Trick or Treat- Friday Flash

In honor of the holiday, I offer up this little tale of Halloween mischief. 

May your candy bags be full and may the Great Pumpkin grace you with his presence this fine Hallow’s Eve.

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

TRICK OR TREAT

By Melissa L. Webb

Franklin set the tray of apples on the table. Their caramel coating still needed to harden. He smiled as he took a step back and admired his work. This was going to be a perfect Halloween.

Franklin left the dining room, making his way towards the front windows in the living room. He gazed out at the decorations adorning his front yard. Year after year, his yard had stood empty on All Hallow’s Eve, but not tonight. Tonight it was covered in brand new decorations, all eagerly awaiting the trick-or-treaters’ arrival.

For too long, people had complained of his darkened house on Halloween night. The rest of the street was festive and cheery, receiving all the children with open arms. While his house had stood cold and menacing, causing visitors to flee from its sight.

The children brave enough to show their displeasure, would leave their calling cards all over his property. Every year on November 1st, Franklin would spend his day cleaning up toilet paper, eggs, and bags filled with canine droppings. Enough was enough; it was time to do something about it.

Tonight he would celebrate this holiday right. The greedy little kids with their out-stretched hands would get what’s coming to them. A trick in the form of a treat. That would teach them. They should have left Franklin to his dark house on Halloween night, instead of insisting he participate.

He grinned to himself as he watched the sky grow darker. It was almost time. Soon the trick-or-treaters would be knocking at his door. Franklin would smile and comment on their wonderful costumes, and then each child would receive one of his homemade caramel apples.

Each one contained an extra ingredient. One he so thoughtfully picked out. Once that ingredient made its way into their systems, he would have his revenge.

Franklin chuckled. There was nothing like a poisoned apple to liven up a holiday. Yes, indeed, this was going to be the best Halloween ever.

A sound behind him pulled Franklin from his thoughts. He turned slightly, seeing his wife standing there.

“I don’t know what changed your mind about Halloween, Franklin, but I’m glad it did. This used to be my favorite holiday,” she told him, dabbing at her mouth with a napkin.

Franklin watched in horror as she licked some caramel from her fingers.

When the last bit of the sticky sweetness was gone, she smiled at him. “I didn’t know you were such a good cook, Franklin. Those caramel apples are simply to die for.”

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

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Caveat Emptor- Friday Flash

CAVEAT EMPTOR

By Melissa L. Webb

 

 

Somewhere in South America, a door opens. Light trickles into a chamber that hasn’t gasped fresh air since the world was new.

The shaft of light penetrates carved runes that line the walls. They reflect the light back, casting ancient shadows that seem to dance gleefully around the walls.

The jet-black shades seem to churn faster and faster until they congeal across the base of the room. Their inky mass absorbing into the mineral-enriched floor, as the stonework shifts against its self. A fissure forms, causing the rest of the darkness to slip down into depths unknown.

A breath shudders through the room, like the first gasp of air from a choking man. It has awakened. After three millennium of waiting, the time has come for the sleeping behemoth to rise once more.

Slowly, it emerges, flexing its powers. The world has just been handed a ticking time bomb.

Silently, that bomb ticks down, as the behemoth prepares to release its potential onto the unsuspecting world.

***

Grant sat in the small hotel room and stared down at the locked wooded box.

Jade glanced over at him in horror. “I can’t believe you, Grant. How could you buy that thing?”

He looked at her and shrugged. “I thought it would make a good conversation piece.”

Jade looked away in disgust. “You heard what the shopkeeper said; opening that box will only bring about the end of the world.”

Grant rolled his eyes. “Please, Jade. That’s only a ruse to scare the tourists.”

She glanced at the box nervously. “I don’t know, Grant. He seemed pretty serious to me.”

Grant smiled condescendingly at her. “Really, Jade, grow up. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen?” he asked as he slid the key into the lock and opened the box.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Among The Stalks- Friday Flash

AMONG THE STALKS

By Melissa L. Webb                                                                                                                                    

Pic by Melissa L. Webb

                          

A light breeze blew through the corn, causing a stray stalk to stir. It bent and toppled over across the path. Austin batted it back out of the way with a grunt. It was bad enough he was lost in here, but now the corn was conspiring against him.

He stopped and looked back at the path he had just come down. There was nothing but corn as far as the eye could see. Austin sighed. Why had he ever agreed to come in this corn maze in the first place? His friends had ditched him, and now, he was lost.

Austin shook his head and started forward again, giving the corn another smack as he went.

He turned the corner, pressing through the corn that surrounded him on both sides, and stopped in his tracks. Tucked in between several stalks of corn was a cheesy looking skeleton. It grinned at Austin in a sly, mocking way.

“What?” Austin shouted. “I’ve already seen you, twice.” His shoulders slumped as his situation became clear. He was going in complete circles.

He lifted his head up and watched the sun as it seemed to sink lower in the sky. Austin had been wandering around for the last hour and still hadn’t made any progress. At this rate, he’d be late for dinner. Not to mention be stuck in the maze after dark. Fear slithered in his stomach at that thought. He definitely didn’t want to be lost among the stalks when night came.

Austin trudged past the skeleton reluctantly. He didn’t want to walk anymore, but standing still wasn’t going to get him out. The sweat on his brow dripped as the sun beat down on him. Boy, he’d kill for a bottle of water right now. Wiping his forehead, he turned another corner and made his way down a long straight path, passing more Halloween decorations as he went.

