The Monster on Periwinkle Valley

Writing Center Spooky Scary Story Contest: Best Scary Story Overall

Sarah Pastora

The cool autumn breeze flows through the air and the vermillion leaves fall onto the ground. Crunch, crunch, crunch go the vermillion-colored leaves as I walk up the stone path of the Periwinkle Valley. This was the town I had just recently moved to yesterday Sunday morning. Today, however, was Monday and I would be going to explore the quiet town. There I found a little shop where the windows were wonderfully decorated for fall with orange leaf garlands and pretty Halloween cards designed by hand with beautifully written calligraphy. One of the cards immediately caught my eye. This card had a drawing of a black cat in a Victorian style. The card read, “Beware on Halloween, for the black cat is always watching”. I always found old tales such as this enjoyable and enticing which is ironic because most girls my age aren’t fond of these mysteries, but instead feel distressed by them. 

“Hello!”, said a sudden voice. This took me by surprise, I was so caught up in admiring the alluring card. 

“Oh, hi? Sorry, I was just looking at this card, I didn’t realize you were there this whole time.”

“Oh, it’s alright, that’s understandable, these cards are quite eye-catching. My name is Phoenix, what’s yours?”

“My name is Mallory”, I said. “Mallory Peterson”. 

“Want to go exploring with me, Mallory? You seem like a cool person to be around.”

“Sure why not? I don’t have to be home for a while anyway”, I said without hesitation. I didn’t have any friends and I needed to at least make one in this new town. 

“Ok, let’s go then, I have a feeling we’ll be friends forever!” Little did I know that what Phoenix said was true, not just an exaggeration. 

Phoenix and I began hanging out every day since then. We became really close friends fairly quickly. On October 31st, she asked me if I wanted to explore the valley’s deep woods, to which I agreed. I didn’t think much of it since we had explored other mysterious places before. The woods were beautiful and full of mysteries. Full of tall Norway spruce trees and wet green grass. The clouds wandered the sky, all so beautiful and clear. Then I heard a rattling sound. Not so clear from where it came, so I jolted. 

“What was that?”, I said out of discomfort.

“What was what?”, said Phoenix.

“Phoenix, what was that abrupt sound?”

“Oh, that was probably a cat or something like that…hey are you hungry? Or is that just me?”

I heard another noise, so I turned around right away to get a glimpse of what it was. It was a black crow. 

“Yeah, I am kind of hungry, do you have anything to eat?”, I said relieved. 

“No, how about we look for some food? Look there’s a shrub over there. why don’t we give the berries a try?”

 I look in the direction of where Pheonix points. There was a dark shrub of black flowers and berries. The sight of the shrub made me uneasy, for it seemed to be full of evil, but I was starving. The berries seemed to call my name.

“Malloryyyy…Malloryyyy…”, whispered the Atropa Belladonna plant.

 I couldn’t help myself but give them a try. I grabbed a handful of the berries and so did my friend. We decided to go home after that. 

When I arrived home, I felt a malicious stare from outside my window. It was a bitterly cold and dark morning and I had a stomach ache. Maybe it was the mysterious berries I had eaten last night. Speaking of which, how is Pheonix feeling? I wonder if she’s having the same symptoms as I am. The morning was dark as if a blanket was covering the room. I felt a stare of pain and horror. A stare that gave me the chills. It was quiet in my dark room until I began to hear footsteps. Slowly, the steps came nearer and nearer. Clomp……..clomp……clomp…clomp. I froze. The steps stopped for a second. The terrifying voice screeched in pain and agony. I leaned into my soft bed, hiding under the blanket. Only my forehead was unprotected from this horrific monster. Then when I thought the monster was gone, I felt the hyperventilating breath of the voice above my face. Huff….huff…huff..huff..huff. I stood quiet in terror. Boom! Boom! I heard the sounds of a reckless storm. The storm was enough to distract the monster for a moment so I ran for my life. I ran all the way to Pheonix’s home. Up down the rock path, down the town past the little store I first saw when I moved here, past the woods, and past the cemetery (Phoenix lived a little after the cemetery). I knocked at her door. Knock, knock, knock. No answer. No one was there but my lone soul searching for help and answers. Am I going crazy? Or am I now cursed with a conscious to reflect on my regret? The mournful voice seemed so real…so awful. I then felt something scratch against my leg which startled me. It was a black cat. 

