NaNoMo – Rowan Newman


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoMo) is a non-profit organisation that “believes in the power of creativity”. Each year throughout the month of November, interested young writer’s are asked to write an extended piece of creative writing across the 30 days of the month.  It’s a significant challenge to undertake but thousands of young writer’s sign up each year.

This news story is about celebrating one young writer from FIS who completed an extended piece of writing that can be found below. Rowan Newman is from the USA. Some of his favorite things to do are running, playing outside, playing video games and hanging out with friends and family.


The Manor

It was Halloween night, at 11:30 pm. Charles was heading to a friend’s house for a party. Charles could feel the the sharp cold wind on his back, sending shivers down his spine. Charles was a small boy with little muscle and wasn’t very good at sports. He had brown hair and eyes with a scar over one of them, but on him, it didn’t look very cool. Charles quickened his pace.

Over the past few weeks, there had been murders in the town. People would be at parties or their houses, but in the morning, they were either missing or found dead.

The worst part was the blood. Red, wet blood  had been on floors, walls, and ceilings. Liters of it. Just that thought sent Charles into a running pace. He rounded a corner and saw the manor. The manor was HUGE. Its garage alone was the size of a jumbo jet, while the house itself was bigger even than a castle and could fit ten, well, maybe four Wickham palaces inside of it. Charles had to crane his neck up to see the roof of it. How the Shifleys paid for it, Charles had no idea.  He hurried toward it, with a feeling he was being watched. As he neared the manor, he saw some of his classmates talking, laughing and eating. When he opened the door and stepped inside, a warm gush of air greeted him. Mason and Will greeted him. Mason was a boy with brown hair, blue eyes, freckles and a skinny body, except a little shorter than most. Will was the opposite though. He was tall and scrawny and had hazel eyes with blond hair. Together, they looked very strange.

“Hey! It’s Charles!” said Will. Mason rolled his eyes. “Yes, I can see that Will.” Will just laughed it off. “Welcome to the party!”


The Mystery

The party was awesome. Charles had bobbed for apples, pinned the hat on the cowboy, thrown darts at a zombie, and had an overall good time. He started to become tired though from all the different activities, so when Mason came up to him with Andrew and Matthew, asking him if he wanted to go trick or treating, he promptly said yes.

Andrew looked about the same as Mason, except taller and more heavy set. Matthew was blond and had blue eyes, and was a little taller than Mason. A cold wind greeted them as they walked outside after putting on their costumes and grabbing their bags. The dark sky allowed you to see the glow of  Jack o’ Lanterns and Halloween  decorations. After walking down many different streets and collecting lots of different types of candy, The three friends decided to head home. As they neared the house, the friends noticed all of the lights were turned off and no noise was coming from the house.

“Uh, guys?” asked Matthew. “Do you see what I see?”

“That the lights are out? Yep.” answered Mason. “But there’s also no noise coming from the house. Do you guys think we should go into the house?”

“Weeeellll…. They could just be playing a prank on us. Right?” asked Charles. He felt a chill go down his spine.

“Did they even know we left?” asked Andrew. “We hurried out so quickly I doubt anyone has actually noticed we are gone.”

“So… did they leave?” Mason asked in a kind of scared voice. “Please, please, please tell me they have all left. I DO NOT, I REPEAT NOT, WANT THAT MURDERER TO BE IN THAT HOUSE WAITING FOR US!” he screamed.

“Bro! Keep your voice down! If there actually is a murderer in there, he would have heard you screaming!” Andrew quickly answered.

“Guys!” Charles cut in. “Are we going in the house or not?”


The Entry

As the four friends crept to the house, Charles thought back on how this was a really bad decision on their part. They had decided to go into the house to see if anyone was in it, and if not, they would go back to their houses for the night. “I really think this is a bad idea guys.” whispered Charles. “I don’t think the party would end this early. Remember Jason kept talking in class about how long this party would go? Till six in the morning?”

“I guess. But still, we should just go and check to be safe, right?” Andrew quietly replied.


As they silently opened the gate and crept onto the grounds, Charles couldn’t help but think about how lifeless and uncared for the manor seemed with no lights on and sound. As they neared the front door, Charles and his friends had a silent debate on who should go first. When Andrew lost, he said a silent prayer and slowly opened the door. The door slowly creaked opened, and the four friends looked at each, then entered the dark manor.


