Category Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

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25-Sept-2020

Welcome to this week’s Spooky Flash Fiction Friday!

Five more weeks of haunting fun to come!

Mrs. Doubtfire: Terrific or Terrifying?

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
Mrs. Doubtfire
An Open Bag of Candy Corn
And
A Corn Maze

“Oh dearies!”

I jumped at the screeching voice, and glanced behind me. It was too dark to see much beyond the previous bend of the corn maze.

“Who thought putting a creepy Mrs. Doubtfire in here was a good idea?” Carol asked. My had was numb from where she’d been squeezing it since they’d released the haunting characters into the maze. Just as twilight had faded into darkness.

“It’s a genius idea,” Brad said. Although I was pretty sure the laugh he let out was a disguise for a tremor in his voice.

The corn to our right rustled, and Brad’s date, Angela, let out a scream.

“Shhh!” we all said.

“Help is on the way, Dear!” Mrs. Doubtfire cried.

Another rustle came from our right.

Pounding footsteps sounded from behind use.

“Run!” Brad yelled.

He didn’t have to say it twice. Carol bolted, dragging me behind her. I could barely keep up. Maybe I should stick with asking out girls from the band, instead of a soccer player. She was making me look bad.

Brad went left.

“No!” I yelled. “Not that way!”

He didn’t listen. Carol had me around the corner and to the next junction before I got another word out.

“Stop! This is the wrong way.”

Carol slowed to a walk, but kept moving. “Are you sure? I can see the light.”

I glanced around. Clouds had rolled in, obscuring the moon and stars from above. Dark clung to the path around us and nestled in the cornstalks that lined the way. A little light came from the street lamp that stood at the beginning and end of the maze. “We’re going to have to go further in before we can get out,” I said.

She gave me a skeptical look.

“Trust me. I’ve played a lot of D&D. I know my way around a maze.”

A chorus of screams sounded from the direction Brad and Angela had gone.

“Told you,” I said.

A moment later Brad and Angela reappeared, running hard.

“Go! Go!” Brad waved his arms frantically. “She’s right behind us.”

Angela kept screaming. I was impressed. She should join the choir.

“Which way?” Carol asked.

I considered, churning the problem in my mind. The thump of running footsteps coming toward us sped up my thinking process. “This way.”

Everyone followed as Carol once again dragged me forward.

We rounded a few corners, then stopped to catch our breath. I doubled over, not used to so much running, and Brad raised his hands above his head.

“We’ve already been this way,” Angela said.

“We have?” Carol asked.

Angela nodded and pointed at the ground. “I’ve been leaving candy corns at every corner.” Plastic wrinkled as she flashed us the open bag from her purse.

I squinted and found the single candy corn.

“Smart,” Carol said.”

“Then which way do we go now?” Brad asked.

They all looked at me.

I went through the parts of the maze we’d explored in my mind. The haunting creatures had us cornered in one section. I looked at Carol. “We’re going to have to get past Mrs. Doubtfire.”

“No way,” Angela said. “I’m not going anywhere near that crazy lady.”

“I think it’s a man,” Carol said helpfully.

“Why?” Brad asked me.

“I think they’ve got us trapped,” I said. “They’re not supposed to touch us, so we need to find a wide spot in the path, lure her to us, and then get around her.”

The snap of a corn stalk sounded from behind us, and we all froze. My heart, which had just gone back to normal, sped up again. Carol’s fingers squeezed mine.

“I hate this plan,” Brad said.

Angela tugged him back. “There was a wide spot over this way.”

I stared at her.

“What? You’re not the only one who plays D&D.”

Carol looked at me, and I shrugged. “Why not?”

She snorted. “Why not.”

We followed Angela, walking slowly, which allowed us to hear other sounds coming from the maze. Another group screamed from our right. Running footsteps seemed to circle us. A flash of white bolted across the path in front of us.

We all screamed.

“Dearies!” Mrs. Doubtfire cackled.

“I swear, I’m never going to watch her movie again,” Brad said.

I silently agreed.

Angela stopped and pointed. “There it is.”

We all peered ahead. The path was wide enough for three people. We should be able to get past Mrs. Doubtfire.

A high-pitched, fake laugh carried on the wind, and resolved as a man dressed as a nanny—complete with what looked like whipped cream all over his face—stepped out onto the path.

“There you are, dearies.”

“This is not right,” Brad muttered.

Angela shook her head and didn’t move.

I looked at Carol. “Coming?”

She pressed her lips together and nodded.

We passed Brad and Angela, and approached Mrs. Doubtfire, who clasped her hands together and waited.

“What is she going to do to us?” Carol asked.

“I have no idea, but we’re getting past her,” I said.

Mrs. Doubtfire’s smile got wider as we got closer.

