The 2021 Scary Story contest was hosted by the Coquitlam Public Library and Port Moody Public Library.
First place, 11- 14 category winner
Noemi Arduini, 12, Coquitlam
Her body was trembling; her extremities were numb; her vision was blurred.
Dirty lacerations overflowed with blood and spilled down the surface of her flesh.
She winced in pain, and gently pressed her hands against the raw skin above her eyebrows. The chilly northern air mixed with her hot breath; as she exhaled, a tiny cloud formed around her mouth, then disappeared gradually into the hands of nature.
She tilted her head up slightly, but quickly pulled it back after catching a glimpse of the morning sun; the bright, warm glow appeared right between her two feet, though thousands of miles away. The orange rays struck the tree trunks as if casting a magical spell of nourishment.
She rubbed her eyes as she sat up slowly from the forest floor. The world spun around and around, like those nightmares you get when you’re sick. Her clothes stuck to the back side of her body, loathsome mud as the glue.
Her vision cleared, and her mind caught up with her: fuzzy, but discernible, memories of her family; the havoc that had been wreaked; them. A shock pumped through every nerve, lifting the hairs on her arms and legs. She swallowed hard and her eyes widened; she realized where she was.
With uncanny timing, the harmonies of birdsong concluded suddenly. The silence was disquieting.
The creature knew she was there.
Her sneakers pounded harshly against the forest floor, propelling her aching body forwards with every lunge. She could hear its tail swiftly slipping through the evergreens, its smooth body slicing through the winter fog. She kept running and had no intention of stopping until she escaped – or was eaten.
Her energy was draining. Her side developed a wrenching cramp, but she kept running regardless. Her thick braids rhythmically banged on her upper back.
The creature sped up gradually. Its craving to catch her grew with every molecule of oxygen that entered its seething body – its craving to peel away her skin and taste the unique flavour of her organs, leaving nothing but a carcass as evidence.
Dry twigs batted at her arms and legs, tattooing her skin with tears and shiny beads of blood. She could hear it growling under its breath, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
Racing tears burned their tracks into her shivering cheek. Her mouth offered a most agonizing, painful shriek that echoed deep into the eerie forest. If only echoes would return to you like a boomerang and report what they discovered on their journeys.
She knew she was going to die.
She accepted that this forest would be the last image she saw, the last memory before everything she had ever loved was stolen, the last scene in her movie before the credits rolled, the last sentence of her story before the author’s note.
In the blink of an eye
her life gone, brutally plucked from her.
A messy splatter of crimson horror remained.