I spent most of Halloween day in bed, sadly. I had woken up with such a migraine that I was surprised that I could even stand up. I was also surprised that my mother hadn't ripped me out of bed for something, either. I lay in bed until just after four in the afternoon. I was still embarassed from having to start school in wet clothes, and without my parents calling in my enrollment. But luckily, thanks to Principle Hayden, I was a student of Salem High School now.

On my way downstairs, I heard quite the ruckus from the front porch. I stood in the kitchen in awe, as my parents entered with about twelve people, and they all were headed up toward the poker room.

My mother stopped in the kitchen and grabbed an arm load of food. "Don't be bothering us, kid, or I'll beat the shit outta you. I'm hoping to win us some money for a nice bag of dust this weekend," she said, sticking her tongue out grossly. And with that, she headed up the stairs.

I treated myself to the best food I could find. All I really could find interesting was a jar of peanut butter and a box of crackers. I made a whole meal out of this, and when I was done, I was full and content. But I sat, bored for about ten minutes. I was waiting for it to get decently dusky so I could go up to the old Sanderson house and look around. I was pretty sure that my mother and her friends would be occupied with their drugs. I sighed. I wish we had a tv still, but my father had sold that for drugs for my mother, as usual. How could anyone ever act like that?

I was totally oblivious to the reason why my mother was the way she was. Had grandma used to hit her? I knew for sure grandpa hadn't because he never had hit me before. Perhaps something really bad happened to her that I didn't know about.

It was getting to be around six when I headed upstairs to change. As I was changing, I saw kids out in their costumes. I felt sorry because I had no candy to hand out. And I knew that neither one of my parents would do it. I had yearned to hand out candy for years, probably because I had never been trick or treating before. My parents had never taken me, so, even when I was old enough to go out alone, I never went anyway.

When I was done changing, I grabbed my music player and slid it in my pocket. When I went downstairs, I found my mother puking into the kitchen sink. How lovely!

I said nothing to her as I crossed into the mud room to get my hiking boots. It was wet outside and I knew that I'd need them. After I put them on, I re-entered the kitchen to cross to the front door. As soon as I was about to step out, something grabbed me.

I tensed, and looked into the face of my mother.

God, did she look awful. And I mean more awful than she normally looked! Her eyes were beat red, and she looked as if she was ready to kill someone. And that someone was me!

"Where do you think your going, you little bitch?" she said, lowly.

I pulled on her grip on me. "It's Halloween," I said. "I always go out on Halloween."

She began panting hard. "Not this year," she hissed.

I couldn't help myself, I had to fight back! I tensed my arm. "Well, I want to go out," I replied.

That was a huge mistake, for the next thing I knew, I was being slammed onto the floor. She jumped on top of me and began pummeling me. I tried to protect my face from her strikes, but she was too wild. I began to squirm and scream. I screamed like I had never screamed before. I felt a sharp pain as my bottom lip exploded and tasted of blood. The next thing I felt was her weight being pulled off of me. I looked up to see a big black man had restrained her, and she was clawing him in the face.

Quickly, without thinking, I bolted from my house, every muscle hurting. My mother wasn't a huge woman, but she wasn't any lightweight. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me. I flew past trick or treaters, a group of teens I recognized from school, and a bunch of other people.

I ran and ran. I headed toward the hill that the old Salem cemetary was on. I huff and puffed as I made it to the top.

I tripped. Why? Why? Why? Why was my mother like this? Why did my father have to get sucked in by her druggie ways and the violence? All my life I had told myself that things would be better if she just went away.

I lay silent, and press a cheek into the dirt. It is getting dark now, and I am unaware of what I had tripped on. Everything hurt. My head pounded. I had to get up.

With all my might, I hoisted myself onto my feet, and peered down the opposite side of the hill. I could see the shape of yellow caution tape as it flowed in the October breeze. Figuring it was an open grave, I thought I'd check it out. I began limping painfully down the hill.

But what I saw was no grave.

It was the remnants of the old Sanderson house!

I stood in awe. At last, I had found it! Now, the real work began. Ever since I heard that story, something in my gut had told me that Billy from English wasn't lying. Mostly, I was here to prove to myself that witches didn't exist.

It was an old building, indeed. The woodwork was some of the oldest I had ever seen. It looked older than my grandfather's barn. Pieces of the once delicate walls lay sprawled here and there. But luckily, the door was still intact. I didn't care that there was caution tape, I ducked underneath it and slowly approached the front steps. This house was witch-like. Very witch-like indeed.

I crept inside the front door, and found myself surrounded in darkness. A peculiar smell filled my nostrils. It smelled of herbs and must. I couldn't belive that I was actually doing this! And I

didn't care that it was condemned, either. I was not afraid. I knew my parents wouldn't find me here, they probably didn't care that I was gone.

I felt along the wall until I managed to form my fingers on a light switch. I switched it, and found myself peering at items that totally amazed me. Why, there was a cauldron, an actual cauldron in the middle of the room. I approached it, and ran my finger along the rim. It was dusty, but it was indeed real. I crept around some more. Sure enough, three old fashioned brooms hung over a stack of crumpled up papers. Well, I found myself mighty impressed.

But what really caught my eye, was a single candle perched in an old candlestick. I approached it, and began to run my fingers over it. It was carved with elegant designs. I began to wonder if this was the candle that the boy in English had been talking about. Hmmmm...should I light it? Even if I wanted to light it, I had nothing to light it with. Perhaps if I looked around I could find some rocks to create sparks or something.

I began to search again, so as to not forget where I had left the candle. I stopped in front of an absurdly big display case. I couldn't see what was in it on account of there being so much dust. There was a hole in the roof, from which the full moon was fully visible. A small gust of wind blew a piece of my brown hair. Without thinking, I spit on the display case, and began to wipe away the dust with my sleeve. As I scrubbed harder, something thick and brown became visible.

By the time I had revealed what was inside, I found myself peering in at the strangest book I had ever seen. It was rather old looking, with what looked like carvings etched into the front of it. On the rightmost side of the cover, a closed circle sat.

Spell book

, I thought immediately. It had to be! It looked older than anything I had ever seen.

There was a heavy lock on the front of the display case. Next to a bookshelf was a piece of metal pipe, random, I know, but I picked it up. Even though my wrists hurt from when my mother had attacked me, I began to violently smash the pipe into the lock. With much success, the lock seemed to break into a million rusty pieces with just a few hefty whacks.

I dropped the piece of pipe and opened the display case. I had no idea why, but I yearned to explore the pages of that book. It was heavier than it looked, and it heaved in my tired grasp. My fatigue forced me to sit down with it. I sat on the floor, my back against a counter of what looked like potion bottles.

I opened the book with ease, and began exploiting the writing. It was written in the fanciest writing I had ever laid my eyes upon. And the way the spells were worded was phenomenal. This was some treasure I had stumbled upon.

I discovered a spell that puzzled me. The page had: Raise Witches written at the top. Was this a spell for raising witches from children, perhaps? Thinking it would be funny, I began to recite the writing out loud, with a serious tone, as if I expected something to really happen.

"O witches,

down below,

packed so deep,

here thy call,

may you return,

and hex them all"

I began to say it, faster and faster, my heart pounding harder with every recite. I felt as if all of my energy was rushing through my veins, and was giving me a power-overload. I felt pretty good. I could hear strange noises ring in my ears. By the time I had recited it about ten times, everything fell still and silent. I was left, trembling.

A loud cackle could be heard, along with the sound of the door slamming open.