We clung to the opposite side of the path, our shoulders rustling the corn stalks.

When we were ten feet away, Mrs. Doubtfire stepped into the middle of the path, which meant we would be really, really close when we went by.

I glanced back and found Brad and Angela following us. When I returned my gaze to Mrs. Doubtfire, I found her closing on us.

She laughed her high, fake laugh, and pulled something from her apron pockets. “It’s a run-by-fruiting!”

I yelled, and lost at least a year off my life, as she pelted us with something small and hard.

Carol screamed, then pushed me into a run.

I stumbled, but she kept me upright as we got around the next corner.

Brad and Angela appeared a moment later.

Angela held out a piece of candy. “Look, Apple Jolly Ranchers.”


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18-Sept-2020

Welcome to my Spooky Flash Fiction Friday!

From now until Halloween there will be haunting 🙂

Busted by a Kid in a Turtle Costume

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
Someone Standing on Your Front Porch
A Jack-O-Lantern
and
A Haunted House

“Is that lady letting her toddler come to the door by himself?” Henry asked.

“Looks like it,” Jacob said. “No, wait, he’s got an older sister.”

Henry brightened. “Have I mentioned how much I love Halloween?”

“You’re on porch duty,” Jacob reminded Henry.

“I’m on it.” Henry sunk through the wood floor, floated through the basement and into the small space under the front porch. Falling dust accompanied the clumping of the children’s steps as they climbed toward the front door.

Henry reached up to the top step and pulled at the essence of the board. It squealed as the older sister stepped on it.

She let out a gasp and jumped to the porch.

The little boy giggled.

Younger children were often more amused by the ghosts antics than frightened. However, the girl was a prime target.

Henry put his head through the wood to get a look at the duo. He kept himself invisible. The little boy wore some sort of walking turtle outfit with rubber swords strapped to his shell, and the girl wore a police officer’s uniform.

Strange that she wanted to be in law enforcement but was afraid of a few noises. She reached out a trembling hand and hit the doorbell.

The best part about haunting this particular house was that the older man who lived there had literal loads of money, and loved Halloween. Not only did he give out what he called full-sized candy bars, but he often had a bucket of small toys for the children to choose from.

Oh, and he thought it was funny that Henry and Jacob liked to haunt him.

A sliver of humanity could see ghosts. Charles was one of them. He’d actually befriended Henry and Jacob when he’d moved in. In all of Henry’s limited wanderings, he’d never met a human like Charles.

In order to give the ghosts more time to give the kids a bit of a fright, Charles always took a long time to answer the door.

Jacob, who was better at manipulating the elements than Henry, sent a blast of wind at the kids.

The girl screamed.

The boy giggled again.

Charles finally got to the door, and it opened with a screech—augmented by Henry scraping claws on the hinges.

The old man was dressed as a zombie, which also made the girl scream.

The little boy held out his jack-o-lantern and said, “Trick or treat!”

The girl swallowed and followed suit in a small voice.

“Well, well, well, what have we here?” Charles leaned down to examine the costumes. He held the candy bowl in one hand and the toy bowl in the other.

“I’m a ninja turtle,” the boy said with no small amount of pride. His face beamed. He puffed out his chest.

His sister tried to look brave, but was probably having a hard time considering Jacob was whistling softly in her ear.

“You’re mean,” Henry said to Jacob.

Jacob grinned.

“A ninja turtle?” Charles straightened and searched his toy bowl. “You might need some ninja stars to go with your swords.”

The little boy jumped up and down when Charles dropped the plastic stars into his jack-o-lantern.

The girl bit her lip as Charles looked for her offering. “Hmm. Let’s see. Ah, here it is.”

Jacob blew on the girl’s neck, and she shivered.

Charles dropped a pop gun in her pillow sack. “Now pick a candy bar.”

They both did so quickly.

“Thank you!” the little boy practically yelled.

The girl nodded.

Just as they turned around, Henry grabbed the door and slammed it against the side of the house.

The girl jumped and ran down to the road as fast as she could.

The boy laughed, and pointed at Henry. “Funny ghost.”

Henry froze.

Jacob cocked his head to the side.

Charles’ eyes went wide. “You can see them?”

The boy pointed at Jacob. “Funny.” Then he turned around and toddled down the stairs.

Henry and Jacob floated over to Charles.

“I’ve never met anyone else with my ability,” Charles said. “We should keep an eye on that one.”

Jacob nodded.

Henry spotted the next group of kids. “Teenage boys.”

Charles chuckled. “Do you thing you two.”


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11-Sept-2020

Welcome to my Spooky Flash Fiction Friday! From now until Halloween, there will be some horror going on!