The cat just looked at me without making a noise. It seemed as if the cat knew me and wanted to see how I was doing. I reached out to pet the poor lonely creature, but it ran away before I could pet it. I don’t know what to do. I’m like the black cat in the sense that I am alone as well in this big confusing world. The sky is still dark out, I should go and ask someone what time it is. Where can I ask someone though? I pondered for a moment then I remembered. Of course, the store! I was so tired since I had run all across town to get here, so I walked back to the store. Ring, rang the bell at the entrance of the store. There was an old musty man working at this store. I went up to the counter and asked him, “Excuse me sir, can you please tell me what time is it right now? It’s really dark out but it doesn’t seem like morning, or night.” He points to a clock that had one hand missing, the hour. Ring…ring, the clock rang. A new hour had just struck, but I didn’t know which hour. Who is this man? I looked at his red nametag and it read, “Horatio”. 

“Can I help you?”, said Horatio in annoyance. 

“Hi, um do you mind helping me again? I don’t know what’s going on, but this morning I heard this awful noise. I may be going mad! Please tell me you’re hearing it as well? ”, I said in desperation.

 He thought for a moment and shouted, “You’re not going mad. I am the mad one! I’ve heard sounds and noises for the past twenty years!”. He knitted his brows and looked me dead in the eyes. Why was he so grouchy? All I was asking was for help, I didn’t mean for him to get angry at me. I started to feel horribly sick with sadness. 

“Well never mind then! I don’t need your help…I’ll find someone else to help me who’s not an old grump like you!”, I said with tears in my eyes. I then heard a ghost-like scream coming from outside. It sounded like a wail from a mourning woman. 

“Who is this monster? What can it be? I feel tormented by these noises and fear!”, I cried. Through his eyes, the man seemed to cry too, for he was petrified by this call. 

The wind blew strongly as I started to walk back up to the end of the town to the cemetery. The sky still dark and cold. Where is this monster coming from? I am all alone? No one was there but my soul and the ferocious monster, Phoenix wasn’t at her house, and the man at the little store was no help in the least. The last thing I could think of is to go to the cemetery. The cemetery is a harmonious place to rest, maybe I can finally be at peace there. I walked through the somber gates of the sublime cemetery. I find peace in the cemetery. Other than my friend Phoenix, the cemetery makes me feel welcomed and protected. It is like the ying-yang. Opposites in which it can be very gloomy and scary which is why people tend to eschew it, but it can also be so beautiful and not scary at all,  in fact, you feel welcomed and protected by the souls watching over you. I carefully walk around all the headstones up the mountain. I sit under a tree, similar to the ones I saw in the forest, the last place I felt happy before I started feeling distressed. Where did Phoenix go? Did the monster eat her? Or was she a fragment of my imagination? Did she ever exist, or was she really the monster? No, I can’t accuse my only friend Phoenix of being the monster, that’s horrible of me to think! What friend accuses their friend of being an emotionally distressing monster? I began to cry. Crying out my curiosity so that I could drain it and never be in danger again. Crying out my empathy, for that as a human, your empathy can turn into anger for someone. Crying out my fear of being lonely in this new world. I felt a stare. This time, a stare of sorrow. I turned around and saw the black cat again. It walked up to me and lay in my lap. I stoked the cat’s mysterious black fur coat and the cat purred. It then looked up at me and with the most peculiar eyes, it seemed to ask for forgiveness like a human. The cat then got up slowly and walked away. 

The noises of the monster got a bit quieter and less often than they once were. It was as if the monster found its happiness as I now had. After crying out everything at the cemetery, I felt new as if I was reborn. I still felt a bit sad of course, but I forgave life for life knows what it’s doing and does everything for a reason. I opened the front door to my house and the air filled with the scent of my favorite dessert, banana cream pie. It smelled fresh and amazing. Only my mom can bake this special dessert, which means that she’s home now. I ran into the kitchen.
“Mom! You’re home! Oh, I was so scared but I’m relieved you’re safe and home now!” I shouted. “Oh, how I miss you, my dear! I made your favorite tonight.”, my mom said as she took the pie out of the oven and started walking toward the living room. 

“Did you hear the monster earlier today? It was horrific! I tried running away to find answers to what it was. I didn’t find the answer, but I did find happiness.”, I said joyfully. My mom didn’t respond, she seemed to ignore me. She placed the pie on the table near my photo and started to cry.

“I miss you so much Mallory, you have no idea! You’ve already been dead a year, but it seems as if it was yesterday I lost you, my dear child.”, she screamed in misery. She broke down in front of my photo, falling apart. I realized my mother was the “monster” I kept hearing. The monster was born out of her mourning of my death on October 31st, Halloween.