Alara Bilbrey and Erica Davis have been named the youth and adult division winners in the inaugural Halloween Writing Contest sponsored by the Current.
Youth Division Winner – Alara Bilbrey
Costumes and candy are Alara’s favorite things about the October holiday. While her story does not contain either, it does include a spooky skeleton, graveyard and the Monster Trapping Society.
“I like making up funny stories,” said the seven year old, adding that her story just “popped in her head.”
Alara and her older brother Kalan, 9, each submitted stories after their mother, Kara, read about the contest.
“We write a lot. We’re homeschooled so we have a lot of time to think of our stories,” Kalan said.
“It’s important to them to have good writing skills – creative writing and writing reports,” added Kara.
Alara said she enjoys reading the Fairy books by Daisy Meadows, Fablehaven series and Nancy Drew books. This is the second writing contest she has entered. Alara previously wrote about her favorite Indiana memory in a contest held by the Indiana Historical Society.
“I just enjoy writing for fun,” she said.
Catch That Skeleton!
By Alara Bilbrey, Age 7
Bob, Sarah, Mom, and Dad were in the graveyard. They were chasing their dog Nancy because she ran out of the house. They heard strange noises in the night.
Bob and Sarah were bending down looking for Nancy’s tracks, when all of a sudden they heard a shrill scream. They looked behind a gravestone and saw a skeleton. And it was the skeleton that was screaming!
The skeleton ran at them and Bob and Sarah ran and hid behind a different gravestone. Behind the gravestone, they saw Nancy, who was trembling but jumping up and licking them. The skeleton saw them and chased them up a tree. Nancy hid under a bush.
Mom and Dad saw Bob and Sarah in the tree and asked, “Why are you in the tree?”
They told Mom and Dad that a skeleton was chasing them. The skeleton disappeared and the kids climbed down from the tree. The family ran back to their house to get shovels and dug a hole in the graveyard.
The skeleton reappeared and started chasing Bob and Sarah around the graveyard. The kids ran around the hole and the skeleton fell right in. The skeleton couldn’t get out of the hole.
The next day the family got a call from the Monster Trapping Society, who said they were going to get awards for trapping the skeleton. They went to the Monster Trapping Society and had a special dinner and got medals. When they got home after the dinner, they saw Nancy chewing on a suspicious-looking bone.
Adult Division Winner – Erica Davis
“I’m pretty surprised. I thought it would be something fun to do and pass the time with. I’m really excited to be chosen,” Davis said after being informed her story was selected as the adult division winner.
Davis, 27, was the first person to submit an entry – sending her story to us just two days after the contest was announced.
“I always read through the Current when I get it every week. I was meeting with some friends for dinner so I ripped the article out and took it with me,” she said. “It sounded interesting. I always had an interest in writing.”
On her way to meet her friends, Davis took the back roads looking for inspiration for her story. After dinner, Davis began writing her story and completed it in approximately two hours.
“I sat down and started typing and it just came out,” she explained. “The whole idea came out really quickly.”
Davis said her favorite kinds of books have a twist ending, which she incorporated into her story.
“I love the twist at the end,” she said. “I love reading books and thought how I would have the twist at the end.”
By Erica Davis, Age 27
Libby couldn’t stop thinking about Matt since the day they met in Biology. She daydreamed about his dimples and bright green eyes. When they finally spoke, he invited her to meet in the graveyard with friends. Of course it had to be the one night she had already promised to spend with her brother.
Libby pleaded with her mom and dad to take William trick or treating instead. Now that she was in high school, Halloween was no longer about dressing up in witch hats and skeleton costumes. This year Halloween was all about Matt.
Her mom lectured her about the importance of family. After a long drawn out battle, Libby retreated to her room and slammed the door. As soon as she heard them leave, she slipped out the back door.
She convinced herself hide-and-seek sounded fun even though the idea of walking on dead people freaked her out, all because Matt would be there. When it was her turn to hide, she walked slowly through the graveyard, careful not to step on anyone she pictured below. When Matt got to ninety-nine she had to sprint to her hiding spot. Just as she was about to reach the opening in the big oak tree, she tripped and felt a sharp pain, and everything went black.
What felt like centuries later, Libby opened her eyes. It was pitch black outside and all she could hear was the wind whistling. A chill ran through her body and she stood up. She reached in her pocket for her cell phone, but all she pulled out was lint. She told herself to stay calm as she raced through the graveyard calling out for her friends.
She saw flickers of light in the distance. She darted past trees and gravestones running as fast as she ever had in her life. As the lights got brighter, the figures became more distinguishable. She couldn’t possibly imagine what her mom and dad were doing out here. And was that Matt with them?
The young guy turned and made eye contact with her. There was no way this was possible. It was William, but he was not the little boy she remembered from earlier that evening in his pumpkin costume. He was an entire foot taller and looked more like a classmate than her annoying nine year old brother.
Libby began to shout for her family, but no one would respond to her. They were too busy staring at the ground. She walked towards them and noticed their lights were shining upon a simple gravestone. When she read the carved words she fell to the ground: “Libby Grace Smithson: July 2, 1992-October 31, 2007.”