This is a short Halloween story I had written as part of a two story chapbook I was going to give away digitally, but just haven't had the time to work on. Sadly, its not edited so its in a very raw and primal state as you read it here. But hey, its FREE and it was the best I had to offer because I'm a terrible planner. It, and the other story, were written in a style that I normally don't use, trying to capture that almost 1950's vibe. I don't know if I pulled it off or not. Enjoy!
by Guy Medley cute artwork by Jim Boring
Sarah answered the soft rapping at the door, the giggles beyond bringing forth a smile to her face. Three small children stood upon the porch under the yellow light, one dressed as a bed sheet ghost, one as a crude Frankenstein and the third as a vampire or some other such ghoul.
A mousy voice just above a whisper squeaked from beneath the sheet of the ghost, “trick or treat,” the sheet trembling not in the slightest as it might have any other time a warm breath brushed against it.
She could smell their sweetness; licorice and lemon drops and fresh pulled taffy. And she could swear it was blue and pink cotton candy tufts that escaped wildly from beneath caps and hoods and frightful plastic masks, sugary and wispy in the gentle night breeze.
Sarah filled their outstretched sacks with handfuls of candy, smiling down at the bizarre little children. The ghost looked up and beyond its ragged cut eyeholes she could see purple eyes staring back at her, unblinking like two sugared sapphires. Like twin gumdrops she thought delightfully.
The three children ran off toward the next waiting house, their little bodies making a sticky, syrupy sound as they retreated across the lawn, and Sarah watched on in fascination and bewilderment and in a little bit of terror as they went.
“Come away from there, Sarah,” George called from the living room. “Quit gawking at those little beggars and come sit down, now. Our program’s about to begin any second.”
Sarah relaxed in her chair, looking at but not really seeing the television in front of her. “Who was it anyway, the Jackson kids?” he asked.
“No. No, I don’t believe so. I’m not entirely sure who they were. Not at all.”
George mumbled back, happy enough with the answer and returned his attention once again to the television.
When all of the candy had been handed out, Sarah switched off the porch light and headed up to bed.
A chaos brought her to the bedroom window where she looked out onto the street below. The three odd children were being pursued down the street by a pack of children still adorned in mask and costume. They advanced upon the trio slowly, as if they were leading a funeral procession through the deserted street. In a macabre way she supposed that was indeed what they were doing after all. Whooping and hollering and screaming savagely, they at last caught their quarry, and what soon followed was a scene more gruesome than any Sarah had seen in a lifetime.
She watched as the strange little children were thrown to the pavement, their candy bags bursting open as the other children ripped and pulled and kicked them mercilessly like so many vultures squabbling over a bloated carcass. Their screams were like tortured metal, nails on blackboards in the still night as the little savages rendered them to bits. In their multi-colored nakedness the three appeared almost clownish, she thought.
Chunks of candy scattered across lawns and into the street as they were dismembered, torn limb from limb like a troop of burst piñatas. Their sugary guts, pink and blue and raspberry red, glistened in the light of the waning moon. Yards of black and red licorice rope were ceremoniously unspooled from split torsos, gumdrop and lollipop eyes plucked and sucked from sugar skulls and popped between sweet stained teeth.
It was a sickeningly sweet slaughter right outside her house. And yet, she couldn’t bring herself to remove her eyes from the spectacle below. The confectionary cannibalism brought on by masked terrors gripped her attention fully.
The mouths of the attackers stained nearly black by the colored sugars they chewed, greens and reds and yellows so bright, frothed into a vicious spittle that slipped from their mask hidden mouths and dribbled over chins. A small girl, hands and gown a hopeless, hideous mess of tacky sugar juice, looked up, up into the high window where Sarah watched aghast, and smiled. Sarah couldn’t see the smile under the mask of a green witch, but she knew the wicked thing was there all the same.
Sarah curled into a frozen ball under the blankets to await morning as a host of terrible images danced through her head. She couldn’t even be sure that what she had witnessed was real. How could it be? Children made from candy was a preposterous idea. Pure fantasy. She must be more exhausted than she realized.
She slogged out the front door for the paper the following morning, the previous night’s terrors still reeling in her head. Upon the sidewalk and street the only remaining evidence to last night’s slaughter were small syrupy puddles that dogs and ants licked happily at. A few colorful clumps of cotton candy drifted lazily across the lawn waiting to dissolve peacefully in the fresh dew.
A sudden splash of water broke her away from morbid memories of the night past, washing away a spot of sugary death from the driveway. “Can you believe the mess those damned cretins left behind?” George said, aiming the garden hose at yet another spot and dissolving it to the heavens. “Every Halloween. It gets bothersome, really.” The dissolved sugar sluiced from the driveway in a torrent of cold water and ran into the gutter drain, ants and all, as she watched.
“Probably those pesky Collins kids, always running about like they own the neighborhood,” he continued. “No, I just don’t understand these kids nowadays. Not one bit, Sarah.”
No, she thought, he probably didn’t understand them. But she did. Oh, she understood them perfectly. And right now she needed some sweet, sweet candy.