The Death

The inside of the manor was horrifying. There was blood everywhere. The wood ceilings, floors and walls were all stained in dark red. Mason screamed.

“AHHHH!!!”  Mason turned around to find that the door was closed. He tried to open it but it was locked. “Guys! Help me open this!”

“What the- I swear I left that door open!” Matthew said, confused and freighted. “Ummm… Guys?” Charles asked.  “Was that door open a minute ago?”

Matthew, Mason, and Andrew all stopped tugging at the door and turned around in surprise.”I don’t think so.” answered Matthew.

Mason screamed again, turned around  and started tugging harder at the door.”Guys! Help me open this door!”

Charles ran over with Matthew close behind. “Did you try pushing it?” Charles asked.

“Yes! I have tried EVERYTHING!” He screamed back.

“How about we try all shoving at it at the same time?” Matthew suggested.

“Ok. Let’s try it.” Charles told him. “On the count of three. One… Two… Three!”

They all charged at it at the same time. It didn’t budge. “Andrew!” Matthew yelled. “We need your help!”

There was no answer. Matthew turned around and yelled louder this time.  “Andrew! We need yo- Ummm… Guys? Where is Andrew?”

Charles whipped around, looking for his friend.

“Andrew? Where are you? Andre-” Charles heard the sound of quiet whimpering in a corner.

“Andrew? Is that you? Are you okay?” Charles asked him, getting closer. the whimpering got louder. “Andrew? What’s wrong?”

Andrew was crying now. “O-o-over th-there… S-s-some-th-things…”

He started crying harder now, slowly pointing a shaking finger over to a door. There was something that looked wet and dark was slowly coming out from under the door. BLOOD. Charles screamed, almost choking on the fear he retreated as far as he could go from the ooze, into the corner that Andrew was weeping in. Matthew glanced at Charles.

“You too?” He asked. He shook his head. “I don’t believe in superstition, and neither should you guys.”

He picked off a splinter that was stained red.”Look, the blood here even looks fake!” he said.

“I’ll show you guys that there is nothing here and that this is a prank!”

He started walking towards a door to open it. THE SAME DOOR WITH BLOOD COMING FROM UNDERNEATH IT!  He hadn’t noticed the blood yet!

“Matthew! Stop! There’s bloo-” Mason screamed.

But Matthew  cut him off. “NO! For the last time nothing is hear!” He yelled, promptly shoving the door open.

There was nothing inside.

“SEE?” He yelled, stepping into the room. “Is anything bad happening to me?” He asked. “No!” he said, answering his own question. “But the Shifleys do need to fix that leak in their ceiling. Something’s dripping on me.” He said.

Charles swallowed a gulp. “Is warm?” he asked Matthew. Matthew thought for a minute. “Now that I think about it, it does seem unnaturally warm. Hot, even.”

Charles screamed again.


“Why?” He asked. “There’s nothing there!”

He looked up after another drip fell on him. “I swear, it looks like there’s something up there. I can make out this dark shape, but I know that’s just a bunch of pipes.” He said, squinting up in at the ceiling in the room.

He shrugged and looked at Charles, Mason and Andrew. “I told you guys there was nothing to worry abo-”

A dark shape as big as a horse fell from the ceiling. Charles, Mason, and Andrew screamed in horror as the creature started stabbing Matthew with his claws and ripping out his organs. Blood sprayed and splattered every surface possible, like a leaky faucet, staining it in a dark red. Charles screamed once more and took of. he felt horrified and sick, as if he had a virus. It took him a moment to process that one of his closest friends were being killed. As the information sunk in, he realized how lucky he was to be alive. he wiped away tears stuck to his face, like small children stuck to their mother when they were scared, hearing the the monster eating Matthew alive and Matthew’s screams for help, cut off, leaving the house in utter silence.


The Vents

Charles ran and ran, desperate to find something, anything to help him. As he rounded a corner, he ran straight into Henry and Will, both about to go into the air vents. Henry was a short boy who was quite fast and had dark skin with wind-swept brown hair.

