Please enjoy my collected micro-stories from the Twitter Halloween hashtag #trickortweet2021. In addition to a few originals, I mainly used prompts kindly provided by @VillimeyS: https://twitter.com/VillimeyS/status/1442946587798360064
October 1st, bonus haiku:
They will never find
you never know what summer
sausage is made of
October 1st, bonus cosmic horror:
“The Floodgates Spell of Thniaxom the Traveler, the Infection Invocation of Xixiath-Ahk the Bloodwashed…were powerful and catastrophic in the hands of the most rudimentarily trained,” and have been purchased by a congressperson with ties to the oil industry. [The quoted portion of this is from Inside the Asylum, by Mary SanGiovanni.]
October 1st, seance:
Our eyes were closed, we assimilated the sounds into our experience, and felt the heat too late. If you hear our cries, please use this space to call us back into the world of the living. Just keep the candles away from the curtains, or nix them altogether.
October 2nd, mummified:
First you thought it to preserve my body for my transition to the afterlife. Then you thought it the quaint relic of an ancient civilization. But it was my cocoon, a harbinger of the transformation to my final being. Look upon my form, ye puny, and despair.
October 2nd: bonus classic poem mash-up:
I have eaten
the Annabelle Lee
that was in
the sepulchre by the sea
and which you were probably
she was delicious
and so cold
October 3rd, crematorium:
The ovens boil blood, melt skin, singe sinew into curly crispy gristle, and immolate bones. The ovens do not erase all evidence of your evil so you may feign righteousness. You breathe in their ash and carry them with you until you crumble to the same.
October 4th, hex:
When the doctor mistook the parents’ pleas to cure their daughter’s sechts as a chant, and the girl wiggling the deformed extra pinky to display her ailment as a hostile act of prestidigitation completing the hex, he rallied the town to dispose of another witch.
October 5th, mask:
When asked to wear a mask to fight a common enemy in their community, they instead took the ones they’d been wearing off.
October 6th, pitchfork:
The road cleaved endless fields so we drove straight, never seeing another car, person. No tractors. Just now and again a pitchfork planted at the edge of a field near the road. Like crosses memorializing driving fatalities but more frequent with less meaning.
October 7th, wraith:
When they hear the voice from the bubbling brook or see the visage in the gnarled bark of the looming western hemlock or feel a cold chill like a breeze from the north but no wind blows, they say in hushed whispers: the wraith, the wraith.
October 8th, revenge:
Have you ever been so angry at your parents for making you do something you didn’t want to, and which ended badly for you, that you wanted to lash out at them? Did you decide to enact your revenge with a mysterious animation device?
October 9th, occult:
Hope and curiosity repeatedly returned her to her studies after quitting. Hours, days, years passed with no results. Then while drinking tea it was like someone flipped open the blinds. Light and shadow separated/alternated, and the unseen revealed itself.
October 10th, satanic:
What signifies a poppet? Evidence of my righteousness. Evidence of the crime committed by the guilty. Evidence that everything I think, feel, and say is good and true and those who speak against me are guided by evil and against God himself. And I don’t like you.
October 10th, bonus satanic:
Were the phantom tintinnabulations, headaches buried deep under my temples, soft whispers at twilight, timorous twitches, and inexplicable new urges physiological side effects of the exorcism, or insidious signs of something creeping in?
October 11th, epitaph:
Here lies Chastity Goodrich
Who tried to save us all
From a greedy insidious mayor
A deed we obtusely repaid by
Burning her as a witch
October 12th, candy:
After candy-comas take them to sleep, I rummage in the dark through the kids’ candy buckets. Have to sneak some good stuff before they finish off their stashes in the morning. 3 Musketeers. 3 Musketeers. 3 Musketeers. A box! It’s probably Nerds! Banana Runts…
October 13th, skull:
This skull has lain in the earth three-and-twenty years. My gorge rises not at it but at why I’ve dug it up. I did the deed so long ago and have since felt at ease. But yesterday I saw the fellow walking my halls and had to ensure he still lay at rest.
