Recap #299: Jude’s Winter Horrorfest – Fear Street: Let’s Make A Trade by R.L. Stine and Amber K. Bryant

Let’s Make A Trade

Title: Fear Street – Let’s Make A Trade, a.k.a. “IT SHOULD’VE BEEN MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”

Authors: R.L. Stine and Amber K. Bryant

Initial Thoughts

Honestly I’d completely forgotten about this, but remembered in time to set something up for the holidays. [Wing: And then my schedule promptly exploded, and I had no time to schedule it, so we’re celebrating the extended holidays here at Devil’s Elbow, as we are wont to do.]

Years ago, Stine and wattpad held a writing contest with a Fear Street story starter. Stine supplied the opening chapter and contestants were supposed to send in the next part. Readers voted on the best entry and the winner collaborated with Stine to finish the story. [Wing: Oh. My. God. O.O O.O O.O I AM SO ENVIOUS OF THE WINNER.]

I actually tried out for this contest, and of course I did not win. But I’m fine.




Amber K. Bryant, who went on to win the contest, was one of the only people who commented on and liked my entry which does mean a lot to me. I got in touch with Amber for the purpose of providing a little extra something to this recap.

You can read the full story here.


It’s only been a week since Alyson’s sister Marie died, yet somehow she’s decided to throw a party. Jillian, Veronica, and Marty were discussing the oddness of the events, like the fact Alyson’s hosting the party in an old farmhouse miles outside of town.

And they’re so far out of range they can’t get a connection on their cellphones.

And they’re not even sure if Alyson likes them.

So… why, are you going, exactly?

[Wing: FOMO. What if something cool happens and they’re not there? What then? (I can hear people complaining about the oh so very convenient lack of cellphone connection, but I laugh at you from rural Missouri. Cellphone service can be hit or miss even today. I hate it.]

The three teens reached the old farmhouse and were greeted at the front door by Alyson herself. They were led into a front room with three other Shadyside kids and a bunch of candles on everything.

Alyson decided to break the ice by informing her guests on the motive behind this impromptu soiree. See, her sister Marie might be gone, but she’s not GONE gone. Alyson’s relative, someone with “the sight,” explained to her a way she could get her sister back.

[Wing: I’m here for it. There are many, many people I would sacrifice to get Sister Canary back, as but one example.]

Jillian’s already thinking this is crazy when Alyson announced they would make a trade. Tonight they’ll play a little game, and someone will trade their soul for Alyson’s. So who wants to be a good party guest and drop dead now to make the evening a bit easier?

[Wing: I love you, Alyson.]

Marty tried to leave, but Alyson told him not to bother. Besides the phones not working, they’re miles from civilization.

No one’s gonna help them.



Marty didn’t listen to Alyson and ran to his car with Veronica and Jillian. Too bad for them, the car wouldn’t start. Marty thought Alyson did something to the engine, which didn’t make sense because she never went near his car. She’d been inside the house the whole time the three had been here.

Alyson appeared before the car, casting a dark shadow like the Angel of Death, as she calmly explained the first rule. No one can leave until morning when the game is over. So Marty, if he survives, will be able to use his car in the morning.

The second and third rules?


Veronica asked why Alyson was doing this but tried very hard not look or sound scared.

“Why am I doing this?” Alyson laughed. “The dead want what they want. And my sister… she wants one of you. Now come back inside. I made hot cocoa.”

[Wing: I sincerely love Alyson right now. She’s got priorities.]

Marty and the two girls huddled together, Jillian thinking Alyson was nuts. Veronica thought this was Alyson’s way of trying to cope with her sister’s death; lashing out through some mean, bizarre, terrifying prank to make others feel as badly as she does. The best thing they can do is to humor Alyson until the morning, and not act scare or they’ll give Alyson what she wants.

Back inside the house, Veronica realized who the other three “guests” were. Kayla, Christine, and Christine’s brother Ben. They were all part of Alyson’s little group, and chances are she didn’t plan to swap any of them for her sister. [Wing: You never know…]

Alyson went around the room passing out mugs of hot cocoa when Veronica made a plea with her to stop. Veronica tried to sympathize with Alyson, arguing she misses Marie too, but nothing’s going to bring Marie back.

Alyson told Veronica to shut up and drink her cocoa.

Jillian made the big mistake of actually DRINKING the hot cocoa, because as soon as the cup was finished Jillian felt lightheaded. Veronica and Marty were also starting to pass out. Soon all three semi-conscious teenagers were gathered on the couch by Alyson’s cohorts. Ben complimented Alyson’s forethought to drug Marty and the girls, which Alyson answered by kissing Ben on the forehead.

[Wing: Of course the hot chocolate is drugged. Alyson’s being pretty smart about this. Also: forehead kiss = kiss of death y/y? Or in this case, kiss of trading to beat death y/y?]

Jillian thought back to sophomore year when she’d dated Ben, until Alyson swooped in and stole him. Deep down, Jillian hoped a small part of Ben held fondness for her and could barely choke out a cry for help. Christine found this hilarious when Alyson entered the room.

With Marie.

Or what USED to be Marie.

Everyone save Alyson reacted with disgusted as she brought her sister’s body into the room via wheelchair. Kayla even vomited on Christine’s shoes. Wow she’s been dead a week and she’s already rotted pretty quickly, huh?

