Thursday, October 31, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

It's here!  My favorite holiday- a time for treats, scares and awesomeness.  I've got a lot planned for today to make it as great as it can be (and I will tell you all about it tomorrow) but for now I've got a treat for you all: I've resurrected an old story that involves some of our favorite Halloween characters.  Should be good for a chuckle!  Enjoy!

Poker Face

Frank Jr. shuffled the cards.  His monstrous hands made easy work of the task so no one ever argued.  Who got to cut the deck, on the other hand, was another issue.

“Cut” he said, slamming the cards down in front of Drac who reached his spindly long fingers out to pick up the stack when a furry, clawed hand reached out and clamped down on the cards.

“No way, it’s my turn to cut,” Bob said, pulling the stack over to himself.

“Uh, excuse me- if it’s anyone’s turn it’s definitely mine,” Jack intervened, his long bony fingers reaching out towards the deck.

“Alright, that’s how you want to play it- no one cuts,” Frank said, slamming his giant green hands down on the table and pulling the deck back to himself.  Everyone pulled back, less because Frank’s word was so definitive and more because when he got mad there tended to be a lot of property damage.  This was their sixth poker table this month.

Frank flung out the cards like a well oiled machine, the small lacquered papers flying around the table and landing perfectly in front of each of the player.  The overhead light swung slightly with the force of the air shifting.

“So, how go things over in whats-the-town?” Bob said, arraigning his cards ever-so carefully.

“Halloweentown,” Jack said, unable to keep voice from sounding irked.

“Yeah, there,” Bob said.

“Quite well.  We’re going green, it’s really economical,” he said, smiling smugly.

“Green?” Drac asked, rolling his R the way only he could.

“Yeah- the green slime from the marsh?  It glows so we don’t need the gas lamps anymore.”

“Hee, hee- green,” Frank said, lifting his hand to the group.

“Indeed,” Bob said, rolling his eyes which were barely visible underneath all the fur.

“Alright, here we go- 2 card stud, ante starts at ten,” Frank said, tossing a chip into the center of the table.

“You guys are in for trouble,” Drac said, tossing in his chip.

“Yeah, right,” Bob said, flipping his chip in so it spun briefly in the air before landing on the others with a clink.
“What?” Drac asked, sounding insulted.

“What do you mean ‘what’?  You have the worst poker face,” Bob countered.

“I do not!” Drac argued, pulling his shoulders back to show the full force of his stoic disposition.

“Yeah, you do,” Bob said, gesturing to his right ear with a wave of his claw.  “As soon as you even think about bluffing that ear of yours twitches.

“Excuse me, I am the undead master of darkness, thank you very much.  My ears don’t twitch,” Drac said, chin up high.

“Uh, no offense, but you Dracula, lord of whatever, have twitchy ears,” Bob said.   “Besides, everyone knows I have the best poker face.”

“Of course,” Drac countered, raising a brow as he organized his cards.

“Look, I’m the wolfman, dude.  I don’t do nervous,” Bob said gruffly.

“You face may be covered in fur but your throat isn’t” Frank observed.

“What do you mean?” Bob asked.

“I meant you growl when you’re bluffing,” Frank said.

“I do not!” Bob argued, his claws digging into the table.

“Yes, you do,” Frank said, matter of fact-ly.

Bob hoisted his cards up in front of his face angrily.  A low growl was audible under his breath.

“And I have the best poker face,” Frank added.  “This is dead tissue, it doesn’t smirk,” he said, pointing a large, green finger at his face.

“Ok, Mr. Monster- that face may not smirk but those little electrode thingies on your neck move when you get excited,” Jack said with a grin.

“I’m going by Frank Jr, now,” Frank said without looking up from his cards. 

“Really?  Even after the whole ‘my dad tried to kill me’ thing?” Bob asked, looking over to his monstrous friend.

“Every family’s got issues,” Frank said, eyes focused on his cards which had been reordered several times over.  “And my neck doesn’t move, nor does anything on it.”