“Charles!” Henry and Will said at the exact same time. “I am so glad you are alive!” Will whispered to Charles.

“Come on guys! We have to go into the air vents! Maybe we can find a good place to hide in there!” Henry whispered.

Charles and Will both crawled into the vents will Henry in the back. As Will helped Henry in, Charles noticed a crossroads. They options to travel were straight, left, and right. “Guys? He asked. “Which way should we go?”

“I think we should go left.” Henry said from somewhere behind Charles.

“Well, I think we should go right.” Will said.

“I agree with Will.” Charles said. “We should go right.”

“Fiiinnee.” Henry said. “We can go right.”

As the trio headed to the right, Charles felt scared. Scared from what happened to Matthew, scared of what that monster is, and scared of what might become of him. Charles was so deep in thought, he almost walked right over an open entrance to the air vent, but before he fell in, Will and Henry both grabbed him and pulled him back.

“Thanks guys. I almost fell in ther-”

Both Will and Henry shushed him.

Then Will gulped. “Ummm… Guys? This room is right by the hallway. Where John was killed. Remember, Henry?”

“Yeah. Do you think that creature is still in there?” Henry asked.

As Henry and Will debated on if the monster was still in there, Charles found the answer. His breath shallowed. he swallowed a gulp.

“Guys? I think that the monster is with us in the air vents.”

“What?!!?!” How-”

Charles cut them off and pointed to a blood trail leading to the left.

“Thank God we didn’t go to the left, right Henry?” Will said, giving Henry a look.

Henry glared at Will. “Yes Will, I was so wrong about how we should have gone left than right.” He said sarcastically.

Will answered. “I’d give you a nasty look if you didn’t already have one.”

“I am not not a mirror.” Henry replied

“Were you born on a highway? That’s where most accidents happen.” Will retorted.

“Don’t go near the fire. TRASH MELTS.”

“You are just like a cloud. When it goes away it’s a beautiful day.”

“You’re so fake, Barbie is jealous.”

“If laughter is truly the best medicine, your face must be curing the world.” Will answered.

Henry didn’t seem to have a good comeback so he just stood there fuming.

“Guys! Come on! What if the creature decides to turn around and come back?” Charles yelled at them. They both looked ashamed of themselves and started to crawl towards Charles. Charles halted. He felt vibrations coming from behind him.

“Um… Guys? Maybe we want to speed up a little?” They both looked at Charles, confused. Then they felt the vibrations. “Run!” Will whisper yelled.

“NO!” Charles answered so forcefully that the noise echoed through the tunnels. The vibrations stopped. Then they started again, expect faster and definitely headed in their direction. Charles quickly jumped through the air vent and into the room next to the hallway where Matthew and John were killed. He glanced around looking for a place to hide. Henry hid behind a door, while Will jumped into a closet. Charles followed Will, because this was his house and he knew the best spots to hide. He gestured for Henry to follow, but before he could, they heard the monster reach the vent. Charles jumped into the closet with Will just as they heard the creature enter the room.


The Tunnel

Charles stopped breathing.

As the monster crept into the room, he silently scooted further into the closet, with Will shuffling around behind him. Charles glanced around to find Will trying to quietly get a slab of plaster off the wall with no success.

Charles spotted a hanger lying on the floor and slowly grabbed it, careful not to make any sound. When he grabbed it, he softly touched it to Will’s shoulder.

Will glanced around and took the hanger from Charles. He turned around and wedged the hook part of the hanger into a crack in the plaster. He then slowly but firmly pushed the end of the hanger as hard as he could.

When a large enough crack appeared, he wedged his fingers through it and pulled. Charles turned around and as he listened, he thought he heard something creep closer to where he was sitting.

He leaned closer to the door to try to hear some more noise when suddenly, he felt a small tap on his shoulder. He almost screamed but covered his mouth just in time. He turned around and glared, but then saw Will motioning towards a small gap in the wall, the piece of plaster on the ground.

Charles nodded and started to scoot towards the hole. He felt a gust of cold air as sharp as a knife.

He shivered.

The hole was small, about the size of an oven. It didn’t look old, but it didn’t look new either. It smelled like a sewer and didn’t have any light coming through it, and was as dark as one of those black construction papers in the middle of the night with the lights out and no moon. Still, Charles would rather go in the tunnel than face whatever that thing was.

