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Halloween Writting Contest Entry 10

The following story was submitted as an entry in The Wanderer first annual Halloween Writing Contest.
The winner will be announced in the October 25, 2007 edition.
Stories will be posted on-line as they are available in print.

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In the quiet seaside town of Mattmaroch nothing exciting ever happened.

Really, nothing much of anything ever happened. This was the way the townspeople liked it.

So when in the morning light late one October the town showed signs of vandalism, everyone was shocked. Who would do such a thing? It was minor stuff: some statues in gardens knocked over, and plants smashed down. Not a big deal, but worrisome just the same.

Several mornings later there was even more damage -- this time more serious. Statues knocked over and their heads broken off, gates to fenced-in gardens torn from the hinges, and odd "footprints" in the soil. Now this was becoming something that could not be ignored.

Everyone talked about how to catch this "monster" and put an end to the damage. People took shifts to stay up all night in the hopes of catching the evildoer in action. Night after night, no one saw a thing, no one heard a thing, but each morning there was damage to boats and furniture left in the yards and evidence

that something had been around.

Everyone was on edge including the police who patrolled the town 24-hours-a-day and had not seen a thing. Was this intruder going to move up and cause harm to the residents? This intruder was believed to be large and strong while being quiet in his work.

One morning the Town Seal that had been in place on Town Hall since 1901 was missing. Who would do such a thing. Is this attack against the town? That town seal was sacred to everyone for it lasted 106 years in the same place. Did this intruder just stumble upon Mattmaroch? Either way they wanted him ... or it gone!

One morning before sunrise, an out-of-town crew of fishermen traveled to town on the main road to the boat ramp. They had been this way before and were always glad to see the shining eyes of the town's landmark. They now know that the launch is just minutes away and a day of good fishing will begin.

But on this morning, there are no shining green eyes to say: "Hello, welcome to Mattmaroch." The fishermen are puzzled -- no shining eyes to greet them.

Before one of the fishermen can think about what must be wrong, he sees the shining green eyes coming at him, moving slowly up the highway. He stops.

"What the ... ?"

They all scream at once.

Salty the Seahorse is traveling towards them. Salty is alive. Salty ... the giant fiberglass seahorse that has been mounted by the highway for years ... is moving about town!

What does he want? Is he friendly? Should the town worry?

Several nights go by and he stays on his post, does not venture out.

Of course the whole town is up all night hoping to see Salty visit their yard. Each night after the town goes to sleep, Salty visits the yards of those who greet him each day.

Most yards he will leave untouched. These are the people he deems to be "true" Mattmaroch residents ... the ones who make it a "special place" to live.

Then there are those who don't keep the spirit of the small seaside community in their hearts. They are selfish and egocentric.

The greedy fishermen knew this.

So did one of the town's Selectmen who was found crushed beneath a tree in his backyard the following night.

Those who still keep the nightly vigils in their yards would be wise to examine their own beliefs before the two green eyes fade in from the darkness and move closer and closer ...