The giant roars in anger. He picks up the empty cake stand and throws it high in the air. On its return, it misses my baby niece by mere inches. My sister cries out in anguish. I know how she feels, but for another reason. I spent hours baking those cupcakes. It took the giant about three seconds to demolish them.
‘What is it with you people and cupcakes,’ the giant rages. ‘They barely fill the hole in my molar. Bake real cakes next time. Give me something to chew on.’
The giant stomps off, ranting on about proper cakes.
Because today is Halloween, I decided against something spooky. I wrote this a while ago for Flash Frenzy, but I gave it a new title – it’s from Mae Martin’s Birthday Song.
Janey sticks her head out to check for the prevalent conditions. She can’t afford to be caught in the wrong outfit. It’s getting harder by the day to predict which group she might encounter. Nights getting longer doesn’t help – blasted autumn equinox. The other day, she found herself out until sunset without adequate protection; it nearly cost her dearly.
The fog doesn’t help, either. Muffles sounds of shuffling feet. On the other hand, it’ll mask her scent.
In the end, Janey goes for full armour and weaponry. Will slow her down, but no matter what’s about today, she’ll kill it.
She woke up wishing the day over. The early morning sunshine lit up the red gown like a warning beacon and oh, how she wanted to heed it. She brushed her fingertips over the shimmering fabric. Beautiful frock, but bright coral red didn’t suit her.
Colour didn’t suit her. She wanted to wear a simple black number, but Mother wouldn’t have it.
‘You will be presented to society in a style that befits your father’s status.’
She lived her life trapped in a Jane Austen novel and she wanted out. Words wouldn’t sway Mother. Cutting the dress into ribbons might.
I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured.
Why did I keep trying? I’d shouted myself hoarse hours ago; I knew nobody would save me. I’d been warned. I didn’t believe the tales. The zoo animals I remembered from before the collapse had taken over the park and NW1? Pu-lease.
But I’d seen proof that animals were much better at adapting to circumstances humans found challenging. If I made it back – unlikely, given the state of my leg wound – I’d report the beast that had attacked me must have been a cross between wolf and labrador.
No, chances were I’d make this bird a handsome dinner.
If you’re a regular reader, this might remind you of The Zoologist’s Favourite Tiger. Same world, a bit later, I reckon. I love this idea but I’ll have to forget about this world. It’s only six days until NaNoWriMo and I’ve Scarlett to rewrite, so I cannot run with any plot bunnies this year…
Raise your hand if you’re nanoing – I think I’ve lost count.
She dislikes the hassle. How does one take a decent picture? Hers are either too dark or overexposed. She lives in terror of getting postage wrong. And once those bloodsuckers take their fees, the money isn’t that great, either.
Well, it is some money. On a good week, it takes the shop from Sainsbury’s Basics to Taste the Difference. When she finds treasures on the charity shop run, she’ll buy them and live on cheap toast and butter for a week until the item sells.
eBay is a pain. But it’s better than the alternatives.
Behind him, a synchronised shake of heads. Tone of his voice screams drill sergeant, though. His minions lining up behind him like birds on a wire, in their identical suits and crew cuts – let’s just say I know a liar when I see one.
‘So, whadda ya wan’?’
A question to make him tell more porkies. We all know what it is they’re coming for, we’ve all heard the rumours.
‘Open your door.’
No way, I’m gonna keep the semi-automatic hidden till the last sec. I’m gonna stand up for my rights.
Tim loves Halloween. Not only does he guide minimum one tour per night, which means lots of money. His pulling success rate goes through the roof, too. On a misty night like tonight, he won’t go home alone.
Tim hates going home alone. None of the girls who drink spiced cider on his tab and listen to his stories he can’t tell in front of family audiences ever return for another tour.
It’s not the spirits wandering the killing fields in search of their souls that scare him. But spooky season is over soon and he fears the lonely nights.
I hear them before I see them. Loud and scary, out of necessity. Now, they’re Edgers, they have to be rough around the edges. Tough life, theirs – not one I’d want. I like the cushy comforts and the safety of the Inlands; we’d have neither if it wasn’t for them, keeping the enemy out.
SoI feel bad about not wanting Edgers in my eatery. But they’ve terrible table manners. A big bunch of them will drive potential patrons away. They like to fight among themselves, and they’re not afraid of throwing cutlery.