October 28, 2011

3 More Days 'til Halloween, but "The Trick-or-Treaters" are already here.

I used to live in a working class neighborhood in a not-so-great area of Los Angeles.  If you looked at the crime maps on the internet, the area was a virtual collage of color-coded crimes and misdemeanors, but it was also an area with mostly houses for blocks & blocks.  The population was less transient than streets lined with apartment buildings, and, as a result, there were more children.

And more children mean trick-or-treaters on Halloween evening.

It all sounds great - little kids in cute costumes with their mock attempts at candy blackmail.  I was in to it, ready to play along with my buckets of Hershey's kisses.

But once the sun had completely set, I figured it would only be another hour or two before the parents packed the kiddies away and off the mean streets.

Imagine my surprise when I settled in to watch John Carpenter's Halloween for the billionth time when, at around 9:30, there was a knock on my door.

There was no peep hole and my lights were already on, so I couldn't peek through the window in secret.  There was, however, a pretty solid screen door, so I opened the main door to take a look.

It was a person, at least as tall as me, but clearly heavier, wearing saggy jeans, a dark hoodie, and wearing a plain white hockey mask and holding a sack full of.... who knows.

He didn't make a move.  He didn't make a sound.

He just stood there.

And I just shook my head and laughed, saying "No, dude.  Not tonight", before closing the door and waiting for him to leave.

He was probably just some teenager who wanted in on the fun.


But what if...

My latest horror short is called "The Trick-or-Treaters."

It starts from that idea and runs with it into some pretty crazy and surprising places.  I can honestly say that how I imagined this story would end is no where close to how it actually concludes.  And there are definitely some moments where I had an idea to write something where I thought, "wow, that's really, really wrong."

I'm reminded of a term Marlon Brando uses in "Apocalypse Now":

Moral terror.

It's brand new and available in the Amazon Kindle store today.  And definitely pay attention to my Macroscope post on Halloween proper.  I've got a little special something cooked up.