Day 18: Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-18

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my eighteenth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Pheonix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Moments after the off-key melody stopped echoing within the house, the door creaked slowly open. The sound reminded Jameson of a crypt opening. Through a narrow slit a face peered out at him. A man, a widower Jameson knew, whose skin appeared a tepid green with thick folds of skin dangling. Looking up, Jameson didn’t smile nor did the man open the door further.

“Trick-or-treat?” Jameson asked raising his sack, a rough burlap affair which held little of the charm of the other children’s bags claimed as they ran through the neighborhood and night. The old widower grinned and allowed the door to creak a bit further open. No bowl of treats appeared.

“Didn’t you come through earlier?” he asked. Raising one brow he narrowed his eyes with suppressed amusement. Or at least Jameson appraised the look that way, and he was an expert with looks considering the amount of time he’d spent staring in mirrors to perfect them.

Jameson looked down at his costume. At himself. At the moment what he reflected was a nearly perfect Frankenstein’s monster. “I’m sure you’d remember if such a handsome Frankenstein had visited before. I put a lot of attention into the details.”

The old man hummed, a soft sound full of doubt. “Yes, I would’ve remembered such a glorious costume. Yes.” He nodded, and Jameson opened his mouth as if to say that confirmed it then, but before he could speak, the widower continued, “Just like I would’ve recalled the ninja, space fighter, glorious fighting turtle, and more perfect costumes which marched through tonight.”

Jameson took a step back, swallowing. Drat. How’d the old widower catch on to him. “So, what’s wrong with good costumes?”

“Good costumes. Nothing. Perfect costumes all worn by kids I don’t recognize unaccompanied by an adult.” The widower scratched the bottom of his chin and looked at Jamieson through slitted eyes.

Dropping his hands, the bag fell against Jameson’s legs. “What are you implying, old man?” He almost winced at the defensiveness in his words. The man had to be guessing. Probably. He couldn’t know. Possibly.

The widower nodded, giving a small smile which tugged at the corners of his mouth. “I’m implying that you should have picked one and gone with it the whole night.” The way he emphasized the word implying made Jamison’s shift nervously beneath the man’s gaze. Implication lay behind those words. “In fact, I’m implying I may have to have a word with the circle.” The widower crossed his arms and scowled at Jamison

Jamieson gulped. Drat. He had brought up the circle. The circle who governed their affairs and made ridiculous rules about how they could use their abilities. Like anyone tried to tell other kids hey, you hit a ball too well. Knock it off.

Still, the widower knew. Jamieson took a step back and ran an appraising gaze over the widower. He wore a great costume himself. As equally great as Jamieson’s own. “Your you’re one of us?” he asked hesitantly.

The man chuckled and scratched his chin again. “I’m saying I can understand the temptation behind acquiring so many good costumes.” He flicked his gaze over Jamieson. “So many appearances on one night. But don’t let the love of candy convince you shifting costumes is a bright idea.” He winked at Jameson. “Not that I didn’t give in to such temptation a touch when young.” The man jerked his head, motioning toward the sidewalk outside of his house. “Getting late. Perhaps you should get home.”

Jamieson gulped and nodded again. He didn’t miss the implication in that dismissal. He’d been given a reprieve, and Jameson wasn’t about to argue with that. “Yes, Sir.” Turning, he scurried away as the door creaked closed behind him.

There hadn’t been a crypt behind that door. Just Jameson’s doom. Or at least doom if the old widower talked to the circle. They never liked shifters using their powers for trick-or-treating to fleece neighborhoods. He should’ve gone elsewhere. Next year. Grumbling, Jamieson kicked a rock and worked his way home.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day18

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

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