“Legends don’t lie”
By Gadusi Crowe
Cherokee, North Carolina
Sarah and her little brother Connor stood side by side as Sarah’s boyfriend Jordan pulled into their driveway in his silver 2008 Mitsubishi Endeavor.
“Whuddup, the nerds?” ! Ready to see ghosts? Jordan chirped as they got into his car.
âYes, as soon as we get Jessie back,â Sarah replied. Jessie’s house was only ten minutes from Sarah’s and was luckily on the way. Sarah was starting to worry that Jessie had fallen asleep when she saw the front door open as Jessie bounded down the steps.
âI didn’t think my mom was going to let me come. I had to convince her that everything would be fine, âJessie said disdainfully.
“Again ?! It’s Halloween! And we’re almost legally adults. Well, except for the doofus over there,” Sarah sighed.
“I’m 14, you’re only three years older,” Connor mumbled annoyed.
They drove silently turn after turn toward the road to nowhere. Jessie broke the silence,
âI’ve heard all kinds of scary things happening here on Halloween. Like, worship gatherings,â she said to Connor, trying to keep a straight face.
“Me too,” Jordan agreed, glancing in the rearview mirror.
“Whatever,” Connor tried to say casually.
âGuys, stop it. I don’t want to be blamed if he panics, âSarah scolded.
They arrived at the parking lot just as it was starting to rain. They ran to the tunnel and slowed down to walk as they were enveloped in darkness, the only light coming from the flashlights Jordan and Jessie were carrying. Jordan and Jessie were leading, Sarah and Connor huddled between them. It was so quiet they could barely hear the vicious thunderstorm outside, despite the lightning in the distance.
“Stop breathing in my ear!” Jessie hissed at Connor as he took three steps back, placing himself at the back of the group.
“I wasn’t breathing y-ahh!” Connor’s scream echoed through the tunnel as they all turned to see what had happened.
Connor was completely gone. They started frantically calling her name and as Sarah walked towards the entrance she disappeared too!
âSarah! Jessie yelled.
Jordan hit the tune where she disappeared, foolishly hoping to find a trap, like it was some kind of joke. He then knelt down and started patting the ground, but pulled his hand back when he realized it wasn’t pavement, but water. Jordan became overwhelmed and passed out when Jessie remembered her phone and immediately called 911. Meanwhile, Sarah and Connor had been going through thisâ¦. Portal? Connor was terrified of opening his eyes, but Sarah didn’t hesitate. What she saw was beautiful: green trees, green grass, a flowing river, but something was wrong. Sarah sensed the danger and realized that there were no animals in this magical place. Suddenly, the thunder rumbled so loudly that it made his bones vibrate, followed by a strange chuckle.
âCome on,â Sarah whispered in her brother’s ear as she pulled him towards the noise.
“Are you insane?!” You never go to the scary noise! he yelled back.
“I just wanna see what it isâ¦ Besides, I don’t even think it’s real.” She said, gesturing for him to look at the forest that surrounded them.
Connor was mesmerized but quickly realized his sister was leaving him behind. Sarah started to climb a large hill and Connor barely caught up to her when they reached the top. The thunder roared again as the teens simultaneously saw where the chuckle was coming from. They couldn’t believe their eyes! Spearfinger stood in front of them, jumping up and down, clapping his hands and laughing maniacally.
Their hearts tightened at the sight of her, until they saw what she was looking at. Uktena, the horned serpent, and Judaculla, the giant with slanted eyes, were fighting. Every time one beat the other Thunder would explode and Spearfinger would throw his head back and laugh.
“I don’t like this dream,” Connor whispered in Sarah’s ear as he started to back away, stepping on a twig. Spearfinger turned to see them, drooling instantly.
âAh, children! My favorite! âShe exclaimed as she moved closer.
“Are you lost? You know, it’s been so long since I’ve had a liver,” She pouted. Suddenly, as if remembering his death, she straightened up and stopped.
“You’re not supposed to be here,” she hissed,
“Myths and legends only.”
âWhere exactly is ‘here’? Sarah asked putting Connor behind her back.
“The other side. Where do the legends go when we served our purpose to the people,” she said, pointing to the fight. Thunder roared as Judaculla tackled Uktena to the ground.
“We have to go homeâ¦ Can you help us?” Connor moaned.
“I can,” Spearfinger replied confidently.
âBut! You must do me a favor too. When you return home, you will have to tell them who helped you, so that I can rest in glory like Judaculla,â she said with fiery eyes.
âWe will,â the teens agreed.
