The Halloween Monster

monster

© Liz Young

Arthur stopped off at his sister’s last night, realizing he was too drunk to drive home from the bar. Staggering into her backyard the next morning, he discovered the apparition. Melissa followed him, looking bemused.

“Like it? I’m putting it out front for Halloween tonight.” It was then he noticed she was pointing a pistol with a silencer at him.

“Hey, what’s that?”

“Last year, you got off on that drunk driving charge where you killed a little girl. I’m fixing justice.”

That night, Melissa got a lot of compliments on the realistic display of a monster in a cage.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

For some reason, I thought of a man who was hung over coming across this scene and being totally bewildered. The story wrote itself after that.

To read other tales inspired by the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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Saving Gremlin Town

Montpelier, Vermont

“Ready, Landon?”

“I guess.”

Eight-year-old Landon and his friend and teacher Buddy, the small Ambrosial Dragon, were in the center of his bedroom. After the boy’s recent adventures with Gremlins, Buddy had determined that evil forces from other dimensions might be able to gain access to their world through the Gremlin’s realm. Buddy said he and Landon had to do something about it.

Landon wasn’t convinced. The last time he had come face-to-face with a Gremlin, he had threatened to badly hurt the child if not kill him. Buddy didn’t think he was in all that much danger, but Landon was worried anyway.

He came prepared. Inside his backpack, he had his invisibility cloak and his magic glove. He also had the soul coin in his pants pocket, though he wasn’t sure what good it would do.

He always wore the magic amulet around his neck on a chain, the one that looked like a small, old fashioned railroad lantern.

The living stuffed animals were all watching awestruck from Landon’s bed. It was late at night and Grandpa, Dad, and Landon’s sister Dani were all asleep. With any luck at all, the dragon and the boy would be back before anyone missed them.

Landon felt like he could use all the luck he could get.

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Halloween 2017: The Stalker

stalker

© Tanya Setyaeva – Original art from Theme of Absence

Last year I participated in a Halloween writing contest at Theme of Absence. I didn’t win, but my story The Stalker was subsequently published. Because October 31st is upon us once again, I thought I would present the beginning here and then a link to the full tale below. Enjoy.

The girl panicked when she literally stumbled over my last victim. The body had been steadily decomposing at the bottom of that shallow gully for months, and it must have been pretty disgusting to trip over and nearly fall on top of a rotting corpse.

The poor girl. She can’t be older than sixteen. She had gone for a walk through the forest near the cabin her friends had rented, the sun went down, and she got lost.

She’s running blindly now, certain she can hear my breathing, my heavy footfalls, the rustling of tree branches I push aside as I stalk her. It’s a deception to get her moving. She could hardly suspect the truth.

I know she’s not an adult, but I’m very attracted to her. She’s shapely, great hips, firm breasts, but even dressed in those skimpy cutoffs and tight t-shirt, I can tell she’s still not really confident about her appearance. I think she dresses that way to prove to herself she’s sexy. She really is. I’ll enjoy myself inside of her.

To read the complete story click here.

Halloween 2017: Rising of the Ancient

tomb

Image: tvtropes.org

I originally wrote this over a year ago and thought it might be appropriate to present it again, this been Halloween and all. Remember, on Halloween, not everything is as it seems.

Adam and Sarah Hartley cautiously began their descent into the tomb. The illumination from their flashlights revealed the ancient stone steps leading down into the darkness and into history. They also believed they were being led downward into the ultimate enlightenment.

The Hartleys were the world’s most famous married Biblical Archeology team. Well regarded by both other archeologists and Christian researchers, they were credited with several important finds between 2020 and 2045, including the true burial-place of the Apostle Mark. It was long supposed that his body was stolen from Alexandria in a barrel of pork and was put to rest in the city of Venice, but the Hartleys discovered a codex that revealed this to be a ruse. The following year, they located the remains of Mark in his original tomb on the outskirts of the modern Egyptian city of Alexandria.

Now, Adam and Sarah are in Egypt again, this time investigating what could be the most important find of their careers. If the scroll they had discovered and translated last year was right, it would be the most significant discovery of the last two-thousand years: the true final resting place of Jesus Christ.

For the full story, click here.

Stones in the Forest

stump

© Yarnspinnerr

You got me out here to see a pile of cement, Jeremy?”

“I tell you there’s something inside the concrete.”

“If this is what you brought me out here for…”

Fifteen-year-old Jill turned in a huff but her age-mate Jeremy grabbed her arm. Everyone thought they were dating, but they’d been best friends since second grade and they still were.

“Last night I was on the trail at sunset and saw a glow from over here.”

“You think it was this?”

“I think it was something.”

She sighed. “Okay, we’ll wait.”

A breeze picked up. They both shivered but not from the chill. As the last rays of daylight faded, the strange object began to glow an eerie light and the two could see the pile of stones inside.

“I told you.”

“Jeremy, I’m freaked. Let’s go.”

She turned and tried to walk away but her feet were frozen. They both looked down and saw why. Skeletal hands were grasping their feet and ankles. The next morning, the disguised cairn would be two people taller.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of October 31, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to craft a tale of between 100 and 175 words. My word count is 175.

