Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on October 26, 2013 0 Comments

The residents of Creepy Cavern were in a dreadful prickle. Halloween

was looming and everyone was down in the grumps. The apparition and the

specter were both in bed with the flu. The banshee had laryngitis. The

werewolf had mange. There was no snap left in the dragons. And the witch

could think of nothing more wicked than worming the Cheshire cat. The

ghoul was gloomy, the wizard was weary, and the spook was out of boos.

All were in a vile temper. Pac-man had lockjaw. The skeletons had

lost a ball game to the zombies who’d ground them to bone meal, and they

weren’t rattling. The scarecrow accused the effigy of being stuck up.  The

effigy called the scarecrow a stuffed shirt and said he was so dumb he

wouldn’t know the difference between Bart Simpson and beanhole beans…or

Buffalo Bill for that matter.

Ignoring the pestilent populace, a sorceress hummed and chanted as a blue

flame rose over her steaming cauldron, where the crouching crone cackled and

stirred. Seeing his reflection in the cauldron, the moon gazed down so

long he lost his gibbous. In the cauldron was a new potion the crone had

concocted which she believed would animate a pet rock. The recipe promised

that, after one sip, everyone would become vibrant, vigorous, virile,

voluptuous, voracious, viagrant, and very, very frightening. What the

crone didn’t know was that the sneaky sorceress had secretly added a few

newt’s eyes, tattletails and some voodoo dust. Within a few hours after

drinking the potion one became invisible.

As the motley crew wailed and howled and groaned and growled, the

sorceress continued to chant and the crone unceasingly stirred. Finally

the potion was ready, and all lined up to hold out their cups. As they

sipped, they smacked their lips–those that had lips–saying, “Ahhhh.

Ooooo. Yeaaaaa. Mon.” Soon thirsts were slaked and stomachs sated and they

began looking for some action. They hailed a pumpkin, piled in and pogoed

off to the Toad Wart Tavern.

At the Toad Wart moods began to lighten. The mummies had their

potato picking money to spend and they soon became unwrapped. Bats began

to boogie with wraiths. The gremlins, who had gone to the Toad to watch

dimpled dollies spin tessellated tassels on their trousseaus, weren’t long

getting into a mix-up.  Table dancing Sacha, the sultry shade,

inadvertently nudged a tipple into the lap of Big Daddy Warlocks. Big

Daddy threw a shoe, jumped up and started to howl. Then a gnome, fresh and

full of cider, got carried away and patted the pompons of a prissy

poltergeist who pelted them all with prunes.

Suddenly, at midnight, they turned invisible and that was when they set

out for the masquerade ball being held on the common near the town square.

They hopped and whooped and jumped and skipped and bounced and wafted

through the streets. Every cat in the neighborhood did an upside down “U”

as the delightfully demonic dervishes whirled and twirled along.

“Boo, Boo, boo”; they yelled.

“Who, who, who,” an old owl answered.

Now, everyone who was anyone (or anything) was at the ball. There

was Tom Swifty, Betty Boop, the Katzenjammer Kids, Dirty Ernie, and Winnie

the Pooh. Miss Piggy was done up as golden egg, with false eyelashes. The

Jolly Green Giant and Mr. Clean, in matching muscles, served as bouncers.

Long John Silver was clanking about, poking the Pillsbury Doughboy and the

Michelin man in the stomach. Tim Horton showed up, resplendent as a

doughnut hole.  And, who should be courting Lizzie Borden but the headless


While the Ungrateful Dead changed bands with the Murdering Measles

the Munsters and Typhoid Mary argued over the identity of Jack the Ripper,

wondered if the Tylenol Cyanide Capsule killers were coming, and how the

vampires were doing in these days of AIDs.

They all seemed to be enjoying themselves–except Medusa, who was,

as usual, having a bad hair day–and Little Miss Muffet who, tuffetless,

stood watching a Mexican Jumping Bean doing Ti Chi on a magic mushroom.

Nobody took any notice when the old crone and the invisible hoard of

head-haunters arrived. Their attention was caught by Lady Godiva–lissome

and lovely in puce Day-Glo body paint–who was about to accept the prize

for best costume. So the invisible haunters infiltrated.

Towards the end of the evening, just when Tom Swifty was slowing

down, the crone opened her thermos and poured two and a half cups of

potion into the punch bowl. Then the imps got busy and talked everyone

into “one for the road.” All glasses were filled–and emptied. And soon

events took a turn for the really weird.

Betty Boop, about to go off with Lawrence of Arabia on his

motorcycle, put down her punch and began waltzing furiously.  Jolly Green

and Mr. Clean did the bunny hop.  Rasputin, who had convinced Lolita he

was the Count of Monte Crisco, took to giggling and couldn’t stop. Henry

the VIII, who had just chosen Miss Muffet for his ninth wife, slipped and

flipped onto his crown.

“Oh, woo, woof,” bayed the hounds of Baskerville. “What a bash!”

Then the Scarlet Pimple, who had been doing the lindy with Freda

Frogle, turned blue and disappeared. Freda frowned. Then, one after the

other, every single reviler vanished.

“Mercy me,” said the Sorceress. “Looks like we won’t be seeing each

other until next Halloween.” And off she went in the doppelganger’s


The next morning Percy Plimsole took Pepe his pet poodle for her

walk in the common. Pepe was sniffing along happily when suddenly she

yipped and began to hackle. There in the grass to Percy’s surprise was an

ax, an eyelash, half a crown and some very green peas.

About the Author ()

I’m from a few cellsConjoined on a cold January nightBy two tired people (homeless from a recent fire) seeking comfort,Giving little thought to the resultant child, Last of the litter,Whose arrival nine months later would be as

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