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Spinetinglers // The Sand Man

It was a dreary day in October. Halloween was only a few days away.

Ala, my cousin, and I were playing a game of Monopoly upstairs in my house. We were at this game for hours, and it was now getting boring. We decided to watch some TV, so we raced down the stairs and searched for the remote.

I started flipping through the channels when someone on TV got my attention. The man was dressed in all black, and on the the top of his head he wore a hat with these words printed on it: "BEWARE OF THE REFLECTION."

Ala and I looked at each other with curiosity, and we decided to watch this program. Just as we were getting settled on the couch, a roar of thunder exploded in our ears, causing us to jump in fear. When we caught our breath, we settled back and watched the program with anxious curiosity.

The guest seemed to be talking directly to Ala and me, tempting us yet warning us at the same time.

He said that we could create any image in a mirror and bring it to life by repeating the words three times, and concentrating on the image. We weren't sure we believed him but decided to try it anyway.

It was dark outside now, and so we ran upstairs, locked the door and turned off all the lights. Ala and I looked at each other with wide-open eyes, and positioned the mirror on my dresser. It was so dark in my bedroom that we kept bumping into each other. Finally, we grabbed each other's hand and faced the mirror.

Together we started to chant: "Sand Man, Sand Man, Sand Man." Nothing happened at first. We tried it again, and still nothing happened.

We decided this was a lot of baloney and headed for the door. I was about to flip on the light, but then the mirror started vibrating. Ala and I couldn't speak or move. The fear seemed to paralyze us.

We looked at the mirror, and a horrible image started to materialize. The fear that gripped us took our voices away, and although we tried to open our mouths and scream, nothing came out. This thing that came to life was the Sand Man.

"You should not have called me. Now you must pay with your life," he said.

Together, we ran for the door. It seemed the door was farther and farther away, and the more we ran we realized we weren't moving an inch. The room seemed to stretch into a long, dark corridor with doors in every space of the wall.

We kept running, trying the doors, but none would open. The blackness of the room turned to reds and oranges, almost like the color of fire. We kept trying to scream, hoping that someone would hear us and rescue us.

Suddenly I felt the grasp of a scaly hand on the back of my shirt. I turned around, and there was the Sand Man. I was able to get away, and Ala and I kept running.

Then I tripped and fell. I looked up and saw Ala run through a door. Thank goodness she was safe. I tried to get up but my ankle was twisted. I looked behind me, and there he was!

For the first time I saw his face. It was dark gray with clumps of flesh missing, looking like it was eaten by bugs. Where his eyes should have been were empty sockets, and there was a hollow space where his nose should have been. His teeth were green and sharp, and he had no lips. His hair was green and red, but it didn't cover the hole in the middle of his forehead. There was no skin on his hands, but his nails were at least 3-inches long, and they were coming right at me.

The Sand Man was laughing an evil laugh as he lunged for me.

I closed my eyes as tight as I could and screamed as loud as I could. I felt a tightening on my shoulders and heard my name being called. I was afraid to open my eyes.

Finally I recognized the voice. It was Ala telling me to wake up. I opened my eyes and looked around. I was in my room facing the mirror, and everything looked like normal. I didn't say anything to Ala because I was still afraid, but she didn't seem to know what happened. She told me that I was screaming and she couldn't wake me up.

I looked at the mirror and thought I saw an image. Was this a dream or did this really happen? I was tempted to call out "Sand Man" but stopped myself.

What would you do?

Kristin, 10, is a fifth-grader at Bauder Elementary School in Seminole.