Seasonal Occasions
Comments 48

Cemetery Lane: Halloween Flash Fiction

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“Trick or treat, trick or treat.” Hidden from view behind shrouds and masks they walked the street, collecting candy and leaving behind something more than they took.


 

This is a bit of fun, and a chance encounter from a fine blogger…

Halloween Writing Contest hosted by Steph.

The paragraphs in italics represent the prompt and under 1000 words, the target. I am not good at flash fiction. Know this before starting. I find there is, for me, insufficient space to really get my mental images out. Nevertheless it’s Halloween so what the heck!

 


 

It was one of those nights, on Cemetery Lane, that made you feel electric with energy and somber with thought, all at the same time. The air was crisp. Dead leaves scattered as they ran underfoot and glided overhead, filling the night with noise. The moon was full and luminous, casting an eerie light on the scene below. Halloween was in full swing, the streets were abuzz with hooded figures and lively children enjoying their annual candy hunt.

Hidden from the action, at the end of the long lane of perfectly decorated houses, stood the towering and dark-windowed number 13 Cemetery Lane. Behind it, the forest stood, lightless and desolate, a depressing shadow on a lively scene. It was in this very house at this very moment that…

…an undertaker prepared the final touches before illuminating the exterior into the epitome of All Hallows’ Eve. Once a year the facade radiated a macabre display that, despite the tragedy about to unfold, enthralled children far and wide to walk through the mists covering the dead grounds and knock upon the door.
For one night only his disciples were let loose to mingle and wander the lane. Ghosts disguised as ghosts they passed unnoticed.

“Trick or treat, trick or treat.” Hidden from view behind shrouds and masks they walked the street, collecting candy and leaving behind something more than they took.

The man, shaped as the undertaker, always knew when the chosen were picked. He smiled his smile and waited near the door. Very soon to his house would come some more. Parentless orphans who knew not yet that they were. For what the disciples left behind was an aura so bleak that a streets worth of families forget who they were.

On and on grew the stream, as the children moved house to house, until at the deepest reach of the lane, they arrived at the gate. A pendulous iron thing with hinges that screeched and a crooked sign befitting the night.

Leave your Soul’s at the Door.

An epitaph ignored for this, know the children, is the night when Halloween delights. So up the mist covered path they tread, amazed at the spectacle of spooks, ghouls and all manner of creeps.

“Come in,” said the man, “there are treats here galore.”

And in this he lied not; there were chocolate frogs, candied spiders, bloodied apples, toasted bats on a stick and all manner of foul fare.

***

Outside the mist spread until the witching hour passed by. On the chime of church bell the house fell dark, returned to the shadow awaiting next year. Inside there were screams that slowly dwindled to naught.

Come morning, the street lay empty, the children all gone. The minds of the parents dead and erased. By the end of All Saints Day, Cemetery Lane once more lay barren and bare. Shutters clacking against old cracked windows, or hanging from rusted screws. Gardens overgrown with nature reclaiming what was, for its own. Houses in ruin, mildewed and rotting, the home of carrion, small beasts and the worm.

Outside, on each porch though, sat carved pumpkins. Candles now burned out and tops all caved in. Grinning crooked stares at the abandoned ghost town. This they did every year. For one night only the ghosts came out to play. Ghosts dressing up as ghosts as the man from the house replayed the dead scene.

***

Inside number thirteen the undertaker peered through a window and smiled. “Maybe next year I’ll come visit your street…if number thirteen comes up for sale.”

A joke you may think, but ask yourself this. On Halloween night did you send out any tricksters?

If the answer is no, then can you be certain his disciples have not been to your house…while erasing your mind and harvesting their souls. That, in fact, you are inside his growing property portfolio and awaken once a year with infilled memories of a life that is not.

Ushering your children out into the street, smiling as something knocks on your door and then…ushering your children out into the street, smiling as something knocks on your door and then…

 


 

Afterthought; 

Bit creepy thinking your waking world is not real and that reality is a concept installed by an external force to lock you inside a horror story. Groundhog Day, except you relive each day entirely unaware. This, as the undertaker would say, keeps the fear very fresh indeed.

