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Friday, October 7, 2016

Halloween Flash Fiction: Week One

I've challenged myself to spend time and energy on my writing, and a couple years ago my good friend Catherine did a flash fiction challenge in October. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I thought I'd copy bits of it, and every Friday in October I will be posting a piece of flash fiction that would fall in the genre of horror or Halloween.

And be easy on me guys, I haven't put this much focus on my creative writing since I was in college, so some of these might be a little rough. However, the goal isn't to write perfection, it is to write, and to better myself with every draft and prompt.

Enjoy!

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“I want to be batman!”


“Okay,” her tired voice answered. This was the fifteenth costume idea that had come from her wild five year old. Fifteenth? Fiftieth? Halloween was tomorrow evening, trick or treat was merely 24 hours away, and James did not have any kind of costume.


“We can leave for Target after dinner, I’m sure they’ll have a batman costume for you.”


Wrong. She was so wrong.


“But mommy, I just want to be batman!” the wail came from James.


“Honey, I get that, but the only Batman costume in this entire store is for a twenty-four month old. You are not two, you are five, so it is not going to fit you. I’m sorry, but you have to pick something else.”


“I don’t want to pick anything else, I just want to be Batman! I wanna be Batman, I wanna be Batman, I wanna be Batman.”


Knowing better than to use reason on a five year old who had been denied his way, she purposefully pushed the red cart out the doors and straight to the SUV, telling herself she’d figure it out in the morning, even if it meant sending him out in Batman pajamas with a makeshift mask.


James got home the next afternoon from kindergarten and ran straight to his room to pout. Still angry, she thought, wishing for days where his anger faded within minutes.


Moments later he bounded out, “This costume is awesome mom! It’s even better than Batman. Like, a million times better. No, a trillion times better. No, it’s a bazillion times better! Look at me, I’m a dead skeleton, check out my blood mom!”


It was way too scary for her baby, but he was so happy, bouncing up and down in his blood stained skull mask and bloody bone ribs, that she had to smile. She certainly hadn't bought it for him, and it hadn't come from the box of costumes of years past. It had to have been William, and thank goodness for that.


“You are terrifying sweetheart. Scariest skeleton I’ve ever seen in my whole life! Daddy must have gotten this costume for you, we’ll have to call him later and tell him how much you love it. But it’s time to hop in the car, do you have your pumpkin bucket to get candy?”


“Yes!”


Driving she asked, “What do you say for trick or treating?”


“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”


“No. Trick or treat, and then thank you.”


“Oh, yeah. Can I still say the smell my feet part?”


“I guess, but remember to say thank you. Got it?”


“Yep. Trick or treat, smell my feet. Trick or treat, smell my feet. Hey mom, my mask is starting to feel kind of tight, can you fix it?"

"Not while driving, I will as soon as we get there."


Upon arriving at the trick or treating neighborhood, James had himself unbuckled in record time, ready for the first house, and checking out the costumes of his competition.


“I’m way scarier than that monster. And that other skeleton, look mom, he doesn’t have ANY blood, I have lots. And, ooh first house, bye mom!”

He'd clearly forgotten about the costume being too tight, he was too interested in trick or treat.


Two hours, and several pounds of candy later, they returned home, James insisting he was wearing his costume to bed. The costume kept looking more and more bone-y, but she blamed it on the dark and let him go. He ran into his room with his two chosen pieces of candy, and the rest went to the kitchen. The phone rang, William was calling.


“Hey honey, sorry I couldn't be there, how did trick or treat go? Thanks for texting the pictures.”


“Oh it went great, he has more candy than he should eat in a year. And thank you, by the way, for getting that costume for him. I never would have thought he’d want something so scary, but he loved it.”


“Um, I assumed you had picked up the costume today, I’d never seen it until you texted me the pictures.”


“You’re kidding, you thought I’d buy him a bloody costume? I still see him as a baby, I’m not ready for him to be scary! Where the hell did it come from then?” She wandered into James room, he was laying on his bed, no blankets covering him, with his mask still on. His two pieces of candy still clutched in his hand, still wrapped. She couldn't see the rise and fall of his chest, worrying her. She reached down to pull the mask off, but it no longer felt rubbery. And it was wet, slick and wet, and when her fingers pulled away they were dark red.

Tossing the phone aside she reached to pull up the edge of the mask, but there was no edge. There was no longer black in the mask, the black was now spaces, and suddenly the skeleton stood. A demonic voice rasped from the skull, “Goodnight mommy.”