Write a story that includes twins, a twelve layer cake, and a house that seems haunted but isn’t. (From Creative Writing Now, “30 Days of Inspiration.”
Mikayla and Maddie where helping each other with the finishing touches of their Halloween costumes. Mikayla tied a bright pink bow in Maddie’s hair, and Maddie parted Mikayla’s hair and made two small ponytails. Together they made two thirds of the Powder Puff Girls. Their best friend Angela would complete the trio. They had spent several weeks thinking about and preparing their costumes for Halloween. The doorbell rang, but the twins ignored it assuming it was an early trick-or-treater, probably a little kid. When they heard thundering footsteps climbing the stairs, they knew it was Angela.
She burst through their bedroom door, already talking, “I know I was suppose to wait for you at the corner, but I saw Zack, Trey, and Tom! Their costumes are perfect!”
“No one’s costume is going to be cooler than our homemade ‘90s cartoon hommage,” Maddie said rolling her eyes.
“Unless they are also some ‘90s cartoon,” added Mikayla.
Angela’s eyes widened as she nodded her head.
“What? No way, Ang!”
“Who are they?” Maddie demanded.
“Ed, Edd, n Eddy,” Angela whispered.
The girls grumbled.
“But,” Angela said with a smile growing across her face, “I think they are waiting for us!”
Maddie and Mikayla’s parents were startled by shrieks and giggles erupting from the twins’ bedroom.
“Aren’t you girls going to be late?” the father called.
“I need to take your picture before you leave,” their mother added.
Five minutes later, the trio was chattering away, pillowcases in hand, ready for an evening of trick-or-treating, and find out what those “ah-door-ah-bull,” as Angela put it, boys wanted. The girls walked the first block without any sight of the boys, but ran right into them at the corner.
“We were just coming to find you!” Zack announced.
“We were hoping you might want to trick-or-treat with us,” added Tom.
“Right,” said Trey in a voice that didn’t seem earnest.
The girls giggled.
“Okay,” said Maddie, walking around the boys to the next block.
“That block was a bust,” said Zack, “We should go this way.”
Maddie didn’t like being told what to do by anyone, especially a boy, but when her sister and Angela followed the boys, she had no choice.
They trick-or-treated through the neighborhood until they had to heave their pillowcases over their shoulders, talking and laughing the whole time.
“It’s probably time to head home,” Angela said.
“Wait,” Maddie said, “I think there is one more house we should visit.” She skipped down the rode. The boys and the other two-thirds of the Powder Puff Girls looked at each other, then followed Maddie.
She stopped and turned to look at a house across the street. Her friends joined with wide eyes.
The house was black – well what they could see of it. The yard and shrubs towered over everything and seemed to suck in light. The streetlight in front of the next house flickered. It was impossible to see a pathway to the door through the maze of overgrown plants. No light could be seen coming from the house, and the smell from the yard was the sickening sweet smell of rotting leaves. Trey covered his nose.
“What is this place?” Zack asked.
“Oh you don’t know?” Maddie chimed, “It’s just the Hunters house.”
“As in the last name or the occupation?” Tom asked.
“Nobody knows,” Mikayla answered.
“But what I do know,” said Angela, “is that I dare you to ring the doorbell!”
The three boys protested loudly.
“Guess that just makes you a chicken,” Maddie smirked.
“If your so brave, you do it!” Zack sneered, eyes flitting fearfully to the house that seemed to consume light.
Maddie paused. She wasn’t afraid of anything, except clowns, and this didn’t look like the type of place a clown would hang out. Maybe a witch, but not a clown.
“Let’s go girls,” she said and sauntered into the street.
Mikayla joined her, nervous, but always contented by the presence of her twin sister. Angela glanced between her friends and the boys, bit her lips and scurried to join Mikayla and Maddie.
“Why are we doing this?” Angela whispered through her teeth.
