One of my writer groups had a Halloween party a couple weeks ago, and during the party we had a short story writing contest. We rolled a die to get our prompts, then set out to hand-write a story on one page (front and back).
I enjoyed the result, so I typed it up, gave it another real quick editing/revision pass to add in a few details, and thought I’d share it here.
- Before Sunrise
- A Discovery is Made
Of Garlic and Glitter Bombs
Vlad flipped up the high collar of his ankle-length trench coat. Capes had long since gone out of fashion, but he loved the swoosh of fabric against his back whenever the chill autumn wind rose at the onset of October. Besides, more fabric meant he could more easily cover himself if his new-fangled watch was too slow or he got the time zones wrong during his travels.
Speaking of time… he glanced up through the bony, shadowed fingers of the trees. The crescent moon peeked through over a violet sky, though the moon would soon descend into the spikes of the graveyard’s spindly iron fence.
Still a couple hours before sunrise.
At least he was managing some luck this century. Better than that century when everyone decided garlic warded off vampires. Garlic did no such thing, but he’d gotten so sick of garlic everything—garlic in soup, garlic in bread, garlic in windows, garlic in punch—that now even the scent of garlic drove him to shudder and curse the witches who had unanimously decided to cultivate it for their half-price night market.
Better not to squander his current luck. He situated his steel-toed boot over his shovel and drove it into the sandy graveyard ground. Clomp-shh. Clomp-shh. Over and over until the moon had indeed sunk into the fence spines like the ice cream sold in stylized, noisy trucks who were too cruel to drive by at night or on a blessedly rainy day.
No ghoulish ice cream pops with terrifying gumball eyes for Vlad. No toothaches either, but he would have accepted that pain for a bite of ice cream.
The ground below turned into a shallow, mangled grave accompanied by a loose pile of dirt. Hidden in the shadows was an unusually glittery pile of bones.
Arranged neatly, far too precisely to be by accident, the bones lined up in the shape of a prehistoric kitten. By prehistoric, he meant the kitten was quite large, and had teeth almost as tall at its head. “You want my familiar to be a sabertooth?”
Vlad shook his head. When he had asked his tutor for a protective charm, he had been surprised when she suggested a familiar. He’d pictured a small black house cat. Maybe a raven, for extra style. Not a sabertooth.
But… provided the cat didn’t stake him with its teeth, it would prove a distraction to vampire hunters. He fished out the sparkly vial the witch had given him, and then unceremoniously dumped the glitterfied ashes over the kitten’s bones.
A glitter bomb ensued.
Vlad coughed and waved at the shining rainbow cloud until it dispersed, leaving a glittery graveyard with a giant sabertooth kitten staring up at him from the grave.
Then promptly attacked his coat, batting and biting the hem. Ripping fabric before looking up helplessly with its tooth stuck in the tear.
Vlad sighed. Looked like he had another quarter century of training to look forward to. And maybe another set of coats.
🎃 😸 🎃