Something Scary

HalloweenHappy Hallowe’en to you! Is it just me, or do we seem to have gone Hallowe’en crazy this year? We haven’t always got this excited, have we?

And I speak as one who’s never been ‘trick or treating’ and never carved a pumpkin. 😦
Am I alone…?

Here’s a little Hallowe’en story for you:

Once upon a time, I went to see the American novelist Alison Lurie give a talk at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham.

There must have been a couple of hundred people there and towards the end of the evening, she read us one of her short stories. I can still remember some of it. It was about a group of children going ‘trick or treating’ on Hallowe’en. There was one child, dressed in a pink rabbit outfit, that no-one seemed to know. None of the other children – or the parents at the houses they visit, knows who he/she is… Anyway, it was getting quite spooky and we were all ‘rapt’, as they say, when – BAM! Alison Lurie got to the end of her sheets of paper – but hadn’t finished reading the story!

Da da derrrr!

We sat there squirming as she flicked through the sheets, over and over (as you would) until she had to concede that no, she hadn’t got the final page of the story after all. But she managed to remember it – just – and so, saved the day – and everyone’s embarrassment!

Scary things don’t have to be ghouls and spooks, do they? Public speaking is most people’s idea of the scariest thing you can do. And then, to lose your crib sheet…! Aaaaaagh!

Results of the Times Ghost Story competition

Firstly, the bad news – they had over 1,500 entries! Eeek!

Oh, and more bad news – I didn’t win and as I didn’t recognise any of the names, I’m guessing none of you did either.

Never mind! Have a look at the winning entries here (note that one of the runners-up is humorous and probably stood out because of that! I think it’s clever, actually and made me smile).

But the good news is, at least they printed the results promptly and within a few days of the competition (hmmm, which makes me wonder, did they really have time, in just 4 days to read all +1500?!! Nah, that’s just sour grapes on my part, isn’t it?).

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9 Responses to Something Scary

  1. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    well, clearly they didn’t receive my entry! I’d love to know what the end of that Halloween story is, by the way, If you remember it.

    • Ah, now Christine, I was hoping no-one was going to ask me that because I can’t remember!! (I think I was too traumatised to concentrate on anything but Alison Lurie’s state of discomfort!). But here’s an idea.. if you can think of an ending, there, you’ve got yourself a story! I have a vague recollection that the bunny/child got run over but apart from that, it’s all a blur… .Sorry!

  2. Ah… I have trawled the t’internet and found this, which gives a bit more background to the story:

    “In the story, a woman named Marguerite is guiltily reminded of a tragic event from her childhood when she sees (or has a vision of) a trick-or-treater in a bunny costume.

    “I had years of taking kids out at Halloween,” Lurie said. “This was based on seeing a child in a bunny costume running behind a group of other kids, and I remember thinking they were not looking after her.”…” (still doesn’t tell you the ending but it explains a bit more!)

  3. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    Thanks for that. I’ve had a look at her on Amazon and found a book called Women and Ghosts which looks interesting. I may buy! If I were to write the ending, I would make the child a ghost!

  4. PhilippaB says:

    Whenever I hear about spooky bunnies, I think of that very weird film “Donnie Darko” – which I still haven’t quite worked out! I like all the ghostly flash fiction stories, nice and mood-setting for the run-up to the Day of the Dead (which is a bank holiday here in France), and the humourous one was lovely.
    Happy Hallowe’en!

  5. The cyclist one was my favourite, but they were all worthy stories. Mine fell into the category of vengeful spouse; clearly I need aspire to more originality!
    Thanks again for bringing these comps to our notice!

    • Marie

      Mine wasn’t a vengeful spouse but it wasn’t particularly original either. Originality is vital, I think, if you want your entry to stand out. At least we know what we have to do next time, eh?


  6. Alice says:

    I like the funny one the best – so simple and clever. Wish I’d thought of it!
    The trick or treat story certainly got me very intrigued about who this child was… I enjoy ghost stories but am not really one for doing anything special on Halloween. I think it’s because the weather has usually just turned colder and dark nights have begun – I just want to stay home and be cosy!

  7. Maisy says:

    I love the last one, the funny one though i liked the one i sent in, shame it didn’t win but that’s life, and i really enjoyed writing a 50 word story too!

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