A Halloween Bonfire

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Two kids are enjoying a bonfire on Halloween night when something unexpected happens.

Submitted: May 30, 2018

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Submitted: May 30, 2018

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A Halloween Bonfire

Halloween had fallen on a Friday night this year.  Cynthia Mink and Brad Price had finished their round of trick or treats.  They were now in the middle of a forest near their neighborhood, enjoying a celebratory bonfire.  The cheap, shiny fabric of their makeshift costumes of a witch and a werewolf were illuminated by the fire, and they smiled, ate candy, and passed the time telling ghost stories.  They were both eleven, and still felt that childish glee and euphoria within their kindred spirits.  They were having a terrific Halloween.

Then, in the distance, the children heard what sounded like someone singing. 

Brad: Do you hear that?

Cynthia: Yeah, it’s coming from somewhere deep in the forest.  It sounds like a woman’s voice. 

Brad: Why is she singing at this time of night?

Cynthia: I don’t know, but it sounds cool.

Cynthia can not resist harkening to the mysterious voice, and is allured by it, drawn to its source.

Cynthia: I’m going to check out where the voice is coming from.

Brad: Be careful Cynthia. 

Cynthia is lead to an opening deep in the forest.  She sees, to her amazement, that the voice is coming from a small, homely cottage.  There is smoke escaping from the chimney, and the sight of this is inviting to her.  She approaches steadily and reaches for the small door handle. 

Then, the cottage somehow dematerialized, and to Cynthia’s horror, she found herself amid a swamp of quicksand.  The surrounding area is nothing but bare mud, and there is only one old, decrepit grave at the foot of the quicksand pool.  But, it is too far to reach, and Cynthia knows no way of freeing herself from the pool which is slowly overtaking the length of her body.  She calls out to Brad, desperately begging for help.

Cynthia: Brad, help me I’m sinking!

Brad rushes over to the spot and sees the harrowing situation unfold.  He grabs a long, thin tree branch, and holds it out for Cynthia.

Brad: Cynthia, here, grab on.  I’ll pull you out!

But, Brad’s attempt at rescue does not succeed, as the flimsy tree branch snaps, and Cynthia continues to sink.  Brad catches a final, despairing expression on Cynthia’s face as she sinks into oblivion and dies.

Now, terror-stricken and devastated, Brad runs back to his house to alert his parents, James and Martha Price.  Minutes later, they arrive at the scene deep in the forest marked by the old grave and the pool of quicksand. They are surprised to find an old woman with a walking stick standing before the pool on safe ground. 

Brad: Who are you?

Old woman: I am an old lady.  I live not too far from these woods.  I can tell you what happened to your friend, boy. 

James Price: Please tell us. 

Old woman: You see, that voice you heard was that of an evil songstress, a witch.  She lured your friend into the woods and showed her a mirage of a cottage, so she might try to go inside. But really the witch led her into quicksand to kill her.  You see that grave over there?  It belongs to a witch who was burned at the stake centuries ago for murdering children.  The villagers burned down her cottage as well. It is said, every year on Halloween night her ghost returns to continue her murderous ways.  I advise you folks to go home, leave the forest, before the witch kills again. 

Martha Price: Alright.  Come on, let’s listen to the nice old lady and go home where it’s safe. 

Brad: Alright, mom, I think I had enough excitement and tragedy for one night.  Let’s go tell Cynthia’s parents what happened.  We did all we could to save her.

After the Price’s leave the forest:

Old woman: I know because I am that witch.  I am Tabitha, and tonight I am immortal.  Ha, ha, ha.  Happy Halloween!

Then, Tabitha the witch disappeared into the forest, laughing as she went, under the eldritch rind of a grayish autumn moon. 

-The End-



© Copyright 2018 Paul Skoutelas. All rights reserved.

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