Fisherman's spooky return

Scary story contest winners: Elementary school division

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Cutting through the graveyard on the way home after a school dance, I got hopelessly lost in the three miles of creepy headstones. I started to think about crawling about on my knees, trying to find my footprints in the humid ground when I heard a quiet sloshing, squelching sound. I whirled around and saw a thin man who was limping slightly and carrying a green lantern, walking away from me. He was carrying a huge catfish. He looked slightly wet, but that didn't matter because it was drizzling.

At first, I thought I must be hallucinating because of the fog and darkness. I yelled to him for directions, or if perhaps I could follow him, but he just raised his head, hoisted up the fish and vanished into the fog. I blinked at his disappearance and turned right around to see my house at the end of its long driveway. I shushed up, opened the door and just about crashed into Old Mrs. Gemming, who was sitting on the couch. After some tea, she told me that it was the anniversary of her husband's death.

"He always carried a green lantern because he said it called the catfish," she sobbed. "A year ago in weather just like this, he went fishing and never came back! The police found his body all tangled up in fishing line."

After a moment of shocked horror, I told her what I saw in the cemetery.

"I saw a man who was carrying a green lantern and dragging a huge catfish, come to think of it. I think he had some fishing wire around his neck, too!" I gasped. Mrs. Gemming clutched her heart and stared at me for a long time. Then she fainted. ...

Becca O'Brien is a sixth-grader at St. John's School.