We challenged readers to scare us with a spooky story, but only one that was two sentences long. We expected some gore but we got more than that.

We received entries that were witty, funny, sadly true, rhyming and shiver-inducing. They came from all ages, from around the region.

Two major themes — the permanent loss of wi-fi and the current president — are the stuff of nightmares for many.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to share stories with us. The overwhelming response to the contest was great, but the best part is turning the tables and showcasing the writing of our talented and imaginative readers.

We hope you enjoy the entries chosen for our Halloween edition. This year’s top winners will each receive two movie tickets in the mail.

-- Jennifer K. Bauer, editor Inland 360

First place: 

I always tried to break my record of jumping higher and higher, but this time, I realized my mistake too late. An untethered spacewalk is no place to break a record.

-- Lisa Ormond, Moscow

Second place: 

Slowly, without a word he removed the poles and tackle from his vessel. His head hung low, as he whispered… “steelhead no more.”

-- Tony Mastroberardino, Lewiston

Third place:

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, especially the dead Claus. Her parents hadn’t told Susie all about St. Nick, so when he slipped down the chimney, she stabbed him with a stick.

-- Sean Cassidy, Clarkston

More Favorites

She came down the aisle, her train trailing behind her in glistening, gossamer threads, and the people began to scream as I wondered if other brides received this type of reception. As I turned to look at my bride she ran to me, delicate and swift, and kissed my eye and hugged my face...with all eight legs.

-- James Foley, Kamiah

Buried in a box where no one will ever find me.
Because the only one who knows I’m here is laying right beside me.

-- Gary Burleson, Clarkston

My Uber driver called me Jessica, and I told him, “My name isn’t Jessica.” He replied, “And I’m not an Uber driver.”

-- “I Should’ve Taken Lyft,” by Daisy Day, Lewiston

It was a pleasant morning walk when I looked up to see the full moon eclipsed by impossibly huge wings. Dragon, demon, pterodactyl, wormhole intruder — what did it matter when there’s no place to hide.

-- Victoria Seever, Moscow

A deadly disease targeting avocado trees rapidly spread across North America. Free guac would never be an option again.

-- Rachel Nnoli, Moscow

Halloween theme parks were a rush for the self-professed adrenaline junkie. How could he have known that the monstrous raging clown lurching toward him was not an actor?

-- Cheryll Root, Troy

As she applied her makeup, she heard the familiar soft pawing of her kitty on the door wanting to come in the warm bathroom, too. When she opened the door, she froze seeing the big man smiling and holding the feline's severed limb.

-- Charlie Powell, Moscow

The electromagnetic pulse, clearly target specific, was a wake-up slap to the screen-addicted populous. Wireless service, the umbilical of distraction, was destroyed.

-- Randal Donato, Clarkston

My bowl stares back at me as does the darkness outside; both empty while only the wind speaks to me. My hope as I suffer, enduring loneliness and hunger, my human will come home from work before I perish.

-- “The Lab’s Lament: Horror from the dog’s perspective” by Jim DeVleming, Pullman

Although the theater is cool, I know the bright stage lights will warm me.  I take a breath and enter right, moving to center, only then hearing the collective gasp as I see that I have nothing on.

-- Frances Ford, Riggins

As he rounded the haunting corner of the steep trail, he saw her immediately. She was so beautiful and still young, but she had fallen to her death here 20 years ago!

-- Eva Moran, Lewiston

Watching and waiting for Halloween gore

Death squats obscenely on the senate floor.

He is interrupted by war on a distant shore.

-- Nancy A. Hansen, Lewiston

My wife grabbed my hand and whispered, “there’s something in the basement.” I grabbed my phone as it rang a new notification from my wife, “Get to the basement. Something upstairs.”

-- Clint Heimgartner, Clarkston

Until Adelaide bought the place, the creaky old house had sat empty for years, except for the rats. The night she moved in, her faltering flashlight beam was drawn to a yellowed newspaper clipping on the cupboard door, imploring readers to call if they’d seen a 10-foot python that had gone missing from the address she recognized as her own.

-- Nancy Chaney, Moscow

I couldn’t sleep all night; the thorny bushes I planted outside kept scratching at my window.  I went out to trim them down the next morning, but the branches were not nearly long enough to reach the glass.

-- Anna Pecha, Moscow

Jimmy had been glued to his phone for days, trying to score a win on the hottest new game “Feeding Frenzy.”

As Jimmy thought to himself "one more point and I win,” bloody hands reached out from his phone and pulled him into the "Feeding Frenzy.”

-- Diane Mosman, Lewiston

Baby shoes for sale. Still worn.

-- Will Thompson, Lewiston


YOUTH WINNER: My dad and I always used to joke and laugh about mindless movies featuring ghosts that haunt the living. Now that I’m one of them, it’s not so laughable.

-- Hannah Huffman, 12 and younger, Lewiston

More favorites:

My great-grandma tries to sing lullabies to me before bed. I tell her to just go back to her grave.

-- Olivia Hosking, 12, Lewiston

I took the cranberry juice out of the refrigerator and drank it. It tasted odd but good, like my father's blood.

-- Evan Heckman, 11, Moscow

I looked at myself in the mirror. My face doesn’t show.

-- Kyron Cole, 12, Lewiston

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