I’m actually disappointed with my effort and maybe given more time, I could have come up with something different, but two teenagers alone in the woods as the sun goes down and then encountering something evil leading to their horrifying demise seemed to be what was in order…in other words a typical 1980s horror movie. After all, as I write this tomorrow is Halloween.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Just Walk Right In

jack-o-lanterns

Some creations of Steve Clark, the world’s fastest pumpkin carver – Found at History.com

“So, you think we should just walk right in?”

“Why not? The invitation seems pretty clear.”

“Look, I’m not all that sure about this ‘invitation’ business. After all, we’ve just got this one guy’s word for it.

“Yeah, but he worshiped the boss for like twenty-five years. He should know what he’s talking about.”

“Okay, I get that, but he’s gone over to the other side now, actually warning people about us and that invitation thing.”

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Your Pumpkin is an Invitation for Demons

jack o lantern

Found on a Facebook “Chuck Jones” group page

Oy. Here comes Halloween again and tons of controversies seem to be surrounding the event this year.

First off, I should mention I don’t celebrate Halloween for the most part. On the evening of October 31st, my wife and I make sure all the doors are locked, we close all of the window shutters, and turn out most of the lights. When the doorbell rings, we ignore it.

Not sure what the Missus does (probably reads), but I do allow myself to watch the original 1984 film Ghostbusters just because it’s so much fun.

We aren’t paranoid about Halloween. We don’t think it’s evil, or sinful, or horrible. We just aren’t into it.

But there are a lot of people out there who are going bonkers about Halloween.

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The Halloween Bandits

fake heads

© J Hardy Carroll

On Tuesday, October 31st at 11:57 a.m., Batman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn entered Gordon’s Community Bank on the corner of Elm and Broadway. Bank employees had been seeing “the cosplay crowd” filtering in and out all morning long and it was pretty amusing. That is until the Joker handed the teller a note and produced a handgun.

Outside, Robin had disabled the silent alarm to the police while Catwoman waited in the getaway van.

Less than two hours later, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and Daphne pulled the same job at the Second National Bank on River Drive with Fred disabling the alarms and Velma driving the vehicle.

At a minute until three, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and She Hulk hit a Curio Shop on Franklin. It didn’t have a silent alarm so Hawkeye kept watch while Black Widow sat in the driver’s seat.

“What the hell did you take these stupid little heads for, Jen? Cash. Only cash, remember?” They were resting back at the hideout.

scooby doo gang

© 1969 – “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!”

“Sue me, Matty. I like ’em, okay?”

“Okay, profitable haul. It’ll set us up for the year.”

“Right, Selena.” Pete was still counting his share. “Next year, the Halloween Bandits strike another city at random.”

I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of October 29th 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

I had an idea for what I wanted to write even before seeing the prompt, so I had to work the image into my story. I’d read some Sunday comic strip earlier that made me think how easy it would be to walk into a bank on Halloween in disguise when any other day of the year, the staff would immediately call the police. I also thought it would be interesting to have this gang commit their crimes only on Halloween and in a different city picked at random each year.

Of course, they’d have to steal enough to support themselves for the coming year, but if they weren’t greedy, that would probably work. I very, very loosely based my “Halloween Bandits” on various television and animated cartoon versions of the Royal Flush Gang.

Oh, Jen is named after Jennifer Walters, the alter ego of the She Hulk. Matty is for Matt Murdock, Daredevil. Selena is named for Selena Kyle, Catwoman, and Pete is for Peter Parker, the secret identity of Spider-Man. The dialogue didn’t require all five gang members and besides, I hit the 200 word limit.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

It’s Safe Now

sunrise

© Roger Bultot

“It’s over Grandpa. Sun’s coming up. We’ll be okay.”

Timmy’s Grandfather lay asleep on the duck blind’s floor. Yesterday, they’d been hunting and got lost. Couldn’t find the truck. Sun was going down when they saw the first in a forgotten graveyard.

These zombies were real. Fought them off while their ammo lasted. Grandpa got scratched, but they hid back in the blind. It’s over now.

“Grandpa?” Timmy shook the old man. “Wake up.”

Bloodshot eyes oozing yellow mucus snapped open. It grabbed Timmy’s arms fast.

“Grandpa, no!”

Just because the sun comes up doesn’t mean the monsters go away.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge of 27 October 2017. The idea is to use the image above to inspire crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

Decades ago, I saw the 1968 black and white film Night of the Living Dead on TV. I don’t like horror films beyond the old 1930s-1950s Universal horror films (Frankenstein, Werewolf, and such), but this was supposed to be a classic.

As expected, I was scared out of my wits and the movie has a tragic, ironic ending. Today, television is full of zombie-type shows, and I refuse to watch any of them. But it is “Halloween week” and horror stories are expected, so I thought I’d create one (though it’s not my first).

Poor Timmy.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Quiet Desperation

quiet desperation

Found at “Couples on the Brink”

My emotions are shot. It didn’t take long, maybe fifteen minutes after she came home.

You see, she went on a trip for a few days to visit her sister. I always cherish those times because it means I’m alone. Strangely enough, I do actually get lonely, but that feeling vanishes almost the minute she walks back through the door and starts complaining about me.

Really, I kept the place up. It’s clean, but she complained because I went out of my way to bring my son over to do his laundry after his car wouldn’t start. Then she complained that I was talking to her at all after she was in a car for ten hours. Then she complained because I wasn’t talking to her.

Do you see what I mean?

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