Spearfinger took them up the mountain to Gihli, the dog who created the Milky Way, and explained their situation to him. Gihli gave them cornmeal and told them to sprinkle it as they ran from the cliff past his house. Sarah started to cry, fearing it might not work. Connor believed Gihli and was not afraid, so he ran at full speed towards the cliff. The stars carried it across the sky until it sprang up into the air and landed on hard ground.
“I did it!” he exclaimed, waking Jordan up. Just then Sarah came out of the water and he passed out again.
“Where did you go?!” Jessie asked.
“You wouldn’t believe whatâ¦” Connor was interrupted by a siren.
âWe have to tell them,â Connor urged his sister.
“We need evidenceShe replied, patting the solid ground next to her.
We don’t need proof! Connor snorted,
âLegends don’t lie.
Category 12-16 years
By Lexcy Ortiz
Cherokee, North Carolina
Friday, October 13, 2012. Dao and Theismann were sitting in a truck smoking cigarettes when suddenly the dogs started barking and running away. Dao wanted to check and Theismann agreed. They followed the dogs and they saw something in the distance, and when they approached they saw a buckskin person with a painted face and long hair. They started chasing him, but after a while he disappeared.
They swerved in the road and almost ran into the ditch along the road, but continued to drive to look for it. After bad luck, they finally started driving home. The dirt road was surrounded by dead bushes and nothing else. There was no light anywhere because no one lived for miles. The sky was dark without stars. They saw in front of them a tall, old hitchhiker with long white hair. They continued to drive when they saw his thumb.
After a few minutes, they saw something chasing after them in the dark. It got faster and faster with each step. He started knocking on the car door and they drove off. After a while, they reached their house and ran inside. Dao almost fell, and Theismann was out of breath trying to tell everyone what they had seen and heard.
Everyone was confused and their sister Khristyne ran into the kitchen and brought them both water. She returned to the living room and asked, “What’s going on? Why are you so out of breath?
Dao had a worried look on his face. He replied, “The dogs started barking so we followed them over there and saw a Skinwalker!”
Theismann’s mother knew this was serious because she had seen one when she was ten.
âWe have to go to the healer, or they will continue to haunt and curse us,â she said.
But it was the middle of the night, and she knowed she couldn’t wake him up, so they blessed each other with sage smudging themselves, and they felt safe at home. They both went into the living room and sat on the sofa and went to watch movies to clear their minds.
By noon, they were finally tired when Dao heard scratching on the glass. He got up to look out and saw nothing but the dogs barking. Theismann was getting ready for bed and Dao decided to go home. But then Theismann heard a scratching on the glass and he asked Dao if he heard it too.
Dao paused for a second and realized he wasn’t just hearing things. They brought a Skinwalker home! The scratching got louder and louder, until it sounded like a scream and woke Theismann’s sister and mother. They ran out of their rooms. The cry hurt their ears.
The scratching disappeared but then they started to hear footsteps above them.
âIt’s on the roof! Dao said.
Theismann grabbed the gun and started shooting the roof through the ceiling. The dogs started to moan, then Theismann stopped pulling. The Skinwalker suffocated the dogs and killed them. The dogs fell silent after a while. A big hand slammed the window and there was a big bloody handprint on the window. The Skinwalker fled and their hearts were still racing from what they heard and saw. They felt it was all a nightmare.
Category 5-11 years
By Wakinyan Raines
Cherokee, North Carolina
A group of friends wanted to party by a haunted lake. The names of the friends were Jimmy, Tom, Mark and Cody.
Tom invited his friends Scott, Isebelle and Peg. Scott said, “No, but Isabelle and Peg said yes.”
The whole group of friends started to go there. Jimmy, Mark and Cody took the same car there, but on the way an old man approached the car and told the friends not to go. Then the old man died there, and the friends left. Tom, Isebelle and Peg were successful but there were blood stains on the car. They just thought it was deer blood and just didn’t think about it.
Then they set up their tents with Jimmy, Mark and Cody. Then came the afternoon. It was just a little sunny, but Jimmy and Cody saw trees fall and heard people screaming. They tried to tell their other friends what they just saw, but they just laughed at them. Then Jimmy and Cody went home.
Nightfall arrived Tom and Isabelle jumped into the lake, but Mark and Peg sat by a fire they built, still shocked at what Jimmy and Cody told them. Then Tom felt a sudden pull on his leg, so Tom grabbed a stick and pricked the thing that grabbed him. They hurried out of the lake and dried off, then sat down. They started talking about what was going on.
But, then, a giant hand came out of the darkness and grabbed Tom. Isebelle fled but a giant tree crushed her. Mark and Peg left screaming and screaming at what they had just seen. To this day, Tom and Isebelle are still missing, and Mark and Peg are still in shock.