“It’s just an abandoned, overgrown house,” Maddie said, “No one lives here and the doorbell probably doesn’t even work.”
They stepped into the yard and vanished from the boys’ sight.
“Why’d you make them do that?” Tom accused Zack.
“I didn’t make them do anything,” he replied focused on the place he had last seen his crush, Maddie.
“Man, what if they don’t make it back out?” Trey muttered.
“Goodness, it is dark,” said Mikayla.
“Look down,” Maddie instructed. Mikayla and Angela could just make out the path they followed.
“Is that a light?” Angela asked squinting ahead.
“I think so,” said Maddie. Trees brushed the girls legs, burrs snagged the hair and costumes. Angela tripped over a root, Mikayla over a long abandoned pot. Even Maddie started to worry. What if there is something scary living here? Something that doesn’t want to be seen? She slowed.
“Whatever you’re thinking, stop it,” scolded Mikayla as she walked past her twin, “You got us into this. We are going to finish it.” Mikayla walked forward into a tiny clearing lite by a small porch lamp swarmed by fluttering moths, and chaotic bugs.
“There is a light,” Angela mumbled, “Does that mean someone actually lives here?”
“I don’t know,” Maddie said climbing the stairs to join her sister.
“Ready?” Mikayla asked.
“Yeah – No!” but it was too late, they already pushed the button for the doorbell. Angela was ready to sprint back to the boys, but froze as the door creaked open inch by inch. Maddie and Mikayla clung to each others’ hands, Angela shook behind them.
“Hel-loo!” said a happy voice, from a wrinkle face topped with curly white hair. The girls looked down surprised to find the source of the voice at least a foot shorter than them.
“Happy Halloween!” the woman sang, “You are the only trick-or-treaters I’ve had in several years! I don’t have any candy, but if you would like to come in, it is my birthday today and I make a twelve layer cake each year to share with trick-or-treaters, but then no one comes, so I freeze the twelve layers and eat them one for each month of the year!” The little old lady already hustled down her bright cheery hall. She spoke quickly and wore a floral print shirt.
“She looks kind of like Grandma,” Mikayla whispered.
“Well are you coming?” the old lady turned when she realized they hadn’t followed her.
“We aren’t supposed to enter stranger’s houses,” Maddie replied.
“Oh, but I’m not a stranger, Maddie, Mikayla, and Angela! I know all your parents, and I’ve talked to all of you at the library. You didn’t know I lived here?”
The three girls thought. She did look kind of familiar, but they still couldn’t place her.
“I can call your parents if you like,” she said lifting a phone off the wall.
“No!” “That’s ok!” the girls said shuffling into the house.
Across the street the boys heard a door slam shut.
“Oh no,” Tom panicked, “they’re going to be eaten by some crazy Hunter!”
“Shut up,” Zack said.
Twenty minutes later, the girls emerged smiling and chatting.
“What happened?” Zack asked.
“We had cake to celebrate Mrs. Hunter’s birthday!” Angela explained.
“She makes a twelve layer cake every year,” Maddie said.
“Each layer is a different flavor,” Mikayla added.
“But isn’t it haunted?” Tom asked.
Mikayla and Maddie glanced at each other and with a slight nod of their head made a pact.
“Oh yes. It is absolutely haunted,” Maddie answered.
“We barely escaped before she could bake us into layers 13, 14, and 15!” Mikayla breathed.
“But at least we weren’t too chicken to ring the doorbell,” Maddie smirked and led the three girls back toward their block.
“Next week, Mrs. Hunter wants us to come back to show her how to use the new TV her son got her, right?” Maddie giggled.
“Yes!” said Angela.
“And she said she’d have more treats,” Mikayla said, “I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad the boys were too scared to take the dare.”
The girls roared with laughter the whole way home, while the boys sulked behind them, glancing back at the house that seemed to swallow light, and apparently tried to swallow the girls.
Next Week’s Prompt: You’re given the option for immortality. Take it or leave it?
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