 


 

And now now the hard sell, if you like this story then please cast your vote for me by emailing Steph at

scaleitsimpleblog@gmail.com

Use “Halloween Writing Contest” in the subject line.

Just state the story name and my blog or cut and paste the following into the email.

Cemetery Lane; Halloween Flash Fiction by Gary at fictionisfood.

Your time is very much appreciated.

The other entries can be found here

 

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© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

This entry was posted in: Seasonal Occasions

by

Former research scientist the became the primary stay at home Dad for two children. Writing has always been factual in the previous life but always had a fascination with fiction but never been brave enough to develop it further. A comfort zone thing. Science writing is familiar, fiction is not. Hopefully the blog will provide more confidence and lead to a change in career writing from home around children!

48 Comments

  1. afternoonofsundries says

    Ooo liked this one too! Having trouble searching via google for the others so I’ll see if I can find them while the babe sleeps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was knocked up in a couple of hours for a flash fiction bit of fun. That said I’ve stored the character as I think I could flesh him out a bit somewhere else! You should have tried the search tool at the bottom of the blog roll page 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • afternoonofsundries says

        It didn’t pop up on the main page, I use my phone to read mostly. I had trouble commenting because things loaded wrong out of the reader. It took a second but eventually I could comment. Next time I’ll either do the full side or not view your full site on the reader!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah yes, I assumed you were on a tablet of computer. I ought to check it on my phone to see how it displays really. I’m hoping the new theme will be easier to read across devices mind.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Not so many widgets outside of this themes defaults…when I set this up I was in what’s a widget mode!!! Still not entirely savvy with them now. New theme first though and then tweaking a bit 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • afternoonofsundries says

                Widgets are weird. Obviously I don’t know what they are completely if I thought the search option was a widget 🙄 lol😁

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Interview Post & Contest Winner – Scale it Simple

  3. Oh, my gosh…you know you would have gotten my enthusiastic vote…your imagination is absolutely awe-inspiring…your writing, so wonderfully creepy, yet captivating!!!!! This tale is fantastic…thanks for sharing…I’m hoping I forget the worst of it by the time I go to sleep…hauntingly spooky, in the best way, my friend….thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I thought it was sketchy 🤔 I’m not that good at flash fiction really, although I do like this antagonist. He has potential, as does the concept. Don’t worry about the vote…it’s about writing above all else. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, I ponder that a lot in my writing too. That said it makes for some fascinating journeys. Worlds within worlds; throw in some chronology switching and it’s a bit of a challenge. Mind you, that writing yes 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that whole concept of the unknown Dark gave rise to the birth of the horror genre. I had a brush with the books of Shaun Hutson..how can he glimpse the horror, translate it to paper and remain sane..?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is one reason I write sporadically. To do it I have to enter the scene absolute, become each character and absorb in it for a few hours at a time. It starts to alter reality perception and it’s not always good…I don’t think I’ve really put up anything that ghastly yet…well, claustrophobes might not agree. The start of Dragon Stone hints at the antagonist lurking underneath other places and, of course, what lies at the centre of the marshes hasn’t yet been made clear…in answer then…maybe Shaun is only partially sane 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Halloween Writing Contest Entries – Scale it Simple

    • Aha, first things first…this did not hit my spam folder…your release here is thus confirmed 😊

      But seriously? Two people have said it could be explored now…I only knocked it together because it was Halloween and Steph was throwing a competition out. But of fun kind of thing as I’m not that good at short fiction. It always wants to be much larger. Mind you, Incould use the antagonist in something else 🤔

      Thanks for your wonderful comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This evokes night terrors my friend! I can picture this whole story unfolding into something bigger. Just like Samantha, I too watch Freddy Krueger – still creeps me out just like King’s book titled, IT. Freaks me out and I and see this gravedigger chap freaking me out too 🙂 Don’t ever doubt your skill at writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Helen. Not often you see something here for the very first time is it 🙃

