Veil between life and death thins
Through the darkling hours
Children seeking their reward
Unheeding of true meaning
By DJ Tyrer
originally published in Sirens Call
Halloween is coming!
By Mark Hudson
The man was watching Halloween DVDS;
in his basement, with a pizza made of cheese.
He heard the kids ringing the bell,
He said to the kids, “Go to hell!”
The kids were screaming, “Trick or treat!”
He said, “I have no candy to eat!”
The kids burst in, and threw a bunch of eggs,
they landed on his arms and legs.
He said, “What is this some type of joke?
Here I am, covered in yolk!”
The kids replied,” Give us candy, you must!
Or give us the pizza, even the crust!”
The man retorted, “Get out, or I’ll call the police!
You kids are making my anger increase!”
The kids threw eggs at the TV set,
the TV looked like an omelet.
The man scrambled to chase the kids;
but he looked like scrambled eggs on the grids.
He tripped and fell and broke his spine,
his head split open like Frankenstein.
The kids approached, with fear and dread,
and one of them noticed,” I think he’s dead!”
They flew up the stairs in a total panic,
wondering if they saw something satanic.
Then a cop appeared, as if from the grave,
grabbed them all, and said, “You boys behave!”
He took them back to their mothers and fathers,
and that’s when he discovered the cadaver.
The boys went to the juvenile jail;
where they ate breadcrumbs so stale.
The moral of the story is on Halloween,
don’t do anything too obscene!
By Aeronwy Dafies
Black cat wanders empty streets
Beneath bright Hallowe’en moon
Stops at each door in turn
Scratches, yowls, meows
Demanding treats from those within
Fearful of the curse it carries
Hand over treats
Hope the only trick it plays
Is a mess on the lawn
With Covid Trick-or-Treating
the most frightening disguise
any parent can devise:
small, ungloved hands outreaching
from unmasked children breathing!
By David Edwards
Masks atop masks, protective
Doors firmly shut without treats
In lieu of trick, hacking cough
By DS Davidson
By DJ Tyrer
Cheapest costume ever
Since the serial killer
(Who looks just like a regular Joe)
The mask-wearer of 2020
Doubles up as protection
Against unseen viral dangers.
Can it protect against the zombie virus
Trick or Treat Candy
By Mark Hudson
There is always a thing that comes in handy,
a friend with a bag of trick or treat candy.
Don’t waste your trick or treat candy on kids,
let’s eat Kit Kats and flip our lids.
The Reese’s cups are going rather quick,
why give the children the joy to get sick?
Stick a milk dud right down your throat,
it’s Halloween, let us sacrifice a goat.
Chocoholics get together and unite,
for a night of cavities and ghastly fright.
Kids can’t throw eggs when you’re home,
passed out on candy like an orgy in Rome.
Why let all the children have fun?
Chase them off and keep them on the run.
Don’t let the demons interrupt your sleep,
act like you’re Lurch, the ultimate creep.
Let candy fuel your greatest nightmares,
as goblins and ghouls appear with big sneers.
Ghouls are heading towards the cemetery,
with a leader who looks like he is unburied.
The dead will rise at a blink of an eye,
but some will appear with a frightening cry.
The trick or treat candy is yours to consume,
just avoid the witch who is riding a broom!
Trick or treat tonight
Pumpkin faces observant
Candy or egging
But not all who walk tonight
Are people wearing costumes
By DJ Tyrer
originally published in Scifaikuest
By Cardinal Cox
Harvest’s now in, nights are longer than day
Two bonfires been built upon the hill
Now distant hares on empty fields lay
Fat beasts are selected that men might kill
Pale turnips carved into grinning faces
Nuts are thrown into the embers that glow
Flickering lights dance round the dark places
Sleep and dream and the future it might show
Winds and snow lurk beneath horizons edge
Storm cloud black crows spread wide across the moor
Sleepy mice are nesting down in the hedge
Be hungry children if the crop is poor
The door rattles, take the beggars some drink
We might be thin, don’t want others to think.
By Harris Coverley
Niles, being ten and therefore the taller child, opened the front door and graciously let Lilli in first, before pushing it shut behind him.
There was something pleasant wafting in from the kitchen down the hallway, but the two children were not interested in any home cooking. Between their Jack O’Lantern-shaped plastic pails they carried around five pounds of sweets, ranging from chocolate bars to gummy candies to bags of sherbet and liquorice—the imposition of an American holiday on their British nation had served their sweet teeth very well.
