Highly Commended Story - Sub-junior Category
“A HUGE Surprise!” by Cruz Gonzales, Maidu Elementary School, USA, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2018.
A HUGE Surprise!
I’ll never forget my eighth birthday party. My family and I had just moved into a mansion. I in-vited 32 kids for a midnight pool party. Our two pools were crowded with kids and the tables were covered with pizza, hot dogs, ice cream and chocolate cake. I was lying by the pool with my best friends Noah and Luca when my mom asked me to go out to the garden to pick fruits for the dessert. I asked Noah and Luca to come along. We grabbed our flashlights and headed for the door.
My friends and I started picking fruits until the music suddenly stopped and the lights through the window started flashing. We put all the fruits down and headed back to the pool. Everyone was gone and things started to get eerie. Water was splashing, candles were blowing out and lights were flickering. We went into the kitchen and grabbed weapons: I grabbed a broom, Noah grabbed a butter knife and Luca grabbed a mop. We searched down-stairs, but we only found letters on the walls. When we went up to the second floor, it was the exact same thing. On the third floor there were not only letters on the walls, but food all over the ground, a table flipped over, and ketchup all over. “Hey, I think this is blood,” said Luca. “No, it’s ketchup. Try tasting it,” I replied. We climbed up a ladder into the attic. Noah said, “I want to get out of here!” Immediately after he said that we heard a flapping noise coming from the other side of the room. We swished our weapons around until I hit something to the ground. It made a squeaking noise and dragged itself across the floor into the corner. We shined our flashlights at the corner and saw something curled up in a ball. When we came closer, it peeked out and we all jumped back. Luca screamed, “It’s a bat!” We all run out of the attic. “Did you guys see any letters?” Noah asked. Luca said, “Nothing for me”. I said, “I think I saw an N”. With this, we ran through all the rooms gathering all the letters and writing them down on a piece of paper. After that, we tried to decode the message until we all said in unison “Dun-geon!”
“But we don’t have a dungeon”, I said. “Don’t you have a basement?” Luca asked. “Yes, I think so, but I’ve never seen it” I told him. We ran down to the first floor and searched for a door to the basement. All we could see was stone walls and stairs that led down to my parents’ wine cellar. Noah and Luca said, “We can’t find anyth-”. “I think I found a loose stone!” I interrupted. “Really?” asked Noah. “I think so”, I replied. I pushed on the stone and the wall of the wine cellar slid open. We slowly stepped through and down a flight of stairs into a dark room. “Do you hear that?” I asked. “Hear what?” “That giggling sound!” After we took a few steps the lights suddenly flashed on. Luca jumped in the air, Noah fell to the ground and I just stood there. SUPRIIISE!!! Right in front of us were all the missing people that had disap-peared earlier. “What the-“ I stopped. “What are you doing here?” “We were planning a sur-prise birthday party. The fruit thing was just to distract you for a little while” said my dad. “Whew, I thought all of you were hurt or something,” I said. “Hey, did you put all the letters around the house?” asked Luca. “Yes,” my dad said, “I did.” “I helped too!” said my little brother Kai. At that time I had so many questions I wanted to ask until I spotted food on the ta-ble. I sat down and said something I had been waiting to say all night. “Please pass the pizza!”