A Halloween Shock

Posted: October 21, 2010 in #fridayflash, Short stories

“Its dark!” shouted Chris

“No shit Sherlock!” laughed Kyle, “Its a damn power cut, course its dark”.

“Hang on,” Chris scrambled around in his pockets and pulled out his mobile phone and held it up, pressing a button to allow the screen to light up for a few seconds. “We can use my phone for a light for now, although, I do need to charge it up ‘cos the batteries a bit low.”

“Really?” Kyle laughed again this time with an eyebrow raised, “Do you want to re-think that statement mate?” he chuckled again.

“Oh yeah! No electric,” Chris suddenly realising his faux pas, held a hand over his face to hide his embarrassment.

The two looked out of the window of their two-up, two-down, terrace in the middle of the town. A dark but colourful evening, with leaves on the trees turning bright oranges and reds, slowly shedding to form crispy piles on the ground, like small ornate campfires warming up the view. It was the 31st of October, and small groups of children could be seen gathered around doorways and shouting the three words of October, “Trick or Treat!”

“Well the neighbours lights are on,” said Kyle, “Why is it just us? You did pay that electric bill I gave you last week didn’t you?”

“Yeah. Course. You’d kill me if I hadn’t,” said Chris smiling.

“True,” Kyle said still very curious and looking slightly perplexed, “So what’s going on then?”

They stepped out onto the path directly outside their front door. The air smelt heavy, bonfire smoke, fireworks and people celebrating the Halloween festivities. The smell of candy from their neighbour’s dwellings scented the smoky air and the cheers, giggles and squeals of the children seemed very surreal and almost like a scene from the beginning of a horror movie. Kyle felt a strange uneasiness in the air and with it being Halloween too, there was suddenly a pang of anxiety in his stomach. It twisted slightly as he came to realise its existence.

“Isn’t Graham supposed to be here by now?” he said looking at Chris.

“Yeah but he’s always late ain’t he! “ Chris said transfixed at the night sky.

Graham was Chris’s younger brother. A troubled lad, a bit like Chris. Graham lived at home with his mum and younger siblings. Chris had moved out when he was 18 and Kyle had taken him under his wing and now it seemed he had Graham to watch out for too.

Each Halloween it had become tradition to spend the evening pulling pranks on one another. This year Kyle was ready for the brothers, with more tricks and ideas up his sleeve than ever before.

Chris would undoubtedly pull the same trick he did every year by writing messages on every mirror and window in the house, so when they steamed up or got cold, they would read a scary message. It wasn’t original but it beat his first ever attempt at trick or treating, when he would knock on peoples doors, shout “trick or treat” and then put sweets into their bowls or bags before running away. Kyle spent the rest of that weekend explaining the concept of trick or treating to him.

Graham on the other hand was up for an adventure and was more mischievous than Chris and as he was younger had much more enthusiasm. Being one of seven children he didn’t get much attention at home, but being with his older brother and Kyle made up for it. He reminded Kyle of himself as a youngster.

One year Graham found some circular stickers, in red, blue and green. On Halloween he sneaked out in the early hours of the morning and put a different coloured sticker on the front doors of all their neighbours. Kyle cringed as he saw groups of his neighbours throughout the day, standing around outside their houses trying to work out what these stickers meant and why some of them had a different colour to others. They were puzzled for weeks after too. Poor Mrs Giles from number 32 still to this day believes she got a red sticker because she hadn’t paid full price for a loaf of bread at the supermarket and someone had ‘spotted’ her get away with it.

The following year Graham had made a giant poster, the size of Kyle’s front door and painted a picture of a brick wall on it. Kyle was scared out of his wits when he went to go to work in the morning.

* * *

“Mate, we gotta sort this out, otherwise our fright night will be rubbish if none of us can see each others pranks!” Kyle said stepping back into the house and stumbling his way towards the back door.

“Or watch our horror movie selection!” Chris said quite disappointed at the mere thought.

“I reckon your bro is gonna try do something big this year mate,” Kyle smiled at Chris, he’s been on about it for weeks now.”

The air seemed thicker as they opened the back door. They could see fireworks exploding in the air with a satisfying pop and bang as each one detonated into rainbows of colours and sparks.

The fuse box was in the outside cupboard, which is where they also stored their bikes and rusty tools, lawn mower and boxes of things from the previous tenants.

“Did you leave this cupboard door unlocked?” Kyle said looking behind him at Chris.

“No mate. Not been in there for months.”

Kyle opened the door, it creaked like a trap door and its hinges were so corroded it was a surprise they even held the door in place. As he pulled the door open an unfamiliar smell and strange mist began to surround them.

Kyle stood zombiefied and too shocked to move. There in the darkness, he saw Graham holding a fuse in one hand and a screwdriver in the other. His hands were black like charcoal and the smell of burning flesh filled the confined space. Like a frying pan full of nothing but bacon rind, charcoaled to the bottom of the pan, smoking and sizzling.

The two young men stood with glazed looks in their eyes, like wax work dummies standing motionless and yet life like.

Obviously plotting the trick of a lifetime, a carrier bag lay at Graham’s feet, with fake blood pouches, white sheets and an array of weird looking objects, for the ultimate scare.

“He’s gone and electrocuted himself Kyle,” Chris spluttered.

“No shit Sherlock…” Kyle murmured in a shocked and bewildered gaze, his eyes fixed on his friend, his ‘mini-me’ in the making,“..no shit!”

  1. Wow! Shocking end! Heh.

    Nice job on this. Cool prank gone wrong. Heh.

  2. Love the outcome on this Brian… Well done.

    “No shit Sherlock…”

  3. ThomG says:

    Great ending. The story had me going, too. I like when good writing propels you to read on, effortlessly.

  4. Tony Noland says:

    Wow, shocking indeed. Loved the descriptions of the Halloweens of yore.

  5. Quite shocking! (Sorry, I had to do it, too.) The stories of pranks from prior years was a lot of fun to read. The different colored stickers on all the neighborhood houses was a stroke of genius. Good story!

  6. Ganymeder says:

    That was way creepy… Poor Graham! Nice writing though!

  7. Sam says:

    Great Halloween story, that’s one curly perm I don’t fancy emulating! 😉

  8. Vandamir says:

    Eek! People shouldn’t mess around with electrical current unless they know what they’re doing (says the daughter of an electrician who used low voltage electrical current at the base of her brain to alleviate headaches). :/ Loved the interplay between the characters and flashes from past pranks. I’ve noticed a lot of stories this months of practical jokes gone horribly wrong. Must be the season.

  9. W. M. Dowis says:

    I figured he had something to do with the electric going out, but didn’t see that coming. Pretty good story. I may try that brick wall on the door trick.

  10. Wow and yikes, and yes indeed shocking. Poor Graham. These characters and their conversations felt very real. Again poor Graham. Well done indeed. Poor Graham.

  11. Was Graham really fried at the end? Or was he faking it for a Halloween prank?
    If he was fried, just add marshmallow and chocolate and you got a s’more. (Heh!)
    Well done!

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