I mean, horror-ish. Don’t be scared

When You’re the Kid Who Can’t Have Candy

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
The old man who lives in the haunted house across town
Pumpkin Patch
and
Candy

Lilly’s fingers tightened around the plastic handle of her hollow jack-o-lantern. The edges bit into her skin, and not just because it was half full of candy already.

“Don’t be scared,” Lilly’s best friend said. “He’s nice as long as you give him the candy you brought for him.”

Lilly gulped and nodded. Easy for Mary to say. Her parents let her have candy in the house. Ever since Lilly’s dad had gotten diabetes, all sweets had been forbidden, including candy. She’d had to bring something different, and she hoped the man who lived in the house before them would accept it as an offering.

If not, her family would be cursed for an entire year.

A small group of the older kids came back down the crumbling walkway from the porch. They smiled at Lilly and Mary. Next year they wouldn’t remember this. Next year they wouldn’t have to come to the house and make an offering.

Lilly had a long way to go before that.

One of them spoke, “Your turn.”

“Come on.” Mary grabbed Lilly by the elbow and tried to propel her forward. “Let’s get this over with so we can finish trick-or-treating.”

Lilly’s feet stayed rooted in place, as if the sickly vines that crawled up the rusting iron fence had burst from the ground and trapped her feet.

Mary frowned and looked over her shoulder at the line forming behind them. “Come on, we have to go now.” One big tug broke Lilly loose from the imaginary hold, and she stumbled after Mary through the sagging gate and up the dirty walkway. Tangled, dead weeds from the yard leaned toward them, causing Lilly to pull her princess dress in around her.

Wide, sagging stairs led to a long porch. The color had been leached from the wood years before, leaving everything a pale, ominous, gray.

A single rocking chair sat on the porch, occupied by a man.

Only Lilly knew it wasn’t a man. It was a demon. Or something bad. No one knew for sure. If Lilly looked at him straight on, he kind of looked like her grandpa, only with long stringy hair instead of bald. If she glanced at it out of the side of her eye, she could see a sort of shadow around it shaped like a monster.

It always made her shiver, but she did it every year.

This year she bit back a gurgle of fear. If the man didn’t like her offering, then her family would be haunted by the monster until next Halloween.

It had happened to Brian down the street. He’d tried to give the old man a package of beef jerky. Their family had moved the next summer.

The old man liked candy.

Lilly didn’t have candy.

Her feet grew heavy again, and Mary moved ahead of her.

Mary, who wore a superhero costume, smiled at the man-thing and held out her offering. “Kit-Kat’s are my favorite. I hope you like them too.”

The man-thing smiled, and waved for her to drop the candy into a bucket that glowed and looked like a skull. It’s smile grew wider when the candy landed in the pile.

Mary then stepped back and shoved Lilly forward.

Lilly almost fell on her face, and barely caught herself before she landed on the man-thing. Some of her candy spilled out of her jack-o-lantern, but she didn’t care. It wouldn’t matter.

The man-thing gave her a chilling smile, so much not like her grandpas that she shivered and stepped back.

“What do you have for me,” it said in a gravely voice.

Lilly’s hands shook so much that it took her two tries to get her fingers into the pocket in her dress. The contents slipped free with a hiss, and she held it out. “I—last year I noticed the holes in your pants.” She pointed at his knees.

The man-thing looked down, then back up at her and cocked its head to the side.

“I’m not allowed to have candy at my house, but this is my favorite patch. I took it off the hole my jean jacket and I’m giving it to you. So you can put it on your pants.”

Mary let out a gasp.

Lilly tried to hold her hand still as it hung in the air between them, but her whole body shook.

The man-thing leaned forward and reached out with spindly fingers to pluck the patch from her hand.

Cold burned her when his skin touched hers, but it went away when he withdrew, holding the little pumpkin patch. He looked at his knee, then up at her.

Did he not know how to use it? “You stitch it on.” She held up her elbow where her jacket had been patched. “Like this.”

The man-thing tilted its head to the other side, then placed the pumpkin on his knee. A light flashed, and Lilly threw her hand over her eyes. When she lowered it, the light faded, revealing the now sewn-in patch.

“You did it,” she said with a smile.

He smiled back and waved her away.

Did this mean her family wouldn’t be cursed? She’d have to wait and see.


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4-Sept-2020

Welcome to my Spooky Flash Fiction! For the next nine weeks, until Halloween, there will be some horror going on!

I mean, horrir-ish. Don’t be scared.

The Worth of Souls…It’s Not What You Think

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday is brought to you by:
A Rural Town Minister
A Batman Costume
and
Witches Night Out

Reverend Smith stood outside the church and watched the sun slip behind the distant hills. A cool, fall breeze ruffled his jacket, and the excited scream of a child filled the air.

A group of teenagers walked by, pillowcases already burdened with candy clutched in their hands.

“Hey, Reverend Smith,” one of them said.

