(Photo credit: Brian Wangenheim, Unsplash)
I'm ready to put the blistering, California sun behind me and fully enjoy Fall. Pumpkin spice and everything nice and of course the Fall Writing Frenzy contest! This year due to signing with my amazing agent Stacey Kondla I can't officially participate because I am agented, but I was so inspired by the amazing photos curated to write another spooky middle grade horror. So, I am writing alongside the contest goers in solidarity! Enjoy all the spooky, thrills and chills inspired by this picture in less than 200 words!
DEATH VALLEY INN
By Kari Ann Gonzalez
Same old summer routine.
Mom ships me off to meet Dad.
So, here I am
waiting at ‘haunted’, Death Valley Inn…
Same old bathtub bag-o-bones to welcome me in.
“Hey, Dead Ted.”
Same old medieval metal knocker.
Same old skull chandelier lighting the dim.
At least they’re kinda real looking.
Same old spooky rattling chains (on cassette of all things!).
“Hey, Dottie! Is Dad here yet?”
“There, there, Claire. Soon.”
She says, shuffling my bag in.
“Dottie, ever thought about redecorating?
“Oh? I’ve been thinking that very thing!” She pats my hand.
“Sit here, dear. I’ll get you checked in. Can I get you some cookies then?”
I slide my phone out of my bag.
I snap a pic.
Caption it: Bored to death at Death Valley Inn!
Dottie hobbles over, tray of cookies in hand.
“Chocolate chip. Your favorite!”
I pat the chair beside me.
“Will you have one with me?”
“Diabetes, dear. But you have all you can eat.”
Five cookies later, I’m feeling woozy.
“Uh, Dottie?” I ask as the room spins.
Dottie hobbles back in.
“Don’t worry, dear.” She smiles, “Soon, you won’t feel a thing.
Thanks for helping me with the… redecorating.”