Halloween Haunts: The Pandemic Party by Naching T. Kassa
The chill of night filled the air. Shadows ruled the world and not even the plump autumn moon could keep them at bay. Halloween had come at last.
The children donned their costumes and sat down to wait in the living room of the 1969 trailer home. The oldest, dressed as Blade, tapped his blue flashlight on the arm of the rocking chair, while his sister, a Day of the Dead Cutie, sat nearby. Their baby brother, clad in a Superman costume glared at them both.
I, their guide, entered the room and announced the time had come. They all rose to their feet.
We began our procession through the kitchen, pausing when we reached the hallway. Darkness lay before us, lit only by the glimmer of the children’s dim and colorful lights. A washing machine stood at the end of the hall and a large bowl of candy sat upon it.
We moved down the hall past the bedroom on the left. While the children took their fill, filling plastic pumpkins with goodies, I glanced back at the hall. Something stirred in the bedroom we had passed.
When the kids had finished, I directed them back to the kitchen. They trooped, single file, up the hall with Blade in the lead and me bringing up the rear. DotD Cutie walked ahead of me. When she passed the room, a bladed hand grasped hold of her head.
I pushed her past the room, and we ran through the kitchen to the front door. We threw it open and rushed out onto the porch and down the steps to the lawn.
DotD Cutie’s laughter filled the air. Thanks to the green lamps shaped like Slimer, the ugly little spud from Ghostbusters, her fright had passed. We followed the lights to another bowl of candy and the children filled their pumpkins once again.
A frightful sound drifted toward us, and the children startled.
“Help me!” a ghostly voice moaned. “Let me go!”
“What is that?” I said.
I led the children past a large pine tree which had been cut to resemble a Bonsai. We stopped in the corner of the backyard beneath the clothesline. Tombstones stood lonely vigil here, guarding a large bowl of candy. Further away in the dark, chains rattled and red eyes glowed. The voice called out again.
“It’s an animatronic,” Blade said. “Probably motion-activated.”
The smaller children breathed a sigh of relief as we approached the wraith which hung from the clothesline.
Just then, someone called the children by name. The deep voice seemed strange and bestial.
“Who is it?” DotD Cutie cried.
“It’s Daddy with a voice changer,” Blade said. “Let’s play hide-and-seek.”
We played hide-and-seek for fifteen minutes and then we heard the wraith moaning again. This time no one stood near it. Not a breath of breeze filled the air. No animal had trotted by.
“Let’s go in,” Blade said nervously.
And we did.
As my children settled down to eat snacks and watch Stephen King’s Silver Bullet, my husband and I smiled. We’d started a new tradition for our first Pandemic Halloween. And, according to our children, they preferred it to trick-or-treating. With a little imagination and some help from Spirit Halloween (which supports our local Shriners Hospital), we created a memorable experience for our little ones.
We’re going to repeat the party this year and there will be new scares as well as old. The kids are excited, and they won’t catch Covid.
And who knows? Maybe the wraith will make another unscheduled performance…thanks to Mom.
Naching T. Kassa is a wife, mother, and Horror Author. She’s created short stories, novellas, poems, and co-created three children. She lives in Eastern Washington State with Dan Kassa, her husband and biggest supporter.
Naching is a member of the Horror Writers Association and Mystery Writers of America. She is a writer/interviewer for HorrorAddicts.net and an Assistant at Crystal Lake Publishing where she also writes for the fiction series Still Water Bay. Her work is available at Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Naching-T-Kassa/e/B005ZGHTI0 and you can follow her here: https://nachingkassa.wordpress.com/.