This flash is featured in the 17th issue of The Sirens Call – now available to download for free!!
Hallowe’en Night – 7:30PM
The first to be infected sat in a circle in the basement rec room of the parent who’d been sucked into the duty of trick-or-treating that year. There were superheroes, a princess, a witch, and even a cat, all of them devouring the small morsels of candy in their bags with reckless abandon. Mixed into the bounty were the small toffee tidbits lovingly handcrafted by the diminutive, elder woman who lived at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Each year the kids would run up the patio-stone walkway to knock loudly on her front door. And she would come out, her white hair always swept up into a tight bun, her arms bearing the bowl with her special treats. Each one would be greeted by name and a special remark made about their chosen costume for the year. Her house was always their favourite stop, and her toffee was the treat many of them saved for last.
But this year, the toffee was a little different. An ingredient had been tainted before it reached the small woman in her sunny kitchen. With each swirl of the wooden spoon around the saucepan, she mixed death into her sweets this year. And the neighbourhood would never be the same again.
It started with a quickening of the pulse, a flush coming over the children as they sat eating too much of their collected candy for one sitting. The stomach pains crept over them next, twisting cramps that doubled them over as they tried to climb the stairs in search of help. None of them made it past the wooden barrier before the change.
Hallowe’en Night – 8:33PM
“Kids! Your parents are here to pick you up!” The voice called from the front door, falling on deafened ears. Thinking the children were playing in the basement, or perhaps gorging themselves on all their candy, the brown-haired mother made a sweeping gesture to the congregated parents, inviting them in before moving down the hall. Her hand touched the gleaming doorknob and turned it, released the little monsters that waited for her.
They erupted from the basement, their bodies hungry for more than candy now. In a frenzy, amid the panicked screams, they ripped her apart, her blood mingling with the smears of chocolate already on their faces. It didn’t take them long to decimate her body, to infect her with their toffee sickness, her body rising in turn as the other parents came to investigate the source of the screams.
Hallowe’en Night – 11:18PM
The police couldn’t contain them and wound up succumbing like all the rest who’d had the misfortune of crossing their paths. It spread outward from the epicenter of the dead-ended street, a ballooning of bloody corpses in search of the uninfected. It was the start of something big, something that wouldn’t be stopped.
And at the centre of it all, a little old woman sat, scared and alone; unaware of the part she’d played in the end of the world.
All rights reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow