All this pumpkin carving and decorating put me in the mood to write a spooky story. Not a scary one-- I'm a huge baby and I can't stand anything scary! But spooky is fun... I hope you find this creepy short story as fun to read as it was to write. Happy Halloween... bwahahahahahahaa!!!!!
Brandon shut his car door, the metallic thud echoing through the dark, still street. Window upon black, vacant window stared out at him. Construction on the upscale master-planned community had begun a year before the housing crisis, and none of the houses sold. Now the entire neighborhood stood deserted, the sidewalks left unfinished, some houses only half-built and covered in ghost-like sheets of billowing plastic.
He blew into his cupped hands before jamming them into his pockets. Signs of ‘No Trespassing’ had been tagged with graffiti. Brandon kicked aside a can of Rock Star as he approached the only house with a dim hint of light flickering from somewhere deep within its half-painted frame.
Isadora popped open her lip gloss, running the wand back and forth over her lips as a high-pitched scree whistled through the room. She hated tea, but she was bored. The bitter aroma filled her nostrils as she read the leaves at the bottom of her cup. A mortal boy would visit her tonight? Not exactly thrilling news. What would he want? Muscles? To be free of pimples? Her gaze slid to the near-empty fishbowl on her kitchen counter. Inside, a toad stared out with buggy, glistening eyes.
“You wanted a date with the Homecoming queen, didn’t you, Toady? Didn’t you?” She tapped the glass, punctuating each word as she said, “And. You. Got it.”
The toad’s throat stretched in a quick hiccup.
Isadora smiled. “There now, Toady. Soon you’ll have a friend.” She leaned forward, close enough to the glass that she caught her own violet-eyed reflection. She licked her lips, enjoying the sight of herself as she whispered, “Or maybe I don’t want to wait so long for a taste of frog-leg stew.”
Toady’s suffering croak gave her a moment’s fiendish glee, and she could hardly help the cackle at his expense. A pounding at the door silenced her, and she rolled her eyes. “Humans.”
Brandon slammed his fist against the door. “Hello? Is anybody in there?”
The door opened, revealing a black-haired girl with pale skin that almost glowed. “Isn’t the customary greeting, ‘Trick or Treat?’”
He swallowed, his eyes darting to the dead frog in her hand. His jaw dropped.
It was true. She was a-- a--
“I believe the word you’re looking for is witch,” she said. “And before you ask, yes, I can read your mind. If I feel like it.”
He let out a misted breath. “I need help.”
“Why should I help you?” she asked, mocking in her half-laughter.
Warnings blared through his skull, but Brandon said, “I-- I can pay.”
She sauntered inside, leaving the door open. Brandon shut it behind him, watching as she tossed the dead frog into a boiling pot, licking her fingers afterward. “You can pay. What could you possibly give me that I would want? Money?” She snapped her fingers. A blaze of blue fire sprung up from her hand, burning itself out and leaving a wad of smoking cash in her fist. “I make my own.”
“Please, it’s my girlfriend--”
“Oh.” She smirked, returning to the the pot with the dead frog in it. “Isn’t it always about love?” She stirred the brew before dimming the fire and sitting down at the breakfast nook. “So, is she flirting with some other guy? Cheating on you? Texting your best friend behind your back?”
“I don’t know,” he said, his voice cracking as he thought of his sweet, angelic Rebecca. Her powder blue eyes and sunlit hair... her shy, sweet smile. “Everything was perfect. At least, until Homecoming. Now she won’t answer my calls or texts, she ignores my tweets. I don’t know what went wrong.”
The witch gazed at him with her chin in her hands, a soft smile touching her blood-red lips. “I can help you.”
Brandon exhaled in a burst of relief. “Thank you. All I want--”
“All you want,” she said, walking toward him with a slow click-click-click of her spike-heeled boots, “is to be together again. Right?”
He nodded, and despite the warm room, a shiver raced up his spine.
“Do you have a picture of her?”
“Yes, uh--” he took out his phone and showed her the background image.
“Lovely girl,” she murmured. “Are you sure you want my help?”
“Very well,” she said, ladling out some frog soup and pouring it into a teacup. “Just drink this.”
Brandon took the cup. His hands became slick. “And... Rebecca will love me again?”
The witch’s smile broadened. “More than ever,” she purred.
Brandon gulped the rancorous brew, his stomach clenching as bile rose in his throat. “What’s it going to do to me?”
“Nothing,” the witch said. “I just wanted to see you drink from your friend’s remains.” She snapped her fingers. “But this, on the other hand, will do a lot.”
Blue fire whirled from her fingertips, swirling toward him and ramming him in the chest. He gripped the edge of a table, his body stinging and burning as if he were filled with a thousand furious wasps.
“What's happening to me,” he cried. “No! No! Please!”
“There, there,” Isadora crooned, scooping up the now soft, furry human. “You’ll be with your precious Rebecca soon enough.”
Isadora searched the house, making fetching whisper-noises as she did. “Here kitty-kitty... precious kitty.”
The cat appeared at the top of the stairs, her powder blue eyes almost human. It let out a pitiful meow.
“Poor Rebecca, you must be hungry. Not used to cat food yet, I suppose,” she murmured, stroking its silky fur. “That’s all right, today I have a treat for you.” She dangled the once-human mouse by its tail. “A treat and a trick.” Isadora dropped the squealing, panic-stricken mouse into Rebecca’s waiting paws. “Now it’s really Halloween.”