Untitled Picture- Contest Entry :3 Oct 27, 2019 19:54:24 GMT -5
Post by ☆♬○♩Bubbling Tsunami♩○♬☆ on Oct 27, 2019 19:54:24 GMT -5
Halloween is always a time of fear- from horror movies constantly playing on your television, to the spooky decorations designed to scare the kids trick-or-treating. The scariest thing for me, however, is when something goes wrong.
The aching feeling in your stomach, the tightness in your chest- all things I find hard to deal with. Even thinking about it now-
Okay, Mel. Calm down. There’s no need to get worked up about it.
If you didn’t catch it before, my name is Mel, short for Melody. My best friend, Taylor Grace, coined it up. She made herself one too- Tay. I’m not good at that stuff.
Whenever I’m with Tay, I don’t feel as worried or stressed about school work as I usually do. I don’t have to worry when I’m around her- and when I do, she’s there to make me feel better. Even when I lash out at her, she’s always there, always wanting to help.
I don’t know why she chose me as a friend.
It’s not like she’s perfect, though. She’s not- and I feel guilty saying this- not the smartest. She’s more focused on things like sports and drama, and really anything that has to do with competition. I’m not really great at those things, but I try to be in it for her- especially when she feels like she’s failing. Then, I have to comfort her; something that’s terrifying, in my opinion.
Halloween, though, is a time when we both get to calm down about these things. Every year, we follow a specific plan, and have a fantastic time.
The official Halloween schedule starts at four; an hour after school starts, so we have time to get in our costumes and everything. She comes to my house, where I have our bags ready to go. We grab a couple of chocolates from the basket my parents put out front for the trick-or-treaters, before making our way into the woods. That’s usually a fifteen minute walk, before we find ourselves near the center of town.
That’s the prime place for trick-or-treating; we know of at least six houses up there that have full sized candy bars, and three more with rarities such as Fun Dip and the like. We trick-or-treat for around four hours, before running back home. The only rule my parents set for us is that we either get back before dark, or before 8:30- whatever comes first. I usually insist on being early, just in case.
Then, we walk inside, and into the living room. Under the light of the stars glistening through our domed glass roof, we watch not-so-scary movies like Coraline or Hocus Pocus, until Tay steals the remote and puts on a slasher. I eventually steal the remote back, shut off the TV, and turn off the lights.
We finally end our night in the dark, telling spooky stories to one another and competing over who can stay up the longest, before one of us eventually drifts off.
It’s basically my favorite day of the year- something that made me sad this fateful year.
This year, I was turning fourteen- that’s right. I was in eighth grade, and primed to go into high school. But not any normal one- I was going to a technical high school, in which I would be doing all sorts of math and engineering. I would be excited, if it wasn’t for one thing.
Taylor wouldn’t be coming. She didn’t have the grades.
That meant for the first time since I’ve gotten into school, I would be alone. Without my best friend. Without any friends. I would have to make new ones, and stumble through the introductions, and-
I took a deep breath, the thoughts fluttering around my head in a painful manner. Relax now, an insistent, yet weak voice in my head said, worry later.
That was something Tay had said to me a while ago- I was freaking out because I was caught unprepared for a test, and she told me that- meaning that I could worry later, but for now I should stay in the present.
It stayed with me throughout, because it seemed really reasonable compared to other quotes and such.
Oh my god, what was I going to do without her?
I was brought out of my thoughts by the sound of the doorbell ringing. That must’ve been her. Was it four already?
I made my way to the door, my witch costume snagging on every corner of the furniture, to my annoyance, and opened it.
“Hey!” Taylor Grace was there, beaming with excitement already. Just seeing her made me perk up slightly. “It’s been a while, am I right?”
“Yeah,” I said sarcastically, before opening the door wider. She skipped in, before running to the table.
Every year, my mother sews us these large bags for candy. Normally, any bags like that would be embarrassing. But my mother makes ones that are pretty extraordinary. So even when she asked if they were too immature, we waved her off.
