Halloween is my favorite holiday. Maybe because I’ve always been attracted to scary movies and TV shows, horror novels, and all things freaky and scary. The fact we have an entire day to celebrate the supernatural tells me I’m not alone. I’m also hilariously terrified by the idea of ghosts but love to read about them, especially ‘real’ ghost stories and hauntings. Luckily, the only ghosts I’m likely to run into on Halloween are made from sheets.
I think you’re never too old to wear a costume–in fact, I’m going to a Halloween party tomorrow night and dressing up. You’re certainly never too old for candy. My son is an adult now and I miss the days of taking him trick-or-treating. I like to decorate my porch with jack o’ lanterns and other Halloween decorations. I think it’s the best night of the year.
Being an urban fantasy and paranormal romance author, I write about Halloween-type stuff all the time. My Halloween lasts all year!
That being said, no trick, I’m going to treat you to a Halloween story. I wrote this for a Halloween flash fiction contest a couple years ago (it didn’t win) and it’s been sitting on my hard drive ever since collecting cobwebs. I thought I’d share it with you. So if you crave a little Halloween scare like me, this is for you.
Trick Or Treat
Her name was Susie, but the kids at school called her Scary Susie. She had pale skin, bushy black hair, and dark eyes. She reminded Loretta of the creepy dolls her grandma kept in her attic. Loretta was new in town and going to a new school was hard. All the other kids ignored her or picked on her, but Susie treated her different.
Susie didn’t talk much. She didn’t have a bike, but she walked alongside Loretta when she rode hers. She also didn’t have many toys, so Loretta let her play with hers. Susie knew secret places to hide from the other kids, places in the woods and in old drainage pipes and under bridges.
A few days before Halloween, Susie told Loretta she knew the best place to go trick-or-treating. On Halloween night, just after sunset, Loretta followed Susie through the streets, past the other kids dressed as witches and ghosts and superheroes. Loretta was a princess and Susie wasn’t dressed up at all, though she had a sack. They didn’t go to any of the houses, but instead walked until they were far away from the porch lights, far away from Loretta’s neighborhood.
“Why aren’t we trick-or-treating?” Loretta asked.
Susie didn’t speak.
They came to a cemetery enclosed by a fence and Susie showed her where to climb over. Loretta didn’t like the idea of being in a creepy old cemetery on Halloween night, but she trusted Susie, her only friend.
Inside the cemetery, Susie sat down on a bench. “We have to wait.”
Loretta got more scared as the sky darkened. She could hear kid’s voices in the distance and thought of all the candy she wasn’t getting. She wondered how she was supposed to get treats sitting in a cemetery in the dark.
Then the hands came out of the ground.
Some were skeleton hands, held together by old gray sinew. Some had lumps of flesh, decayed and mottled. All the hands held objects in their spindly dead fingers, little things twinkling in the distant streetlight.
Loretta screamed and tried to run, but everywhere she turned there were hands thrust up through the dirt, blocking her way. She couldn’t reach the fence without tripping over one.
“Don’t be scared,” Susie said. “They give the best treats.” She began walking around to each one, her sack open.
Loretta went trick-or-treating, because she had no other choice. She discovered they really did give the best treats–or at least the most interesting ones–old rings and baubles and buttons, things they’d been buried with. So many pretty things.
However, later as they were going through their sacks on Loretta’s front porch, Susie held something up, slimy and yellow and oozing. An eyeball.
“Sometimes”–Susie made a face–“they give tricks, too.”
Happy Halloween, everybody! Have a spook-tacular night!
Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.