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Halloween Writting Contest Entry

The following story was submitted as an entry in The Wanderer's third annual Halloween Writing Contest.

"The Haunting of Miss Dee Tention, Retired Teacher" by Nara Underhill

In the small country town of Rochester, there lies the unnerving, haunting story of the meanest, witchiest schoolteacher, Miss Dee Tention, who was unfairly retired upon the demands of the parents of students who felt that she was much too harsh and worked the children too hard. This shriveled, stagnant, eerily haunting retired teacher lived deep in the country in a tiny secluded run-down house where she offered tutoring and homework tools for a retirement living. Folks living in the quaint and secluded Rochester town called her the "wretched witch of grammar," and said she was a fierce demonic witch. There had never been a student at Rochester Memorial School that she had not given a failing grade to. Not one resident dared to cross this wretched and withered old crone for fear that their children's homework would go missing, their projects and reports would turn blank way before their due date, their children take might be stricken sick of fever forcing them to stay home from school, and many, many other terrible things that an angry witch of a retired teacher could do to her neighbors.

In an overwhelming swoop of doom and smell of heinous savagery the little children in the quiet Rochester town began to disappear, one by one, day by day, night by night. Not even the most astute of the town's school overlords could find out where they had gone. Grief-stricken families restlessly and cautiously searched the creepy overgrown woods, the locally condemned buildings, and all the desecrated houses and barns, but there was no sign of the missing schoolchildren. A few brave souls even went to Miss Dee Tention's home in the deepest of the woods to see if the teacher had taken the children, but she all too eagerly denied any knowledge of their disappearances. At the same time, however, it was noted that her haggard child-worn appearance had somehow changed. This retired witch of a teacher, nicknamed the "witch of homework," looked younger, more attractive and seemed unusually patient. The neighbors were suspicious, but they could find no proof that the witchy decrepit, yet transforming old woman had taken their young ones.

Then came the night when the daughter of the principal rose from her bed and walked outside, following an enchanted tapping sound no one else could hear. The principal's wife had been putting away dishes in the kitchen while checking her daughter's homework when without saying anything she observed her daughter leave the house. She motioned for her husband with a quick clearing of her throat as she followed the girl out the door. The principal came running with his flashlight swiftly behind his wife. Together, they tried to restrain the girl, but she kept resisting their hold and was able to break away from them and started to head out of their yard towards the dilapidated old school house.

The desperate cries of the principal and his wife woke the nearby neighbors who had just retired to their beds. They came to assist the frantic couple. Suddenly, a sharp-eyed parent gave a shout and pointed towards a strange luminescent light at the edge of the woods. A few daring townspeople followed him out into the field and saw Miss Dee Tention standing beside a large oak tree, holding a magic pointer stick that was pointed towards a green fluorescent chalkboard. She was glowing and gleaming with an unearthly non-human light as she set forth chanting her evil spell upon the principal's daughter.

The School Committee grabbed their MCAS learning tools and ran towards the spell-afflicted witch who stood before them. When she heard the commotion, Miss Dee Tention broke off her spell and fled deftly back into the safety of the woods. The far-sighted principal had loaded his gun with silver bullets in case the witch ever came after his daughter. Now without warning he took aim and shot at her. The bullet hit Miss Dee Tention in the hip and she fell to the damp and wet spider webbed ground. The angry townspeople leapt upon her and carried her back to the school bus driven by the kind warlock, Mr. Jeffries, that was parked on the outside of the fields. Next they built a huge bonfire out of her old progress reports and report cards and burned her at the stake.

As she sizzled, blistered and burned, Miss Dee Tention screamed a curse at the parents. If anyone mentioned her name aloud before their child's homework was completed, she would send her spirit to revenge herself upon him or her for her terrible death. When she was finally dead, the townspeople went to the decrepit spooky old schoolhouse in the mysterious and forlorn wood and found the unmarked homework of the children that this evil wretched witch had murdered lying upon the tops of their shallow dank graves. She had even chosen to use their blood to mark her attendance book as well their skin to replace her wrinkled, peeling skin to appear young again.

From that day to this, anyone foolish enough to chant Miss Dee Tention's name three times before a blank assignment book will summon the vengeful spirit of the retired old haunted teacher. It is said that she will condemn their bodies to homework for eternity and put their souls that she pulls from their mutilated bodies in permanent detention. The souls of these unfortunate ones will continue schoolwork in torment as Miss Dee Tention once was burned, and they will be trapped forever in school.

From this day on each and every student within the school NEVER, and I mean NEVER forgets to do their homework and turn it in on time!!!