Spooky Story Contest

Georgia Writers Museum


October 31, 2022

I wrote this story for the Spooky Story Contest for the Georgia Writerrs Museum. I may not have won (for 8th grade), but at least my brother did (for 5th grade). You can check out his story here.

The Doll in the Marsh

A crow fluttered down onto the road to peck at a squirrel. Undeterred by the wind, the dripping Spanish moss clung to the dim cathedral of trees. I was walking to the nearby beach to collect shells and enjoy fresh air. A pale form stood in the woods, hunched over. I assumed it was a hallucination, or someone dressed up, as it was nearing Halloween. I continued along my way. In the middle of the road, I saw something. Perhaps another dead animal? I went to investigate, but when I came nearer, the air became metallic and heavy, and the wind stopped. There was no animal, only an abandoned rag doll.

As I stooped down to look at it, the Spanish moss started thrashing every way, but there was no wind. When I touched the doll, glowing feet appeared. Shaking, I looked up at the form. It was the figure from the woods; a young girl, with a blue gingham dress and plaited hair. Tears were streaming down her face. Suddenly, more figures appeared. One had a swing dress on, splattered with blood. There was a frilled southern belle. There was a small boy with a muddy doublet and breeches. One specter, in particular, stood out, as she was wearing jeans, a Marvel t-shirt, and sneakers. All of them had one thing in common, though. They were all glowing and translucent.

They could just be illusions or costumes. I blinked to clear my eyes. When I opened my eyes, the woman with sneakers was pointing. She was mouthing something too, but I couldn’t understand her. The rag doll sluggishly floated to where the woman pointed. Against my better judgment, I followed it. We arrived at the nearby salt marsh. The doll floated towards a smoking car that was upside down. The woman appeared next to me and nodded to the car.

It looked like a fresh crash, so I rushed toward the car, ignoring the sinking sand. The car was slowly sinking, I was sinking, and I was stuck. I heard a baby crying, and I could see the kicking feet and flailing arms. That was the last thing I saw.

I was fully enveloped by the sand now, and I could hear screams and cries of the unfortunate people before me. I felt something pulling me up, but there was no arm or branch. When I saw the sky, I took a huge gasp, but no air filled my lungs. I looked down at my hands, translucent and ghostly. I started sobbing, I couldn’t stop. I blinked, thinking that it was all just a nightmarish dream. When I opened my eyes, I was back on the dim road. At my feet, there was the rag doll, but there was also a young girl stooped down to look at it. She touched it, and she saw me, tears streaming down my face. She was shaking. The rest of the phantoms appeared and the ghostly woman pointed toward the marsh.