Posted on October 29, 2012


Jason squinted in the bright sun. His cracked lips and dry mouth made him long for a cold drink of water. Legs aching, he began to walk a little faster; He wanted, more than anything, to get home and out of the merciless sun, and take off his heavy backpack and sweat drenched shirt. Only one more block. Not only that, but he was excited for Halloween. He didn’t have any plans; no trick-or-treating or parties, for he had no friends; instead, he would dress up and sit on the porch, handing out candy. That was good enough for him. 

Final stretch. Jason had reached the walkway up to his house. He jogged up to the front door and quickly fumbled for the keys in his pocket. Finally he stuck the key in the lock, turned it, and opened the door. A wave of cold air eagerly greeted him. Thank goodness. His mom had run the air conditioning. “Hey mom!” He said as he passed the kitchen. “Hey honey, are you hungry?” “No,” he said as he ran up the stairs. 

Once in his bedroom, he dropped his backpack by his desk and took off his shirt, throwing it into the dirty clothes hamper. Then he walked to the foot of his bed and looked down. Laid before him was his costume; a worn and tattered army uniform with faint stains of cheap fake blood, and a zombie mask with long black hair. It was more a demon mask, than a zombie one, but it didn’t matter. It was zombie enough for him. He smiled, and left his room to go shower. 

* * *


Jason held out the bowl of candy to the lion and the witch. They just need someone dressed as a wardrobe. The paw and long skinny fingers grabbed a handful of candy and dumped it in their bags. “Thaank youu!” the two said in unison. As they walked away, the long skinny fingers merged themselves with one of the lion’s paws. Jason sighed. That was the sixth couple. Suddenly he wasn’t enjoying himself anymore. Suddenly, he felt all alone. He stood from his chair and walked back inside. “What’s up, dear?” his mother asked, stepping out of the kitchen. “Nothing, I’m just feeling tired.” 

“But it’s only seven-thirty.” 

“The baby’s tired, mom,” his sister interjected from the kitchen. She and her boyfriend laughed. Jason scowled at them from behind his mask. He handed his mother the bowl of candy. “Oh, alright. I’ll put on my old nurse uniform and hand out the candy. You go and get some rest.” Jason nodded and walked up the stairs.


Jason suddenly awoke, taking in a breath of air. His face was sweaty, for he had fallen asleep with his mask on. He took it off. Laying next to him was a big kitchen knife. What the hell? He picked it up and examined the fake blood on it. “This…looks convincingly real,” he muttered to himself. “I wonder who bought it.” It dripped on his shirt, and as he looked down at his costume, he took notice of the huge blotches of fake blood. He called for his sister. “Sarah! Did you buy this fake blood?” There was no response. “Sarah! Mom!” No response. He looked at the digital alarm clock on his nightstand. Eleven p.m. He got out of bed and walked out into the hallway, and headed down to the bathroom. When he tried opening the door, something stopped him. He pushed harder each time, but whatever was blocking the door was heavy. He took a few steps back, and then charged the door. Whatever was blocking it gave way, and he fell. Next thing he knew, he was staring into the eyes of his sister. “What…” He slowly stood, and looked around the bathroom. His mother and father, both covered in blood, were in the bathtub. His sister and her boyfriend lay sprawled on the floor, also covered in blood. There were four others, two girls, and two guys around his age, also laying in a pool of their own blood. He didn’t recognize who they were. Slowly, he backed out of the bathroom and shut the door. Gradually, the brutal memories came flooding back, along with a tidal wave of emotions; the rage, the loneliness, it was all too much. He felt cold, and shivered. As he crawled into a ball of misery, one word escaped his lips, “Madness.” 

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