Austin came to a stop and stared at the four new paths branching out in front of him. Had he come this way before? The corn all looked the same to him. With a shrug, he picked a path and ventured down it.

“Austin.” a voice whispered from somewhere in the corn.

He stopped and looked around him. “Hello? Is someone there?” he called to the voice. Had someone come looking for him? Maybe he wouldn’t be late to dinner after all. “I’m over here!”

A slight rustling in the corn was the only response. It grew louder as if someone was cutting through the corn.

“Hello?” Austin called again, softly. He suddenly felt uneasy as the rustling grew louder. If they had sent someone in to rescue him, they would be coming up the path. Not breaking down the corn. This was something else. Something that was coming straight for him.

He turned and ran, sprinting down the paths as fast as he could. He had to find his way out of this maze. It was his only chance. Austin turned another corner and found himself in a dead-end. Panic rose up in his throat as he realized he’d have to turn around.

Austin spun around, a prayer on his lips as he raced back down the path. He quickly found another opening in the stalks and darted through them. His feet pounded against the dirt as he weaved through the living maze. The leaves seemed to claw at him as he pressed forward, desperate to find his way out.

Austin’s foot tangled with something and he fell to the ground, hard. He quickly pushed himself up, but his foot was still caught. Glancing down, he realized a root had snagged his shoe. He quickly ripped it away and got back to his feet.

The corn was eerily quiet around him. Nothing stirred in the plants. Austin inhaled deeply, trying to catch his breath. His body relaxed slightly as the fear started to ebb. There wasn’t anything chasing him. He was alone in the maze. It was just him and the corn.

When he felt like he could breathe again, Austin started forward. A smile grew on his face as he spotted a giant Halloween spider he hadn’t seen before. He was making progress. He had somehow found his way into new territory.

Austin straightened up a little as he moved down a new path. He could do this. He wouldn’t let a corn maze beat him. He would solve it.

A breeze picked up again, cooling his flushed skin as he followed the twist and turns of the maze. Austin slowly began to realize he could hear the busy sounds of the pumpkin farm around him once again. He was getting closer. He would be out of the maze in no time.

He picked a new path and followed it around a corner. He stopped short as he found himself face to face with another dead end. With a grunt, Austin spun around to head back down the path. A gasp escaped his lips as he found himself facing another wall of corn. He was now standing in an empty square of ground, completely walled in by the stalks.

Austin shook his head. This was impossible. He had come through an open path. Terror took a hold of him as he realized he was trapped. There was no way past these walls.

The shuffling sounds started again. It echoed all around him, as if the corn itself was moving closer.

Austin turned, desperately seeking a break in the corn. He watched as a stalk seemed to step forward. Leaves parted suddenly, exposing a giant ear of corn. It seemed to twist and contort on the stalk.

He watched in horror as a face formed in the corn that lined the cob. Its eyes blinked suddenly as a mouth opened, revealing rows of rotten teeth.

“Austin,” it whispered, the smell of decaying corn punctuating the word.

Austin backed up, putting as much distance between him and the thing as he could. He looked up at the sky, watching the sun sink even lower. It was over. This time the maze had won.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Deals With Dragons- Friday Flash

Dragon, by Hokusai.

Image via Wikipedia

This is an excerpt from a work-in-progress.  Enjoy.

Deals with Dragons

By Melissa L. Webb

The dragon looked at her, a little amused by her boldness.  “So, why are you here?”

The girl held her ground.  “I have come to tell you that your kind is no longer needed.”

“No longer needed?”  The dragon looked at her, his eyes burning into hers.  “You have no idea as to what you need.”

The girl glared back at him.  “Look, too many innocent lives have been taken because of you.”  She glanced downwards.  “I can bear it no longer.”

The dragon laughed as smoke trickled from his nose.  “As you remember, my dear, I only did what you asked me to.”

A tear formed in the corner of her eye.  “I know!  I shall bear these deaths a thousand times, but I forbid this to happen once more!”

“You forbid it?” the dragon snorted.  “Do not cross me, little girl.  Leave now and I may spare your life!”

“No!  I lost my brother because of you,” she screamed.  “You will die a hundred deaths for that.”  She picked up a sword lying by her feet.  Her brother’s sword.  She raced towards the dragon.

The dragon’s tail swung out and knocked the sword out of her hands.  It flew into a dark corner of the cave.

“I thought you were the one!  You could have been the Priestess of the Dragons.  The world could have been your playground,” the dragon growled.  “You are just like the rest of the human race.  Pathetic and weak!”  His massive paw reached out and struck her.  She flew back and struck the wall.  “I will kill you, wench.”

The girl crumpled to the floor.  She looked up, dazed, at the dragon.  “You have already killed me,” she muttered before she sunk back to the floor.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

More Anthologies!

So I’ve been accepted into two more anthologies.

My flash story, “An Heckler’s Tale”, will be included in Pill Hill Press’ 2011 Daily Bites of Flesh.  It’s an anthology of flash fiction about flesh-eating creatures, from vampires to were-wolves and zombies, and everything in between.

My short story, “Three Steps”, will be included in Whitlock Publishing’s Our Haunted World.  It’s an anthology about ghost stories from around the world.  Mine is one of the few they’ve included from the USA.

Both of these anthologies should be out before the end of the year.  I will keep you informed.

Oh, The Horror Anthology now on sale.

Oh, The Horror anthology is now on sale at Amazon. It has 36 short horror stories.  Included in it,  is my short story, “Coffee Date”.

Pick up a copy here.  🙂