The car trip seemed unbearably long. Eva’s dad had just told her that he and her mom were getting a divorce. She wasn’t shocked. They had been fighting for years, but still she felt like a kid peeking into the ocean and realizing that life was so much bigger than she thought. Continue reading →
Franklin was 14 years old when the demon came. He—Franklin, not the demon—was long and spindly, in the midst of an awkward adolescence. The demon, by contrast, was tall and wide with a large neck, giant arms, and pale blue skin the color of the sky. He—the demon, not Franklin—appeared suddenly in the boy’s bedroom, standing bare footed on the carpet where there had been no one a moment before. Franklin looked silently at the demon, which looked silently back at him.
“How you plan on getting’ all these home?” says the farmer who owns the pumpkin patch. He’s in his mid-fifties, in good shape for his age, tanned, and dusty from hauling gourds out of the field all day.
Any other day, Cecilia would be admiring his sturdy frame, imagining what he’d look like naked beneath her purple mandala sheets; but the scarecrow in the field behind him has her full attention. It’s unlike any scarecrow she’s seen—twice the size of most, and dark as if shaded by a different light than the world around it. Its body is made of sticks and tattered burlap, flapping heavily in the breeze. Dried pumpkin vines climb up its support beam on either side, giving the semblance of legs if she lets her eyes blur out for a moment. But what makes the scarecrow oddest of all, is its head: a sun-bleached deer skull, with great, curved antlers. Three sharp offshoots jut up from the major curved point of each horn, and a break in the jaw adds to the eeriness.
“Ma’am?” says the farmer, louder to get her attention.
She shakes her head. “Sorry. Yes. I’ll come back for the rest, if you’ll just sit them somewhere off to the side for me.”
She points. “That’s some scarecrow you have there.”
He turns to look at it, as if he’s forgotten the hulking thing stands constant vigil in his field. “Oh, that’s Marvin,” he says. “We call him ‘the guardian of the patch’. Don’t do much about the birds, but he sure keeps the kids from sneakin’ in and smashin’ ‘em in the night.” Continue reading →
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up for a special Halloween treat. For three weeks during the month of October, feast your eyes on an original, chilling tale every Friday. Each story was hand-crafted by one of our resident hostesses of mayhem, and can be read in around ten minutes.
First up, Jen P delivers a trick of a treat. In The Pumpkin Carver, a woman learns there’s a terrible price to pay when she allows vice to consume her life.
Check in next week to find out what devilish delight T. Mack has in store for you wayward souls. Unless you never left…