halloween coat 2Do I like Halloween? Well, let me put it this way: If I wanted to make a spectacle of myself panhandling in costume, I would be on Times Square shaking down tourists.

So, no. I do not like Halloween.

I do like Susanna Leonard Hill, however. (How can one not, really?) I also like Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog contests, and I enter as many as I can.

Yes, even the Halloweensie one.

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 “costume,” “haunt,” and “dark.”

So, here’s my submission! Enjoy!


Night Ninja

“I’m the black ninja! Hiyah!”

“That costume is too black.”

“The better to haunt my victim’s dreams!”

“Well, you’re going to have to haunt their dreams with a little reflector tape. Stand still.”

“Mom! Ninjas can’t reflect! They gotta disappear!”

“I don’t want you to disappear into the fender of a car. Take this flashlight, too.”


“It’s cold out. Get your coat.”

“But my coat is green! Light green!”

“Then you’ll be an adorable light green ninja. Out you go.”

“Ninjas aren’t adorable!”

“Have a good time, sweetie! And don’t come back without dark chocolate!”

“I hate Halloween.”

123 Replies to “Eeek.”

  1. Hahaha, fantastic story! ALMOST made me hate Halloween. But more than that, reminded me of the time my brother was 4 and dressed up as Superman. My mom, who evidently was not any kind of superhero expert, drew a mustache on him. Every time I see that picture I wax nostalgic and think, ah, mom, you have inspired me to be completely off the chart.

  2. Love this! My (real-life) version – a princess with moon boots and a puffy winter jacket because it ALWAYS snowed on Halloween where I lived. I was willing to put up with pneumonia for one night of looking the part. Mom was not.

    Hoping you’ll have at least a piece of candy this Halloween 🙂 Great story!

  3. I did my hobo Halloween story. That’s my contribution. Boo n Halloween. We send our kids out in the dark, have them beg for candy from strangers, and have to drive by skeletons and witches weeks prior. What’s up with that?!?

  4. That sounds like what Halloween used to be in my house. Except I dressed my kids in paper bags with holes. (Worst mom award…? but I hate Halloween like you.) The doodle is perfect- love the expressions. Hope you win the contest!

      1. Umm, the paper bag went over the head with a hole for the nose and two holes for the eyes. Bingo. A Halloween costume. (Turning red, soooo bad, but the kids thought it was cool, when they were 3 and 4 years old.) :-0

      2. Ah, that’s the beauty of four-year-olds; they’re not savvy enough to recognize the signs of lazy-ish parenting.

        Sigh. I wish Alex was four again. I can’t get away with anything anymore…

  5. That’s akin to having to wear a parka over your costume (like I had to growing up in North Dakota; it’s a little crisp there on October 31st…).

    Fun story and great drawing!

  6. Clearly, you write kidlit as therapy to process all the damage done during your childhood. 😀 Love it, Mike! Not sure if I can get it together to write one this year. I started packing bookshelves over the weekend and now have tape gun wrist, a blister on my right thumb from vacuuming, and bookseller grip ache (pain in the hands from pinching several books at a time between your thumb and fingers).

  7. Maybe it’s because I’m from Southern California and didn’t have to dress down my costume with a parka, but I love Halloween. It’s a night of silliness, adventure, and the general permission to let yourself be a kid. My parents go full-on for decorations – they have a giant spiderweb covered in lights, and other fun things.
    Maybe the kid could be a Tron or Robot Ninja, and therefore incorporate reflective tape as part of the costume?

  8. You may hate Halloween, but you sure can write a great Halloweensie story. I think my entry’s in trouble… no match for your laugh-out-loud gem. (I entered anyway.)

  9. Hey Mike – you must have been listening in when my kids were getting ready to go Trick or Treating over thirty years ago…that EXACTLY what I told them…right down to the dark chocolate! AWESOME hilarious perfectly Mike Allegra story…indeed! Love it, Mike. 🙂

  10. Love the story-I can relate. My Mom never let me go trick or treating because she said that it was panhandling-LOL Everything comes full circle and you just completed mine. Happy Halloween, Vivian 🙂

  11. You totally captured the over protective mom. After seventeen years of teaching elementary age students…I’m not much of a fan of Halloween…or any other holiday for that matter. But, if my grandson where around I’d gush and fuss all over again. He can keep the dark chocolate…I want the milk chocolate.!

  12. My son is going as a ninja this year, so your entry hit home for me. I like how you began your post talking about how much you love (okay, don’t love) Halloween. Then in the end your character has a similar disdain for the holiday. Great job on the writing. I’ll remember my reflector tape here in a few days too.

  13. Fabulous, MIke! As a person who has both been forced to ruin my costume with a coat and flashlight and forced my children to do likewise, all I can say is “perfect!” The only thing that could have made it better is a guinea pig 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the Halloweensie fun, and always being such a devoted supporter of me and my hare-brained schemes! 🙂

    1. Well, those guinea pig stories have gotten me nowhere so I thought it was time to change it up.

      And thank YOU, Susanna, for devoting so much of your time and talent to bringing out the best in other writers. My Highlights win would never have happened without your contests.

      Long story short, I’m taking you out for dessert. Something chocolate, perhaps?

  14. HA! Very cute. And I like the dark chocolate part. I’m a mom now so I can relate. Thankfully I don’t have any memories of having to mess up my costume with a coat, though I’m sure it happened.

  15. Trick or Treating in Rochester, NY as a kid, you never saw my costume under my HUGE WINTER COAT! lol. Perfect reminder of the parental buzz kill, which kept me alive!

  16. Haha, awesome! Just read Jilanne’s Halloween story a second ago.

    As a pup, my dad gave up on trying to make me wear a layer while trick-or-treating and let me freeze my butt off instead. Had way too much costume pride back then and I didn’t want my outfit ruined by a hoodie.

  17. Great story and pic as always from you! This is a constant battle with my kids, warmth over style, and not just at Halloween! This was the first halloween where we didn’t do anything, and I felt a bit sad about that later in the evening. Well my daughter went to a costume party the night before, but nothing on actual halloween. We didn’t even do any decorations or halloween-themed food this year! My two are too old to go trick or treating now, but I could have at least made a spooky supper for us couldn’t I! Some halloween cocktails or SOMETHING! Anyway it’s 1 November now, I’m off to start my NaNo.

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