This October, here’s my entry for the Official Kidlit #FallWritingFrenzy! Writers are challenged to select one image to inspire a 200-word story. Although I usually aim to scare adults, kids are the target this time: I hope it makes for some good MG/YA Halloween fun!
Ms. Wolownik’s New Assistant
Ms. Wolownik’s house looks like a rotten potato. It’s brown and white, and nobody can tell mold from paint. Its roof sags. Vines from overgrown plants spill out the windows. Cats march in and out like ants.
When Ms. Wolownik is outside, which isn’t often, her bangles clink, and her earrings tinkle like a cat bell—that jangling sends everybody running. Even Doyle.
Doyle stinks of wet lunchbox and said “girls with long legs look like frogs” when I beat him on Field Day. After school, he dared every kid to smash the pumpkins on Ms. Wolownik’s stoop. One by one, they paid him a quarter instead—the “weenie tax.”
I was last. I stepped into the yard. But while I hate losing to Doyle, Ms. Walownik’s pumpkins looked so pretty.
“Scared, princess?” Doyle taunted.
I clenched my fists. Stinky Doyle’s stupid big mouth! Suddenly, a strange zing skittered down my spine. I smelled grapefruit, and Doyle went quiet. I turned.
Doyle clutched at his head . . . which was now a giant jack-o’-lantern.
Behind me, jewelry clinked and tinkled. “Not bad for a first spell,” said a woman’s voice. “He’ll revert in an hour, I’d guess. But I like your style.”
My past entry, The Fragility of Glass, is still available to read too!