So, he took a deep breath and crawled into the tunnel.


The Room

He and Will slowly made there way through the tunnel, Charles couldn’t help but think about how dark it was in the tunnel. It was five times the darkness in midnight. The only light in the tunnel was a small light from a room they passed. And when they passed a room, it got even creepier. Shadows danced across the walls, reaching out to touch them and drag them into the darkness.

Charles shivered.

As he kept crawling along, Charles felt a slight difference. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was though. He glanced around. Will was crawling behind him, immersed in his own thoughts. Charles was  now crawling a little bit faster now. He turned around to stop himself, but instead he started sliding. He tried to press his hands into the floor but that still wouldn’t stop him.

He was now barreling down the steeping slope now at the speed of a freight train. He tried to scream but the air was sucked from his lungs. Suddenly the dropped from under him as he cannered through the darkness, screaming at the top of his lungs. He felt his stomach drop and suddenly-


Charles hit a wall, dropped to the floor and groaned. He started to get up when-


Screaming Will smacked him into the wall again, causing Charles to drop to the floor and start moaning again. Will shook his head and looked around to get his bearings. Will glanced down and noticed Charles.

“There you are!” Will said. “I thought you were some kind of pillow!”

“Well, I’m not a pillow.” Charles groaned. “Can you at least get off of me?” Will might be as skinny as a toothpick, but he weighed a lot. As Will got off, Charles got up and finally glanced around at his surroundings. The room was drab, with steel and black colors, kind of like a warehouse. There was a lot of computers and televisions monitoring the rooms and hallways of the manor. Charles glanced at Will, surprised. Will noticed his surprised look.

Will nodded. “I know, we have our very own security room. Pretty crazy, huh?”

Charles nodded then kept looking around at the house. Then he noticed something.

“Will! Come over and see this!” Charles said. Will glanced at him then ran over. What happened? Is something wrong?” He asked.

“No! but look! It’s Mason and Luca! they’re on the security camera! Look!”

Charles pointed to the security camera he was looking at. Luca was a boy that was kind of small and. thin, and had dark brown hair and hazel eyes. There were two figures running through one of the many hallways. The figures of Mason and Luca were running at full sprint, passing through many hallways and rooms, always glancing behind them, checking to see if anything was following them. As they passed under a security camera, Charles and Will both glanced at the next one.

But Mason and Luca never appeared. Charles and Will both glanced back at the other camera they weren’t there. Charles and Will looked at each other, confused. Charles was about to say something, when suddenly, a movement in the corner caught his eye. He glanced at the security camera and saw two figures helping each other into a hole in the wall. Charles gestured Will over to him.

He asked, “Do you know where those vents lead, Will?”

Will answered “Yeah, those go into the tunnel we went through that led us here.”

“Do you think that Mason and Luca are going to come here?” Charles asked.

“It is a possibility.” Will replied.

“Do you know where they might emerge?” asked Charles.

“If I am correct, I think they should emerge there.” He said and, pointing over to a wall.

Charles and Will both glanced at each other, then started to slowly walk towards the wall that Will pointed at.


The Friend

As they crept closer to the wall, Charles noticed a tiny circle of small cracks out lining a circle. He nodded at Will, and they put their fingers in the cracks, and together they pulled off the plaster in the wall. The plaster came out loosely and smoothly. Charles glanced at Will, then cupped his hands to his mouth then yelled into the tunnel, “Mason! Luca! Are you down there?” He asked, his voice echoing for what seemed like hours.

Finally, a response came. “Charles? Is that you?” Luca’s voice came, from what seemed like miles away.

Before Charles could respond, Will yelled into the tunnel, “BULUDULUDLUD!!!!”

The sound echoed extremely loud in the tunnel, sounding like a thousand coyotes wailing at once.

Charles winced.

Mason called out, “Are you okay Charles?”

Charles shot a glare at Will, then cupped his hands and yelled into the tunnel, “Sorry guys! That was Will that made that awful noise! Anyway, can you guys try to come up here? But be careful! That monster could be waiting for you!” A minute later their response echoed back to Charles and Will. “Okay! We will come up, though it might take us a few minutes.”

