowledge and how inspiring Kelly was with her love of the creepy and spooky. I already knew this stuff and I was getting impatient for him to slip up and tell us some of the secrets, but he never did. I left the table and went upstairs to try on my Halloween costume Kelly had brought over. I was now just trying to kill time between now and dark tomorrow.

I tried on the costume and it was perfect. Anna was planning on coming over tomorrow afternoon to do my makeup and hair and once she did that I would be a Spooky, Creepy, Ghastly, Dark Princess Sorceress. Well, that’s what the package said, and they were right. I was going to be so scary and creepy looking that no one was going to recognize me when they saw me.

Putting on the costume lifted my spirits and made it easier for me to get through the next 24 hours. I was consumed with my costume and kept searching for makeup ideas to show Anna.

Anna arrived the next afternoon as planned and she spent hours working on my makeup. When she was done even I didn’t recognize myself. It was perfect.

I had been avoiding Jenny since yesterday and it seemed like she was also avoiding me. That was probably for the best since we would have tried to pump each other for information about what was happening at the cemetery.

“Maggie, are you ready to go?” Mom asked.

I didn’t even have to answer, I just ran down the stairs and stopped in front of her.

“Oh, Maggie, you look incredible,” Mom said as she gave Anna a hug. “Anna, this is your best work yet.”

“Thanks, Aunt Cathy, I worked really hard on this one. Do you see the transitions here and here?” she asked as she pointed to a couple of different areas on my face.

“Gorgeous, Anna, just gorgeous. We need to put you on a TV competition. Your work is just amazing,” said Mom hugging her tight and kissing her on the forehead.

“Where is Jenny,” I asked.

“She is with your Dad and they are on their way to the cemetery,” said Mom.

“Let’s go then,” I said with excitement.

The three of us got in the car and rode the short distance to the cemetery. When we got there, it looked like the whole town had shown up to participate. People I didn’t even know were lined up along the walkway.

The cemetery looked awesome. There was fog everywhere, spooky sounds, cobwebs, and scary creatures. This was going to be the most fun night of my life.

Jenny and I stood at the front gate of the cemetery ready to go in.

“Are you ready?” asked Kari.

“Get set,” said Kelly.

“GO,” yelled the crowd of people in unison.

Jenny and I put our hand on the gate and pushed at the same time. In just a few hours, everyone would know that I wasn’t a chicken.

The End.

October 30, 2020 20:07

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