We’d gotten a report that seven miners had kidnapped a girl and made her their domestic slave.
So, we took up positions around the cottage and demanded that they release the girl.
When they refused, we tossed in tear gas and stun grenades, but nobody left the building.
“Bring out the tank,” I said, and the breach vehicle rolled up on the front door, caving in the cottage’s walls and roof.
“Well, crap,” I said. “See if there’s any survivors.”
There weren’t any.
“Sorry your majesty,” I told the queen.
“Don’t be,” said the queen, patting her mirror. “Everything’s fine.”
If you’ve been bad, they send you to The Gooch.
Nobody can spell her name or pronounce it right, so we all just call her The Gooch.
Even the teachers call her that.
“That’s enough out of you,” they say. “Go see The Gooch.”
Nobody ever actually saw The Gooch.
She kept her office dark.
And there was a desk lamp, shining right in your face.
Maybe if you squinted, you could see her fingernails clacking on her desk.
When she was happy, she’d smile, and you’d see the whites of her fangs.
Or, if angry, her glowing red eyes.
Ned is cheap.
He wears a Santa Claus suit as a costume for Halloween.
“Christmas is two months away,” we tell him.
“Plenty of time to party then!” he’d shout, and throw back another shot of whiskey.
He’ll drink himself under the table soon enough. Always does.
I can’t blame him for dressing up like Santa, though.
I mean, he really looks the part. Fat with white hair and a big white beard.
And he never has to throw a Christmas party. He gets invited to all the parties as the Santa.
In spite of being a cheap drunken wretch.
Every year, I try to write Halloween stories for October and holiday stories for December.
I also try to write pirate stories for September, but those are easy to write any time of the year.
Halloween stories need inspiration from horror and Halloween seasonal stuff, and that only comes around Halloween.
At least with Christmas, the Hallmark Channel plays Christmas in July stuff.
Not that I can stand watching that mawkish formulaic stuff.
It’s all about some chick or guy going to a small town, finding love, and settling down.
Which I find horrifying… almost enough to inspire Halloween stories.
I remember when there were just plain M&Ms.
Then came peanut M&Ms. They were great.
After that came almond M&Ms, but only for a limited time.
And then, they seemed to come up with a new flavor or variety every week.
I like to get different varieties of them, mix them up in a bowl, and put them in a candy dispenser.
It’s total chance what kind you’ll get.
A bit of this, a bit of that. A handful of mystery and surprise.
And, because it’s guaranteed to trigger any possible allergy, i leave out a stack of epipens, too.
Freddy loved Halloween.
From the Trick or Treating to the costumes and apple-bobbing, he loved it all.
Every year, he dressed as a mummy, and you could almost swear he was a real mummy.
Then, one day, Freddy died.
His will left explicit instructions to authentically mummify him.
Experts were brought in to perform the proper rituals and procedures, even hooking out his brain through his nose and putting his innards in canopic jars.
And sure enough, the next Halloween, Freddy was out there, joining in the Halloween revelry.
Some say we’re cursed by Freddy, but I say we’re blessed.
Teddy earned a buck every time he shoveled the driveway.
So, he shoveled the driveway five times a day.
Even in the summertime.
“That’s not how it works, Teddy,” said his dad. “If you want to earn more, go shovel other people’s driveways.”
So, Teddy did. And he came back to his dad looking to get paid.
“That’s not how it works, either,” said his dad. “They need to pay you for shoveling their driveways.”
So Teddy attacked his dad with the snow shovel.
Now Teddy shovels the driveway at the reform school.
And they don’t pay him a dime.
The school district has a horrible dropout rate.
And the county’s crime rate is awful.
We tried one of those Scared Straight programs.
That’s where you send the bad kids to visit a prison to scare them into obeying the law.
That didn’t work. It only made them worse.
So, we sent them to Hell.
We medically stopped their hearts, let them stay dead for a bit, and then revived them.
The ones who didn’t come back, we assume gladly stayed in Hell.
The ones who came back gave up their wicked ways.
For fear we’d send them back. Permanently.
The creature in the basement gathered up the remains of it’s food, piles of its shed fur, and various other materials strewn about its prison.
From these, it constructed a gory contraption, an intricate flimsy horror.
Trudging up the stairs, placing the thing at the top of the stairs, and crawling back down to its pit.
Feeding time came around, and the door to the basement opened.
A hand poked the contraption.
“Happy mother’s day,” moaned the creature.
The hand shoved the thing away, shattering it on the stairs.
Another dog carcass was tossed in, and the door slammed shut.
Her birthday was on the ninth.
Mine was on the tenth.
Waiting all day for that moment to come together.
We’d go out to the woods. in the moonlight, and share a kiss at midnight.
A gift to each other: “Happy birthday to us.”
Making it want to last forever.
But nothing lasts forever.
It passes so quickly, and then it is gone.
And, with her hand in mine, we’d walk home.
Tonight, I will walk out to the woods.
And stand where we used to stand.
Waiting for that special moment.
And it will pass in silence and tears.