Charles nodded and turned back around to the cameras. Maybe they could find more of his friends. He glanced at a random camera.

He screamed.

The camera was pointed at a human that was grinning directly up at the camera. It was HENRY.

There was a huge gash running down the middle of his stomach. Blood was oozing out of his mouth and his organs were on the floor all around him with blood pouring out from the insides of his body. his eyes were lifeless, like looking at a rock.

Charles noticed he was holding a small piece of wood.

A piece of wood etched in BLOOD.


The Creature

It said: Iamalwayswatchingyou.

Then suddenly the eyes rolled over on Henry’s body and stared directly at Charles.

The body then lurched forward and got up and a black form slid out from its back and stared at the camera. Henry’s body went limp on the floor. All Charles had time to see were its eyes.

Except it had no eyes.

There were big red slits were the eyes were supposed to be, yet it still seemed to be looking at Charles.

It lunged at the camera and shattered it.

The camera’s screen turned static.

Charles whimpered. He backed away from the static camera and slammed into something. Charles whipped around and saw WIll who was white in the face, staring at the camera that had been destroyed. “M-mo-mon-monst-er” Will choked out, shakily pointing a finger at the black camera. Charles glanced back at the camera, shook his head and backed away. He slammed into something else yet again, so he turned around and saw Luca and Mason trying to get out of the hole. “Luca! Mason! You guys got here all right!”

They both looked up. “Charles!” Mason said. “Wait, where is Will?”

Charles moved out of their line of sight and gestured to the weeping figure of Will on the floor. Will was muttering things while weeping. “I-I never should ha-ave said those stupid things to him. I never should have started that conversation. He was alone and now he is DEAD!” Will spat the words out.

Charles then looked back at Mason and Luca. Luca looked questionly at Charles. “Wait, Henry is dead?”

“All because of ME! I should be the one who is dead! I should!” Will cut in.

Charles walked over to WIll and patted him on the back. “No one should be dead. It was an accident that you started the conversation, and we were all kind of scared and bitter, so you lashed out. We all did.”

Will nodded slowly, processing the words. “I guess so. But I still shouldn’t have made those comments. In the last few minutes of his life, he had no one who loved him or was nice to him, so that makes me feel bad.” Charles nodded.

“I think we all feel bad, Will.” Will nodded.

“But we have to get going though, so let’s get up and get moving.” Mason said.

Charles helped Will up. “So where do you guys want to go next?” Luca asked. “We have to stay on the move, so it doesn’t matter where we chose to hide a bit as long as it’s and good place to hide.” Will replied.

Mason nodded. “Then let’s go find somewhere to hide.”

As they walked out of the security room, Charles had a sinking feeling that they all shouldn’t be doing this.

But still, the friends walked down the long, dark hallway, wondering if they would ever see the light of day again.


The Reincarnation

“Shh! Guys! I hear something! Be quiet!”

Mason, WIll and Luca had all been talking nervously until Charles heard a noise.

It happened again, except a little quieter than before.

Mason was the quietest of all them, so everyone looked at him so he would see what was in the room. He sighed and quietly crept toward the room. Before he entered the room, he took a deep breath and entered the room. A few tense moments later, Mason crept out of the room with Andrew. Luca, Charles and Will were all so surprised to see him, they practically jumped out of their skins.


Andrew shrugged. “I honestly had no idea how I am alive right now. I thought that the monster would kill me, apparently he was more focused on Matthew.”

Charles noticed that now, Andrew seemed a little different. After the shock he experienced, he probably shouldn’t be able to move, much less speak. He also seemed a little more harsh, and for the first time, he noticed Andrew had black eyes that didn’t seem to have much life to them. Charles was suspicious of Andrew, but he didn’t show it. If Andrew was here with them and had life, Charles reasoned he had to be alive.

He walked up to Andrew and hugged him. The others stepped aside, and when Charles stopped hugging Andrew, the others pushed him away and kept asking him questions on how he escaped, what happened to him, and more. Will hugged Andrew, and then Mason and Luca. Andrew smiled with relief as Charles joined in too. Mason stepped away from the hug and said “Come on guys, we have to get going, otherwise the monster will find us!”

Andrew nodded. “We do have to get away, because if the creature finds us, we are dead.”

