Author: Gráinne Meghen
Acknowledgment: To Goosebumps_Completionist
Summary: Gráinne Meghen, who attends writing courses in Blackrock, has come runner up in The Sunday Times Goosebumps story writing competition!
This is a great achievement for Gráinne. The competition was open to children in both the UK and Ireland, and Grainne had to complete a story about a boy driving a haunted car.
I miss my Grandpa. I miss enjoying comfortable silence with him in his chair in the living room, watching westerns or mystery shows like Matlock and Murder, She Wrote. Or Murder, The Goat as he liked to call it.
It feels like everything went wrong as soon as he died, because of this fucking pandemic.
Goosebumps_Completionist is the one who discovered a much more recent short story contest held over in the U.K. and Ireland. This story posted on Megan Wynne’s website was a runner-up in a contest held to promote the Goosebumps movie in 2015. No word on who the other winners are, but Gráinne Meghen we salute you and your contribution to the Goosebumps fandom.
This marks the 3rd story in the Goosebumps franchise to include a haunted car, after both The Haunted Car and “The Ghost Car” from Pesadillas.
You can read the story here.
Ben didn’t understand why his grandpa kept his old wreck of a car. The seats were ripped up and the dashboard was covered in dust. He should just junk the old thing.
According to Ben’s sister Ashley, their grandpa’s afraid of going near the car because he thinks it’s haunted. [Wing: Fair fear, to be honest.]
Ashley had enough of hanging around dirty old cars – haunted or not – and ran back to the house. Ben tried to run after her when he heard a voice.
“Ben… let’s go. Take me for a drive.”
Ben thought for a moment Ashley was trying to scare him, when the voice asked again to be taken for a ride.
“Take me for a drive Ben. I’m so lonely behind the garage.”
The car began to rattle, and the engine revved up all by itself! Why it was practically purring like a kitten.
But every car needs a driver. [Wing: Not the way we’re going. Ostrich just bought a car that will brake, correct if he gets too close to the lines, basically drive itself. I hate it.]
Inside the car, Ben heard the voice coming from the radio. It asked Ben to step on the gas. C’mon, Ben, let’s go for a wild ride! Let’s FLY!
Ben was scared and tried to open the door, but the doors were locked and the windows wouldn’t lower. And it was starting to get hot.
The car was presenting me two choices. Submit and obey, or die in the car, like those dogs who were left with the window up, overheating, with no air.
Before the heat did him in, Ben cautiously stepped on the gas. The car moved forward, but the voice wanted more.
“Go faster, Ben…..….Go faster……Let me ride again…….Let’s be free!”
Ben was held in place by the seatbelt, and sensing the voice’s excitement, felt he had no choice but to hit the gas. Not fast enough for the voice, as the seatbelt began to tighten around Ben. At that point, the voice’s excitement seemed to infect Ben’s mind and he sensed the need for speed.
This was too slow……It wanted to be free……No, I wanted to be free……..We wanted to be free……………….
[Wing: I’m here for bonding with your haunted car.]
Reaching the main road, Ben put the pedal to the metal and they were off. They sped down the road, the wind in their faces. They went on and on. It felt like they could drive forever.
The rest of the ride seemed to melt into a blur, as the last thing Ben remembered was the police finding him on the side of the road a few miles from his house. He didn’t know what happened, or what happened to the car. It was gone. Ben was all alone.
Ben’s parents were worried sick, but they had some awful news to share.
Ben and Ashley’s grandfather had passed away.
As the family cried, Ben was told his grandfather passed away peacefully in his home while Ashley sobbed about how she never got to say goodbye to him.
Ben kept it to himself, but he understood what happened with the car.
Later on, I realised how l lucky I had been. I had one final ride with Grandpa, before he rode off into the unknown. I smiled sadly, my eyes red. I hope wherever he is now, his engines full, and there’s adventure in sight.
Happy birthday, Grandpa.
I love you.