“Uh-huh,” Jack said, smiling as he watched the small, round electrodes vibrate.  “As amusing as all of this has been I think it’s time we give up the ghost.  I am obviously the best poker player here.”

“You?” Drac said, spinning his head around to give Jack the best confused expression he could muster.

“Uh, hello- skull face?  There’s nothing to move,” Jack said, referencing his face with his long, bony fingers.

“Look, Mr. Pumpkin king- that face of yours may be a skull, but it’s amazingly expressive,” Bob said, smiling a wide, toothy grin at him.

“Yeah, you light up like a Christmas tree when you get a good hand,” Frank agreed.

“I love Christmas,” Jack said wistfully.

A loud, crisp knock at the door interrupted the conversation and everyone looked to the sound.  The door opened as if by itself and pair of sunglasses floated into the room. 

“I was told you guys got a poker game going on.  May I join you?” said a deep, raspy voice as the sunglasses were removed and came floating down.

“Hell yeah!” Frank Jr said, without looking to see if his companions agreed.

A low growling sound was heard coming from Bob’s direction.

“Stop your grumbling, we lost.” Drac said with a sigh.

Happy Halloween, everybody!  If you're trick-or-treating with your little ones be safe and best wishes on an absolutely awesome haul!  And if you're celebrating with horror movies or a party I hope you get some good scares.  However you chose to celebrate, LIVE IT UP!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Write... Edit ... Publish for October: Haunting

It's time for another edition of Write... Edit... Publish hosted by the wonderful Denise Covey.  This month's theme is appropriate to my favorite holiday- HAUNTING.

I originally wrote this piece around Halloween-time a couple of years ago and I decided to use it for this because A) It's sort-of about a ghost and B) I just really liked it and would love for it to get a few more reads.  It's a dialogue-only piece which is semi-rare for me but I don't think that distracts from it at all.  It's also humorous rather than frightening but I figure you readers could use a break from all the spine-tingling stories you're reading today!  Clocking in at 469 words I present to you:

Highway 174

“His headlights cut through the fog like… like daggers cutting through… something.”

“What are you doing?”

“Shh! I’m narrating.”

“Uh… why?”

“Because it’s not scary if we’re just sitting here listening to Queen, we need a creepy voiceover.”

“And why is it supposed to be creepy? I thought we were just going to a Halloween party.”

“We are, but we’re on highway 174.”

“It looks like a country road.”

“It is- but it’s old highway 174. You know, like ye old highway 174. Like the place where that guy died on all Hallows eve- that highway 174!”

“I thought you said that was out at the edge of the county?”

“I did? No- I don’t- I don’t think we’re that far out. We’re just a little off the beaten path.”

“So… we’re lost.”

“We’re not lost, we’re just taking a slightly different route at the off chance that we happen to see him- his misty figure floating along the side of the road, ghostly thumb out in the hopes that someone will pick him up and finally put an end to his eternal wandering. Ooo- that’s good.”

“So we’re lost and you’re going to narrate it.”

“We are not lost we’re- ooo! What’s that?”

“What?”

“That shadowy figure over there- could that be…?”

“I think it’s a bush. Wait for it- yep, it’s a bush.”

{grumbling}

“But it was a very dark and shadowy bush, so I can see where you’d be confused.”

“Whatever, Scully!”

“Well, since we’re calling names- Mulder- might I point out that when we did do research we never found any news stories about a hit and run out here and that your urban legend of the ghostly hitchhiker was- you know- disproved.”

“Ok, first of all, it’s not an urban legend if it’s true and secondly the internet wasn’t around back in the 70’s when this guy got hit. Ghosts don’t need the validation of the internet in order to exist.”

“Sigh.”

“Hey, do you want to see this guy or not? Cause I will turn this car right around, young lady!”

