Monsters are very real
| Scripted Terrors
As the legend goes, all stories of evil and mayhem are born on Halloween growing their roots for generations to come. Birthed in pumpkin patches around the world, the tales are a time blended concoction of truth, hearsay, and fantasy, and are ever evolving bytes of literature designed to leave an imprint on current culture. Whittled from an era of historical events and seeded by folklore, the sagas are formed to entice impressionable minds. Even the good are lured by the unseemly. Excitement dances with the devil, thrill seekers waltz on the edge of danger, and the misunderstood gyration of death, enthralls. It is the element of surprise that captivates our interest and wreaks havoc with our sensibilities. By our very nature, we are drawn to attend a viewing of the gruesome.
"Happy....trick or treat... or smell my feet or sumthin, like that," the toothless goblin whispered to the promised-bestower of treats standing behind the screen door. He reached to scratch the top of his silky, black nylon-garbed head in his confusion of the previously memorized lines. Even with only two Halloween's under his belt, he knew the words weren't right, but talking to strangers was a scary proposition for a kid. Geez, if those parent-figures just thought about it for a second, they'd realize they're the very people that instructed kids never to talk to strangers offering candy. The random adult-like thought served only to add to the confusion and increase the goblin's fright. When he gave a backward glance towards the street, no one appeared to be waiting on the goblin. Only shadows cast from streetlights that bathed the eerie decorations lurked. .
The squeaking of the screen door pierced the quiet of the night. Slowly, it opened to reveal a wide-eyed, sawed- tooth, jack-o-lantern stuffed with treats. Hands that held the basket belonged to a pale and paunchy man in his fifties, wearing a wife-beater t-shirt paired with tan Dockers. The stubble sported on his chin was a salt and pepper mixture of wiry growth and the thicket of his eyebrows danced with the movement of his eyes. His smile was broad with teeth that matched the Jack-o-lantern. An aroma of spicy brewing chili and fresh baked apple pie escaped from the door's opening causing the child to feel a pang of hunger.
"Well, have at it, boy. What ya waiting on, Christmas?" the man said as he thrust the pumpkin closer to the boy.
Shyly he picked two pieces from the globe and whispered a hushed thank you. He knew he musn't overdo the gifts offered.
"C'mon get your hands in there and dig deep. Growing goblins need sugar to survive. What's your name, boy?"
"Alright, Stephen.. Nice to meet you. Not many treaters out so take a handful," he said with a crooked smile that seemed to soften the man's appearance.
Stephen reached into the bucket, doing as he was told as all good goblins do. His costume-covered hand came up holding thirteen pieces of chocolate covered riches. Smiling up at the man, he couldn't believe his luck, for the man was giving out the good candy. It was the stuff people usually save for themselves. The goblin was happy, but a bit wary of the treasure.
"Best to give it all away or I'll eat it all myself. Nice meeting you, Stephen. Tell your parents they did good and raised a kid with some manners."
The man closed the screen door and retreated into his home, while Stephen scrambled down the walkway towards the next lighted house. Practicing the needed words in his head for the next house as he walked, he followed the path to the doorway. Just as he reached the porch, an agonized howl of pain echoed in the night air. It was a screech of terror, a sudden burst of unleashed emotional horror managing to send chills down the spine of the little trick-or- treating goblin. Stephen stopped in his tracks, glancing back at the house he had just left in search of the siren of danger. Wanting to run, but fear of choosing the wrong direction caused the boy to remain frozen in place until the deafening sound ceased. The quiet came with the resonating crash of metal and a dull thud. Stephen. caught sight of the face of a familiar and saw-toothed jack-o-lantern rolling down the sidewalk. An involuntary scream escaped the boy's lips and he began to run as fast as his goblin feet could carry him.
Breathless from his wild run, he stopped at the first house a block away and banged on the door with as much might as his small fist could muster. Panic nipped at the boy and he stood on the porch with one eye watchful of the door and the other searching over his shoulder for some unknown predator. As the door creaked open, Stephen stuttered an incoherent plea for help. He could feel the wet tears splash his face as he rambled on about headless man giving out candy. He made every effort to explain himself but the details kept getting lost in the boy's jittery rendition. A blank faced woman dressed in a floral robe and house shoes waited for him to finish.
"Are you trick or treating, honey?"
"No...no... I mean I was, but the man... his head came off. And it rolled down the sidewalk... I just want to go home!"
"Calm yourself down. Okay. I'm sure that wasn't real. He probably just likes scaring kids. People just don't think about how scary it is to young minds when they put up that crazy stuff. Where do you live?"
"On Patterson...two blocks... maybe?"
"Yes, I know where that is. Do you know your phone number? We can call your parents. They can either come get you or I can take you home."
"566-2 and 7" Stephen said, biting hard at his lip trying hard to remember the rest of the digits.
The woman smiled at him and handed him a flashlight.
"You hold onto that while I get shoes on and we will walk you home. Okay?"
Uneasy, he waited for the woman's return and was very relieved when he heard the sound of the door opening again. He took one step backward on the porch to allow the woman room to exit. He pointed the flashlight at the screen door giving light to the horrific scene in front of him. It was a floral draped broom with the head of the woman propped on the handle. Her eyes were glazed and lifeless and her tongue lapped out of the side of her mouth, like a dog after a long run. The now severed juggler vein at her neck spurted the last residue of life onto the screen's mesh. Stephen bolted from the porch screaming as he ran. Like the infamous little piggy, he ran all the way home giving no thought to the candy he left behind. It was the image of the woman's face that haunted him.
Once home, he threw open the door frantic and sobbing from the night's events. His parents automatically chastised the boy for the loud entrance. It took several moments for Stephen to calm himself enough to tell his story. Like good parents do, they listened and they comforted the child. They explained away his visions and rationalized every detail the boy described. They sat with him until he fell asleep, but they couldn't guard him from the nightmares. For the rest of his life, the disembodied corpses would chase the boy in his dreams.
As the local news stations reported several murders the next morning, Stephen's parents remained glued to the television for details. The grisly reporting of local citizens being beheaded on Halloween captured the attention of the small town. A hunt for the killer went nation wide with few clues to their whereabouts. There were theories about a truck driver passing through or an escaped mental patient. Small town gossip conjured up tales of evil monsters collecting souls on Hallow's eve. No one was ever caught, but most assuredly, two very frightened parents apologized for not believing their little goblin. And it was the very last night that Stephen ever hunted for candy.
Years later, when the goblin grew up, he became a writer of all things eerie and frightful.
He wrote of ghostly spirits and demon spawns. He penned tales of psycho killers and ogres raised from the grave. All the dark and dismal happenings he wrote were crafted within the walls of a scared little boy's imagination at sleep. Many of the narratives born on a murderous Halloween night are scrawled under the name of Stephen King. He wants people to know that the monsters are very real
Word Count 1474