By night, Castle Dracula was the dark prince’s sanctuary.
But when the sun came up, laying down to rest, he never quite rested well.
Dracula hated depending on human slaves to mind his castle during the daytime.
More than once, he found his armored coffin sitting on railroad tracks or at the bottom of a lake.
He already used roombas to sweep the halls… why not use robots and home automation for everything else?
One by one, Dracula rolled out the computerized improvements, and he called each servant into his chambers to relieve them of their duties.
And their blood.
When the Army heard about a seemingly unstoppable psychotic Chucky doll rampaging through the suburbs, killing people, they didn’t send in the troops to stop it.
They sent in the experts to capture it and figure out how to make more.
“Imagine dropping a thousand of these on an enemy city,” said the Army Chief of Staff.
“There be collateral damage, civilian casualties,” said his assistant. “And how do we control these things?”
The general didn’t care… until The Pentagon’s alarms went off.
He looked at the security monitor: a wave of rampaging, knife-waving Chucky dolls coming down the halls.
Ted’s doctor recommended that he change to a plant-based diet, so out went the hamburgers and steaks and in came the salads.
Ted was miserable, until his pal Martin reminded him that potatoes were plants.
“And they’re fried in vegetable oil, and vegetables are good for you,” Martin said.
“Oh, and you dip them in ketchup, which is tomato, right?” said Ted.
Eventually, Ted convinced himself that grain-fed steak was also plant-based.
The room began to sway and Ted fell to the ground.
“Heart attack,” said the paramedics.
They dropped Ted off at the morgue and went out for steaks.
I remember watching a movie about giant ants attacking a town and wondering why they didn’t just hold a giant picnic to lure the ants away.
“What happens when the picnic runs out of food?” my mother asked.
“That’s when the poison in it should start killing the ants,” I replied.
My mother smirked, then got a glassy look in her eyes.
And fell face-down in the Jell-o mold.
I cleared away the plates and dishes, packed them in the picnic basket, and wrapped her in the picnic blanket.
I’d have to go back to the car for the shovel.
Every Summer, my parents sent me to Camp Killer With A Hockey Mask.
At first, I was worried that I would be killed by a killer in a hockey mask.
But apparently, the camp’s name comes from the local Indian tribe.
It’s just a coincidence that their tribe’s name resembles our words for a killer with a hockey mask.
This was a relief… until campers started to disappear.
“Oh, that’s because the tribe’s name actually translates to Killer With A Machete,” said the chief counselor.
He picked up a bloody machete from his desk… and put on a hockey mask.
Ted’s new birthday clown business wasn’t doing so well.
Some kind of vengeful spirit in the form of a clown was wandering the sewers and murdering children.
Ted had a certificate from the church that guaranteed that he wasn’t a vengeful child-murdering spirit.
“I’m bonded, too,” said Ted. “Oh, and I tell jokes.”
But that wasn’t enough for most parents.
He tried a magic act, but he was too clumsy for magic tricks.
And he had bad luck with keeping rabbits.
Eventually, Ted gave up, and went back to working in the Water Department.
“Just not Sewers, please,” Ted requested.
Of all the houses on the block, kids love to visit Old Man Johnson’s house on Halloween.
The door opens, Johnson steps out with a large burlap sack, and the kids shout “TRICK OR TREAT!”
“Here,” growls Johnson, and he throws the sack at the kids’ feet.
It’s the possums that he’s caught in his traps. Live or dead, but often quite bloody.
“Possums are good eatin!” the old man says.
Kids toilet paper the trees in his yard a lot.
Johnson rolls the toilet paper back up and keeps it.
“Save me a trip to the store,” he chuckles.
Bob was a censor for a social media corporation.
It doesn’t matter which one, really.
There are a lot of people like Bob at all of the social media corporations.
All day long, he’d look through flagged images and content, judging whether something violated the platform’s standards.
Awful things. Horrible things. Hellish things.
And three buttons to click on: YES, NO, and ESCALATE.
Over and over again, all day, and all night.
Bob looked around the gigantic room.
Rows of people at computers, reviewing similar horror and filth, judging it.
Until all they knew was the evil in the world.
The voices in Bobby’s head told him to do things.
“Clean your room,” they said.
So, Bobby cleaned his room.
“Mop up the mess in the kitchen,” they said.
So, Bobby mopped up the mess in the kitchen.
“Make the back yard took nice,” they said.
So, Bobby bought plants and grass and flowers, and he planted them.
The voices walked Bobby through a list of chores, and Bobby dutifully did them all.
By the time the police arrived, there wasn’t a single shred of evidence left that he’d killed his parents.
Just as the voices told him to do.
King Frederick climbed Oracle Mountain to seek the wisdom of the gods.
“Go away,” said The Oracle, throwing an empty bottle away and opening another.
“I’ve come to seek-”
“Yes,” said The Oracle. “Your future. The answers. Everybody does.”
Frederick drew his sword “If you don’t tell me what my-”
“I’ll die,” said The Oracle. “You’ll die. Everybody dies. But if you look past the daily bullshit, you’d know that already. Simple truth.”
The king stood there for a moment, put his sword away, and gave The Oracle a hug.
They sat on the mountain, drank, and watched the sunset.