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SCARY STORY CONTEST: "Inevitable Outcome" by Adam Podoxin

The 2021 Scary Story Contest was hosted by the Coquitlam and Port Moody public libraries.
getty - hands under water

The 2021 Scary Story Contest was hosted by the Coquitlam and Port Moody public libraries.


15 – 18 age category winner

First Place: "Inevitable Outcome"

Adam Podoxin, 18, Coquitlam

I wake with a start – a nightly occurrence this past month. Today is October 22, 2203, but the disquieting memory of September 21 haunts all my nightmares. My wife’s hand in mine as we stroll on the bridge, showering in the night rain. But that stroll ended with tragedy. I lay in bed, devastated, trying to forget, hopelessly failing. 

Restless, I put on my army-green coat and shoes and go outside. My breath puffs out smoke-like in the early spring dawn. Although it’s not raining, the air’s sharp coldness is reminiscent enough of the memory I try to suppress. I wander aimlessly, eventually stumbling onto the bridge in my confusion. Blinding fury erupts inside me as I recall the loathsome man, sending me back to that horrid moment. The monstrous man shoving my wife, her losing balance and toppling over the bridge railing… the rain pattering incessantly onto his dark green raincoat as he slouched away to avoid my gaze… and the paralyzing fear that struck me as the man climbed over and plunged down after my wife. I’ve had enough! My insomniac brain has been formulating a plan for the entire month, consuming me to no end. 

As lead physicist, I have full clearance with my key card, so I encounter no problems getting into my lab. Not many people are in this early, but surprised after my month-long absence, they bombard me with greetings. I ignore them, hurtling towards our main project: the time machine. We’ve finished the construction but have not yet verified its safety; It’s going to be risky. I know that I’d get fired if I enter, but I lock the door anyway, seal myself inside, and pick the date and time. 

After a brief sense of vertigo, I regain my balance. I cautiously exit the machine; no one is in the dark lab. I rush through the main door and look up at the city’s holographic clock: September 21, 2203, 11:37pm. It worked! I have five minutes to save my wife. The rain whips at my face as I sprint, trying to stop me. My mind, muddy after a month of sleepless torment, is now crystal clear: I must save her. 

I breathlessly reach the bridge, and an uncanny chill runs through my spine: I see myself from behind, hand-in-hand with my wife, gazing into the dark, twinkling river below. The sight fills me with resolve. I sprint forward with stretched arms ready to rip my wife away from the perilous railing. I’m just about to reach her when my foot slips on the slick, rainy concrete. Time slows down. My hands touch her, but only momentarily. My weight pushes her over the railing. She plummets. 

My vision tunnels, heart deafening my ears- I can feel my past self staring into the back of my dark green raincoat. Unable to cope with my looming realization, I join her in the river’s watery depths.