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Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Didn't Win

Nope, not a chance. I'm not popular enough to have gotten enough votes to win, but at least writing the story for the Gaelsong contest was good practice. So now I will share my entry with you all:

Betty
by K.E. Skedgell

   
Every Halloween, Betty took delight in watching the neighborhood children dressed in costumes go door to door for treats. And every year she hoped at least one child would stop at hers. From her parlor window, she watched a young bee begin to waddle up her sidewalk, but the bee's mother grabbed hold of their arm and said, “No, not here. This is the home of that old witch.”
Betty sighed and her heart sank as all the children passed by her lighted porch. Another year without handing out candied apples to even one child. Every year she said, “Why do I bother?”
She looked about her home to her favorite things: her collection of owl statues, the crystal balls she used to read fortunes from, now gathering dust, her books of Shakespeare and Poe, a skull engraved with Celtic knots that used to bring her luck. Red votive candles glowed warmly as she petted her cat Mr. Black, but none of those things could heal her cold, lonely heart.
A young couple with a plum fairy princess stopped. “They will pass on by like the rest.”
They didn't.
The mother urged the little fairy up the sidewalk to the porch. Betty's heart sang. “A child! Oh blessed be!”
She rushed to the door as quick as her old bones allowed and grabbed the tray of candied apples from the table beside it. The door bell rang and Betty opened it, smiling.
Trick-or-Treat!” the little fairy said.
Here's a candied apple for you.” Betty placed the treat into her bag. She glanced to the joyful parents. “Here, have a few more, for your parents.” She placed two more in the fairy's bag.
Thank you, lady. These are my favorite.”
My name is Betty, little princess.”
I'm Rachel.”
Up and down the street other parents gave looks of distress and disgust. None would come to her door, she knew, and this family must be new to the neighborhood and not yet heard of their hurtful rumors. She emptied the tray into Rachel's bag and said, “Take them all. You and your family, enjoy!”
Thank you!” the fairy said, and bounced back to her parents to show them her bounty.
Every Halloween after, Rachel remained the only child to stop at Betty's. Even as a teenager, when she felt too mature to trick-or-treat, she'd always stop at Betty's for her candied apples. Rachel departed for college, married, and had a daughter of her own. One year she returned to town to take her daughter trick-or-treating and to meet her namesake when she heard of Betty's passing. Rachel, with little Betty dressed as a plum fairy princess, stopped at old Betty's house, the gardens over-grown, the house rotting from neglect, and set at the front door a candied apple, a small owl statue, and a card that read:
Thank you for the candied apples, and for the wonderful Halloween memories.”

Happy Halloween!

4 comments:

Shayla Mist said...

Aww! So sorry you didn't make it!
Don't lose hope. There will be plenty of other contests. Plus any excuse to write is worth it!

K.E. Skedgell said...

Aww, thanks! Yeah, it was a bummer, but like you said, it was a good excuse to write, and for me writing a short story is something I don't do. It was fun.

Lynda R Young said...

I tend to avoid the popularity contests for that reason. I like your positive attitude though.

K.E. Skedgell said...

I try. lol!