She's been penning stories since she was 6, and she has a clear genre - Thriller and Horror. She has read almost every book R.L. Stein has written in his Goosebumps series, and she just loves the idea of frightening her audience. She's a natural writer, and I'm so proud of the fact that she can scare the crap out of me with such vivid details.
I wanted to share her latest story with you.
by Abby Leidel - May 2020
Stacy Kramer was driving home from work when she saw a shop that caught her eye. She parked her car and walked up to the door. On the door there was a sign that said: NO RETURNS. Buy At Your Own Risk. As she stepped into the shop, she saw a woman talking to the man at the counter.
“Please! Take it back!” she cried holding out a golden music box.
“No!” said the man, “Did you see the sign? No returns. Now, take it out of here. I don't want to see it ever again!”
The woman sobbed into her hands and ran out of the store.
Stacy walked through the shop looking in every aisle until she came to one full of candles. Stacy picked up a red candle and smelled it. It smelled of rotting flesh. She quickly set it down. Then, she smelled a clear one. It had the most amazing smell but when she looked up everything was moving around. Things were flying at her and the colors were crazy. She closed her eyes and when she opened them, everything looked normal again. She smelled a white candle which smelled of lavender but when she set it down, she could hear a flute of some sort playing. She looked around to see where it was coming from but nothing was there. She shook her head and the music got quieter but then it got loud again. She shook her head harder, then it got so faint that she could barely hear it. But then, it got louder. She shook her head as hard as she could, then it went away. She pushed the candle far from her then she smelled a light pink one. It smelled like dirt. But when she went to set it down her hand had claws sprouting out of her nails. She shook her hand and it was normal again. She smelled a dark purple candle and it didn’t smell like anything. But when she put it down, a large white worm was crawling on her hand. She slammed her hand on the candle stand and it fell off. Then, she saw a black candle. She picked up the candle and smelled it. It had a good scent but then she found herself in a forest with a sudden urge to run. When she found herself back in the store, she felt very calm. She went up to the counter and set it down. The man stared hotly at her and ripped off the price tag.
“I’ll sell it to you for fifty cents, just don’t burn the candle." he said, "Bad things will happen.”
Stacy decided not to argue with the man and so she nodded and drove home. When she got home, she put the candle on the counter, grabbed some matches and lit the candle. It had a long, white flame. Then she sat down on the couch and turned on the T.V.
Within moments she was asleep. She had a dream where she was running through the forest and something was chasing her. She didn’t know what she was running from, but she knew that she had to run. Then, a branch snagged her shirt. She felt the warm blood trickle down her arm. But she didn’t stop. She knew she had to keep running for her life.
Then she tripped. Her knee was throbbing, and she woke up. She felt very calm. But her arm hurt and her knee throbbed. She felt her arm. Her sleeve was ripped and there was something warm on her shoulder. Blood. She looked at her knee. Her pants were ripped and her knee was scraped. She looked at the kitchen counter and saw that the candle had burned out. Then she saw the time. She had been asleep for 30 minutes. She picked up the candle and put it on a shelf. Then she went to her room and fell asleep.
In the morning, she went into the kitchen and pulled the candle down from the shelf. She grabbed some matches and lit it. The ghostly flame seemed to burn into her soul. She was suddenly very tired but she shook it off. Then, she was running through the forest again. She kept running and running and her legs ached. Branches hit her face and thorns pierced her feet. She had sores all over her body now and she felt as if she had been running for hours. Then she tripped over a stone and it sent her tumbling over the ground as she woke up. She was standing over the counter with her hands above her face as if she was shielding herself. She was covered in scratches. She looked at the clock. She had been asleep for an hour. The candle had burned out. Then she realized that she was calmer than ever. She thought for a while. She didn’t know what was going on. All she knew was she felt at peace when she lit it.
She lit the candle and sat down on the couch. Within a moment she was asleep again. She was running through the forest getting caught in branches once more. Over time she found herself looking over a very large cliff. She couldn’t see anything else for miles then she heard a crunching sound. She turned around to see what she was running from.
