Photo of a zombie outside a window that is covered with spiderwebs and filth.

Winner of the “Haunted House” Fiction Writing Prompt Contest!

Rachel Richey Writing Prompt Contest Winners

We hope everyone has been enjoying our horror-filled October writing contests! We’re coming to the end of the month, but we’re still getting some fantastic entries! This week’s winning story shows how a little “mouse” can become a big monster. Congrats go to our winner, Joshua Randolph! Check out the last week’s prompt and the winning entry below!

Prompt:

The mask felt hot and clammy against her face and her knees ached from crouching in the same position for so long. But she couldn’t move. Not now when she could hear the sound of excited voices approaching. This was her chance to prove to them that she could be scary. She wouldn’t be known as Missy the mouse anymore.

Continue the story of Missy and the “haunted” house. Will the horror be real?


Missy the Mouse
By Joshua Randolph

That name was seared into the back of her mind like some bright apocalypse. People barely noticed her, it seemed. She was too quiet and shy to speak up at even the worst offenses. One time, when that older guy cut her off in line. Or the other day, when she really wanted that last slice of pie, but someone else snatched it right as she was about to reach for it. Just like last week, when her friends didn’t know she could hear them talking behind her back, such nasty rumors. Her temperament always made her a bit of a loner, and it certainly didn’t help that she had such a quiet voice.

However, she decided that would end tonight. This was the only thing she could think of, for the past several days. Her level of excitement had never been this grand before. Unsure of the last time she had even gone to bed, so dedicated to this plan she was. Missy would no longer be so modest, she thought to herself.

She could hear the familiar voices down the street, carrying on the wind. Excited in their own right, for tonight was Halloween, and to them it meant candy. Happily they continued along, unaware of what was awaiting them. Voices she knew well, she heard them every day. Talking in the lunchroom, in the halls by the lockers. Gossiping in the restrooms, answering questions in the lectures. Spreading nasty rumors about the shy girl.

“The mouse is so shy, I heard she sometimes stays home and no one notices.”

“Did you hear, Missy the Mouse can’t look you in the eye because she can’t stand contact that intimate.”

“The other day I ran into Missy the Mouse. She must travel through holes in the walls to be able to sneak up on people like that!”

“I heard Missy’s parents were actually mice, and that’s why she likes cheese so much.”

Secretly, Missy hated mice. Lots of people thought they were cute, she recalled, with their whiskers and tiny noses. She couldn’t stand the gray fur, the scratching noises, the annoying little squeaks that were barely audible. But most of all, she hated how they would run into the nearest hole and hide at the first sign of anything. Missy couldn’t stand how the mice were so quiet, always in the background, but not something one thinks of often. It made her angry that people thought she was nothing more than a mouse, a pest, to be dealt with if it happened to show up.

This made it especially difficult for her to pick out the mask. She knew she had to leave an impression. At the costume store, Missy picked the biggest, ugliest, scariest looking rat mask she could find. This had to be memorable. Today, she was Missy the Mouse. Tonight, she would be absolutely frightening. Tomorrow, if she were lucky, she would simply be Missy.

The voices drew nearer, and she was ready. The haunted house was a popular local attraction. It wasn’t terribly busy at this time of night, and Missy knew they would be along around this time. A few squeals as they entered the first room, then laughter. Slowly, the staccato of silence and screams ascended the stairs. Creaking boards marking each step, her victims grew closer. This would surely be a night to remember.

The click of a doorknob releasing from the jamb, the signal they had entered the first room. Shrill shrieks sounded, nervous laughter following. Passing through two more rooms, the group approached near where Missy was hiding. She had been lucky, getting this position last-minute. All night so far, she had scared perhaps a hundred people or more. She savored their contorted faces as they were surprised, suddenly enjoying this new power.

Through the door her school-mates came, and she killed the lights. A few small candles was all that illuminated the room. She was hiding behind the door, and slammed it shut as they entered. A great mass of fur and teeth was all they saw. Missy was quite the imposing figure this night. The four people in the room immediately trying to find the exit, but Missy made sure they would be stuck here for a moment longer than usual. Hissing and flying around the room, jolting toward each one, scaring them quite thoroughly. It was made all the more terrifying because they hadn’t been expecting this room to have anyone in it.

Fumbling with the knob, the quartet couldn’t get out the way they had come. A small door was to the other side of the room, and Missy made sure to savor this moment. Cracking the door a bit, the first voice screamed its way out. The other three quickly followed, into the dark hall, Missy chasing behind. The next thing that happened, however, Missy had not accounted for. Her eyes had become accustomed to the dark, so she was able to see better than they. In the old hallway which they had wandered, a set of repairs had not been completed. A few floorboard broke as the first person passed over a spot, giving way immediately. Two people fell through the floor, and Missy wouldn’t know it until later, but they landed in the basement.

Genuine screams startled the two girls hanging behind, who stopped and immediately turned round, only to be greeted by the ugliest, scariest rat face they had ever seen, for the second time that night. Startled, they stepped backward, and also met their fate two stories below. Missy hadn’t wanted to kill anyone, but she certainly would never forget the faces those two terrified girls made, stepping inadvertently to their demise…


Josh is a writer, knitter, and photographer who’s  currently working on his NaNoWriMo project. For more of Josh’s work, stop in and check out his blog, Arguments for Reason or check out his previous win, “The Black Cat” , or listen to the audio version below.

To celebrate the month of October, we’ve been posting a series of prompts celebrating fall and everything that comes with it! Including ghosts and goblins of Holloween! To learn more, check out our current active contest or sign up for our newsletter to get the latest in news and updates.

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