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Halloween Writting Contest Entry

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

"The Long Walk" by Arissa Underhill

A girl named Wanda was dreading the start of High School. She was thinking about how much she was dreading the start of school and getting lost in such a big building as well as all the walking she would have to do as she was sitting there at the Freshmen orientation listening to the principal remind the students that they should not waste their time in the hallways talking and stuff when they only had a few minutes to get from room to room. He stated that he could always "make room for one more" in detention for those who did not hear his advice.

She had a hard time sleeping because of the brightness of the full glowing moon that night. As the ticking tocking of the clock that was outside her bedroom door struck midnight, she heard what sounded like horse hooves on the rocky driveway and the squeaking sounds of wheels turning. She got up from her bed and slowly tiptoed over to the window to see who could be riding a horse and carriage at that time of night. With the glow of the moonlight being very bright, she saw what looked like a Hearse pull up to the garage door. The Hearse was old fashioned and indeed made of wood.

Wanda noticed that the wooden hearse did not have a coffin in it, but that instead it was crowded with people she went to school with. Shivers went up Wanda's spine as the coachman sat high up on the seat, almost as if he was levitating, and as he came up opposite the window that she was looking out of he turned his head looking right into her face and raising his see-through hand up to her. A small scream was stuck in her throat as his face terrified her, it was the face of her principal, and she was frozen in the window spot as he said in an eerie voice... "We can make room for one more."

She pulled the window closed, locked it and then closed the curtain, quickly ran back to bed, and pulled the blankets over her head. With her heart pounding in a steady rhythm Wanda eventually fell asleep. As the morning's sunshine came through the window waking her, Wanda shook her head as she sat up in bed, she was not quite sure whether it had been a dream or whether she had really gotten out of bed and seen the hearse. What she did know is that she was glad to be awake and quickly got dressed for the first day of school. That day, she was waiting to get on the school elevator. She had been on the top floor of her High School talking to friends and had not been in a hurry to get to the lunchroom downstairs because she knew she could always take went to the elevator to go down. As she got to the elevator she noticed it was really crowded with other kids who were late heading to lunch, but she slowed down as she came up to it's doors when the elevator operator turned his head looked at her and said, "We can make room for one more. "As the hairs on her arms stood straight up and her memory recalled the face of the face of the coachman on the hearse. Wanda spoke in the tiniest voice; "No, thank you. I'll walk down." Within moments of Wanda turning away from the elevator, it's doors clanged closed with an eery thud. Next thing that Wanda heard was there was a terrible snarling crush of metal snapping and the screaming and shouting of the students inside. Suddenly there was a crashing noise and then silence; The elevator had fallen and every student in it was lost!

From that day on Wanda always made sure that she had time to walk up and down all those stairs in her school to get to classes on time!