"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
,I've always loved Halloween. For me it's a fun time for all of us to face our fears and laugh at them a bit. The dramatist in me LOVES dressing in costume. I'm all about a theme, and I think MOST of what we celebrate at Halloween is fantasy-fun. However, I'm quite a wimp when it comes to scary -- I have an overactive imagination and don't need any help scaring up frightening images. LOL. I'm not a fan of super-scary Halloween; I don't watch horror movies, and I don't do haunted mazes or haunted trails or houses, although some of my fall/Halloween writings do dip into the macabre, YA, haunting, suspenseful brand of literature. For this contest, I stuck with my more typical picture book style, and chose simple and sweet. I hope you enjoy it!
Halloweensie is an annual writing contest for kidlit.
THE CONTEST: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in word count) using the words slither, treat, and scare. I'm posting it here, but also on Susanna Leonard Hill's site, where the contest is hosted each year. This is her 12th annual Halloweensie contest, and this is my third time entering. You can find out more about the contest here: https://susannahill.com/2022/10/29/the-12th-annual-halloweensie-writing-contest-aahhhrrrooooooooo/
A Halloween Smile
The O’Lantern family was thrilled Halloween was here.
Jack’s job as the chief scarer for the general store was getting intense.
Day slithered into night as he rolled home.
Jill had a treat waiting.
“A baby?!” Jack grinned.
“Let’s carve a Jack Be Little,” she smiled back.
They cut two triangle eyes, like his mom.
They drilled a round nose, like his dad.
As they began to carve his toothy grin,
a “roll-ll-ll, THUNK!” scared them
and the knife slipped.
Turns out, the toothy grin was toothless,
just like Grumpkin,
who had bumped into the door.
Twitter has connections to all sorts of writing contests -- each with their own little twist. Fall Writing Frenzy is one of my favorites. There's something about this spooky time of year that entices me into the young adult space within the kidlit kingdom. Usually, I write sweet, educational, and sometimes funny picture books, but each Fall, I feel compelled to write something a bit. . . darker. I also love that this particular contest uses images to inspire us. Visual prompts are some of my favorites. When you see this beautiful wooded path in the Fall, what do you imagine?
Well, here's what I imagined:
Scarlett and the Flute
The path through the woods
stretched before her,
littered with leaf confetti
in a thousand shades of autumn.
Biscuits and apple butter
Hid under the red gingham cloth
Covering the basket.
Scarlett skipped, then slowed.
She craned her head to hear . . .
A shadow danced ahead.
What was that?
Chilling, haunting music.
It was calling her.
Stay on the path.
Grandmother’s House is not much further.
The flute beckoned.
Grandmother is waiting.
She stepped off the path,
Unable to resist
Compelling, drawing . . .
Eerie trills beckoning . . . .
Soon, she was in the thick of the woods,
With only the flute to guide her.
Her name floated on the breeze
With the melody.
She followed the music,
Step. . .
Note. . .
I must follow.
No. . . .Grandmother . .
The flute. . .
A wolf, playing. . .
She dropped the basket.
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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