“Mummy! Timmy bit me!” cried George. His mother frowned up at the worker bringing him out from nursery.

“Ah yes, the boys had a slight altercation over a toy this morning, and the other boy did retaliate by biting him. It didn’t seem to upset him too much, and they made up after!”

With so many seasonal bugs and ever rising covid cases, biting children weren’t exactly ideal! She thanked the worker and hustled George home.

By bath time she noticed the bite was still quite red. Only one tooth had broken the surface, but she gave it a thorough clean and smothered it with antiseptic cream – just in case. The next morning, George seemed very grouchy, complaining the bite on his back was hurting.

A week later, the fever arrived. The bite had not healed at all. It was angry and inflamed, hot to the touch. George had been given antibiotics for a possible infection, but otherwise they were puzzled. Mother received a call from the nursery – more children were getting sick and Timmy had been admitted to hospital the previous night.

George was becoming fitful. His temperature wouldn’t come down and his complexion was unnaturally pale. In his rare lucid moments he was surly and aggressive. His mother was becoming more frightened for her child, and took him to the hospital.

There were 17 other children on an isolated ward, suffering the same symptoms. All were tested for covid, and all came back inconclusive. There were obvious markers saying it was, but there seemed to be something underlying the virus, something they couldn’t name.

Over the next few days, more children were admitted, and then as one they fell into a coma. The parents watched and waited, wept and shouted, begged and pleaded. The children were a sickly green in their restless sleep, their breathing harsh and laboured.

It was 12:01 am, Halloween morning. The machines suddenly started beeping wildly across the whole ward. The broken cries of terrified parents chorused the alarms as nurses rushed through the double doors.

Then, as one, the children sat up.

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
1 year ago

We loved this at first reading and it set the standard for all subsequent readings. The opening sets the reader up to be reading of a possible daily occurrence. As the story continues, this feeling of normalcy slowly dissipates (yes, we remember infected bites which resulted in fever and we are unfortunately living through a pandemic) until the last sentence which brings the reader up short and sends a shiver through the body.

Last edited 1 year ago by Voice-Team
Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

It all comes to an end, and then what Emily? What happens next?

Genya Johnson
Genya Johnson (@genya-johnson)
1 year ago

This really kept you on the edge of your seat. Now what? I wonder.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Love this Emily, nice and tense throughout, culminating with that final line. Shivers!

Pragya Rathore
Pragya Rathore (@pragya-rathore)
1 year ago

The last line instilled true fear in me. I could almost imagine the dead expressions of the ghosts. Wonderful! I loved the build up and your creative words.

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Pragya Rathore
Pragya Rathore (@pragya-rathore)
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily O'Leary

And congratulations on your truly deserved and well-earned win! :p

Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
1 year ago

I agree with all the other comments, Emily. This is truly a scary story, well-written and gripping. The last line is somehow terrifying. I personally love stories that don’t tell us what happened next. This one will stay in our minds for a long time, while we shiver at many possible “and then what?” moments. Excellent writing.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Wow – a great story, Emily! It reminds me of the John Wyndham novels I read many years ago and I think this could very easily become a much longer story. Well done 🙂

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Congratulations Emily, I’m so proud of you 🙂

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily O'Leary

Well deserved. Hopefully you’ll feel a bit more confident in yourself now xx

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Congratulations Emily! A well deserved win. Loved both your stories. ?

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Inderjeet Deusi
Inderjeet Deusi (@inderjeet-deusi)
1 year ago

Congratulations Emily!

musing mind
musing mind (@musing-mind)
1 year ago

Congratulations Emily on your win and for writing such a wonderful story.

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Nimra Savanghan
Nimra Savanghan (@nimra-savanghan)
1 year ago

This should be a netflix series!!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Well done Emily on getting First – Eric.

Juma
Juma (@juma)
1 year ago

Congratulations on your incredible story, Emily. You truly deserved First Prize! I loved the way the pace gradually quickened in this story, so the readers start out just a little concerned – like any parents during any normal time – then more so, then more and more and pow! That last sentence, so simple on the surface – just children sitting up – is the essence of “Scary”. Great work.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Congratulations on your victory, Emily! You did a very nice work, building up the tension of the story until the ending, where you invite the readers to use their imagination. Well done!

Ngozi Andrew
Ngozi Andrew (@ngozi-andrew)
1 year ago

Ha ha.. I was biting my nails, afraid the kids were all going to turn into vampire bats.. What did happen next?

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Hello, Emily. You have an exceptional talent in writing that brings me to the edge of my chair. Very impressive!

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi (@katy-bizi)
1 year ago

I literally got goosebumps after reading your story, Emily! It certainly does justice to the theme “Scary”. Congratulations!

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