Best in the Elementary School Category
Mother: Keyonna Owle
There once was a little girl named Sally. One day she went up the hill, behind her house, to the forest. She was looking for beautiful flowers. She wanted to surprise her mom. When she was about to pick the first yellow flower, she saw a black hooded figure. She screamed and ran home. The figure stood there watching her run away.
The next morning, she went outside and sitting on the porch were the yellow flowers she was about to pick.
Later that night, she woke up in the middle of the night. She heard the clock ding. It was 12:00pm. Then she heard a knock at the front door. When she went to find her mom, her mom was missing! She heard another knock, this time coming from the back door. When she opened the door, she saw the hooded figure holding yellow flowers. It was saying her name. “SSSAAALLLLYYYY”. “SSSAAALLLLYYY”. She chased the figure into the woods and was never seen again.
Yellow flowers grow everywhere in the forest behind her house to this day.
Middle/High School Category co-winner
Lillian Blythe – Ramos
The Crusty Dusty Musty Witch
It was 1998, October 31st Halloween Night. It was cloudy and damp. The only light was the light from the moon. Excited as can be, the four friends were finally old enough to go from house to house without their mothers and fathers. As the four friends walk down the street, they came across a big fancy house. It was almost like a mansion.
“Let’s go there.” said Bill. “They probably have some of the good candy.” Ava added. While walking up the stairs to the front door, chills shot down Molly’s spine. “Let’s just go to the next house.” she said. “Oh come on, it’ll be fine” said Chad. Finally the four of them got to the door Ava knocked on it and it creaked open but no one is at the door. “Oh, no one’s home; let’s just go guys.” said Molly.
Disappointed that they didn’t get any good candy, the four of them started to make their way back down the stairs. As they got to the sidewalk, all of a sudden, a voice from somewhere inside the house yelled “Wait!!” They all looked at each other and turn around. When they turned around they saw a little old lady but she didn’t seem like a normal old lady. She had crazy hair as if she hadn’t washed her hair in days and she smiled at them in an unsettling way and asked them if they wanted any candy. It was dead silent as if no one knew what to say. Then they all looked at each other once more. “Ss-s-sure.” Will said in a nervous voice. Once again, the four of them walked back up the stairs but slower than they did the first time and the old lady kindly invited them in while she went and got the candy. Anxiously the four of them waited in the living room as the old lady went to get the candy bucket.
As time went by, they were all getting confused on why it was taking the old lady so long to go get the candy bucket. Suddenly, the old lady came rushing down with the bucket. She told them to take as many as they would like but Molly thought it was pretty weird that she kept her candy bucket upstairs rather than by the door like most people. All of them took several pieces of candy but Molly and the old lady was confused on why she didn’t take any and insisted that she should take some. Molly politely refused. “Well if you aren’t going to take my candy at least stay for dinner.” said the old lady. None of them knew what to say. Finally, “We really have to get going, it’s getting late.” said Brian. Upset the old lady puts the offer on the table again and then tells them she’s going to make apple pie. Startled and speechless they all reject the offer again and start to make their way towards the door.
Suddenly the door swung shut and they all quickly turned back around to see the old crazy lady was now a horrifying witch. She had long tangled black hair and goopy green skin with long crusty nails. “We could have done this the easy way my children.” she said with a nasty grin on her face. While the witch made her way towards the four of them, she looked Molly dead in the eyes and slowly Will grabbed a lamp. Then, bam! He whacked her upside the head. “RUN!!” yelled Brian. Ava scrambled to get the door open as they took off running they could hear the witch in the distance yelling for them to come back and crying.
Brian looked back at the house, “Stop” he yelled. They all stop when the rest of them look back at the big house. But the house didn’t look the same from before when they first saw it. Instead, it looked rundown and had broken windows and looked like it’d come crumbling down at any given moment. They all quickly looked at the candy the witch had given them but they couldn’t find it. Traumatized and confused about what happened they decided to walk back to their side of town. When they all got back onto their street they agreed never to tell anyone about what had happened since people might think they were crazy
After Molly got home she ran straight to her room, shut the door, pulled out her phone, and called her grandmother. She paced back and forth waiting for her grandmother to pick up the phone. Finally Molly’s grandmother answered the phone and Molly says, “Grandma there is a new witch in town for us to hunt”.
Middle/High School Category Co-Winner
Painttown Community,age 13
Cherokee Middle School
Atsila, a Cherokee
Atsila, a Cherokee warrior, listened carefully to the water. There seemed to be an important message for him. He could not make out what it said. Atsila was a member of the Cherokee tribe and lived at Kituwah village, one of the places of the “eternal flame.” In Cherokee culture, the tribal “keepers of medicine” would keep fires burning in the council houses on top of the mounds, symbolizing the presence of the Creator and the life of the town. He lived in the longhouse of the Deer Clan. His mother had named him Atsila meaning “fire”, because on the night he was born, there was a huge flame on the mountain side that lit up the valley. Some took it to be a bad omen and others thought good medicine. Either way, Atsila was a fierce warrior and was destined to be a great leader.
