Every day is Halloween: Scary Story

Cassandra Webb, WHS Staff Writer

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Written by: Cassandra Webb

Edited: Jade Nice

10 October 2018

The Disappearance of John Doe

The funeral of an unknown person, no known friends, no living relatives that really cared to come; it was held today. It wasn’t like the average funeral, if one would even call it that, it was an open burial which lasted no longer than 20 minutes. Two men dug the six-foot hole in front of a scarce crowd of eight people. His death was quite unexpected. The weather today was fitting for a burial; dark grey clouds with a light rain. I stood far behind the few people here, watching the two men finish digging the hole.  Soon they hoisted themselves out of the dark pit and went over to the hearse that held the unknown man’s coffin. As the men carried the coffin to the hole, the three women, dressed in their fancy Sunday dresses stuck up their noses. Two of which restricted their olfaction with one gloved hand each as the third lifted a handkerchief to her eyes. The scent of rotten flesh lingered in the air, suggesting that the man had been dead for quite some time. Why would three well-dressed women even attend an unknown man’s burial?


I didn’t know why I was here, maybe it was to skip out on another rough day of work, maybe it was a run in with a society that you just can’t quite escape from without being rude. Or maybe, just maybe, it was fate. After the burial, I head on my walk down to my sorry excuse for what one would call a “house”, with sleet transforming the dirt path I walk on into a mushy slob of mud. I get home to my wife making dinner with my three daughters, the smell of chicken soup tingles the hair follicles within my nostrils, creating a warm sensation of what home should be. See, just because my house is not ideal does not define the home that has been festering in the hearts of my family and I. Heading straight to bed with my head hanging low, I rest my head on my small pillow and settle in without a bite to eat. Smelling rotten flesh ‘til a corpse is covered in moist dirt has the tendency to spoil one’s appetite.


I awake in the middle of the night, the crackling of thunder sounds similar to the shivering of my bones. The small window beside my bed has been coated in a thin layer of ice and the sleet continues to pour down with a slight flash of lightning much like the flash of an unwanted polaroid. I turned on the lamp at my bedside to see my wife sound asleep next to me. She had set a bowl of soup from dinner on my bedside in case I awoke in hunger. God, I loved her and I don’t know what I would have done without her. I dive into my bowl of cold soup, I enjoyed it better cold anyway. I roam around our small room and head toward the window.


As I see the one streetlight that always flickers across the way, I see the corpse of the mysterious man in the shadow of the light pole. His face was disgustingly detailed—even from this far of a distance— decrepit and mangled, as if he wasn’t buried today. The maggots had already begun eating through him. I stumble back, tripping over my wife’s nightstand, both me and her lamp crashing to the wooden floor. My eyelids fluttered like old window shutters that were struggling to close. My body feels strangely heavy and I hear the muttering of my wife in the distance as if she were calling from just outside the window. I see flashes of the man in the darkness of my vision but my eyes were sealed shut. Maybe the image of him was so scarring that it burned to my eyelids, forever haunting me.

I couldn’t even open them to remove the image of his decomposing body. I finally struggle to move my limp muscles, tossing and jerking forward to discredit the feeling of being winded from my fall. I slowly try to open my eyes and I rise from my bedside. T’was just a nightmare. The small window next to the other side of the bed has been coated in a thin layer of ice and the sleet continues to pour down with a faint rumble of thunder now and again. I turn on the lamp at my bedside to see my wife lying next to me, sound asleep. I attempt to shake her body into consciousness, she had always been a heavy sleeper. I chuckle as I hear her soft groan of discomfort from waking her. However, my chuckle abruptly stops when I accidentally roll her body over, discovering the hideous face of the dead man in front of me. His cheeks are covered in dirt and worms. I gag at the sight and I propel in a backward motion but uncontrollably lunge forward; dry heaving and ready to vomit as if doing so was a more pleasant thing than seeing my wife as some John Doe.


I wake up on the floor with the sudden urge to break out into tears, I must be spiraling into a pool of insanity. My wife asked where I was headed as I stormed out of the bedroom and to the front door. I hear the pitter patter of my children’s feet as I grab my wool coat and head out of my house, slamming the door shut. I loved my family but I wanted to be sure that this stranger was really dead. I head to the cemetery, almost slipping on the sidewalk a few times. A shovel was still sitting in the area of fresh dirt from earlier today. I start digging with anger fuming on me, shivering in the cold. I don’t know how long I took but I finally reached the wooden coffin. I lifted the wood, covering my nose and preparing myself for the stench. Yet, I pull it back and there is no one there. I feel a spine-chilling shiver run through my bones. No one wants to dig up a coffin and see that there’s no one in it. That induces even more fear. I turn to heave myself out of the hole and I see the three women from this evening, crying. A man was standing in front of them and had the shovel in hand. He lifts the metal shovel and hits me on the head. I crash back into the hole, the wood cracking underneath me, the smell of rot engulfed me as I faded out of consciousness.


I awoke, however, I see dim light through small cracks. My back aches and I turn to roll over in my bed but this time it isn’t my bed. It’s the coffin. I’m swaying in this box that smells of rot; I’m being carried. I glance over just at the right moment to see my three daughters, all grown up in fancy dresses with a man in my dark wool coat hunched behind them. I tried moving but I just seemed to be dead still, limp. Not in control of my body. The coffin slams into the hole and I hear the dirt being thrown on top of me. I suffer and panic for air. But how do I know where I am? How do I know who I am? Well, I suppose they shall call me what anyone would call me: John Doe.

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About the Writer
Cassandra Webb, WHS Reporter

Hi there!  My name is Cassandra Webb. I am new to Journalism this year. I have lived in North Dakota for four years as of this coming October. I moved...

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Every day is Halloween: Scary Story