Me – I’ve always LOVED flash-fiction.
There’s something super-cool about telling an entire story in less than two hundred words. It’s the same kind of super-cool feeling that gets a fellow into building doll-house furniture or constructing ships in a bottle.
This particular story came to my on a factory table saw while I was pushing my four thousandth board of the morning through the whirling blades.
I wrote it down on a scrap of particle board. I had just watched the movie HALLOWEEN, and had the vision of those opening credits burning in my brain. I sent the story to twenty four magazines. Twenty four rejections quickly followed. The twenty fifth magazine TERROR TIME AGAIN, bought and paid for the story. It went on to be republished in SPWAO’s “best of” anthology ALPHA GALLERY; and David Kubicek’s original anthology OCTOBER DREAMS. I use the story all the time in my high school writing workshops to demonstrate the use of multiple voices in a story.
Some of you folks who have been following my blog for a while know fully well that I have posted this story at least once before that I remember – two Halloweens ago – but at 175 words or so, I expect it bears rereading.
Let’s play a trick…
on old punkinhead.
nyah nyah punkinhead
YOU BROKE IT. YOU BROKE IT.
nyah nyah pun…
I GOT YOU NOW.
I’LL SHOW YOU A TRICK, I’ll SHOW YOU
* * *
(I remember poppy, he showed me how, he showed me first. First you slice opent the top. Dig out the pulp, thank god no seeds. Gouge out eyes, nose, and mouth. There. Oh. One more thing. There. Jack o’ lanterns.)
* * *
Old John lived way up on Carpenter’s Hill, so it wasn’t until morning when they found them. Propped against old John’s freshly whitewashed fence, staring sightlessly down upon the town below. The town where they had lived. The three boys still wore the costumes their folks bought at the five and dime. Shattered upon the ground was the remains of a broken jackolantern. The boys were dead. Hidden within the skull of each boy was a tiny candle, flickering quietly, where once only childish dreams burned. They found old John in the kitchen, making pumpkin pie.
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