This is a story Glyph wrote for a sixth grade writing assignment. The story had to have some kind of moral. It obviously exceeds our normal standards, and I’m not entirely sure who should be more offended by that: Glyph, our Readers, or myself. What the heck! We’re in America! Everyone can be! Enjoy!

The Halloween Feast

A Terrifying Tale by Glyph, October 2015

Every small town has that one house nobody goes near; birds fly around it, and even the smallest of critters dare not stray across the property line. The small town of Pentworth has a house just like this one. Everyone knew to stay away from this one house. Everyone but Charlie Brunsworth.

*     *     *

It was Halloween in Pentworth and Charlie had been living there for nearly a year, as he’d moved in sometime in November. He was 12 years old, and this was his last year for trick-or-treating, so his parents decided he was old enough to go with his friends, Ben and John.

Charlie was very tall for his age; he was quite athletic and was already slightly muscular, so it was no surprise that he had grown very popular. So when Charlie and his friends dared him to go knock on the door of the creepy old house one Halloween (This year Charlie dressed as a vampire), he felt like he had his reputation to uphold.

“I’ve heard it’s haunted!” teased Ben.

“You aren’t scared, are you?” taunted John, who was grinning from ear to ear.

“Go ring the doorbell, ask for some candy!” Charlie didn’t like being taunted like this.

“What’s so spooky about an old house, anyways?” Although Charlie felt like the house gave off a bad vibe, he suggested a compromise.

“If each of you guys–” Charlie pointed to each of them in turn–“go ask for candy, then I’ll go, too.” All of a sudden his friends didn’t seem so eager anymore.

“Nah, man, it’s okay, let’s just go,” Ben muttered nervously.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with that old house,” said Charlie,

“Besides, there are a couple of lights on.” And with that, Charlie, feeling slightly defiant, rang the doorbell of the creepy old house. It’s ancient door creaked open, revealing a very pretty girl about Charlie’s age. She had long, golden curls and vivid blue eyes. The girl wore a floaty dress of white silk, and her feet were bare. For a moment, Charlie forgot how to speak.

“Uhhh. . . trick or treat. . .?” he mumbled. The girl laughed a tinkling laugh; light and cheerful.

“My name is Meridy. So few come by anymore! But, excuse me, I’ve forgotten my manners–what’s your name?”

“Charlie,” Charlie said, this time with more confidence. Meridy smiled at him.

“Well then, come in, Charlie, and feast with me!” Once again, she laughed her tinkling laugh, and beckoned Charlie inside. Still enthralled by Meridy’s beauty, he followed her.

Meridy led Charlie to a large room with a long table, piled high with candy. There were Kit-Kats, snickers bars, M&Ms, toostie rolls, Reese’s peanut butter cups–every candy you could imagine. Meridy swept her hand across the glorious scene. The room itself seemed to emit a golden light.

“Let us feast!” she said, and so they did. Meridy and Charlie ate together for what could have been years, but was really only 30 minutes.

After standing and pushing in his chair, Charlie headed out the door, and sadly bid Meridy goodbye before going over to greet his friends. As he approached them, however, they seemed taken aback.

“H-hey, we d-don’t want any trouble, mister!” said John.

“Y-y-yeah!” Ben agreed. Charlie stared at them, dumbfounded. Why were they speaking to him like this, as if he were a stranger?

“Wait, guys, I–” but as soon as Charlie began to speak, he gasped in horror. The voice that he spoke with was not his own. It was hoarse and raspy. Still trembling in disbelief, he gazed down at his hands. They were an old man’s hands, shriveled and wrinkly.

Now feeling truely panicked, Charlie started to walk home, his now old joints creaking with every step–before he remembered; if his own friends wouldn’t recognize him, his parents wouldn’t, either. So instead he walked as fast as his legs would permit him to a public restroom, about 15 minutes away.

Panting slightly, Charlie pushed open the door and looked in the mirror. What he saw almost made him faint. His face was gaunt and his hair was liberally streaked with grey. Charlie’s vampire costume hung off him loosely. At first, Charlie thought he might break down and cry. Then he chided himself; telling himself to get a grip. Thinking hard, Charlie made up his mind.

It must have been something at that old house that made me old! I bet it was Meridy! Charlie thought, recalling the story of Hansel and Gretel.

At that, he strode out of the bathroom and hobbled as fast as he could to the spooky old house.

By the time Charlie had got there, his friends had gone. Feeling nervous once again, Charlie tentatively rang the doorbell. The figure that greeted him was clearly Meridy, but at the same time it wasn’t. Her skin was pale, her dress black, and her eyes were completely white. In as strong a voice as he could muster, Charlie said, “How did you do this to me? You’ve got to make me young again!”

Meridy laughed, but instead of her previous, tinkling laugh, it was darkly mocking.

“Foolish man! I took your years so I can live on! Whyever would I give them back?” Meridy’s voice was deep and foreboding. Charlie, as he stood there, openmouthed, had no idea what to say.

“I thought as much. Since you’ve been so kind as to return, I might as well take the rest!” Before Charlie could so much as flinch, Meridy’s hand made a clawlike slashing motion between them. Charlie crumpled to the ground. With a snap of Meridy’s fingers, Charlie’s body turned to ash.

*     *     *

So next time you’ve been dared to ring the doorbell of that one spooky old house, rethink your decision, and wonder. . . is it really such a good idea?