7th Grade, 1st Place
by Sydney Smith,
Clifton Ridge Middle School (Jones County)
Alex awoke that night with goose bumps crawling all over her arm. She leaned over to her bedside table and checked the time. It was 3:40 in the morning. Something had aroused her and woke her up. Something had touched her. Deciding that it must have been a moth, because she slept with her window open, she curled back up under her blanket, and tried to fall back asleep. It felt like minutes before she had to get up. She got dressed for school and headed down for breakfast. She saw Rowen, her little brother, talking to the wall. “What are you doing talking to the wall?” she asked. “I’m not talking to the wall, I’m talking to Aiden, my imaginary friend.” he replied. “Imaginary means fake, you know.” she said. Then she called to her mom and dad “Bye Mom, Bye Dad. I’m going to school!” she shouted. “Bye honey!” she heard her mom call. Her dad had probably went to work already. She slipped on her sandals, and walked out the door to school.
When Alex got home from school that day, she walked in to her room, expecting nothing to be wrong. She was just thinking about how much homework she had when she walked in and gasped. Her room had been destroyed. Pillows were torn, her clothes were in tatters, and her desk was a huge mess, but what caught her attention the most was the writing on the wall. In bright red paint, written on the wall were the words “I do exist.” She screamed. “What?” said Rowen, then he gasped, for he had saw her room in the mess it was. He seemed more shocked than she did. His face was chalky white and ashen. He seemed to know something she didn’t. “What did you do?!” she repeated, feeling more angry than she ever has. “This wasn’t me, Alex. This-This was Aiden.” he said. “Not your stupid imaginary friend again!” she replied. “He’s not imaginary! He-He doesn’t like you he told me. Look, if it makes you feel any better, I’ll sleep on the floor in your room tonight.” he said, still chalky. “Fine. But keep you ‘imaginary friend’ put of my room, okay?” “Alright. Now let’s get this cleaned up.” and they started to clean.
That night, Alex was really nervous. She didn’t know why. She hopped into bed, rather reluctantly, then started to nod off. She could hear Rowen’s snores. Later that night, she heard an earsplitting crash coming from her room. She woke up and saw her snow globe cracked and leaking on the floor. “Rowen, wake up!” she nudged Rowen awake. “What?” he said groggily. “Look!” she said pointing. They gasped. There was a shadow of a boy on the wall, yet there was no boy. The thing that caught her attention once more was the thing the boy was holding. A knife. There was one last scream until the boy set off for the other room. The parents.