The literary magazine of New Trier High School



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The Living Nightmare

The rain pounded loudly on the roof as Violet glanced out the window for what felt like the millionth time.

“Come on, Vi. There’s nothing we can do about the rain right now, so why not try and make the best of our Halloween! I was able to make it over before it started pouring, so we can still hang out, at least,” her best friend, Sofie, suggested, noticing her mood.

“I know, I’m sorry,” Violet said, turning her attention back to the TV where Sofie was flipping through movies, trying to find one to watch.

The two were still in their witch costumes they’d made together a couple weeks before. They had planned to trick-or-treat and pretend to cast curses on all the little kids. For the time being, though, because of the rain, their current plan was to stay inside Violet’s house and watch a movie.

The two sat in silence for a few moments, looking at movie options until Violet pointed and at one Sofie was scrolling over and said, “Ooh, I heard that one’s good.”

Sofie looked at the movie’s title: The Nightmare. She then reluctantly asked, “This one?”

“Yeah, it’s new.”

“That looks horrifying!”

“It’s Halloween! It’ll be fun to watch something scary,” Violet encouraged.

Sofie sighed and put the movie on. It was about a group of kids who were out trick-or-treating. However, various other trick-or-treaters in the movie were possessed and would try to attack them. Sofie jumped in her seat on the couch anytime something scary happened, and Violet would have to put a hand on her shoulder to reassure her it wasn’t real.

While the girls were watching the movie, Violet’s older brother, Nathan, walked upstairs. “I’m gonna drive over to Jake’s house, so if you go downstairs and can’t find me, don’t freak out thinking I’m gonna jump scare you or anything,” he said. He was three years older than Violet and Sofie. He loved to prank the girls, which annoyed Violet, but with him gone, she was relieved they would have nothing to worry about on Halloween: the one night when he was most likely to try and scare them.

“You’re driving in this weather?” Violet asked.

Nathan shrugged. “Mom said I could go over. The rain’s starting to let up, so it won’t be too bad.” He left, and the girls turned their attention back to the movie.

At the end of the film, all of the characters who had been chased by the possessed trick-or-treaters woke up. “Oh…it was all a dream…” one of them remarked.

“That’s a lame ending,” grumbled Violet. At that moment, the camera shifted, showing that all of the possessed trick-or-treaters from the “dream” were standing in the corner of the room. They lunged directly at the camera, and the screen cut to black. A scream could be heard in the background.

“Aah! Please tell me it’s over now,” Sofie begged. She got her wish when the credits began to roll.

“Woah…so it was real, but not? That’s kind of confusing,” Violet said before realizing she no longer heard a pounding on the roof. She’d been so on edge with the movie she hadn’t realized it had stopped raining.

“The rain stopped! It’s probably not too late to go out now!”

“Yeah, let’s go!” Sofie agreed.

After agreeing with Violet’s mom to be back at their house by nine o’clock, the two girls set out.

“It’s seven forty-five now, so we have an hour and fifteen minutes. Hopefully that’s plenty of time to get some candy and scare some little kids,” Violet said as the girls left.

Lots of kids were out trick-or-treating now that the rain had stopped. One snuck up behind Violet and grabbed her arm. She twisted out of his grip and tried to hit him with the broomstick that she had made for her witch costume, but he ran away.

“What was that about?” Violet asked.

“I don’t know, but… did you see the white mask on that kid’s face? Wasn’t there a character with a white mask like that in the movie?” Sofie pointed out.

The trick-or-treater who’d grabbed Violet had retreated, but she could still see him in the distance. Just as Sofie had mentioned, he looked exactly like one of the possessed trick-or-treaters from The Nightmare. And he had tried to attack Violet in the same way the possessed trick-or-treater did in the movie…

Violet shook her head, trying not to dwell on the similarities. “The movie’s popular. I’m sure plenty of people are wearing costumes from it,” she said, dismissing the incident. The two girls continued trick-or-treating.

As they were walking along a street, a bush jumped out at them and yelled “Boo!” making both girls jump. Upon closer inspection, they saw it was a teenage boy dressed as a bush, pranking people as they walked by.

“Didn’t a trick-or-treater dress up as a bush and jump out at the kids in the movie, too? To attack them?” Sofie asked as they walked away.

“It’s just some high-schooler. He probably thinks it’s funny to prank people, like Nathan does,” Violet argued. Though now she wasn’t so sure of that… things were starting to get stranger and stranger.

At nine o’clock, the girls returned to Violet’s house. They walked back upstairs to trade candy, which was always a post-trick-or-treating tradition of theirs. However, when they got upstairs, they found all the possessed trick-or-treaters from the movie standing in the TV area!

Both girls jumped and screamed, expecting to be attacked. The possessed trick-or-treaters started…laughing. Not maniacally laughing, just laughing.

Violet looked a little closer at one of the possessed trick-or-treaters, which was dressed as a zombie.

“Nathan!?” she cried.

Nathan continued laughing as he removed his zombie mask.

Violet ran over to her brother and angrily hit him in the arm. He continued laughing and pushed her aside. “I’m sorry, Vi. We were planning to just prank random people, but then I saw you two watching The Nightmare, and it was just too perfect,” he said.

“So all of you are Nathan’s friends?” asked Sofie, still a little startled. The other boys nodded as they continued laughing themselves.

Violet shook her head and began to laugh with them. “That’s kind of brilliant: recreating the movie to freak people out. Now I feel kinda dumb about my and Sofie’s idea of pretending to cast spells on little kids.”

“I’m sure the kids believed it! My little sister’s becoming a prankster just like her big brother!” Nathan said proudly.

“Hey, we should all see how much candy we got! That’s what Violet and I came upstairs to do. We always trade candy after trick-or-treating. Do you guys want to join us?” Sofie chimed in, calmer now.

“Yeah, that sounds fun!” Nathan said. His friends nodded in agreement.

They all sat down, traded candy, and agreed to do a big group prank next year!

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