One random participant will be chosen to receive a copy of Still Moments Publishing's Haunted Shadows Anthology, which includes my short story, Ghost.
By entering here you will also be entered into Still Moments Publishing's giveaway which has some awesome prizes as well.
All you have to do is read the following story and answer the question at the end! Be sure to include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
The following is based on a true story, all names have been changed to protect the guilty:
The crowd roared. Lauren was the first of her teammates to tackle her, followed by the other girls who’d been on the field. When the buzzer sounded, a moment later, the rest of the team bolted from the bench and surrounded them. As the celebration died down Nicole made her way across the field which was now bathed in shadow. When she reached Joe and Dan they threw their arms around her.
“How do you want to celebrate?”
Nicole looked up at the building that had cast its shadow across the field. The King’s Park Psychiatric Center had been closed for years now, the brick walls crumbling with the strain of holding all of the sorrow, fear and pain that had once been housed within them.
“Let’s sneak in.” A chill coursed through her. Fear? Anticipation?
Joe followed her gaze, and his face paled beneath what was left of his summer tan. “Are you crazy? It’s Halloween.”
“What better night?”
A visible tremor ran through him.
“Besides, how are we going to get here?” Dan added.
Nicole had to concede the point. They were too young to drive and their parents certainly weren’t going to drive them. She looked over her shoulder, as she headed for the parking lot, squinting her eyes against the late afternoon sun. She could have sworn she saw something move in the upstairs window.
Three years later:
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Sweat beaded Dan’s forehead. He’d already made it very clear that he didn’t.
“It’ll be fine.” Nicole had waited three years for this; there was no way she was going to back out now. “I can’t find any way into the main building.” They were crouched in the shadows, watching the security guards make their rounds. “Let’s try one of the other ones.”
They crept along the building, staying low, keeping to the shadows. When they reached the next building in line the four friends examined every window and door for a point of entry.
“Look.” Joe’s excited whisper sent a chill rushing up Nicole’s spine. “There’s a hole in the window.”
“Boost me up.” Joe knelt down and Nicole climbed onto his back. Heart racing, she risked a quick peek in the window with the flashlight, then doused it quickly so as not to attract any attention. “It looks like an athletic center, or something.” She looked back at her friends, a mischievous grin lighting her eyes. “Come on, let’s go in.”
Lauren climbed up beside her.
“Hey.” Joe complained, but Nicole was already climbing through the broken window pane with Lauren right on her heels.
“Ugh…” Joe hoisted himself up and climbed in after them with Dan following reluctantly behind.
Goosebumps ran up Nicole’s arms and she shivered in the sudden chill. “It must be twenty degrees colder in here than it is outside.” She whispered, even though no one should be around to hear her. Turning on the flashlight, she moved slowly into the cavernous room.
The pool stood empty, a gaping pit in the center of the room. The odor of mold, dirt and something she couldn’t place assailed her, weighing heavily on her chest, gagging her.
“What’s that smell?” Dan choked out.
“I don’t know. It smells like something died in here.” Joe added.
“Maybe it did.” Nicole held the light under her chin, casting a creepy glow up onto her face. “Bwaa…haa…haa…” The creepy laugh was meant to tease, but she cut it short when she felt something brush against her neck. She let out a small screech, but slapped her hand over her mouth quickly to stifle it.
“What’s the matter?” Lauren’s voice quivered.
“I don’t know.” Nicole shot the light randomly around the room, but it didn’t land on anything sinister. “I thought I felt something on my neck. I hope it wasn’t a spider.” A chill coursed through her; she was deathly afraid of spiders.
“Look, there’s a stairway.” The light fell on a crumbling concrete stairway that led straight down into darkness. “Want to go down?”
Not really wanting to go down into the blackness, she kind of hoped someone said no. But, none of them did. So, the four friends inched their way toward the stairs, being careful not to trip over anything in the darkness. Not that there was much to trip over. Some garbage lay strewn across the floor; fast food wrappers, paper bags, beer cans, obviously cast aside by intruders not unlike themselves.
The basement, however, was a different story. As they hit the bottom step and rounded the corner, they found themselves standing amid clutter from the long ago days of psychiatric patients. A few abandoned wheel chairs were strewn about, empty pitchers littered the floor, but it was the chair with the leather straps on the arm rests that made Nicole’s heart begin to pound harder.
“What do you think they used that for?” The whisper startled her.
“I don’t even want to think about it.” She played the light along the wall. Her sharp intake of breath was followed by a shriek she couldn’t stop. The beam of light had fallen on two words written in what looked like rust colored paint. ‘HELP ME’.
An icy hand clutched her throat. Was it fear? Or something else? “Let’s get out of here.”
Now for the question: What would you do next?
Leave a comment and let me know!
Good Luck, I'll post the winner on Friday, October 26th. The winner of the Still Moments giveaway will also be announced on Friday, October 26th.
For more Halloween fun, join other Still Moments authors:
October 22, 2012
Terri Rochenski – http://www.terrirochenski.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Eaton – http://www.jennifermeaton.com/
Ceri Hebert – http://cerihebert.wordpress.com/
October 23, 2012
Liv Rancourt – http://www.livrancourt.com/
Denise Moncrief – http://denisemoncrief.blogspot.com/
Dani-Lyn Alexander – http://www.danilynalexander.com/blog.html
Mackenzie Crowne – http://mackenziecrowne.com/
Maggie Devine – http://maggiedevine.blogspot.com/
Liberty Blake – http://libertysspells.blogspot.com/
October 25, 2012
Darlene Henderson – http://dandwh.wordpress.com/
Em Epe – http://www.emeperomances.blogspot.com/
Clara Waibel – http://www.pomadness.blogspot.com/