They all nodded. “Let’s keep walking down this hall, maybe we can find something.” Will said, almost to himself. Andrew then interjected, “Maybe we could split up into different teams? That way we are harder to track, and if one of us dies, the other can escape and tell the others?”

Charles thought for a minute. “I guess that is a kind of smart idea. In most horror movies, if you split up into groups of one, you get picked off faster. But if you split up into groups of two, the other person can escape and tell the others. I think it is a good idea.”

Everyone seconded this idea. “Okay.” Charles decided. “Luca, you will go with Andrew, Mason, you me and WIll will all go together. Come back here in about 30 minutes, and earlier if you want to come here early, okay?”

Everyone nodded. Me and Luca will keep going down the hallway, and you three will go left.” Andrew told them. “Okay guys, let’s go.” Charles told Will and Mason as Luca and Andrew walked away. Charles set of down the hall with Will and Mason close behind.

“Guys?” He asked.

“Yeah?” Will said.

Charles had so much to say, he simply said instead “Just glad you guys are here.”

After that, the three friends walked for quite some time in silence. Charles stared at the floor, wrapped up in his thoughts, when his foot hit a rock and he went crashing into a cabinet. He heard something thump inside, sounding like an elephant sitting down. He sat up and rubbed his head, staring at the cabinet, wondering what could be inside. WIll and Mason helped him get up.

“Are you alright?” asked Mason. “Yeah, it’s just… I heard something thump in the cabinet. Do you think we should see what it is?”

He turned to look at Will, who looked like he was about to barf all over them. Charles tracked his stare down to the gap in between the cabinet and the base of the cabinet, which had dark red blood oozing from the gap. Charles scrambled back in a crab walk, slammed into the other wall, and hurt his head again. Will shook his head, which was as pale as Snow White with the flu, and said “I really think it is a good idea not to go into there.”

Charles shot a glance at Mason who was staring at the wall Charles slammed into, and told Charles “You can go in there if you want, but I am not going to open that cabinet door and see what is inside it, and from what Will looks like, he is not going to either.”

Charles took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He slowly took out one of his shaking arms and reached for the door handle He turned his head away and covered his eyes with his other hand and grabbed the door handle.

He slowly turned it and opened the cabinet door.


The Final Chapter

Charles peeked through his eyes and looked into the cabinet. What he saw made him scream and scramble back in terror.

It was Luca’s dead body.

Luca’s eyes looked scared and pleading, and his mouth was twisted into a horrible scream. His stomach had a huge gash in it, running from his windpipe down to his waist, With blood and guts spilled out all over the cabinet floor. Charles almost vomited from what he saw sitting in Luca’s hand.

It was his HEART. Charles screamed and flatted himself against the wall in terror.

Will glanced around, curious to what Charles was screaming about, and froze in pure terror. His face somehow managed to turn paler, even if that was not possible. Charles suddenly realized something.

If Luca was here, then where was Andrew? Would he be dead? Or was he still alive?

But then, right at that moment, something big crashed into the far door. Thankfully, that door had been locked behind them earlier, so whatever was there now, couldn’t get in. But maybe, Charles was wrong.

Cracks started appearing in the door, with black mucus oozing out of them. Charles took one look at all this, and screamed “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” the door broke open right at that moment, and the monster came out.

Charles, WIll and Mason all turned tail and ran.

But the rock Charles had tripped on early was directly in Mason’s path. Mason went flying as his foot made contact with the rock, and he hit the ground hard. Mason screamed and that was the last thing that came out of his mouth as the creature jumped upwards with its barbed tail and came down like a bullet, stabbing Mason in the chest. But as Charles got a closer look, he realized the creature was inside of Andrew, like what it had done with Henry.

But the creature didn’t stop there.

He kept coming, but extremely fast.

Charles rounded a corner, with WIll close behind, but as Will rounded the corner, three black darts all went straight through his heart, sending him crashing into the ground, lifeless as a rock.

Charles jumped into a closet, trying to be quiet. But as the creature crept into the room, it heard every breath from Charles. Charles tried to hear better by leaning into the closet door, but the closet door opened and Charles spilled out.

The creature’s black, bloodstained barbed tail was