This year they were fabulous- my mom always designs them on our costumes, so mine was themed about witches. It was a shimmery black, with thin veils draping over it in colors such as purple, orange, and green. All of it was sparkly, and coinciding with my cheap-looking costume. Taylor, meanwhile, was dressing up as a Xenomorph from Alien. My mom and I have never watched it (well, I was probably going to watch it tonight), but hers still looked good. It was set up as a twinkling night sky, full of these little intricate stars. When you look closer, however, you could see that the stars were little human bodies, floating out into space. I, personally, found it grotesque. But Tay loved it. She grabbed it with a little squeal, and admired its patterns for a moment. “Did I mention your mom is the best?”
“Yep.” I said with a grin. “Every year.”
She wrapped her arms around it with another squeal, before swinging it carefully over her shoulder. “Right then- let’s go, we gotta get to Main Street and back before dark.”
“Okay.” I said, grabbing my bag by its handles. I opened the door, and we both stepped out.
We ran down the steps, grabbing a couple handfuls of lollipops from the basket my mom set out by the door. Then, we entered the woods.
Our shoes crunched against the mangled leaves on the ground, as we tried to speed-walk across. Truth be told, the place sometimes gave me the creeps. What if there was a serial killer or something? There were too many trees, too many places for someone to take cover in. I shuddered as we moved along, walking a bit faster.
Taylor was right behind me, her clumpy black shoes clopping against the ground as she sweated in her off-black costume. I told her it wouldn’t be a good idea- black clothing absorbs heat. Yet here she was, covered in black and sweating already in the watery sun.
The clumps stopped behind me.
I spun around almost immediately. “Taylor? Why’d you stop?” I questioned. She was looking at a half rotted tree, grinning slightly.
“Look, look Mel. It looks like a face.” She said, pointing to it. I looked closer.
I guess she was right. It had decayed so much that there were two lopsided holes that looked somewhat like eyes, and a large, gaping hole that just screamed bugs! The mouth hole was around eye-level, and if you looked inside, you could see that the rest of the tree was hollow.
“Can I take a picture with your phone? Mine’s almost dead.” Taylor asked.
“Why? It’s a tree.” I sighed, but was already pulling out my phone.
“Yeah, but what if something’s spooky inside? It looks like something out of the Blair Witch Project.”
I rolled my eyes, and reluctantly gave her my phone. She grinned. “Thanks, you’re the best.”
I smiled, and took a step back as she leaned in closer. I watched her put the flash on, and then take a picture.
Then, something happened so suddenly that I forgot to panic. Her sleeve snagged on the edge of the hole, and she let out a yelp, startled. And then my phone fell in.
Suddenly, we’re both looking into the hole, where my phone had landed at the bottom. Far out of arm’s length.
Suddenly, my face had blanched, and Taylor was peering in, her eyes wide as she mouthed, crap!, over and over again. I would have reprimanded her on that, if I wasn’t so freaked out.
I pushed her aside, and tried to reach out and grab it, to no avail. I was known for being short though- what if Taylor tried it?
“Taylor, can you try?” I gasped, still freaking out. I moved out of the way as she tried to grab it, only for her to come up short just like I did.
“I’m so, so sorry, Melody,” Taylor said, biting her lip as she withdrew her hand from the stump. “I didn’t mean to- I can buy you a new phone or-”
“No, we can’t give up on it,” I mumbled, my fingers picking at my sleeves as I stared into the hole. “My mom would kill me if she found out- I bet she wouldn’t even let you buy me a new one. Anyways, we’re not supposed to stop in the woods. How’re we going to explain that one?”
She gave a small shrug, looking just about as helpless as I felt.
We both peered into the hole again, before I snapped up as straight as a line. “Wait, what if we try and get it out with a stick or something?” I question.
“I dunno if that’ll work, it’s gonna be hard to lift it off the ground.” Taylor said, still looking in with a somewhat forlorn expression.
“Well, we’ve got to try, right?” I said, already scanning the area for a stick long and sturdy enough to work.
“I guess,” Taylor shrugged, before looking around. “Here, I’ll go look. You stay here.”
“Alright-” I began to say, but Taylor was already stumbling through the trees, her costumed glistening with weaker sunlight.
