8th Grade, 3rd Place
by Ava Shurling,
Putnam County Middle School
I watched in horror Addison pulled open the closet door revealing a gruesome scene. There in the fake haunted house sat a complete, rotting corpse. It looked like it hadn’t been touched in months, sitting straight as an arrow. Addison screamed and I stood frozen, the smell entering my nose and making my skin prickle. Addison started scrambling for her phone, and I could see the maggots’ in her forehead eating away at her thoughtless brains. I couldn’t bear it anymore, I grabbed Addison and started pulling her to the door.
Even though I could remember everything from those few minutes perfectly, I had no idea how to explain it to the police. I didn’t want to relive it, retell it, or think about it ever again. I looked to Addison for reassurance when the questioning began, but it seemed she was just as stunned as I was. My body felt hot and cold, and I could feel my pulse in my wrist. The image was so fresh, the smell still so pungent.
I sat listening to the cops before coughing out, “D…do you know who it was?”
“No, we know it’s a female about your age. That’s all the information so far.” The cop offered softly before hopping up to answer his radio.
I sat with Addison waiting for our parents to arrive at the scene of flashing lights and yellow police tape. I thought I knew who the girl was. She’d been in my grade my whole life. She’d gone missing around 2 months ago and hadn’t been found.
“How did you move? I couldn’t move. My mind felt like a million bouncy balls. Each one held a different question.” Addison choked.
“I don’t remember it. I only have the searing image.” I whispered.
Then I saw my parents’ car. I watched my parents jump out of the car in a rush to get to me.
“That girls’ parents will never do that again,” I sniffled. “They’ll never get to jump out of a car and run to their daughter.” My brain wondered more, thinking of all the things they’d never do with their daughter again. My mom came over to me, her face tear stained.
“Oh, honey are you okay?” She wept.
“I am fine mom, but I think I have something I need to tell the police.” I answered listlessly, staring at the house.
My mom helped me up and I went to the police. I told them I had recognized the girl, and I heard the gasps as they officially made the announcement as to who it was.
Then I heard the shot. I heard the tires squeal away, and the smell of burning rubber. A police officer laid on the ground, one bullet in his head. The metallic smell of blood filled the air. My parents grabbed me, and the next day we packed our things and moved. The killer still roams free. I wonder where they are now?