BEAT WELL – a short-short Halloween tale

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.


Like horror? Got a Kindle? Click this picture to grab a copy today!

BEAT WELL is one of SEVEN creepy stories found in my collection OCTOBER TALES. It is also the shortest story in the collection – which really shouldn’t surprise you all that much. If you like horror and read Kindle, click this picture to grab a copy today!


Let’s play a trick…
on old punkinhead.
nyah nyah punkinhead
nyah nyah pun…

* * *

(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.


IF YOU ENJOYED READING THIS BLOG ENTRY please help me by nominating my new manuscript A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout Program.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

12 responses to “BEAT WELL – a short-short Halloween tale

  1. An exceedingly creepy and delightful story.


  2. Fun flash fiction and snagged your October Tales as well. Thanks.

    Great start to October!


  3. Wow! That’s very lovely to put out some spooky stories for free. (And I should know!) I sent it to my e-reader and am looking forward to see if I am able to concentrate in some spare time. If I dig it would you like me to get back to you about it? (These days when I enjoy something it almost always has to be interactive. I am a social starved individual.)


  4. I sure am. Been doin’ a free spooky, hilarious series for over three years now. I’m starting to set my sites on those in a Halloween bent. It seems to be helping a little bit. (And I’ve been discovering a ton of us are socially starved. We’re just too scared to admit it. But the kids sure admit it! They’re super upset, possibly more than me! [sad laughter])

    By the way I got through the introduction. Didn’t bend my ear at all. I picked up on a cartoon sketch I remember of autumn leaves falling to their doom and then voice overs of people crying out in agony as the voices of said leaves. I loved the conversational tone of the introduction. So marvelous, and spooky fun. 🙂


  5. Thank you for a spooktacular stop on the October Frights Hop. Hop on over to my October Frights Giveaway at From the Shadows for a chance to win urban fantasy audiobooks and more.


  6. Pingback: 25 super terrific, terrifying tales for Halloween | parlor of horror

  7. Pingback: Halloween: Stories of the Season | David Kubicek

  8. Pingback: Horror Stories for the Halloween Season – David Kubicek

  9. Pingback: Horror Stories for Halloween | David Kubicek

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