31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 20: COACH

“Would you mind switching seats?” the Man from Seat 2B asked.

 Before sitting, he reached across and pressed a smallish object into my palm. “For my seatmate,” he said.

 My new seatmate (2A) had her back to me.

 I tapped her shoulder. “The man sitting here, told me to give--”

 Her head lolled back, revealing the crimson grin across her throat. The “object” in my hand bit into my flesh, just as it had hers.

 I don’t know how he switched the tickets. I don’t know why my ticket said I’d always been the man in seat 2B.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 19: STEEL

So, you just built a giant robot and it’s gone on a rampage? Haven’t we all?

 The streets and sidewalks of this country are overrun with steel and iron monstrosities, punching holes in skyscrapers and dropkicking airplanes out of our skies. They laugh at us with the electronic roar of a billion connecting modems.

 It’s not too late. Join us today, and our combined brain power will allow us to build one even more giant robot that can crush, stomp, and destroy all of the other giant robots plaguing our country.

 After that, there’s nothing else that can go wrong.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 18: LOCKET

“I keep my children in there.”

 That’s what the dying woman said about the locket on a chain around her neck.

 After finishing the killing, Curtis grabbed the chain. Links dug in the corpse’s neck. But eventually, it gave.

 Eyes wide with sudden terror, Curtis watched the locket expanding. From inside came grunts, snarls. Only a flimsy clasp kept whatever made those sounds at bay. But for how long?

Curtis hadn’t known about the foul birthing rites and subsequent protective spells meant to keep the woman’s demon offspring imprisoned.

 But she had warned him.

 “I keep my children in there.”

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 17: FAIRIES

Someone told me white blotches on Polaroids are really fairies.

 I’m looking through a shoebox full of the things in our kidnapping suspect’s basement.

 There’s the girl--with the bright splotch above her head. Hers is just the latest among so many others though.

 Funny, I know some of these kids. Still see them around. Doesn’t make sense to find their faces here.

 Then, the call comes.

 They found the girl. Back home, like she never left. She’s quiet though, different.

 I look at her picture again. I study those light spots, hoping I don’t see the outline of wings.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 16: GRADE

Trembling, Spencer handed the envelope to Dad. Somehow, he’d managed to avoid peeking the whole bus ride home.

 Once opened, a single sheet of paper fluttered out of the envelope and into Dad’s hands.

 The paper was thin. Spencer could see what was written through the other side.

 His lip trembled.

 “All A’s,” Dad said.

 Sobs came next.

 “We warned you,” Mom said, “Not enough exercise, not enough sweets. Not too fatty or too gamey.”

 Spencer knew whatever he said in protest wouldn’t matter. He’d gotten the A grades. Soon enough, the butchers would come collect the good meat.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 15: LAKE

The lake water is calmer during off-season. No canoe paddles or angular bikini-clad swimmers’ arms slicing its surface to pieces. Mosquitoes that dart down, kissing algal growths before flying off for more blood, are all asleep.

 He’s sleeping too.

 Lifting a sleep-heavy eyelid, he watches a leaf drifting down from one of the surrounding trees. Winds are mild this time of year. That single leaf flails for a moment, then stops.

 He could reach up and pull that leaf down below the water. He could crush it in his hands.

 But he’ll wait until the camp reopens for the summer.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 14: TIME

They put slow kids on the outside track, hoping one of us runs too close to a hole in the fence or gets winded long enough for the pack to get us.

 Inevitably, someone gets eaten or…worse. Last time, I almost tripped over Jimmy and Ginger who’d gotten tangled up long enough to end up devoured up to their stomachs.

 But now we’re doing Presidential Physical Fitness tests. My brother tells me the winner gets to live in the Bunker. No school. No more races.

 So, I’m stretching up, doing wind-sprints. I’m almost ready. That record’s mine.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 13: ADVERTISEMENT

Mother, have you seen my shoes? Those new ones with the buckles on the sides?

 Well, I don’t think crying will help us find my shoes. Remember, they were going to be my first pair. Now, they’re gone. Come to think of it, what have you done with most of my clothes? And my toys?

 Why’s the crib in pieces, leaning against the wall like that? You know if I pull on them, I could really get hurt. Mommy…

 Who’s that on the phone? What do you mean, you “want to take out a classified ad”?

 Wait, you’re selling what?

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 12: DUCKS

Wearing feathered masquerade masks, the Ducks patrolled the waterfront. They’d let civilians come to the boardwalk for hot dogs and carnival games. But that changed when the Mayor’s Office set up the checkpoints. Then, the Ducks made sure everyone knew the water belonged to the them.

Their younger members do the killing. They’ve got more to prove after all. Non-affiliateds left behind and brave enough to venture out for supplies or food leave behind spray-painted warnings for the next group to venture out. “MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.”

 The boardwalk’s littered with the bodies of those who didn’t heed the warnings.

31 Days of Halloweeny Teeny Tales, Day 11: CREATOR

Animated versions of comic strip bad boy Mervin and his teddy bear companion  Thoreau held glasses of sparkling Char-a-Cola out to viewers. Their smiles showed black-stained teeth (“Just like it says on the can.”).

 “Well,” the always-smiling executive asked, as the jingle faded, “What’d you think?”

 “You promised me you wouldn’t change anything. That my creations would last forever.”

 The exec shook his head. “No, no, not your IP. That has to change. Our sponsors insist. But think how lucky your kids will be--with the serum in their blood, they’ll get watch them change again and again and…”