I eventually lost sight of her, frowning softly and fidgeting in my costume. When I looked to the sun, I could see that it was getting lower. It was around a 32 degree angle at that point. I could already see the moon.
I swallowed. If we were still stuck in the woods by dark, we wouldn’t get any trick-or-treating time. Even worse, we would be stuck here until we eventually called for our parents to pick us up.
We had to hurry.
“Tay! Hurry up!” I called, unable to keep the anxiety out of my voice. I got no reply, however.
So I waited in the woods, biting my lip and trembling, as the sun waned lower in the sky.
Around an hour later, I saw the glint of Taylor’s costume through the trees. She stumbled once more to a stop, one large, sturdy branch in her hand.
“What took you so long?” I demanded, my eyes flashing.
“Sorry. I think I- took a- long turn or- something.” Taylor panted. “I got- lost.”
“Oh… Well, can we try to get my phone out now?” I ask.
We both walk to the rotted tree again, which, with the fading lighting, looked even spookier than before.
Taylor grasped the stick, and lowered it into the tree. I watched with bated breath, as she scooped up the phone, which was leaning against one wall of the tree at an angle.
In reality, however, she only managed to push the phone even deeper inside. It was face-down in the point, drawing our ‘plan’ to a close.
I frowned, going silent.
“...What do we do now?” Taylor questioned, looking uneasy. I frowned harder, peering at the wood.
“Well…” I mused, still staring at it. I tried to force the worries out of my head, only zooming in on it. It was decomposing, right? Well, that meant the wood would be kind of soft. We would just have to break some of it, maybe by kicking it or something. Then, I could squat down, grab my phone, and we’ll go trick-or-treating for another hour or so.
I grinned, before explaining my plan to Taylor. Her face lit up, and she bounced in excitement. “Sounds good to me,” She said, before looking down at the tree. Then, she gave it one firm kick.
The wood didn’t give out like I’d hoped it would- it was firmer than I thought. I circled around to the other edge, and said, “Alright- I’ll do it here. Let’s see who can get a hole big enough first.”
Taylor gasped. “Ooo, like a competition!” She aimed, and kicked it harder. This time, I saw a little bark flake away.
We continued to kick away at it, the bark coming off to reveal the wood underneath. Eventually, the wood began to buckle, and a hole appeared. A small one, but still.
We kept kicking, the individual holes getting wider and wider with every kick. At one point, Taylor got down on all fours, and tried to chip away at it with her nimble fingers.
I found my way more effective, however. I could soon see the shining screen of the phone. “Yes! Got it!” I gasped, before crouching down. I reached one small hand out, it barely getting past. I strained slightly, my hand digging around (Oh my gosh, oh my gosh- the germs! The bugs!), until it finally closed in on the cold surface. I gripped it tightly, beaming. Alright! We just had to get it out now- easy peasy. I probably made the hole big enough anyways-
My hand refused to go back through. I tugged harder, frowning. “Uhh… Tay…” I mumbled, trying desperately. My other hand clenched the ground, as I heaved.
“Tay!” I gasped. I heard the digging next to me stop, and suddenly, Taylor was next to me.
“What is- oh my god, did you get your hand stuck?” She questioned, eyes round. I nodded, biting my lip so hard I could taste blood.
“Let go of the phone!” Taylor said. I did so, to no avail. My hand was well and truly stuck.
My stomach began to churn painfully. For reasons unknown to me, I picked the phone up again. Then, I tugged harder. It hurt everytime, the uneven edges scratching against my skin. “Ugh!” I gasped, trying still to pull my hand out.
“Oh my god, Melody! Stop! You’re going to hurt yourself!” Tay said, looking horrified.
“No- I gotta-” I panted, trembling as I pulled. Harder and harder, until the wood finally buckled.
I got my first look at my hand in what felt like forever. It was a mess of scratches, dirt, and blood. It also stung like hell. “Ow- ow…”
“Mel…” Tay trailed off, looking both disconcerted and unsure what to say at my trembling, crouched form on the ground. My ragged, light brown hair pooled on the ground, getting caught and dragged through the leaves and branches on the ground. I was holding my hand in the other, it clutched to my chest, as I looked up at her with round, upset eyes.
