CMCon17 Halloween Flash Fiction with Lucienne Diver
Happy Halloween, everyone!!
It’s the final day of this year’s Flash Fiction event, I hope you’ve been enjoying all of the stories!! Also, be sure to check out the Coastal Magic Convention, where you’ll be able to hang out with each of our participating authors, and many, many others. Today we’ve got THREE holiday stories to share.
Lucienne Diver is another permanent fixture in the Coastal Magic family, and I’ve always loved how imaginative her stories are!
Don’t forget to comment below her story with a question or comment for her (or for us), to be entered to win a prize pack of books & swag from many of our authors this week! (And be sure to check back on our “kickoff post” for the full schedule of participating authors. So many great stories, and each day you can enter to win!)
Here’s the image that inspired her story…
“What the hell was that at the last house?” the witch asked her ghosty companion.
“You said I could eat one before we got home,” he whined.
“I meant one candy, not one person.”
“She was giving out toothbrushes,” he said, exasperated. “Toothbrushes. Really, she was asking for it.”
“I don’t care. You’re going to get us caught.”
The ghost looked around, red eyes glowing through the eyeholes in his sheet. “By who? No one’s looking for us. When no one answers there, someone will egg the house and they’ll move on.”
Two kids ran past them, both dressed as super heroes, capes flapping in the breeze as they raced each other to the next house. Marai watched them, wishing she could get into the spirit. She was restless, unsettled. Wanting something, but with no clue at all what. So when Caliban had begged to go trick or treating “like a real boy,” she thought what the hell. It was the one day of the year they could blend in among humans. The one day it was even tempting. The rest of the time they were so…pedestrian.
Tonight, though, they embraced the darkness. Or the candy.
Caliban skipped ahead of her to the next door. There were already two little ones ahead of them, a lion and a vampire, complete with fake blood dripping from his mouth. Marai approved of that one, but the lion was almost…cute. Lions should not be cute.
“Thank you!” both kids called as they accepted the candy dropped into their pillowcase carriers and then scampered on to the next house. Marai withdrew her approval. Vampires shouldn’t scamper.
“Trick or treat!” Caliban said, mimicking the cheerful pleading he’d heard from others throughout the night.
“Ooh, scary!” said the man who answered, blinking through thick lenses and slightly stooped, either by nature or design to bring him closer to their level. “I love the glowing eyes. Good job. For that you get two pieces of candy each!”
“Score!” Caliban said, every bit like a real boy.
Marai smiled fondly, momentarily flashing her pointed teeth. The man blinked more rapidly and took a step back, bringing the candy with him. Unfazed, Caliban reached out and chose two pieces for himself. Then two more for Marai.
“Thanks!” he said, cheerfully.
The man nodded and practically slammed the door on them as Caliban pulled his hand back. Smart man.
They turned for the next house and almost crashed into a pair of teens who had come up behind him. A guy and a girl. His whole costume seemed to be white pancake make-up, dark face paint smeared around his eyes and hollowing his cheeks. Marai guessed he was supposed to be undead, but of what stripe? Zombie, ghoul, haint…really, it was like he wasn’t even trying. The girl’s costume was even more minimal—hair that had been sprayed screaming purple and tortured into a fauxhawk that made her look like a punk rock cockatoo, and a shirt that read “Zombie bait”. Ah, so the boy was trying to be a zombie. But where was the rot? The ruin? The blood and gore from his indelicate feedings?
“Wow,” the zombie boy said, coming up short. “That’s some great make-up.”
And before Marai even registered what he meant to do, he had his hand on her nose, actually poking at it, warts and all. She snarled, and he snapped his hand back to himself in an instant.
“That’s…that’s…” Marai rolled her eyes at the stuttering. So typical. “But it can’t be real,” he rallied.
“Can’t it?” she asked, showing her teeth.
She enjoyed the look of fear. Ate it up. So much tastier than the chocolate Caliban fancied.
“Come on, Cal,” she said, steering him away, leaving the boy staring, she was certain of it. She could taste his fear on the nip of the autumn wind. Tart and refreshing.
They headed down the street until they hit a dark patch between houses where the streetlights didn’t penetrate. Then Marai grabbed Caliban’s shoulder and pulled him into the shadows. All the better to lay in wait.
“Mar, what are you doing?” Caliban asked. “You’d said we weren’t hunting tonight.”
“You had one,” Marai said, looking down at him. “Plus, he touched me without permission.”
Caliban looked up at her, eyes glowing even brighter in the shadows. Or maybe in anticipation.
“Glad you’re getting into the spirit of things,” he said.
“Well, ’tis the season.”