“I don’t want to do anything other than to go to the party which is where you claimed we were going before you got lost and tried to cover it up by pretending that you meant to drive us out to the middle of nowhere so we could spend all night doing 25 on backwoods roads looking for ghosts.”

“You’re just no fun at all, are you?”

“I just want to go to the party- it’s getting late and we’re gonna miss the costume contest and-“

“Fine, fine, we’ll go to the party. Jeeze.”

“Thank you! That’s all I ask.”

“We just need to get back onto 202…”

“I’ll look at my phone.”

“We’re not lost!”

“Uh huh, I believe you.”

“Grrr…”


And now, hop along and enjoy all the other awesome entries!  Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Spooktoberfest!

Hosted by Dani at Entertaining Interests and Jax at Bouquet of Books!  Click either link to sign up, see the rules, and post your spooky story!

For my story, I picked the super spooky lonely road photo prompt:


And here's the story I came up with to go along with it: clocking it at 495 words, I call it:

10:27pm
It was taking too long- she’d never make it.  The elaborate sequin and lace mask on the passenger’s seat next to her seemed to mock her efforts as she pushed down on the gas pedal.  She cursed the accident she’d passed and all the wretched traffic it had caused, then looked on at the empty road in front of her in confusion- where had everyone gone?

A glance in the rearview mirror did nothing to allay her fears as only darkness was reflected.  It seemed like the whole world had vanished since she’d passed the twisted metal and flashing red and blue lights.

“It’s just a spooky road, Jess- get a hold of yourself!” she chastised her reflection.

Drew had always made fun of her for letting her imagination get the better of her on the last day of October.  He’d teased her for having the same fear reaction as a five year old out for their first night of trick-or-treating.  She’d always pouted at him and pointed out that lots of people believed in supernatural events and the like.  Plus what fun was the holiday without some fear?

Now he was gone, just another skeleton in her closet full of ex-boyfriends and emotional baggage.   

"Good Riddance," she said to the empty air.   

She smoothed the front of her dress and let her mind drift to thoughts of sangria cocktails and handsome faces partially obscured by masks.  She’d spent a fortune on the costume and she was planning on making it worth every single penny.  She would flirt and laugh with the abandon that one can only feel from a secret identity- the mask was her ticket to a night away from herself.  But only if she could get to the damned place.

A glance at the clock in her dashboard made her breath catch in her throat- 10:27pm?  It couldn’t be.  It had said that the last time she’d glanced at it- before she’d passed by the wreck- and she’d been driving for at least… well how long had it been?

She fumbled in her bag for her cell phone hoping to flash the true time.  She couldn’t miss this party- not after so much preparation.  She looked over to try to get a view of the messy interior and then screamed as a set of headlights appeared in front of her.  They had come without warning, blinding her and blocking out the night.  Reflexively she jerked the wheel and the car jolted to the right. There was a flash of light as the head lights filled her sight and the deafening sound of metal scraping as the cars collided.  And then… nothing.

The dark road stretched out in front of her.  The clock shone the time of her death, forever etched in the stone of time.  10:27pm.    

But she didn't know why her clock was stuck on that image, and she didn't have time to wonder.

She had a party to get to.



And now, hop along to read all the other spooky stories!




Celebrate the Small Things


It's Friday!  Which means it's time to celebrate the small things!  Hosted, as always, by the impeccable Viklit.

Well, it's the last Friday in October.  And you know what that means?  It means that next week is my absolute favorite holiday of the year!  I'm so excited, I can't even tell you!  I will do my best to live it up in my own small way and will let you guys know all about it next week.
 
You know what else that means?  That means that exactly one week from today the craziest, most exciting, most fun and most indescribable event starts- NaNoWriMo.  If you're doing it and you haven't buddied me yet, please do: my username is Bevimus.  And if you have connected with me this week- which many of you have- THANK YOU!  I am SO grateful for you!  
 
As you can probably guess, I have A LOT to get done in preparation for all that, so I'm off to celebrate!

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