This story spawned the novel Circus of Horrors . I got very attached to Al and Hank, the murderous midgets. This story appears in House of Horrors. It's a Halloween tradition now to share their debut story!
HALLOWEEN IN JERKWATER 1932
There were two of them. None of the other kids knew who they were but then again, they couldn’t tell who anyone was really.
The costumes weren’t much for any of the kids. There was a depression on and people just couldn’t spend on things like that so the children wore whatever was at hand like potato sacks with the eyes cut out.
There were a lot of ghosts in other words.
Suddenly two more little ghosts just seemed to appear from nowhere.
There were a heck of a lot of kids out then and some of the children were curious about the two they didn’t seem to recognize.
Joanie Myles kept stopping the two little ghosts.
“Say, who are you? Do you go to school here? I just don’t know who you are.”
Joanie was only 10 so when one of the ghosts said for her to can it and mind her own business. She didn’t think much of it. In fact she only waved him off and said if he was going to be silly and not say who he was she didn’t care.
She never heard the other ghost suggest plugging the kid to keep her quiet.
Eventually she disappeared into the crowd of children and left the two unidentified ghosts on their own.
They were glad she was gone. That was the last god damned thing they needed—a nosey kid.
Whereas the other children were targeting every house there was, these two were real particular. It seemed as if they were looking for something special.
The truth was they were.
“Over there, see?”
One of them pointed toward a fine old Victorian house with turrets and a big wraparound porch.
“Let’s go and take a look.”
They hurried over to look inside. The lights were on all over the place and they could see two old ladies. One of them was reading and the other was running back and forth from the kitchen saying how the cookies were almost ready.
The other asked if the money was ready too.
“Money.” The little ghosts nodded toward one another.
A whole pack of children began to descend on the house then as the two little ghosties fled from sight.
Sure enough the children were calling on these two ladies for their Halloween treats.
Though there were mainly ghosts, there were some witches and goblins too, and a few other things which kind of were stupid looking but the old ladies made a fuss over them anyway.
“Why don’t you look adorable?”
“Trick or treat!”
The second old lady appeared then and clapped her hands childishly. “I just love when you say that, children! Don’t you love that, Alice?”
“Yes I do,” her sister replied. “We shall indeed give you lovely children some cookies and pennies too but tell us, though I dread asking,” she laughed. “What would your trick be if we hadn’t a treat?”
The children began to confer then, whispering and shrugging. It was obvious they wouldn’t have done anything although one boy called out, “We’d throw flour all over your house!”
“Oh goodness, would you really? Why that’s awful. Isn’t that awful, Sister?”
Sister agreed it was awful.
The two strange ghosts that were still hiding were cursing under their breath--their voices a bit deep-sounding for children.
“Well here you are children. Some cookies I baked.”
The children thanked her. “Wow, we never get anything like that!”
The other sister opened her purse. “Here are some pennies too, children!”
They left eventually and the door was closed.
The two ghosts came out of hiding.
They rang the bell but they didn’t say, ' trick or treat.' Instead when the door opened, they just stood there looking around at all the rich furnishings.
The kindly woman smiled at them and asked teasingly, “Aren’t you going to say anything? Cat got your tongue?”
The two little ghosts just sighed; they had already spotted the purse.
Since neither of them said anything and it was cold, the sisters ushered them inside. It was when they were inside that they said: "Trick or treat!"
They were given cookies and one of the sisters asked, “What would your trick have been children?”
One of the ghosts produced a razor and cut her throat and her sister's expertly, avoiding most of the blood.
“Grab whatever you see. I’ll get the dough; we’ll clean up before we leave.”
Al and Hank had been employed as midgets in circus sideshows for years. Halloween was always a special time for them. It made up for all the shit they took and all the pointing and cruelty.
Each had grown up in various mental institutions. Al had a police record but he wasn’t wanted again, not yet.
Their car was where they left it.
‘Let’s drive the fuck outta this jerkwater town.’
“Yeah,” Al said. “And maybe we can get laid too and have a really special Halloween.”
Copyright © Carole Gill 2011
Just one of the stories in House of Horrors!
Packed with stories of vampires, zombies, murderous midgets, demon clowns, evil dolls, haunted cemeteries , a real shop of horrors, taxidermy gone haywire, serial killers and more!
Your worst fears and nightmares dished up for you with extra helpings of blood-curdling terror!
REMEMBER TO HAVE A HAPPY, SAFE HALLOWEEN AND THOSE KIDS--ARE YOU ARE YOU SURE THEY'RE CHILDREN?!