Better Off Graduated: A Campfire Ghost Story
Read the Vocal+ YA Horror contest piece, Better Off Graduated, that playfully plays tribute to Better Off Guilty through a high-school campfire tale
Upon invite, I wrote a young-adult horror piece with a playful turn for my readers. Better Off Graduated is a campfire-story contest piece I wrote for nothing other than fun and I hope that you find the amusement on your side of the page. Vocal gave me a campfire premise to work with that centered around the first sentence:
"The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window."
Better Off Graduated premises a YA-horror short about high school students in small town New Mexico, who find themselves telling horror stories around a campfire just a few nights before their graduation. The students’ night takes a ghostly turn as they encounter a main character from my debut novel, Better Off Guilty. The contest short doesn’t involve the deep and literary wordplay I usually write in tune with, which was an upstream level for me to write at, but fun nevertheless. Moving voices in lightheartedness and less introspective story-leveling was a challenge for me. Without ever writing young adult or horror, this piece was solely meant as an all-around experimental exercise for my creativity toward a completely different audience - and I hope it leaves you entertained and at the very least, with a smile. Especially if you’ve read Better Off Guilty.
(If you didn’t and plan to, no worries. There are no spoilers in this piece.)
If you find yourself enjoying the work, feel free to leave a like under the piece at the link below.