Halloween Freaks – A Halloween Short Story

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Halloween Freaks

A Halloween Short Story

The houses on Packard Street no longer celebrate Halloween. When the 31st of October rolls around, we engage our deadbolts and close our blinds. The porch lights remain dark and we wait for the Halloween Freaks to arrive.

They first came the year after Jenny passed on. Jenny loved Halloween more than any other holiday. In the 53 years we’d been married, it was this autumn night that she looked forward to the most. She loved to see the kids in their costumes, their eyes bright. She’d welcome them with handfuls of candy, grinning in the way that made her so beautiful. I never cared much for the whole thing. I keep a smile and went along with it though. I would have followed Jenny to hell and back.

That Halloween that they arrived, I poured myself a drink and sat at my window. The street was teeming with excited children and parents doing their best to keep them near. I figured I could watch the festivities and think back on Halloweens past. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done that. I could have flown to another place, spending the holiday on a beach somewhere. Then I maybe could have stayed there. Let the house rot. There is nothing left for me there anyway.

The kids couldn’t see them. Neither could their parents. But my neighbors could. I could. There is something about the people that live on Packard that makes us cursed. We see them on our porches. We see them in our gardens. Lurking near windows, poised just out of sight…

How would I describe them? Long. Withered. Skulls that glowed, amorphous eyes tethered wetly in cavernous sockets. They don’t have feet. Just legs that dangle and sway as they float above the ground. They don’t speak. They don’t call out to us. They float and they shine and they only come along when the sun sets on Halloween night.

When I saw them for that first time, I thought it was some kind of complex costume. I remember leaning forward, nearly pressing my brow to the blinds to get a better look. That’s when I saw them open their glowing lips and letting that foul orange light out that I realized exactly what I was seeing. Some kind of supernatural event, creatures birthed from some kind of darkness. The creatures’ heads twists and that light spin over everything, giving the shadows unholy life.

Someone called the police after. They came, lights flashing. I watched Mrs. Myers talking to them, her eyes bulging and her face flushed with fears. The officers left, shaking their heads. Of course they wouldn’t believe. Why would they?

No one talked about them after. We went about our lives. Pretended that we didn’t see what I called the Halloween Freaks. But I think that everyone dreaded the return of autumn.

They came again that next year. I drank nearly an entire bottle of whiskey as I waited. That year they floated from one end of the street to the other. There was less kids that Halloween. Even though no one else could see the Freaks, I think they could feel them. Perhaps it was the pull of their unholy light. I know I felt it. The nightmares I had that night were dark and foul. Jenny was in them all, her lips glowing. And, when she opened her mouth, the world twisted and squirmed, colors running together like blood down a shower drain.

Why do they come? What do they want? Are they spirits, tethered to this earth? Demons escaped from the deepest bowls of hell? I don’t know. I’m not sure if anyone does. They float from one end of the street to the other, lingering to gaze into windows, their inner light shining over everything.

The children have stopped coming. The street is nothing but dead leaves now. I’m 80 years old. I started coughing earlier this year, and bits of blood have started to appear on my handkerchief when the fits get particularly bad. It’s Halloween Day, about an hour before dark. They’ll be coming any minute now.

When they do, I’ll be waiting. I’ll put on my coat, pick up my cane, and I’ll walk right down my warped front porch stairs. I intend to greet these Freaks, perhaps touch their withered flesh.

Maybe they have some secrets to share. Anything is possible. After all, it is Halloween.

 

Happy Halloween! I hope it’s suitably spooky.

– Logan Noble

Recommends: Horror Writers (And Some Short Stories to Start You Off) Part 1

Horror and weird fiction is in an amazing place right now. With so many great authors doing such awesome things, it can be hard to know where to start. I wanted to write a little post to recommend some writers to check out, as well as some short stories they’ve written to ease you in. This is not an all-inclusive list (that would be impossibly long) and I intend to do follow-ups to this post in the future. Cool? Cool. Let’s jump in!

Laird Barron
The Story to Get You Started: ‘Blackwood’s Baby’ from The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All

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Laird Barron is my current favorite author. His style is wholly unique. It’s a mix of white-knuckled adventure tales and truly awe-inspiring cosmic/weird horror. I know it’s common for people to say “So scary it gave me NIGHTMARES” but, in my case, it’s true. I was staying at my in-laws and reading my Kindle while my wife slept next me. I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open before shutting my Kindle down. One of his stories from his newest collection leaked into my dreams. It was scary. And I loved it. ‘Blackwood’s Baby’ has all of his trademarks in spades.

Orrin Grey
The Story to Get You Started: ‘Painted Monsters’ from Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts

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Orrin Grey writes monsters. And I don’t think anyone does them better. This collection is chock full of them. My favorite story (though I like them all) is the title story ‘Painted Monsters’. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t. I will say this though: It’s crazy, fun, and filled with references to decades of horror cinema. This story is the final story in the collection and I feel like it’s a terrifying wrap-up to all the stories that came before. It’s Orrin Grey’s fiction distilled. Just be careful. It’s a little slimy.

John Langan
The Story to Get You Started: ‘The Revel’ from The Wide, Carnivorous Sky & Other Monstrous Geographies

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I feel kind of dumb when I read John Langan. Which, if you think about it, is a good thing! His fiction is dense and smart, and he often slices up the genre, usually reveling (pun intended) in all the gooey bits beneath. This collection is solid all around, but I think ‘The Revel’ is a good jumping off point. It, like most of John Langan’s work, is uniquely structured. It’s a werewolf story, a look into the tropes of horror film, and one heck of a story all around. If you like your horror intellectual, this is a great place to start.

That’s all for now! There are plenty of writers that I love that deserve acclaim, and I can’t wait to fill you in! Until next time everybody…

 

New Story Alert!: ‘They Come Crawling’

You read right! As of November 2016, my story ‘They Come Crawling’ has been released into the wild, courtesy of Alban Lake Publishing!

It’s featured in a incredible book of short stories focused on H.P. Lovecraft’s infamous institution of higher learning, Miskatonic University! As soon as my contributor copy came in the mail I DEVOURED this thing. If you’re feeling some good horror, please go pick it up here or here! You can also check out all of Alban Lake Publishing other books on their website!

Happy reading!

Writing & Wordpress: An Introduction To Me

I like having a blog. Quite a bit actually. I also run The Fiction and Film Emporium, which is a blog that focuses on film, fiction and Magic: The Gathering content.

This is going to be a bit different.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a small child. I wrote a fantasy novel (not much of one) in a series of $1 notebooks. It was entitled ‘The Three Crystals’, and it featured a young prince named Con on a mission of vengeance. It also stole characters from the gaming series ‘Fire Emblem’ and had a island filled with sentient cows. Yeah. It was a mess.

But it was fun to write. Which is why I write. It’s why I started The Fiction and Film Emporium. It’s why I started this site. That’s a lot of whys. Sorry.

Take a look around this site. My short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies from some great publishers and websites. Click over to my Bibliography to hunt them down. Also, feel free to click on the little Twitter bird to follow me there!

Come back around for most posts here. I can’t wait to see you again.