      Have to say when I read IT was years ago, it still has something that really latches onto my mind now and then. It’s the way it’s presented…something about the way it’s written. Very similar to what I try and do, although I try and write in a way that I actually like to read. Writing for me you could say. Whether that’s how other people like to read is always the internal debate. However my blog readers seem to empathise with my characters so maybe I might sell six copies lol

      Like

    • I know, I was running with the idea this creaky old house was going to put on a proper Halloween do and the occupant was actually a really nice guy….alas it went a bit wrong there! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m planning on going through other stories tomorrow, so if you have one then….I shall send the undertaker over to read it 😊

      Like

    • Thanks Steph 😊 Wasn’t sure about it until the antagonist firmed up. Wish I had more time to really shape it up. I did put a comment with the link here on your blog. Might be burried deep though as you have a large number of comments. Do you intend to put all the links together for quick reference and when is the voting closing. I’ve a few still to read 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • The undertaker might say sleep is where the safety goes and the night remains endless until the 31st October the following year…everything inbetween is a false memory to ensure the cycle continues….forever…..

      Actually, I wasn’t sold on this one…I was torn between writing it as prose because in the first rough draft there was a definite rhythm. In fact I might try that just for fun. Mind you, by the end it was writing itself… Fitting for Halloween do you think?

      And as always I am amazed at how quickly you see these. I was convinced dropping three in quickly might go unnoticed lol

      Thank you so much. At this rate you will get a signed copy of my first book if I ever find a publisher !!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really scary …:( sometimes the real horror is in what the mind can produce too!!
        Ha ha ha! I’m on the ball tonight…and I will hold you to a signed copy! 🙂

        Like

        • That’s very interesting…I am not keen on gore. I much prefer giving a reader’s mind the tools to create the horror in their minds. Alluding to but not necessarily going the whole nine miles. Sometimes it’s necessary I guess, but if you can hook the imagination then I think that’s where someone like me thinks…next page, then the next and why has it now ended?

          I did say IF I get a publisher 😱

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ha ha! No “if” just “when”!
            Yes..I like details but sometimes the fear is a creation of your own mind…like the whole Freddy Krueger thing. I’ve seen that film once, in the ’80’s when I was about 14 and it terrified me. Never seen it since, but monsters that stalk you while you sleep…

            Liked by 1 person

            • I like the whole monsters stalking your mind concept. One minute you are going along, the next something else is inside your concious. Freddy Krueger was and is an awesome concept. I’m not up for remakes, but with today’s special effected that could really mess sleeping patterns up 😱

              Liked by 1 person

              • I think you’ll sell WAY more than six copies 🙂

                I agree King’s IT (The red hair, the long hand and fingernails and it’s pointed teeth) latches onto your grey matter and lingers ready to scare the living daylights out of you when you least expect lol

                See….years later it sends chills down my spine. Kind of like your writing….It will stay with me 🙂 But not in the kind that scares the living daylight out of me but a feeling of I love your writing style and characters even this Halloween post, you just have a compelling style that draws the readers in and coming back for more 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                • Maybe seven then, I can give six away to make the numbers tally 🤔
                  IT has featured in several comments on entries to this competition. I really ought to edit this and push for votes lol. I’m still finding it weird that my style has been called many things…all positive too. You must all be quite mad 😜

                  Like

              • I sleep badly enough as it is, I had night terrors as a child which is why I suppose sleep monsters scare me even now. Logic dictates that really there is no need for fear, but it’s a very primitive kind of fear…the caveman’s fear of the dark unknown beyond the safety of his hearth fire…

                Liked by 1 person

                • Same here, no problem going to sleep…it’s staying asleep that’s the problem. Mind you it does create ideas…although they may not be helping the former 😱

                  Nicely put though, the primordial fear of the Unknown. It goes dark, but what if it never goes light again and who was the first caveman to actually craft fire?

                  Liked by 1 person

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