It was a giant scaly creature as large as a tree, and as wide as a bear with a spine that looked like it was about to pop out of its skin. It had a long tail with hair sprouting from the end of it. Its claws were at least a foot long with jagged ends that looked like they were clipped with scissors. Where the nails grew hair did as well. Its face was the worst part. It had small, inky, black eyes and a large, circle-shaped red mouth full of teeth. The teeth lined the whole circle inside its mouth and in the center sat a thick, purple tongue. It came toward her with quick, steady steps. She turned to run but saw the cliff. The creature was inches away from her now and it stretched out a hand and grabbed her around the waist. The claws dug into her skin then the creature opened its mouth, ready to eat. She awoke on the couch, she was calm but her back had been severely wounded by the creature's claws. She decided to put the candle away for a while. Just so she could get all that crazy stuff out of her mind.
That day the hours dragged along. At 5:30 p. m. she heard something strange coming from her closet. She walked over and opened it. All she saw was the candle. She looked around trying to find where the noise was coming from. Yet, all she saw was the candle.
Then, she felt a strange pull…
a sweep of grief…
like she was at war with herself. The candle seemed to call to her, as if it was begging her to light it. She couldn’t help it. She grabbed the candle and some matches. As she went to light it, she stopped to think. She had put the candle away so she wouldn’t light it and have that terrible dream. And yet, she was lighting it, knowing she would have that dream. She decided not to... But somehow, she lit it. She couldn’t help herself.
She was in the forest again. Running and running. For miles all she saw was old, dead trees full of claw marks and... was that blood? Then, she came to the cliff. She looked both ways and saw that in the distance the cliff curved around. Then to her horror she realized, the place where she was standing was surrounded by cliffs. There was no escape. No safety. Then, she heard a loud crunch of trees as the beast approached. Its long, purple tongue reached out and pulled her toward it. She struggled and pulled but it didn’t do anything. Then she was in the creature's mouth. It bit down and a tooth got stuck in her side. She screamed in pain. Then she woke up.
She was lying on the floor in her room, a tooth in her side. She pulled out the tooth and grabbed the candle. She was going to talk to the man who sold it to her. She ran all the way there and pushed open the door. She walked up to the counter and set the candle down. The man's fear shot through his expression then he looked normal again.
“What is wrong with this candle!” She demanded.
“Nothing is wrong with it,” He said, “it is meant to be that way.”
“What? Why would anyone want a candle like that?” she replied coldly.
“Nobody wants a candle like that.” He said, folding his hands on the counter.
“Can you just tell me why it is like this?” Stacey growled.
The man looked at her sharply and narrowed his eyes. “Our ancestors lived in a forest where they learned magic. They had everything planned and everything in order. But, they also shared their land with a beast they called The Coorse-demzon. It was term in their language that meant “The Scaly Devil.” Every day the Coorse-demzon attacked, killing people and ruining houses. Until, the leader had a magic candle made and he trapped the beast inside. He surrounded cliff walls around the Coorse-demzons home. Now, whoever burns the candle gets sucked into the beast's home and once they are scratched by anything in the candle, even a tree branch, they are marked to be eaten by the beast.”
“Is there any way to stop that from happening?” asked Stacey worriedly.
“No,” said the man.
“Can you take it back?” she pleaded.
“No,” said the man standing up, “Can’t you read the sign? I sell these terrible things so I don’t have to die. Don’t you understand?”
“Please-” she started.
“NO!” shouted the man, “Get out of my store!”
Stacey ran home with the candle in hand. When she got home she was trying to figure out what to do when she heard the noise again. She tried to restrain herself but, the pull was too strong. Grief rushed over her like a river. Within moments she found herself desperately grabbing at the matches. It was like she no longer had control. She struck a match and lit the candle. The white flame shot up high into the air. Then she felt tired. Fighting her sudden urge to sleep, she ran to her room and locked the door trying to figure out what to do. But soon she had to sleep.
She closed her eyes and found herself in the dark wood full of dead trees. She ran and ran, tree branches hitting her and twigs lunging at her ankles. Thinking back to what the man said she remembered that if she was scratched by anything in the candle, she was marked to be eaten by the beast. She kept running until she finally got to the cliff.
She decided to run right to give herself more time. As she did, the crunches and cracks of trees sounded behind her. She looked back to see if she could see the monster. She saw it faintly in the distance running after her. Then she tripped over a rock. Her knees and hands bled. By the time she got up and dusted herself off the Coorse-demzon was only two feet away.
She started to run, but she felt the purple tongue of the beast wrap around her waist. It pulled her back into its mouth full of teeth. She didn’t have time to think.
Then, everything went black with the sickening crunch of bones.