Art by Tasty Piece,©️ The Safehouse Collection 2022
One dear reader did some bitching about me not doing my part for Halloween by not writing a great Halloween story and posting it here. I replied gently, saying as down for Halloween as I may be, I simply do not have time to write a good Halloween story, let alone a great one. But I do have a couple minutes to write a really bad Halloween story, so why not. Here goes:
“Nine Was Better”
Kevin had only been 10 years old for two days, but he was already convinced he wasn’t any good at it. Nine was better. There weren’t as many ghosts last year. In fact, there weren’t any at all. Nine was definitely better. Kevin turned over to watch his father on the couch, with his back to Kevin, swiping angrily at his phone. His mother was in the kitchen, cooking. Kevin’s little sister, Katie, was running around the house screaming. Kevin wondered if any of them even noticed he existed. He wanted to be nine again.
On Halloween night, Kevin went out trick-or-treating with his friends. He was dressed as a ghost, with a sheet over his head. But he didn’t feel like a ghost. He felt like a little boy in a sheet. His friends were laughing and having fun, but Kevin couldn’t enjoy it. He just wanted it to be over.
When they got home, Kevin’s father was waiting for them. He was drunk and angry, and he started yelling at Kevin’s friends. They quickly ran away, leaving Kevin alone with his father. His father grabbed Kevin by the arm and dragged him into the house. Kevin’s mother was in the kitchen, cooking. She didn’t say anything as Kevin’s father started to hit him.
Kevin curled up in a ball on the floor, trying to make himself small. He wished he could disappear. He wished he could go back to being nine years old. Nine was better. There weren’t as many ghosts last year. Nine was better.
Ever since he’d turned ten, which was an entire two days ago, he’d suddenly been able to see ghosts. Which was really starting to piss him off, because he didn’t believe in ghosts. And he especially didn’t believe in ghosts that were currently haunting his ten year old ass.
“Boo.” One of them said, a little girl with long dark hair, who was currently perched on Kevin’s bedpost. He glared at her. “What do you want?” He asked, feeling beyond annoyed. The girl shrugged. “I don’t know. I’m just here because I’m bored, I guess.” Kevin frowned. “You’re a ghost. Shouldn’t you be haunting people or something?” The girl shrugged again. “I don’t know. I’ve never done this before.”
Kevin sighed and laid down, putting his pillow over his face. Maybe if he ignored them, they would go away. He was getting really tired of being able to see ghosts. He just wanted to be nine again, when things were simpler and he didn’t have to deal with any of this crap.
But no matter how much he wished it, he couldn’t go back to being nine. He was stuck being ten, whether he liked it or not. And that meant dealing with ghosts, whether he liked it or not.
At least, until he figured out how to make them go away. Where ghosts just a part of life once you turned 10? Or was it just around Halloween? Halloween was only about a week away…why was it still so hot?
“Are you hot? I mean, do ghosts get hot?” Kevin asked the little girl with long dark hair, who was still obstinately perched on Kevin’s bedpost.
“I’m okay,” said the ghost.
Kevin knew damn well it was far too hot for just before Halloween. He grabbed the small remote from his nightstand and clicked the ceiling fan on. The ceiling fan spun to life aggressively, and instantly blew the ghosts away. Kevin stared for a beat, then chuckled.
“Problem solved,” he said, as he climbed into bed.
He may not have liked that he could see ghosts, but at least he knew how to get rid of them. And until he found a way to make them go away for good, he would just have to deal with it. For now, he’d just keep the fan on. It was hotter than hell anyway.
Happy Halloween, dear reader.
N.P.: “…Clarisse” – Venom