As a writer, as a freelance editor, as a reviewer… Well, sometimes Mia gets mouthy, and the fourth week of the month is when she’s gonna let you know just what she thinks!
Okay, no rant today, ’cause it’s Halloween! While I revere the less cheerful roots of Samhain, I also really enjoy the secular festivities of Halloween, especially since having a child. We dress up as a family and go out trick-or-treating at the mall’s event. Last year, my husband was Captain America, my son was Hulk, and I was Black Widow. It was a hoot!
So instead of ranting today, I’m going to celebrate with freebie flash fiction from Adelheid! Enjoy this quick Dakota story. 🙂
Also check out In Somnis Veritas, the next Adelheid short story that released today!
The doorbell rang.
I groaned with my head against the back of the couch. I knew we should have spent Halloween night at my place. The house I shared with my brother and his girlfriend was too far back off the road for trick-or-treaters, but Sam’s apartment–the ground floor of a building where all the doors let out straight outside–was perfect for this street. There had been a steady stream of kids at the door.
“You get it this time,” Sam murmured sleepily against my shoulder, poking me in the side. If she had been anyone else, I might well have bitten that finger off.
“It’s your house,” I returned, none too maturely.
“I don’t care,” she said, poking me in the side again. “I’ve gotten all the others. You get it this time.”
I mumbled something unintelligible–well, unintelligible to her because she didn’t speak much German–and leveraged myself off the couch. I did so without pause and let her fall against the couch since she no longer had me to lean against. She didn’t seem to mind, rolling over onto her back with a yawn while Frankenstein–the movie, circa 1994–played on the television.
At the door, I snatched the bowl of chocolate from the small table sitting there and opened the door.
Two little girls stood on the mat. One proudly declared, “Trick or treat!” while the other gawked at me.
I stared at the silent one, wondering what her deal was. Was she always like that, or had I scared her? I didn’t do anything, so I didn’t think it could be that. I scared people all the time, but I usually had to do something first. Knitting my brows, I looked more closely and tried to figure out what she was meant to be.
Her dark blonde hair was sticking up at weird angles with some kind of hair product. It wasn’t as short as mine, but it wasn’t very long–just short enough that product could make it stick up a bit. She had boots, jeans, a black t-shirt and a leather jacket. Couldn’t be more than eleven, although human children are notoriously hard to age.
Under her jacket, I saw a lime green and orange water pistol in what had to be a homemade holster; a cat claw glove on one hand and whiskers drawn on her face.
“What…” I began, blinking. “What in hell are you supposed to be?”
I’m not a kid person.
“I… I…” she stammered.
Her friend jumped to her rescue, her voice practically a squeal. “She’s you!”
My head snapped around to stare at the second girl like she had just sprouted another head AND turned green. Sam came up behind me and I heard her grin in her voice when she said, “That’s so CUTE!”
I looked back at the kid dressed up as…me.
“I… I…” I stammered just like she had.
The very idea that someone might…want to be me had never occurred to me. Horror and humility and being flattered all warred in my brain while I and little me still stared at one another, despite the girls beside us poking our shoulders.
I dumped a handful of chocolate into each of their little plastic buckets.
“Happy Halloween,” I said with a half-smile, staring at mini-me, “hunter.”
Her young face all but split in a smile, then her friend giggled and they spun around, rushing off to the next house.
“See? You really aren’t so bad,” Sam said with a cheeky grin, shutting the door.
I frowned. (I won’t say I pouted. Sam would say it, however.) “I am so…”