By Michelle Drozdick
Today I would like to share a short story I wrote when I was seven years old, followed by an analysis of how its rich use of language and symbolism has made it a modern classic, destined to be studied and enjoyed by generations to come. All spelling and grammatical errors have been preserved exactly as they appeared in the marble composition notebook in which they were written.
Without any further ado, I present to you Halloween Night.
Halloween night part 1
“Aghhhhh! ghost!” cried Jenany is she ran downstairs. “Where!?” creied Mom, Dad, Kristy, and me.
“Upstairs!,” she said. “let’s get him!” we all creied!
End of part 3
Whosh! the trees blew. It was not to sunny. We knew we could’nt bang into him.
“There are no such things is ghosts” said brother Jonhhy.”
Brother Johny lauhed so hard he fell and saw the ghost.
End of part 2
“Ehhhhhhh!” he creid. (Boo hoo).
“Help!” we all creied! Then frankinsein step on the dog.
This is awful! I sreamed.
End of part 3
“TIRCK or Teat! smell my feet!”
It was Joey and the nebors!
Halloween Night introduces us to a family living in what appears to be our own world. However, the reader and this family are almost instantly thrown into a bizarre, surreal situation. The names of our protagonists reflect this contemporary yet askew setting. The commonplace female name ‘Jenny’ is rendered as ‘Jenany’, while ‘Johnny’ becomes ‘Jonhhy’ and ‘Johny’. The fact that Johnny’s name changes without reason or explanation further develops this world filled with magical realism.
This can also be seen in the formatting of the story– Part One ends with the phrase ‘End of part 3’, and there is no Part Four, but instead two Part Threes. By challenging the reader’s perception of the standard story format, and it is quickly established that any and all expectations of what is ‘normal’ will be subverted.
Tying into this battle between the normal and the otherworldly is the presence of a literally supernatural character. Johnny, who is always referred to as Brother Johnny, appears to be a monk of some kind. Interestingly enough, it is his character who acts as the lone skeptic in a family who is perfectly willing to believe in the existence of the paranormal. His refusal to challenge his already set beliefs may be a criticism on modern society, on organized religion, or possibly both.
However, even Brother Johnny must come around when he sees the ghost directly in front of him. At this point all semblance of logic unravels when “frankinsein step on the dog” (Drozdick 1). Our main characters are thrown into turmoil as they utterly panic at this strange, frankly incomprehensible turn of events.
There is one final twist, however, as it turns out that every supernatural event depicted was created as a prank by a previously unintroduced character named Joey and the “nebors (sic)”. Although the world is once again grounded in reality, a sense of confusion still remains– why did Joey and the neighbors concoct this prank? How did they successfully convince this family (which includes two adults, aka “Mom” and “Dad”) that what they saw was a ghost? And, most importantly, is the dog all right? These questions are left unanswered, and the story ends abruptly and ambiguously, leaving the reader both confused and bewildered.
In conclusion, this is what happens when you allow people who majored in English to run a blog. You have only yourself to blame.