I had a Friday Flash all ready to go, and then this story came available. (Good news/bad news, I guess. Bad news that it didn't win the contest I entered it in, but good news that I can share it here.) So I decided to publish them both this week. Check out my other story here. It's a bit more adult in gore and language, while this one is fine for audiences of all ages. So, without further ado, here's my first Friday Flash for the week.
The Green-Faced Witch
by Eric J. Krause
Jeremy stalked over to the snack table and let out an exaggerated sigh. Why did it have to rain on Halloween night? He had the perfect costume and everything. He would have had a full bag of candy, but instead Mom forbade him from trudging around the neighborhood in the wet weather. Now he was stuck at a party in his school's auditorium.
He scarfed down a few chips and scanned the room for his friends. Before he spotted anyone, a voice came from behind him. "Fun party, huh?"
He turned and found a girl in a witch costume. He didn't recognize her, but she looked pretty cute underneath all the green makeup. "I guess. I'd rather be out Trick or Treating."
"Not me. Parties are way more fun. You get to meet all sorts of people."
He squinted, trying to figure out who she was, but no luck. "Do you go to school here?"
"I used to. I like to come back and visit on Halloween."
Before she could elaborate, Mr. Martin, the assistant principal, spoke up. "Gather around, everyone. It can't be Halloween without a spooky story."
The witch grabbed Jeremy's hand. Her grip was ice cold and clammy, as if she'd just come in from the wet weather. She led him over to the group, and they all formed a circle. The lights shut off, and Mr. Martin held up a flashlight to his face. Everyone giggled, but quieted quickly in anticipation of the story.
"Thirty years ago tonight," Mr. Martin said in his creepiest voice, "a student from this very school went out Trick or Treating with her friends. She dressed up as a witch, complete with green makeup covering her face. She had a great time, and pulled in a sack-full of candy, but when they got to the large house right across the street from the school, they stopped."
One of the kids called out, "But there's no house across the street. It's a mini-mall."
Mr. Martin nodded. "It is now, but back then, it was a rickety old mansion. Most kids, and even many adults, kept their distance because they said it was haunted. And no one could dispute that, especially on dark Halloween nights.
"The young witch's group of friends crossed the street to stay as far away from the house as possible. But not her. She saw a light on and guessed whoever lived there probably had the best candy. What better place to Trick or Treat than at a haunted house? None of her friends would go up there with her. Instead, they watched as she approached the front of the house alone.
"As she stepped up to the door, it creaked open, but no one was there. She pushed it all the way open and called out, "Is anyone here?" She received no answer. Just as she started to turn away to go back to her friends, a small sign in the middle of the floor caught her eye. "This way for candy," it read. How could she pass that up? She stepped inside, and the door slammed shut.
"Her friends hollered at her to come back out, but the door remained closed. One friend ran to a pay phone in front of the school--remember, this was before people carried cell phones--and called the police. When an officer showed up a few minutes later and walked through the house, no one was there. The girl was never seen again.
"People say on dark Halloween nights, just like this one, a strange girl in a witch costume can be seen wandering around the area looking for her friends."
Mr. Martin gave a sinister laugh, and the auditorium lights flashed back on. No one said anything for a few seconds, but then the room filled with laughs and applause. Jeremy turned to the girl in the witch costume to ask if she liked the story, especially since she was dressed the same as the ghost, but she was gone.
Darren, a kid he knew from his math class, was sitting a few feet away. "Hey, did you see where the girl that was here went?"
Darren gave him a funny look. "What are you talking about? There was no girl sitting here. You walked over here alone."
Jeremy's blood froze, and he pulled out his cell phone to call his parents. It was time to go home and hide under the covers.