Just entered this one into a contest. We’ll see I guess. You had to start with the line “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.” 750 words or less. Won’t know for two months.
The moment it was over, I knew it was a mistake, Ellis thought. The events of the day skittered through her head. She closed her eyes; the cool night air brushed its fingertips along her face bringing her back to the early morning breeze.
“Ellis did you finish last night’s calc for Haddock’s class?” Zac looked at her expectantly. Ellis glowered at him, but a smiled played on her lips. She took a crisp paper from her notebook, pushing it into his chest.
“I better have this back by lunch with payment.”
Zac leaned in, pecked her on the mouth, and ran toward homeroom yelling back to her, “Oh I’ll pay you alright.”
Dani walked up, “Why was Zac yelling?”
“You know, calc. Never does his homework.” Laughing the girls headed to class.
The fall air was soft as Ellis sat outside an apple in hand. Zac, Dani, Rex, and Lucy all crowded at the table for lunch. Zac handed the homework to Ellis, “Thanks hun,” then he whispered in her ear, “I’ll pay you later,” and winked. She snickered.
Dani looked over at them and raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. A few leaves from the oak tree standing over their table fluttered down cascading over the group. “Don’t look now, but he’s staring at you girls again,” Rex pointed. The girls glanced over to where Rex was gesturing. The new kid was watching Lucy and Ellis; his eyes were dark and intense.
“I’ll take care of this.”
“Zac!” But, Zac just waved Ellis away. They watched as he went over and spoke to the guy. The new kid nodded. There was a lot of gesturing, pointing back at their table. Then Zac returned.
“He’s going to meet us tonight at the Old Connolly Place,” he said.
“Did you tell him it was haunted?” Lucy asked.
The bell rang deciding for them and they shrugged, grabbing their notebooks. The crew headed off to class.
A bright, enchanted moon hung low, covered by cottony clouds masquerading across the blackened sky. An eerie feeling crawled across Ellis’ neck. The group stood outside the Old Connolly Place. The dilapidated house had bricks and wood falling off the outside, there were gaps in the roof where tiles had fallen through or tumbled down the front. The new kid showed up on time, his name was Jon, Ellis heard him say.
“Jon, you go inside, upstairs, hangout for ten minutes. If we see you through the window, you’ll be in our crew,” explained Zac, “Hell, Lucy might even go on a date with you,” he laughed.
“I’ll what!?” Lucy stamped her foot looking at Zac. He just winked at her and she furrowed her brow even more and moved closer to Dani and Ellis.
“You got it?” Zac asked.
Ellis watched as Jon walked up the broken steps. Her sinking feeling was increasing by the minute. She didn’t think the house was haunted, but this seemed cruel. The door shut behind him. Creaking of the ancient stairs could be heard inside. There was a loud crash and a scream. Rex and Zac ran up, throwing open the rotting door which flew off the hinge.
Ellis stood back, peeking in from the doorway. A gaping hole was visible in the ceiling. On the floor, Jon lay unmoving. “What were we thinking?” she mumbled aloud.