Boo.

it's the great pumpkin charlie brown 18 - I got a rock #1

I have never liked Halloween. Even as a kid, I found the act of going door to door begging for candy to be unseemly.

I disliked the itchy discomfort of the costume. I disliked being stared at. (When you wear a costume, you are, pretty much, giving people permission to stare.) I disliked running all over the neighborhood like a dodo when, at home, a perfectly good TV was going unwatched.

And, at the end of the evening, all I had to show for my efforts was a sack full of itty bitty candy bars that I would’ve never picked out for myself at a store. (Seriously, is Krackle anyone’s favorite candy bar? Answer: No.)

Long story short, I gave up on Halloween as soon as it was socially acceptable. The ominous power of peer pressure kept me going until the fourth grade (and, yes, I’m still holding that grudge, Carl Johnson).

But Halloween isn’t all bad. It is also when Susanna Leonard Hill’s kicks off her Halloweensie Contest!

Now that’s a Halloween tradition I can get behind. Woo!

Here are the rules: Entrants have to write a Halloween-themed story no longer than 100 words. (In Halloween parlance that means the story is “Fun Size.”) This story also must contain the words “broomstick,” “creak,” and “pumpkin.”

So here is my humble submission. Enjoy!

***

SNACK-O’-LANTERN

“Nibbles,” sighed Chester Cat. “You’re supposed to carve a pumpkin.”

“They’re too big,” the guinea pig replied. “So I am carving a Halloween-o Jalapeño. Scary, huh? Does it make you want to run away?”

“No,” Chester sniffed. “That wouldn’t make anyone run away.”

They heard the creak of floorboards and the clatter of the broomstick Buster used for fetch.

“I bet it’ll make Buster run.”

“No way.”

“Let’s see,” Nibbles challenged. Then he shouted. “BUSTER! SNAAACK!”

Buster galloped in. He gobbled the jalapeño.

His eyes sprang open.

Yelping, he dashed to his water dish.

“Told you he’d run,” Nibbles giggled.

 

100 thoughts on “Boo.

  1. Haha, poor Buster!

    By the way, I love that the idea that going door to door for candy seemed unseemly to you as a child. Anything being ‘unseemly’ as a child is adorable.

  2. I don’t know what circuit is wired inappropriately in your brain that allows you to come up with such ridiculously good ideas. (and I mean that in the nicest way!) Plus, you could rewrite this with other non halloween animals. It could be a goat carving a carrot. A wombat carving a mushroom. A little kid who moved to Africa and can’t find a pumpkin to carve. The sky is the limit. Excellent!!

    • Oh, they were this smart. They just hide their cunning ways under an innocent exterior.

      Trust me I know. My pig, for one, played fast and loose with my credit card. One day I came home from work to find 23 bales of timothy hay in my living room.

  3. Great story. 🙂

    I always loved Halloween, even if it meant people looked at me. My brother and I would go for hours and bring home a pillowcase full of candy. It should come as no surprise that we also developed mouthfuls of cavities…

  4. You’re back in fine form, I see! Boo! Back at ya! I, too am finishing up my entry for Susanna’s competition. May the most twisted tale win! 😀

    Oh, and where are your illustrations for this story? Susanna just said “no illustrator notes.” Hmmmm?

    • I’ve done illustrations before for Susanna’s contests — and I had one ready to go for this one, too. Unfortunately, my scanner had other plans.

      I’m glad to hear you’re entering! (If you get Liam to help you, you’ll make it to the winner’s circle for sure.)

      • Now there’s an idea! I don’t know if he will have time to draw an illustration for the story before Friday. He’s working on turning himself into a guy being eaten by an octopus for Halloween. It involves making an octopus out of parachute material filled with blowing air so that the tentacles wave around his body. Think backpack with 12volt battery, squirrel cage blower, and LEDs so he glows in the dark. Right now, we only have the pattern cut out for the octopus. We’re getting the material in the mail tonight. The blower and battery tomorrow….I’m getting tense just thinking about it. Stay tuned….

