Auld Acquaintance, by Jane Reid

Molly headed down the street, past the cafeteria where she usually stopped. Its food had gone badly downhill, and a creepy guy there who tried to hit on her was the last straw. So she and Candy agreed to meet at the tearoom in the next block, where the decor was pink and frilly, but the food was OK.

Candy (more a business associate than a friend) was usually late, so Molly was surprised to see she was already there. She sat in a booth across the room, talking to someone.

Then Molly recognized him: that man from the cafeteria.

Let the Right One In, by Emma Baird

“I’m dreading this evening so I am.”

Matthew had been the more gregarious of the two. It was the ultimate compliment to his hosting skills that so many people often dropped by, unannounced.

When he died ten years ago, she shut her front door and gradually those unannounced visitors stopped coming.

Hallowe’en, however, every year brought the neighbourhood’s children, craving comments on cute costumes and greedily demanding sweets.

The doorbell sounded at 6 p.m. She sighed and heaved herself up.

“Jenny – you’ve been hiding away too long. It isn’t good for a person.”

She stuck out a tentative hand.

Oh Matthew…

The Dinner Guest, by Ann-Louise Truschel

“Welcome, my dear. Would you like a cocktail before dinner?”

“Yes, I would.”

“Here you are, my dear.”

“Thank you, George. What smells so delicious?”

“It’s a special sauce I make. My own recipe.”

“I had no idea you were such a good cook – or should I say ‘Chef’?”

“I enjoy it. Cooking relaxes me after a long night at work. I love to try new recipes.”

“What are we having tonight.”

“I’d like it to be a surprise.”

I’m pretty picky about my food. Nothing exotic, I hope. Give me a hint?”

“Brains, my dear.”

“Ugh. What kind?”


(Untitled), by Amy Friedman

“Aaaaand …” said Carly, setting the bag on the counter, “Real New York Bagels!”
“For real?” said Brenda, cocking an eyebrow.
“Yep – fresh from a shop near my mom,” Carly said.
Brenda picked up a bagel, squeezed, sniffed, and squinted.
“I bet this was made in some factory in Jersey,” she sniped.
“Oh come on Brenda! Who appointed you judge? Just eat,” Kit chimed.
“I don’t like Carly trying to put one over, like she did with salt water taffy her last trip,” Brenda said.
“Brenda, you don’t even bother bringing stuff in,” Carly said. “Put up or shut up.”

Wait A Minute!, by Roshanna Sidney Evans

No cure for the Undead? Aren’t you being old-fashioned? Didn’t you hear that the new information was released? It’s only a matter of time before it filters through to the masses. After all, it’s not like they have to ingest something new, it’s just about refreshing their DNA, reminding them they aren’t Homo sapiens, only hypothetically advanced Cave men, identified as the original Undead. Geez, as soon as they wake up they’re going to know the difference and feel so much better. No more of this epidemic self harming, no more illogical passion to end the species. I can’t wait.

Ghost Hunters Two-Hour Special: Angel Hall University of Michigan, by Jo Oldani Osborne

Just a fun poke at reality TV and the demise of well spoken English. A personal bugaboo of mine. I have heard each “barker” . (TMSATTVBBG). Throwing my shoes at the TV because of Bad Grammar. We all know we’ll see plenty of hyped up Paranormal “Proof” —

Ghost Hunters Two-Hour Special: Angel Hall University of Michigan, by Jo Oldani Osborne

“OH MY GOD! Did he just use a double negative again?” They watched from a distance.

“’There isn’t no reason not to believe in ghosts.’” Technically that’s a triple negative. Indeed, and he’s ‘a expert.’”

“-‘Exasperate the situation.’ Ugh!”

“Should we let him know?”

“Which? ‘Exacerbate’ or subject/verb agreement? He’s reinforcing bad habits. ‘I seen it!’”

“ ‘Scientific proof of ghosts’ – and he doesn’t even qualify it. Tell him.”

“YOU tell him.” They watched the Ghost Hunter adjust his EMF and recorder looking for “ EVP’s.”

“Halloween Specials! How tiresome.”

“Cretin. Let’s go haunt his editor.”

Bad News at the Doctor’s, by Gordon Lawrie

The doctor sat down facing the patient directly; he wore a serious expression and the patient knew something was wrong.

“Let me have it straight, doc. What’s the problem?”

The doctor shook his head. “You seem to have caught diabetes 2. Your blood tests show that your chromosomes have altered irrevocably, I’m afraid.”

“Diabetes 2? But how?”

“It can come from a virus, or an insect bite. Or too much internet shopping.”

The patient sighed. “The perils of modern life, I suppose.”

“Indeed,” said the doctor.

“Is there any hope?”

“No, your chromosomes indicate that you’ve already become a zombie.”

The King’s New Clothes, by Bobby Warner

King Bloodguard was displeased with his Imperial clothes. Stiff, scratchy woolen suit underneath a bulky, uncomfortable heavy sable robe. He could recall a time when, as a young prince, he was allowed to go about with no clothes at all–and everyone pretended that his “garments” were the finest in the realm.

So one fine morning the king stepped out onto his balcony wearing not one stitch of clothing. Even though the men thought him a disgusting sight, they bowed down. But the women thought his garments heavenly and murmured, “His robe is so beautiful–and so very, very long!”

The Straw Man, by Bobby Warner

Little Buff was not quite right in the head. He loved his grandpa, who always helped him when he was asked. Buff could depend on his Gramps.

Then Gramps passed on. On Halloween, Buff’s dad said, “Son, we need a straw man to put in the front yard. Get some of Gramp’s old clothes, stuff ’em, and put ’em on a pole.”

When he went with his dad outdoors to look at the straw man, Buff didn’t expect his father to become angry.

“Buff, you’ve put your grandpa up there!”

“Yes, Pa. Gramps always told me I could count on him!”

Casketco (We Welcome the Dead and the Undead), by Jo Oldani-Osborne

“It takes a special type to work with the, uh, Undead.” Lois was breaking in the newest employee of CasketCo.
“I don’t understand,” Delia replied as she tried on the orange vest.
“Well, turnover, ya understand. Ever since the ACLU argued for protection of the UDies under the Civil Rights Act? We, uh, have to offer ‘Equal Opportunity’.” Lois made the air quotes. “But, hell they’re dense.”
Delia looked at the Closed Circuit monitor, she gasped. One employee had just run a forklift over another.
“Ohhhewww.” Delia felt queasy.
“Sam HELL!” Lois picked up the mike.
“Clean up! Aisle SIX!”