They went into the front room and saw their father from behind, sat through the archway in his armchair, facing the TV as a football match played.
“We got lots dad!” called Niles, proud of their accomplishment.
“That’s great kiddo,” his dad replied in a low groan, not bothering to turn around. This struck Niles as rather dismissive, but he was too happy with himself to care much.
He and his sister dumped their spoils onto the carpet and knelt before them, beginning to sort through the multi-coloured piles of glucose and lactose.
Their mother walked in from the hall, her apron on, stained with flour.
“You’re back!” she exclaimed and kissed both of them on the head. “How did it go?”
“Avalanche!” cried Lilli in excitement.
“Avalanche!” responded their mother. “Ohhhhh, you are so cute!”
She gently shook each child in turn, Lilli in her ballet outfit with an exceptionally floppy royal pink tutu, Niles in his deep blue police uniform with its shiny fake gold badge.
“So, so cute!” she said, breaking into laughter, and then turned abruptly and left them.
How odd, thought Niles, getting back on his knees to sift. Their mother had been the one to perfunctorily dress them and send them out to trick-or-treat but an hour ago…why was she so enamoured with them now?
There was also…something else about the house. Something he couldn’t put his finger on.
Lilli had not noticed anything, and had made great headway separating her small bags of soft gummies from her chocolate bars.
Niles put his thoughts aside. He began to trade items with his sibling in what he believed was a fair and equitable manner, which Lilli largely accepted, although there were some quibbles over the distribution of hard lollies. Niles however at such an early age was quite the diplomat.
Their father remained stationary, his face averted, although Niles periodically heard giggling coming from his direction—very odd, guttural giggling, not like his father’s usual soft chuckling at all.
His mother re-entered the room, and that strange something returned to Niles’ consciousness—it was a smell. A strange smell, warm yet cooling, like something you sometimes got in summer, not autumn, and not in a house, but at an indoor market…
From his kneeling position he looked up. His mother had stripped off her apron and was looking down at him with a crooked grin, her hands on her hips. She was very tall. In fact, she was too tall. Taller than his mother had ever or could have been.
“Mum, what’s wrong?” he inquired, suddenly very afraid.
His mother laughed, but it was not his mother’s laugh. It was too shrill, too gritted.
Both children got up and came together.
Their father, giggling away like a moron, at last turned from his TV screen and looked at them from his chair—his face was hideously grey, his short beard limp and hanging.
Niles stared into the eyes of both people: blackened and forbidding, so alien to their lives.
“You’re not my mummy,” mumbled Lilli, looking down at the floor, her fingernails digging into the flesh of her opposing forearms.
The being shook her head, and then grabbed the top of it, digging her fingers into the short blonde hair. The skin of the forehead buckled and twisted, pulling away from an unseen hem. The mouths of the children dropped open in a silent scream as their mother’s face left the head of the imposter, revealing the blood-soaked visage of a woman with a long aquiline nose and dark, curled hair glazed in crimson.
Meat, thought Niles in his terror. That was the strange something: the smell of old, decaying meat.
The imposter leaned down inches from the children, and whispered through snarling lips: “Trick.”
At that both children fainted within a second of each other, the moronic giggling unceasing.
* * *
Batsara and Estragaal removed the remaining skins of their prey and left them in the kitchen, before washing off the blood, leaving one gory hell of a mess.
“Good one,” Estragaal said, wiping off some loose flesh from in-between his toes. “I would never have had the thought of this family without you.”
Batsara was humble: “Please, it was nothing. Did you want to do anything else before we go?”
Estragaal reached out and grabbed her breast.
“Well,” he purred, but she quickly slapped his hand away.
“We could do that anytime, anywhere,” she snapped, genuinely annoyed.
Estragaal was crestfallen, but she was right, and she did have the seniority over him. Her Levantine beauty was such that he had to work hard to suppress his barbaric inclinations. It had been so much easier back in Old Rus’ under his Norse lord, but these days…
“Besides,” she continued, looking at the clock on the mantelpiece, “the Day of Solemnity will soon be here. We’ve had our fun…it’s best to get going.”
To this he agreed. They put their rags back on and made their way past the unconscious children.
“Should we do something about them?” Estragaal asked.
“Nah,” Batsara replied, still walking towards the door. “I’m already full. Let’s just leave them to their inevitable descent into the dysfunction of insanity.”
The two went out the front door and into the street. They then took each other’s hand and ran, ran and ran and ran, off into the gaps between worlds. The next Hallows’ Eve was but a year away…