“Is that you, Daniel?”

The group each had a costume on from the Justice League. Batman waved. “That’s me.”

The others gave half-hearted greetings.

Reverend Smith waved. “I hope you’re headed home.”

“We are,” Daniel said.

“After one more street,” the Flash said. “We’ve got daylight still.”

Reverend Smith pretended not to hear as he walked toward the small graveyard adjacent to the church. If this worked, the kids wouldn’t have to worry about being home before dark.

The rusted gate squealed in protest as he opened it, and the overgrown vines reached for his feet with every step. He’d set everything up a few hours before. Now the only thing to do was wait.

Three years of research. Countless hours wading through the occult. More hours praying for his soul. All of that would culminate tonight into either freedom or death.

The sounds of cars driving by and children laughing quickly faded into silence. He closed his eyes and prayed that everyone was inside. If this went badly, they would kill more than him.

The light waned. The upside down stars on the gravestones became difficult to decipher. The leafs from the vines blended into one organism. The distances between things became fuzzy.

Then the light completely disappeared, and the ground started to glow a  sickly green.

Not the ground, Reverend Smith realized, but the base of the gravestones. It illuminated the face of the stone, and brought out each crack and chip.

He said one last prayer as the eerie light grew brighter, then snapped his eyes open and stared at the tallest of the markers.

She would be the one to figure it out. The other three weren’t bright enough to parse what he had done. Not until after it was too late.

The four women appeared slowly. Softly. The green glow poured out of the stones and into the air. At first they resembled the cliché person with a sheet over their head playing a ghost, but with every passing second, the forms grew more life-like.

It would be easier if they were ugly, he thought to himself.

Instead of crooked hags with warts and pustules on their faces, the four women who formed from the mist constituted the most beautiful beings he had ever seen. Sensual. Striking. Perfect.

One of the side effects of making a deal with a demon.

The tallest of them looked around, resting her glimmering eyes on me. “Johnny. So nice of you to welcome us.”

Reverend Smith smiled and stood. “Sybil. You’re looking well.”

She smiled. A lesser man would have thrown himself at her, but Reverend Smith had prepared for this moment for three years. The array of roots and herbs in his pocket kept him rooted in place.

Sybil’s smile faded just as the other three witches solidified in this world.

One of them cackled.

Another stretched as if awakened from a long slumber.

Reverend Smith reached out and pulled the gate shut. A pulse of power filled the air.

“What is this?” Sybil asked.

A needle pricked his finger, and he felt blood mix with the rust on the iron.

“I can’t move,” one of the others wailed.

Sybil’s beauty faded, and her face twisted into a monstrosity that Reverend Smith would never forget, nor would he ever be able to describe it to anyone. “What did you do, Johnny?”

Reverend Smith took a deep breath and spoke clearly. “I’m afraid your days of walking this earth are finally at an end.”

She screeched, and lunged for him.

It took every ounce of courage Reverend Smith had to stand his ground. Time seemed to slow as the witch came for him. Her hand outstretched and her nails extending into claws. They raked for his throat.

Reverend Smith winced, and leaned away, but the claws hit an invisible barrier. Sparks flew. Sybil screeched, sending fear through the air.

He only had a few minutes before the barrier would fail. Even his faith wasn’t that powerful. Especially after what he’d done.

Sybil threw herself at him. “What did you do?” she roared again.

“I’ve ended your lives.”

“NO!” they all wailed at once.

Sybil pressed her hand against the shield. It bowed.

Reverend Smith took a step away, but he hit the gate and knew he could go no farther. Tears gathered in his eyes as the weight of his choice bore down on him like an avalanche. “I’m sorry, great-grandmother.”

“Your job is to guide us here each year.” One of Sybil’s fingers got through, but the claw had melted away. “You keep the town safe from us.”

“Now they don’t need me,” Reverend Smith said. He withdrew a pendant from beneath his shirt.

The rage on Sybil’s face turned into fear, and she pushed the rest of her hand out. Several fingers didn’t have ends anymore. “Stop!” she shouted.

Reverend Smith’s hand slowed, but he kept it going until the pendant reached his lips. Only then did he feel how hard he was shaking. Only then did he wonder if he was about to do the right thing.

He jerked his head back and forth. That was coming from her. He was here to end this. “I’ve made a deal the supersedes  yours,” he said.

“Impossible!”

“My soul is worth a great deal more than yours, great-grandmother.”

“You’re resigning yourself to an eternity of suffering!”

“Better than endangering everyone who ever lives in this town.” The words sounded hollow. Did he believe them?

Sybil’s arm got through, then her shoulder.

Now or never.

His life for theirs.

May God have mercy on his soul, if it ever made it to heaven.

Reverend Smith kissed the pendant, and the world went black.


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