Saturday, October 6, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

For this month’s invitational blog post, in honor of October, I asked people to send me a 99-word story about Halloween. I asked writers to make the stories dark and scary. I guess that was too much of a challenge for some, because I received only two submissions!
The good news, though, is that they’re both fine stories, and they’re suitably spooky in their separate ways. They’re featured below.
For next month’s invitational, please send me a story about a Thanksgiving dinner. Remember, the story must be 99 words long, and it must be a real story. What makes a real story? Conflict. Plot. People.
Meanwhile, have a fine month, enjoy the season of pumpkins and bright leaves, and have fun with your writing.


All Hallow’s Eve
by Denise Dreany

“Did you see that?!”
We were out in the dark, the road before us vanishing into a night that shivered in the wind. Dry leaves rustled and fled; the flap of owl’s wings.
“What is it?”
White vapor, not quite human, slithered by, caressing us in coldness, lingering as if the world was too precious to let go.
“Hold me,” it seemed to say. “Where have I gone?”
Our hearts stopped, clenched in fear; icy fingers slipped through our hands.
“Don’t let me go.”
She was a suicide, we learned, who encountered us on the road to another world.


A Different Kind of Halloween
June Kosier

October 31, 2003.
No candy, no trick or theaters, no jack o lanterns. The good Lord has delivered us “from ghoulies and ghosties and long- legged beasties and things that go bump in the night.” Might just as well say, no Halloween.
There is a party and one must dress for the occasion. But first, one must go to church. What horror!
The lights go out. The service begins by candlelight. The pipe organ is played. Women in black dresses walk down the aisle followed by a woman in white.
It is a wedding!


  1. I talk too much to put anything into 99 words, but these two writers did a wonderful job! Thanks for sharing the stories.
    Marja McGraw

  2. These are good. I like micro-fiction, but I can't seem to fit it all in under the 150 word mark. I'm impressed!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, Marja and Bill. I used the 99-word story gimmick all the years I taught creative writing, and published a little anthology each year of students' stories. It was a popular device, and it teaches the skill of writing economically.

  4. Somehow I missed the October invitational, John. Just started teaching again and will be through early December. I'm copying your Thanksgiving dinner request and bringing it to class. I have a whole new group of adult students (17 of them) at Suffolk Community College (many former or current educators) and they may love to write for your blog. What is deadline??