Halloween Writing Competition: Best Use of Suspense & Atmosphere

Daniel Ciesla Halloween writing

11-year-old Daniel Ciesla has been awarded the prize for Best Use of Suspense & Atmosphere in the short story he submitted to the ECP Halloween Open writing Competition. Congratulations, Daniel!

Mister Rot
by Daniel Ciesla

It was the late evening, not even Halloween. Michael decided to go and explore the old abandoned house which he had heard terrifying rumours about. He slowly opened the creaking door and stepped inside. All the furniture seemed to be clean even though no one had lived there for five years. Michael was creeped.

This seemed altogether wrong, and the scariest thing was that the radiator was still warming the house. Michael tried to ignore this as he headed upstairs. When he entered the hallway he saw gold lying on the table: this was impossible!

Even though he was really scared, he shoved the gold into his bag. He saw the sun set through the window, and that was when he heard it: footsteps, slow zombie-like footsteps. Then, he heard a grunt. Michael stood there paralysed with fear.

Michael slowly turned around and tried to get back to the stairs quietly, but as he heard the footsteps pace increasing he started running toward the stairs. Now he could hear the person`s crooked breath behind him. Suddenly a muddy hand grabbed his coat. Michael slipped out of it and jumped down the stairs.

Michael looked around, but he couldn’t find the exit. He heard the footsteps coming down the stairs, Michael dashed towards the first door he saw, went inside and locked it behind him. The terrified boy looked around and realised he was in the kitchen, he found a window and a small metal hammer. He ran up to the window and started breaking it.

Michael banged and banged until the window finally shattered, but at the same time the door creaked open. The spooked child did not even think, he threw the hammer at the zombie and jumped out the window. Michael heard grunts from the kitchen as he started running towards the fence.

The fence was very tall, so Michael figured he wouldn’t be able to jump over it. He ran towards the the first thing he saw that would be useful: the axe. Michael grabbed the axe and with all his strength, ran towards the fence and slammed the axe into it. Little pieces of wood splattered everywhere. Michael saw the man come out of the front door.

He was a combination of the most starved grandpa in the world and a ton of rot. His shirt was eaten off by insects, his belly was as thin as a stick, his skin was slightly green because of rot. His eyes were full of anger, his jaw opened, his legs hardly holding him up, his arms about to fall off.

Michael shook himself out of his trance and sprinted through the hole that he had made in the rotten fence. He ran towards the other end of the street, into his neighbourhood and into his home: as far away from Mister Rot as possible.

It was the late evening, not even Halloween…



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