  5. Oh, that’s a funny one. Quite the “hot tamale” 😉 I used to love Halloween, though never liked when any costume (or clothing, for that matter) felt uncomfortable. That was always my priority when I made costumes for my son—comfort was of utmost importance 🙂 I don’t “do” Halloween (or holidays) anymore as an adult, so I’m not participating in the contest, but I enjoyed YOUR entry! 😀

      • Ah, see, I loved that form of animation. It fit everything about “Peanuts,” I think 🙂 It was all sort of “stiff” and deadpan, I think, and even today, I don’t think I’d change a thing 🙂 In other words, these are shows I don’t think should ever be “touched” for any sort of remake 🙂 BUT—that may just be me! lol

      • Oh, my! lol Well, writing about Halloween is sort of participating, right? Anyway! A doodle?! I am SO not a doodler! lol If you really look at all the art I did for my blogs, you’d agree, I think! 😀 I mean, once I get all that stuff under control (God only knows WHEN!), I might consider doing a small piece of custom artwork, but I doubt anyone would be interested. At least my artwork is on my giveaways 😀 😀 😀 Can that suffice? lol : /

  6. Hahahaouch! Poor Buster! 😦 But I love the idea of a jalapeño as a jackolantern! I’m impressed that Nibbles wasn’t tearing up from nibbling on it! Thanks so much for a creative, entertaining entry, Mike, and for joining in the Halloweensie fun! (And haven’t we met Chester and Nibbles before… are they going for their own book??? :))

    • You have a good memory, Susanna! Yep, Chester and Nibbles (with different names) were the stars of my 2013 Halloweensie submission. I like the dynamic between those two — and I *have* been thinking about giving them a book.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your brilliant contests are my muse. Thank you for that!

    • I’m not saying Krackle is inedible. I’m not even saying that it can’t be enjoyable.

      I do, however, stand by my assertion that Krackle is NO ONE’S favorite candy.

      It is a candy that one settles for with a sigh and a shrug. Krackle and Whatchamacallit are the inoffensive yet uninspiring distant uncles of the candy family.

      Perhaps I’ve given this too much thought.

      • Perhaps.

        You’ve also looked over Hershey’s Special Dark, which is even easier to do. This pretentious rectangle has even less business being in a child’s Halloween stash, since I only know two people who consider them their favorites, and both are childless. If this candy is an uncle, it’s the one with the money who disapproves of everyone else’s life choices. Especially the Whatchamacallit’s.

        So at least we aren’t alone in our overthinkiness.

  7. Hey Nibbles, you could have at least put milk in Buster’s bowl to cool the fire in his maw!
    You know I’m going to love any entry featuring a guinea pig. This year Stormy is trick-or-treating as a Chobani yogurt container. Course he’s gorged on basil and carrots since last trying on his wrapper. Hope it still fits!

  8. Hot tamale – what a brilliant hot-pepper of a guinea pig! However, I do feel badly for Buster the NOT brilliant broomstick-loving dog. SO wonderful to have you back, my bewitching blogging buddy.

  9. Take a bow for a triumphant return – loved it:-) What it it about dogs, they’re just such gorgeously gullible creatures. Problem is, now you’ve made me want to try carving a jalepeno – but my hands are a bit bigger and clumsier than guinea pig claws…hugs, H xxx

  10. Fabbo story Mike! I’ve missed your posts. I like that my kids are getting too old for trick or treating now, I was never really comfortable with it all. Like you said (in one of the comments I flashed past) – quite happy to give the candy out though, just don’t like the begging side. When I was a kid, trick or treating wasn’t a thing in England so I never did it myself, but now it is a thing here too.

    • So Trick or Treating is a relatively new thing over there? I hope the U.S. isn’t responsible for your country’s conversion.

      Word of advice: You guys really should NEVER follow my country’s lead with anything. America is a Bad Influence; it is filled with backward, insane people. Case in point: We don’t even have a Penis Hat Restaurant!

  11. Pingback: Christmas Contest! | heylookawriterfellow

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