Happy Halloween 2014, everyone!
To celebrate the spookiest of all holidays, here’s a flash story I wrote earlier this month for a Halloween themed webzine. It was rejected, so…yeah, it’s your lucky day. Probably get the same amount of views anyway.
So, again, Happy Halloween. Stay safe and enjoy the darkest, most magical night of the year!
The Woman Who Loved Halloween
Mrs. Marvin wrapped herself in a thick woolen shawl and went out onto the porch, the crisp autumn air biting toothlessly at her cheeks. She closed the door behind her and ambled over to the old canned rocking chair. In the street, brown leaves scurried over the pavement with a dry scratch-scratch-scratch.
Sitting heavily, Mrs. Marvin let out a sigh and let the chair enfold her. Next to her, on the splintered end table, a bowl of candy stood dutifully, waiting for the trick-or-treaters.
At eighty, Eugenia Marvin was fairly senile, but, while she may forget things like what year it was or who was president (wasn’t it that colored fella?), she’d been looking forward to Halloween all year.
Eugenia and her husband Harold had never been able to have children, thus she naturally turned her affections outward, to any child who happened across her path. And on Halloween, they came right up to her. It was wonderful.
Now, the sun was low in the sky and the chilly fall breeze was whistling through the street. Across the way, all of the houses were dark. No porch lights. Nothing.
She also thought it odd that a car was parked right in the middle of the road, its doors standing open.
Something else bothered her. It wasn’t until she’d been waiting for fifteen minutes of so that it hit her: It was quiet. Too quiet. No laughing. No children singing. No dogs barking. Heck, the interstate was a mile east, just behind a stand of trees; there was always the hum of tires off to distant ports.
No trick-or-treaters came that night.
At eleven, Eugenia Marvin, deflated, went back into the house and sat down on the couch. Why hadn’t they come?
Sighing, she went to get back up (why even she didn’t know), but before she could, her eyes fell on the newspaper folded neatly on the end table next to her. Dated October 2, it said, in bold black, PLAGUE WORSENS; THOUSANDS DEAD EACH DAY.
That’s right! The plague!
They didn’t come because they were all dead.
Eugenia Marvin wept.