A! Magazine for the Arts

Lisa Poole of North Tazewell, Va., is the winner of the 19 and over category of the <em>Bristol Herald Courier</em>'s (Mildly) Scary Story Contest. The title of her story is "A Frozen Halloween."

Lisa Poole of North Tazewell, Va., is the winner of the 19 and over category of the Bristol Herald Courier's (Mildly) Scary Story Contest. The title of her story is "A Frozen Halloween."

"A Frozen Halloween"

November 8, 2010

*** Published October 31, 2010 in the Bristol Herald Courier. ***

A chill ran down my back.

The fire was burning low.

We have never had a snow this early let alone a blizzard that came so fast. No one had time to do anything. My husband and brother had left two days earlier to hunt for food for the winter. My parents had left my brother in my care while they went out west for my mother's health over six months ago.

I knew something had happened but I was trying to keep it from my 13-year-old brother who was also sick a lot. I didn't want my brother Matthew to go hunting with my husband Levi. Did I send my brother to his death?

I was all alone. I had lost my parents and my brother. I didn't even get to tell Levi he was going to be a father.


I keep hearing my name in the wind "Lisa, Lisa."

Each time it gets louder. It must be my nerves being alone in this big old house. So I started thinking of boy names. It had to be a boy and he would look just like Levi.

"Lisa!" "Lisa! Go outside now!"

I'm going crazy. If I go outside now, I will die.

"Lisa, now, right now!"

"Yes baby, yes. Hurry, go outside."

Come on Lisa, snap out of it. Get a grip. Now Hope, my little pug was barking at the table I was sitting at. She wouldn't come to me. If only I told Matthew no.

"Lisa, listen to me."

My parents taught me to listen to what I was told. I don't know if I was more scared of ghosts or of not listening to my father and mother.

A lot of people in town had electricity, but we did not. Maybe if I had electricity I would feel better.

I must have dozed off for about an hour. I was thinking of who to invite to my baby shower. Patsy and Chelsey would give it for me. I would invite my sister Judy, who didn't like Levi but I hope she will come along with my friends, Catilyn and Chynmia. I need to make a list.

[Bang! Bang! Bang!]

Who could be knocking on the door in the middle of a blizzard?

My heart was beating so fast and hard. Please God, help me. I couldn't get my feet to move to Lewis's gun.

[Bang! Bang! Bang!]

Levi, Matthew could it be? My feet couldn't move fast enough. Could they be alive?

[Bang! Bang! Bang!]

I'm coming darling. I ran, threw open the door and nothing, no foot prints, nothing. I'm so confused. What is going on. OK Lisa, what is it that Mamma Lewis said to you? Slow down, take a step back. Take a deep breath. Count to 10, sit back and think.

"Lisa baby, you need to go to the barn."

But Mama, it's Halloween. I can't go out.

"You can this once."

It's so far away.

"Listen Lisa, you're not a baby anymore."

There is a blizzard outside.

"Look, it's not snowing."

Mama, where have you been for the last six months? Mama?

"Lisa, I love you. Forget about boy names."

It's been a good dream. It was good seeing my mama. If only I could see my father, too. Well, dreams are funny that way. It was going to take an hour to walk to the barn, so I had better bundle up.

I stepped outside. There was my mom. I asked her why we had to walk to the barn. She told me to look in the window.

He was the same size as Levi but he had dark brown hair. He looked like an older version of Matthew. What's going on? Mama took my hand.

"It happened seven years ago today on Halloween. Your husband and brother were lost in a blizzard. You found them in the barn almost dead. You built a fire in the middle of the barn. It quickly caught fire. You got Levi and Matthew out. You went back in to save the horses.

"You didn't make it back out.

"The last thing they heard you say was I'm with child.

"Now, go toward the light, Lisa. Your dad is waiting on us both."

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