6th Grade, 1st Place
by Faraday Harty,
Jasper County Elementary School
The heavy door scraped open menacingly, sounding more like a scream of agony than a creak. Fagan stepped cautiously into the dark, damp school building. Irene stepped in behind her, breathing in the moist, musty air. Fagan batted warm, fleshy-feeling particles, slightly disturbed about the texture of the air, out of her face and whispered to Irene, “Shut the door. Quietly please.”
Irene pushed the nicked door back into place, wondering, absentmindedly, “What had scratched the door up so bad?” She watched her wispy breath splay out in front of her and disappear. Irene said in a hushed voice, “It’s cold,” as she wrapped her dark green wool cardigan around her.
“Yes, it’s cold, but honestly, what did you expect?” Fagan replied. She waited, but Irene remained silent and sullen. They hurried down the humid, foggy hallway. Spiderweb patterns of mold and grime covered the speckled linoleum floor.
As they worked their way deeper into the decades-old school, the floors and walls turned slimy with a black substance that wasn’t exactly liquid and wasn’t exactly solid. Doors creaked back and forth, covered in powdery gray mold. Irene whimpered. “What happened to this place?” She coughed raggedly. “Whatever happened to those students, I really don’t care anymore. Let’s go, Fagan!”
Fagan ignored her and gestured to her phone in her hand. Irene hesitantly pulled out her phone and shone it around the hallway. “Oh God.” Desks and chairs were stacked, dark liquid dripping off the top of them, not originating from an exact place. Shining her phone flashlight around, Irene glanced at the ceiling. “Oh my god. Oh my god. I don’t like this. Fagan, oh my god!!” she suddenly cried.
“Ok, what is it? Irene, what?!” Fagan snapped. She turned to face Irene. Irene was staring at the ceiling in horror, shining her flashlight on it. Irene slowly lowered her head and faced Fagan, shaking, then pointed. “Up,” she whispered, her velvety, dark brown eyes petrified.
Fagan lowered her eyebrows, and slowly turned her head upward. She covered her mouth to hide a sob. Irene began to cry. “What is this, Fagan? This place is so messed up!”
Up on the ceiling, a big, black web covered the body of a girl. The thick strings came through her mouth and covered her face. Her eyes were a milky white and her skin was blue-tinted.
Fagan staggered back. Something tube-shaped and pink – a worm – darted through the girl’s bleached skin. The web was alive, pulsing and vibrating. Suddenly, Irene and Fagan heard a long, looming wail that echoed through the hallways. Slowly, the girls turned to face the direction of the sound, trembling. Raspy snarls floated through the hallway. Irene screamed and ran back through the corridors. Fagan stood in place, paralyzed. Fagan twitched and sobbed raggedly as she heard an inhuman, snarly cough.
She screamed as thousands of undead zombies stumbled towards her, rolling over each other and covered in an inky black