October 14th, severed:
This knife is soft metal sharpened to thirty-degrees. It won’t shave hair from my arm or slice effortlessly through a sheet of paper. But if you don’t tell me what I want to know, it will sever the bones of ten toes and hold its edge for your fingers.
October 15th, eldritch:
M: We must…they exist…they exist!
R: This terrifies you?
M: Does it not you?
M: They’ll destroy us all!
R: They’ll not help us, nor end our suffering with annihilation. They’re as indifferent as the gods we’ve chosen. All we’ve got is each other.
October 16th, freakshow:
Inside the tent, the illustrated man grabbed the air, hip height, and thrust his pelvis. He grinned at my wife. I charged and threw a ferocious right hook. It passed through air. I fell. His ink pounced upon me, outlines of beasts and serpents tearing my flesh.
October 17th, executioner:
People think the mask and the axe are my tools. They are not. They are my costume. Resolve and compassion are my tools and I strive to use them in equal measure.
October 18th, bite:
They’d thrown her a retirement party out of decorum. She knew they all hated her. So when they set the plate before her, offering a slice of homemade pie, she thought to Titus Andronicus and The Help. She refused to show weakness. She took a bite.
October 19th, cobweb:
I watched the opposite corner where broken strands fluttered in the draft, useless, except at collecting dust, and abandoned. I could look nowhere else. Would my web achieve the same fate, dropping me to the floor, before or after dinner?
October 20th, clown:
The clown put his lips to the red tube and blew. It stretched too far, Billy thought, but didn’t pop before the clown tied it off and began twisting and wrapping. He handed Billy his favorite dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus rex. The dinosaur felt warm and moist.
October 21st, holes:
M knew V might have sent him into the hole to crawl to his death. The payday at the other end would solve all M’s problems. ALL of his problems. So M scooted an elbow. Took one breath. Elbow. Knee. Breath. Elbow. Knee. Breath. Elbow. Knee.
October 22nd, fear:
I fear the bad man.
I don’t know who he is, and
He doesn’t know me.
I fear someday, for no
Reason or for any reason
He will come for my family
When I am away from home.
October 23rd, labyrinth:
Hazel crossed the hollow to hasten her return home. The fog didn’t sent in–it resided there–but thickened. She could see the brightest red leaves but the orange’n’yellows faded to gray. Hazel found herself in an autumnal labyrinth painted with smeared watercolors.
October 24th, undead:
Waste from mines in the hills and waste from factories in the valley so poisoned our river water it turned many of us undead. They so poisoned the river water we fled undead neighbors in boats and they shambled into the water, which poisoned them dead again.
October 25th, moor:
No one walks these moors
Whose paths wind through blazing fields of heather
Shaded by downy birch and silver birch
From ‘neath the golden plover flees
Where the adder waits to strike
And the bracken creeps in from edges
To overtake us all
October 26th, carnival:
The lettering on Mr. Mitch’s Snack Emporium was painted with special ink that spoke to customers without their knowing. It put hunger in their bellies, questions about the tempting wares on their tongues. Their stomachs and minds would never again feel satisfied.
October 27th, teeth:
We giggled in delight, lost in the corn maze. Jimmy and me hoped the girls would get cold, scared, and huddle close to us. “Hey, look,” Cindy said. A green husk had parted revealing an ear of corn full of teeth. A crescendo of rustling foliage engulfed us.
October 28th, oblivion:
We found the portal to oblivion by throwing rocks into the hole between the tree’s two larges roots. The rocks never made a sound. We sent a rope down and, silently, a frayed end came back. Now we have plans for the school bully. So, how to lure him?
October 29th, hide:
The children run
The children hide
The Harvester seeks
With twelve ears
And twenty eyes
And those it finds
It takes away
This is the reaping
Game we play
October 30th, jack-o-lantern:
Ten and three Jacks of the Lantern lined the path leading to his house. Each displayed a visage twisted by the pain and terror of someone’s last living moment. How many more might he collect before season’s end?
October 31st, trick:
They’d pulled this trick on him before. Wait until he was seeker, then all run home. No sign of any of them within the game’s boundaries in the forest near their neighborhoods.
Until the severed foot lying atop a tree root still wearing Jon’s favorite sneaker.