Published On: Fri, Oct 26th, 2018

Cherokee One Feather Spooky Story Contest winners


Adult Category Winner


The young boy stood at the edge of the shadows cast by the cavernous growth of kudzu vines. He hated coming this way but it was the shortest route, and he didn’t have to cross the four lane. He chewed his lip thoughtfully as he watched the leafy vines wave at him, beckoning him. He trembled as he realized there was no breeze to cause the movement.

Suddenly he squatted down and quickly tied and re-tied his sneakers, pausing to double knot the laces. He wasn’t taking any chances. As he worked on his laces he remembered his cousin telling him one time that the vines grew rapidly, like twenty feet a season. He looked up at the vines and thought about that. These vines never grew any longer. They always lay in exactly the same place, not quite across the road but halfway, staggered for about seventy feet. He knew they killed all of the living trees they draped over. They sank their tendrils deep into the tree stealing life from it until it was dead.

He remembered the rabbit. That was the first time he was allowed to walk home alone. He had just gotten within view of the vines when he saw the rabbit eating grass on the side of the road. The cavern the kudzu formed wasn’t nearly as big back then. He shivered remembering the squeal of the rabbit as the vines snatched it from the side of the road. He remembered how quickly the squeal was cut off. The poor thing barely began to squeal in pain and surprise when it was silenced.

He glanced longingly toward the road behind him. It was too late to go back. It would be dark before he reached the four lane now. He stretched his legs one more time while watching the leaves on the vines wave at him in encouragement.

All of a sudden he took off like a shot running for all he was worth, striving to lengthen his stride to cover more ground to get across. He heard an almost rustling growl behind him as the vines came for him. It was life or death every time he had to come this way. He was afraid each time he would be caught and suffer the fate of the rabbit. So far he had made it, but he knew the vines were crafty and studied him, like he studied them.

A vine lunged at him from the left, he jumped right. He quickly realized his mistake as he felt the sharp sting of a vine’s tendril sinking deep into his calf. He panicked in his mind and squealed sounding to himself like the rabbit. He felt the cascading warmth of some kind of toxin in his leg. He struggled to break free, fighting furiously for life. More and more sharp painful stings filled his mind. But he was almost there, almost to the end.

Suddenly he was free; he was sobbing and struggling to stand. He turned to look at the vines as they assumed their usual place, laying in a staggered order across the asphalt. He suddenly realized there was a man jogging toward him. He wasn’t local. He didn’t know. The boy contemplated calling out to him and telling him to go back, but he knew his words would not be heeded.

Instead he turned and began a limping run away as fast as he could.  He didn’t want to hear the man squeal. He didn’t want to see him pulled away like the rabbit, silenced, writhing into the kudzu vines.

Tina Bowers

Big Y Community


High School/Middle School Category Winner


CRACK! Thunder boomed, and Addison backed further into her seat. She hated thunder, and she was sitting on a bus, returning from Charlotte on a field trip. She turned to her friend, Becca, who was sitting next to her. She was scrolling through one of her social media feeds. “Becca!” Addison whispered. “How long have we been here?” Becca glanced at her phone. “An hour. The new bus should be coming soon.” She looked over at her and smiled. “Don’t worry, Addi. Everything will be fine.” Addison nodded. “I know. I just hate thunder.” Becca fell asleep, so Addison turned toward the pitch-black window. She couldn’t see a thing. The girls behind and in front of her were asleep, and her cousin, Tanner, had his earbuds in across from her. CRACK! The thunder sounded again. She jumped. I hope the bus gets here soon, she thought. She backed herself further into the seat. Maybe if I fall asleep, it’ll pass the time quicker. “Wake me up when the bus comes,” she says to a half asleep Becca. She finally fell into a troubled sleep. In her dream, she heard voices. “Just leave her.” It sounded like Aaron, her cousin’s best friend. “I don’t know.” That sounded like Tanner. “I-” “Tanner!” Aaron interrupted. “We’re not bringing her.” I heard Tanner sigh. “Okay. Let’s go. It’s good that Becca already left.” Addison shot up, and ran after them, but it was too late. The door shut, and she was locked in, with no way out.

Nancy Goldsberry passed by the abandoned bus for what seemed like the millionth time. “I do believe that bus has been there for 30 years!” Her sister, Jenn, nodded. She replied, “I heard a girl was left there. They were on a field trip.” And at that moment, they heard pounding on the old bus’ window.

Jasmine Robertson

Cherokee, NC


Elementary School Category Winner

The Haunted Swamp

Lily Brooks lived in a icky swamp. It surrounded her house but she liked exploring in it.

One night, while getting into bed, she saw shadows through the window and they were getting closer! She slipped out of her bed and went to the window. She saw werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and a troll. The troll smashed in the door. The ghosts flew in to spook the family. It was strange that the werewolves and vampires stayed outside while the ghosts went inside. The next day, while she was eating her breakfast, her sister Molly came running down the stairs screaming “Lily! Lily! Mom and Dad have vanished!” “No!”, Molly interrupted, “They left a message.” It read, “If you two ever want to see your mother and father again, come to 878 Flew Fly Rd. You have one day to find this address or your parents will die, signed Vampire Joe.” They both jumped with fear for a moment then hoping that they could save their mother and father, they found the address before the sun went down.

They went to the address and kicked the werewolves in the face, punched the vampires and knocked them out. They stuffed the troll in a pot and trapped the ghosts in a mirror. The werewolves, vampires, troll and ghosts are gone forever. To their surprise, their Mom and Dad treated them to some ice cream. Their parents said , “I love you”. Molly said, “I’m glad I have my driver’s license or we could not have saved you guys. I love you Lily.” “and I love you Molly.” Then another surprise came. The ice cream had eyeballs at the bottom! “It’s just gummies.” They all laughed.

Aurora Auch

Cherokee, NC