“Mel…” Taylor Grace repeated. “We gotta get back to your house.”
“Mel! You’re hurt! You can’t go trick-or-treating like that! Hell, I don’t know if you can even get home! You look like you’re gonna pass out, or have a panic attack, or something!” Taylor burst out, trembling herself.
My eyes burnt- I got to my feet, shaking harder now that I could see she was shaking.
“No! You don’t get it! It’s our last Halloween together, and it’s ruined! I’m going to a technical school, and you’re not, and next year we’ll probably going to be too old to go together, and…” I dissolved into sobs.
“Mel…” Taylor said softly, no longer sounding angry at me. “Do you think I’m that stupid? I know that you’re going to one of those schools. I know you’re more than smart for that. I know it’s probably going to be one of our last years trick-or-treating, or even hanging out with one another. But you know what the difference is? I’m not letting it define me right now. We can’t change any of the future if we don’t know what it has in store. There are so many possibilities- endless answers- that await us. The best thing we can do is just ride it out.”
“But what if-” My voice seized up, as I shuddered silently. “What if we can’t? What if the future’s really bad, and we just don’t know it yet?”
“Well, we can’t do anything yet- we just gotta wait.” Taylor said.
I sniffed, tears still rolling down my face. “No- but-”
“Melody!” She pulled me into an embrace. I realized she was still shaking. “Melody,” She repeated. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
We hugged in the woods, in the fading light, for what felt like ages. The only sounds were my sniffling, and her quiet, repetitive murmuring of those five words.
Everything’s going to be fine.
We walked slowly back to the house, it taking what was probably more than thirty minutes than just fifteen.
When my parents saw us, they first looked shocked, before expressions appeared that ranged from concern to anger.
“Why’d you stop?” My dad spluttered as my mom treated my hand with antiseptic. I winced as she dabbed it on. “You’re not supposed to stop in the woods- you could’ve gotten hurt- well you did get hurt- Melody! We’re so disappointed in you!”
“Yeah.” I said in a small voice.
“Yeah? How about this for yeah- you’re not allowed in those woods again.”
I gave a miserable sigh. “Yeah. That’s fair.”
Surprisingly, though, they let Taylor stay the night. Maybe they had the same thoughts as me- that, although we did something we shouldn’t have, we still should have a chance to enjoy our last Halloween together.
So, we snuggled down in the living room, in our sleeping bags, and I put on Coraline. Then we sat in silence, and watched.
Around half-way through, I mumbled quietly; “Hey, Taylor?”
She glanced at me, half hidden in the pile of blankets she always wraps herself in. “Yeah?”
“I-” I began, looking unsure. “I’m sorry. I think I was panicking or something back then- I really wasn’t feeling well, and I was freaking out- and-”
“It’s fine, Mel.” Tay said, sounding somewhat tired, but somewhat relieved. “I’m sorry too.”
“Don’t really know what you’re sorry for, but okay…” I mumbled, before drawing out my phone. The cause of all this. “Do you… Do you want me to show you the picture?”
“Yeah, I guess.” Taylor leaned over, her dusky blond hair framing her face as I scrolled to the picture.
“There.” I pointed to it. “D’you want me to send it to you?”
“Su-” Taylor stopped, before pointing to a part of the photo. “Hey, look. Don’t they look like eyes?”
There were little pin-pricks of light in the tree, around the same distance apart as my stormy gray ones or Taylor’s hazel ones were.
“I gues-” Then, just like that, they blinked out, before returning.
We both stopped speaking, staring at one another with wide, shaken eyes.
Taylor snorted. Then, so did I.
Suddenly, we were both bursting into laughter, even though I didn’t know why.
Suddenly, the remote was gone, and I saw it in Taylor’s hand as she laughed, now looking teasingly at me. She looks pretty when she laughs.
“Okay, now I’m putting on Scream. That’s actually scary.”
“Aw, what? No, it’s rated-”
“I’m putting it on!”
We giggled, before settling down to watch.