I’m starting to enjoy Flash Fiction. Each month, the YA Buccaneers have a challenge called “Walk the Plank”. In it, the goal is to write 200 words—-no more, no less—-with a writing prompt based on a topic. And this month, the theme of Halloween and ghost stories is the goal. (Of course, there are prizes up for grabs! Go on over to see how you can WIN!)
This time, we had to start with the words “It was a cold Halloween night”, and end our piece with “I screamed”. Edit, edit, edit! It’s all I do, really, because I’m a wordy girl. But here is my take on the theme:
It was a cold Halloween night, almost a disappointment for the little ones roaming the streets, their well-planned costumes buried under the necessity of winter jackets. In a few hours, the last of them would be locked up in their homes, bellies full of too much sugar and the final remnants of holiday excitement.
I slipped into the shelter on 21st, hoping the bus was on time tonight. Not likely with all the kids running around, I thought. At least the shelter was empty. The scuffed plexiglass walls covered in ragged concert posters, city maps and graffiti, did little to block out any of the cold. But it did make it difficult to see out.
Which is why I didn’t run.
At first, he was only a shadowy silhouette on the corner. Any other zombie or axe murderer. But he didn’t move like he was in a hurry to get somewhere. Not then. He lingered, then slunk toward the shelter with his head bowed, hands stuffed in his pockets.
I only regretted my indifference toward him when he charged the shelter, the whites of his eyes rolling in their sockets, and spiky, blood soaked teeth bared and chomping.