When he was four or five, a tree witch known as the Raven Mocker (Kâ’lanû Ahkyeli’skï) came to the village wanting to claim him. His father fought bravely and stopped her from taking him. From that time after, he was closely guarded to keep him safe. He often caught glimpses of Raven Mocker watching him. He knew she was afraid of him, but he didn’t know why. On his 16th birthday, he prepared himself to go on his spiritual walk. He walked 7 miles east to the misty mountains and would stay seven days. Atsila was not afraid. It was here, that he heard the water telling him secrets. It told him Raven Mocker was near. Often, he called out to her to come sit by his fire.
As the third evening approached, the Raven Mocker came to his camp. As she approached, she chanted an evil spell to have him fall asleep. Atsila had prepared himself for such a time. He quickly filled his ears with corn shucks his mother had prepared for him. He could not hear the chant. He swiftly grabbed his knife and spear and loudly chanted his spell that the village Indian Doctor had taught him. Gûñskäli’skï, the Indian Doctor use to hunt for Raven Mockers, and killed several. Raven Mocker screamed with fear and flew high in the trees in a fiery shape, with arms outstretched like wings, and sparks trailing behind, with a rushing sound like the noise of a strong wind. She cried out that Atsila was her son and must have his heart to live. But it was too late. Atsila had conjured her to die. Once she died, Atsila saw other witches start abusing her body.
After his seventh day, he returned to the village and told this story around the fire. Many were afraid and hailed him as a great warrior. Atsila began his mission and began to hunt and kill Raven Mockers. But the strangest thing about this story is for every Raven Mocker that Atsila killed, he seem to live an extra year. Was he the son of the Raven Mocker?
Adult Category Winner
Two Red Roses for a Friend
“Fall mornings and hot coffee. It’s just so perfect here! I can’t wait to see you! Okay, well drive safe, I love you! Bye!”
The crisp, cool air she took in as she sat on her front porch reassured her that she was going to have a good day. Maya’s best friend from college was coming in that day. From her porch, Maya could hear the gentle flow of a nearby creek and the lively bustle of bird business. It was a foggy Friday morning, and she had asked for the day off to spend a lovely 3-day weekend with her dear friend. Work had been a bit hectic lately, and this was some much needed time off. Lilly was only about an hour out, so Maya just wanted to relax until she got there. To pass the time, Maya decided to read and sip her coffee.
Maya took a look at the time on her phone. Lilly had called 58 minutes ago saying she was an hour out. Maya’s excitement grew. All of a sudden, Maya heard a distant boom. And soon after a murder of crows hurriedly flew from the direction, quite a few of them seeking solace in the large black walnut trees that lined Maya’s driveway. It was a bit startling but seconds later, a dark blue Toyota began to ascend the steep driveway.
“Lilly! My goodness, it’s so good to see your face!” Maya, ran down her porch steps and tackled her friend with a hug as she stepped out of the car. “It’s been too long, friend,” replied Lilly. They embraced tightly for a moment, with loud sirens interrupting their reunion. From the small bit of the main road that you could see through the greenery, three police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck sped by.
“Oh wow, I hope they are okay. It seems so close, did you see anything?” Maya inquired to her friend. “No, I remember nothing out of the ordinary, but I…” Lilly trailed off. Her gaze slowly moved towards the direction of the presumed accident. “My stomach feels weird and I just got a splitting headache. Could you point me to the bathroom?” Maya’s expression changed quickly, and she escorted her friend inside the house.
“Hey I’m gonna go check up the road real quick, text me if you need anything,” Maya spoke through the door. She normally wouldn’t leave her friend, but she had a knot in her stomach for some unexplained reason. “Sure thing,” said Lilly. As Maya reached the front door, Lilly called from the bathroom, “I love you friend.” “I love you too friend,” Maya called back. ‘What a weird bathroom exclamation,’ Maya thought. But Maya and Lilly were both goofy people, so she didn’t dwell on it.
Maya got in her car and calmly drove towards the end of the street. She pulled off on the shoulder at the end of the road because she didn’t want to get too close and be in the way. The car accident was only about a football field away, but it was hard to see because the car was so mangled. Maya’s curiosity was sparked as the knot in her stomach grew more painful. Maya feared it could be a local friend or neighbor. So she decided to walk closer. As she approached, she noticed something that stopped her dead in her tracks. There was a tiny, fuzzy pink bear hanging from the rearview mirror. Maya began to feel sick. She did know the person who drove that car. She began to run towards the many first responders attending to the scene.
“Ma’am. Ma’am! Please stop. Don’t come any further!” A paramedic held her hands out, motion
ing for Maya to stay away. “No, that’s my friend! Is she okay? Please, I need to know she’s okay. Please!” Maya pushed by the paramedic and saw her friend on the road, just as a firefighter pulled a sheet over the poor, unfortunate soul.
“This doesn’t make any sense. This can’t be. This is impossible!” Maya fell to her knees and began sobbing. “Please let me see her. I need to know something,” gasped Maya. She began to crawl the few feet to reach her deceased friend. The arm of the woman peeked out from under the sheet. There was a long purple sleeve covering the arm; Maya pulled the sleeve up. Mid-way up the forearm was a small tattoo, consisting of two red roses. Maya pulled her own sleeve up, to reveal the same tattoo on her right arm. She uncontrollably wept.
“Ma’am, do you know the victim? We can’t seem to find her wallet to ID her.” Suddenly, Maya became silent, her skin so pale. She only knew grief in this moment.
“Her name is Lillian Henson. She’s my best friend. She was coming from out of town to visit me today.”