It was Jessica’s idea to attend the hayride, to meet kids my age, but she's abandoned me for a boy on the first trailer. I stretch long to see her. I can’t. Before I turn around, I look at the other teenagers riding on my trailer: two couples lip locked and a guy with Goth black hair wearing clothes with razor cuts. I smile at him then swing my feet off the back edge of the trailer, to face the moonlit gravel road.
The hayride passes a silhouetted house in a field and another house whose yard is lit like Christmas, except, it’s Halloween. Sheet ghosts hang in cobwebbed trees while Jack-o-lanterns form a circle around a cauldron beneath it.
The juddering wagon dips down and drags my feet on the road. “My shoe!” No one hears me because loud music is playing, except, Goth boy who stumbles over to me, grabs my arm and pulls me off the hay wagon. As we stand in the road, the hayride disappears around the corner.“I’ll help you find it.” His face is pasty white. “I’m Jake.”
“Mona.”Under his chin, he turns on a flashlight that casts shadows upward and over his features, then aims at the road. We find my shoe, and I stagger to pull it on. Fauna screams from the woods nearby and something howls.
Jake shrugs. “Coyote maybe.” We hear sticks breaking and movement. “Run!”The flashlight goes out, but the road is lit by the moon until clouds cover it. I can hear that I’m walking on the road because my shoes crunch the gravel. Ahead I see a fire and hear guitars and singing. I run in and everybody turns to look.
Jessica runs to meet me. “Where have you been?”“I—lost—my shoe.” I’m breathing heavy, doubling over. “Jake helped me find it.”
We both look behind me. No one is there.
I loved writing this little tale for Spooktoberfest, but I need to know more about Jake and Mona. Who is Goth boy? Why does Mona need friends? What's up with the house in the field? And what's running after Mona until--it doesn't?