Third place, adult division
The ghost hovered above the ground, its skeletal hands outstretched, its lipless mouth gaping, its eye sockets burning with all the fires of hades.
"I told you this house was haunted!" Kimberly shouted at Jessica.
"Well, I'm not the one who argued with Britney and made her dare us to come here in the first place!" was Jessica's loud reply.
The ghost floated toward the two junior high girls, its ragged robe lightly brushing the floor.
"It's not my fault she stole my boyfriend!" Kimberly huffed.
"Joe wasn't your boyfriend; just because you stalk someone around school doesn't mean he's your boyfriend," Jessica jabbed.
"Future boyfriend, then. And anyway, now we're going to die!" Kimberly said indignantly.
Green smoke seeped out between the ghost's rotted teeth as it drew ever closer.
"We won't die; we'll just disappear, never to be seen again," said Jessica in a mock scary tone as she held up her hands and wiggled her fingers.
The ghost had now reached them.
Kimberly rolled her eyes. "How cliché is that? And of course all they'll find of us are the trick-or-treat bags we left on the sidewalk in front of the 'creepy mysterious house.' Not that anyone will miss you."
"They will too miss me! You'll be the one everyone will be glad to be rid of!"
The ghost placed its skinless hands on each girl's shoulder. Its mouth gaped wider, the green smoke turning black. Wider and wider the mouth opened, issuing hot fire. The throat had now become the gates to the underworld.
Kimberly brushed its hand off her. "Can't you see we're in the middle of an argument?" she asked it, very annoyed.
"Yeah," said Jessica, "get your halitosis away from us!"
The girls went back to arguing.
The ghost closed its mouth and lowered its arms. It stood there, unsure of what to do. Usually, the imbeciles who entered the haunted house screamed on seeing the ghost and it swallowed them whole. That was protocol. They screamed, it swallowed, there you go. But never had its victims gotten into important arguments. It couldn't be at all polite to interrupt them and swallow them now, could it? The ghost had never deviated from protocol.
"And I never liked that beach Barbie you gave me for my fifth birthday, either!" Jessica yelled at Kimberly. "It was all dirty and obviously wasn't new."
"But it was hard work for me to get that Barbie! Sneaking into my big sister's room and smuggling it out wasn't the easiest thing in the world."
Jessica gasped. "You stole from your sister?! What kind of fellow victim of the undead are you?!"
"She had almost grown out of Barbies anyway," Kimberly was defiant.
"It still counts as stealing!"
They were interrupted again by the ghost. It cleared its undead throat and held up a hand.
"Um," it said in a cold voice full of the solemnity of death, "Sorry to butt in, but, you see, normally I would have eaten you both by now, and I'm not particularly used to standing about waiting for my dinner, so could you please finish up so I can carry on?"
The girls stared at it incredulously, arms folded across their chests, their eyebrows knitted.
After a moment's pause, they simultaneously replied, "No," and went back to bickering.
The ghost sunk down to the floor, skull in its hands. What ever would it do now? These girls gave no intention of behaving as victims of the undead are supposed to. It shook its head. This was all such a mess.
A ringing noise came from Jessica's pocket. She held up her hand to stop Kimberly's newest accusation and pulled out her cell phone to read the text she'd just received.
"Oh, it's from Veronica. She wants to know if we can go unicycle riding with her tomorrow."
"Ooh, that sounds fun!" Kimberly said excitedly.
"I'll tell her 'yes.'" Jessica typed up the reply, then re-pocketed her phone.
Kimberly spoke up awkwardly. "You know, why don't we stop arguing and be friends again?"
Jessica smiled. "That sounds great."
The girls hugged and turned back towards the front door, arm in arm. They exited the haunted house, leaving the ghost still sitting on the floor, confused.