Veronica was horrified and disgusted by the lengths Alyson went to, to the point of actually digging up her sister’s grave. [Wing: Wait, wait, wait. She was actually buried in this time? So she’s been embalmed? If so, why she’s so gross? And you talked about switching souls, Alyson, will she get a new body, too? Because I’m pretty sure she won’t be too thrilled about being embalmed. And if she wasn’t, how did you pull that off? It’s so damn standard here.] Alyson angrily claimed this is what Marie wanted, supposedly communicated through their aunt with “the sight.”

With a snap of Alyson’s fingers, a circle of flames shot up from the floorboards and circled Marie’s body. [Wing: Uh, how’d you get the fire power? I want.] A game of truth and consequences, apparently. Alyson went on about how every life has energy but someone ended Marie’s life too soon.

“Every life is given a precious amount of energy. When that energy is exhausted, the life it belongs to ends. But Marie’s energy wasn’t depleted on its own, was it? No, it was taken from her – stolen! Stolen by someone whose own life was about to end. All I want – all she wants, is to take back what is hers. You traded her life for yours. Now you’re going to trade it back. It’s time you told the truth.”





Veronica screamed Alyson was crazy as Alyson made accusations. Alyson stated Veronica was secretly sick, accusing her with no emotion in her voice that Veronica had been in Marie’s bedroom the night she died. She died because Veronica stole her energy.

Veronica admitted yes, she DID go into Marie’s room, but she found her already dead. Alyson told Veronica to say hi to Marie while Marty swore that Alyson couldn’t keep them trapped with a corpse. Jillian was too drugged to even think straight as Alyson kept beckoning Veronica to go to Marie and give back what she stole.

Compelled, staggering forward, Veronica lurched towards Marie’s rotting corpse [Wing: It’s only been a week, and she was buried so likely embalmed, what’d Alyson do, secretly bury her in a swamp or something?] and threw her arms around it. Alyson ordered Veronica to hug Marie tighter as the horrid stench assaulted Veronica’s senses, until Veronica felt her life slipping…


Veronica fell to the floor, and Marie stood up. Chunks of flesh fell from her face as Marie smiled, while everyone watched in dismay at this living corpse testing her arms and legs. Alyson, happy to see her sister again, went to embrace her.

And how did Marie repay her sister’s hard work?


[Wing: YES.]

Marie wrapped her cold, clammy hands around Alyson’s throat and squeezed it, screaming how she always hated Alyson. She’d finally been happy to escape from Alyson, but Alyson dragged her back to the land of the living.

When the last breath escaped Alyson’s body, Marie threw her to the floor before collapsing next to Veronica. The once lifeless Veronica started to stir, her energy returned.


Veronica croaked that someone needed to give up their energy for her. Who would it be? Jillian? Marty? Who will sacrifice themselves for their friend Veronica?

Final Thoughts

See this is exactly why I don’t like parties that much.

I enjoyed Amber K. Bryant’s segment but admit I was bit confused by the ending. So, DID Alyson’s aunt tell her Marie wanted to come back or was she lying to make Alyson feel better? Did Veronica actually kill Marie or did Alyson kill her and was looking for a scapegoat to appease her guilty conscience?

[Wing: I desperately need that second Stine part to be fleshed out (and not rotting like Marie), and I’d honestly rather see what Amber would do with it.]

Well, now it’s time for the surprise.

Goosebumps Fill In The Fear by Amber K. Bryant

So after doing some digging I discovered when Goosebumps still had a fan club, one of the club magazines had an ad libs “Fill in the Fear” activity. So, since Amber K. Bryant won the Fear Street “Fill in the Fear” contest, I contacted her about filling out the Goosebumps version as a little bonus.


Goosebumps – Fill in the Fear

So here’s “What I Did Over Vacation” by Amber K. Bryant

I got a gooey feeling when I first saw Camp Tropical Leaf. Maybe it was the shaggy woods or the desk floating in the glowing lake. Or maybe it was my Counselor, Olive, who looked just like a platypus and giggled in a really trembling way. [Wing: OLIVE WHO LOOKED JUST LIKE A PLATYPUS AND GIGGLED IN A TREMBLING WAY. I love this.]

And then there were the fickle kids in my bunk. Drew had a lightbulb collection, and liked to crouch from the rafters in our cabin! And another kid, Silas, carried around a drab sparkler everywhere, even during sports!

But it was the overnight trip that got me. We hiked 108 miles away from civilization and set up camp. Our counselor giggled while cooking our dinner, spaghetti and radio balls and bicycle juice. It looked fluffy and smelled like decrepit flowers, but I was so hungry, I ate it anyway.

After dinner, we typed around the campfire. As we began to tell cylindrical stories, I noticed my counselor seemed to be turning into a pyramid!

But it got worse! I felt something prickle my toe and looked to see what was happening. Tired apple hairs were sprouting, even as I watched! I felt my teeth turn into a mountain [Wing: Honestly, teeth turning into a mountain is a fab horror image.] and I knew I was transforming into a table. And so were the other kids. What could I do? I looked like a spatula, half human and half lawnmower! What would I tell my parents? The next morning, I woke up and realized it had all been a flimsy nightmare. I was back to my old self! Breakfast smelled transparent, but I didn’t care. “More spaghetti?” my counselor asked, and giggled contemptuously. I didn’t feel too hungry after that. I think I’ll stay home next year.

[Wing: This was great! I’m so glad Amber gave us some of her time. Excellent find, Jude, and fantastic job bringing something even more special to the recap.]