Hum-drum errands lists can sizzle with sinister vibes with just a little tweaking. This October, put that run-for-your-life feeling into your run-to-the-store, and enjoy spine-tingling jitters that last all month long.
For instance, if your child breaks a guitar string in their dorm room, tell them it’s not their fault. Their dorm room is haunted by ghosts that crawl into the hollow of acoustic guitars, pop the strings out, and whisper bad advice at night, such as playing “Barbie Girl” by Aqua at the next floor meeting. Paranormal recordings, the likes of which are permanently sealed in underground tunnels somewhere in Switzerland, sound like this: “Skip your chemistry assignment, Alex. Skip class. Play your guitar all day in your room. We’ll help you—oops. Sorry about that. Sometimes, we break things.”
So, your first item on your scary errands list could look like this:
–Find guitar strings that are not haunted.
Once inside the music store, have fun convincing the salespeople that you need “guaranteed, non-haunted strings.”
Next, your husband might come home with an item that was not on the regular grocery list (AHHHHH!!!!). It’s a set of expensive sheets, and the scary part is this: The last time you bought sheets from this particular store, the sheets “pilled,” like bumpy monster skin and you never want to go through that again, but here you are, once more, with sheets of promises. You try them out. It’s like sleeping on puffy marshmallows, in your opinion, but your mate rolls over and complains: “I felt like I was sleeping in a sock all night.” He presses on: “You see, these sheets are made of polyester, which traps heat and moisture. Would you wear polyester underwear? No! That’s how infections begin! It’s always advisable to use cotton.” And now, even though you wear super cute pants pajamas with an adorable skiing bunnies pattern to bed (which should insulate you from the polyester sheets), you wonder if it’s still possible to develop a yeast infection from the bedding. And before you know it, you’re tearing the sheets from the mattress and writing the next item on your list:
–Return infection-causing sheets.
Assuming you’re not too worn out from the non-haunted guitar string shopping and bed-sheet night terrors, you might treat yourself to a fall beer at the local BW3. They’re having a special on Sam Adams Oktoberfest—something called a “tall draft” for $5. “Ooh! Pumpkin beer!” you might say, and then, when you take a sip, you’re frightfully aware that the pumpkin is missing.
“It’s an Oktoberfest beer,” your sheets-savvy mate says. “You’re supposed to taste a hint of caramel.”
With trembling lips, you dare to take another sip. He’s right. It does taste like caramel—and it’s good. And when you look at your errands list, you’ll see that you’ve thought ahead:
–Drink the Headless Horseman’s pumpkin head, which is also missing a pumpkin. It’s beer instead 🙂
In Other News: I have a few new stories out. The first one is called “The Globe,” and it’s in a brand-new anthology from Ghost Orchid press called Blood & Bone: An Anthology of Body Horror by Women and Non-Binary Writers.
Next, I have a quirky imposter-syndrome piece in Idle Ink. You can read the story here—it’s called “The Blazer Committee.”
Finally, Coffin Bell Journal just published a story of mine in its “Technophobia” issue. You can read the story here—it’s called “The Last Box.”
Your Turn: Are you someone who likes to start the day/week with a list? Or, do you like to go with the flow?