Just Toys

There was a moment when he looked into the tiny Halloween town where he thought someone turned and looked at him.

It was early August and it was time to get back to school. Art school was something that required more then just notebooks and pencils for him. Michael, was in fact at Michaels. For the school year he needed to buy a few canvases for his paintings that he would be working on before the year entered into full swing, and few more for when it did. As he walked in he was surprised to see the front of the store stocked with plastic pumpkins, bats and ravens hanging from the ceiling, black glittering trees standing up against shelves and a full stock of Halloween props filling rows and rows of the store. August seemed to be just a bit early he thought. Fall didn’t start till the very end of September and here it was, all ready in his face. He ignored it at first, but in the middle of these rows of shelves was a stand with mini figures and buildings producing an energy of action and music. He looked towards the back of the store where his canvas lay waiting, then back at the display. A few minutes wouldn’t hurt.

The Hallow Village stood displayed on a few mounds of paper dirt and hay. In middle of the village sitting on a large hill overlooking everything a great windmill spun slowly. Among the blades were cob webs and spread around the tower hung a large spider that fixed it’s million eyes down at the front door. A few dust covered windows lit up with a flickering green from whatever was happening inside. Around the base, moss, yellow hay bricks and boxes pilled up. A small wooden fence stood with a small door a few feet from the house. From the small gate a path led down into the village. It moved past two buildings.

One a doctors office. If that’s what you might call it. Frankenstein Ortho. Large windows splattered with dull dried blood rose on each side of a double door. The building rose and spun into the air with black pointed fences sticking out from impossible windows. A man patched with different arms and legs sat on the stoop of the office outlooking the village square. He rested his large square jaw on his hands in a defeated manner.

On the other side of the street from Frankenstein Ortho was an apothecary.

The witches Brew. An apt name for it. The entrance was one step into a flung open door that seemed to lead into fully stock rows of old falling apart bookshelves. Eyes and crystal balls looked towards the door from the inside. A set of stairs across from the main desk squared up and led to the second story where a balcony looked over the square. On it a large cauldron with wings, eyes, toads, and green slime was being churned by a witch in flowing black robes. A broom stick sat in the corner waiting for their nightly ride. The building was built in dark stone and had accents of light bricks on the corners. It ended in a Victorian point at the top with sloping roofs.

Out in the square of darkened cobble stone was a large fountain that sprayed a sea green water a few centimeters in the air. The whole thing was black, round like a cauldron and was adjourned in bats and lizards all around it. A few decrypted benches were littered around the plaza.

Next on tour was the The Night Ball. It seemed to be a swinging joint. Skeletons, zombies and vampires dressed in 1950’s fancy dresses danced outside on the sidewalk and on the roof top, which was filled with lamps which emitted a bright fiery blue. A zombie with no jaw manned the bar. He was busy shaking a cocktail shaker and looking out to tables inside, which all pointed at a stage with a band of werewolves strumming along some instruments. The whole places looked like an undead New Year’s Eve party in New York.

The last building to wrap around the square was a bookstore. The Unholy Grimore Store. It looked like a large book that had seen and gone through everything one could imagine. The spine was falling apart, the binding pealed around the window on the side and the whole thing opened slightly to give the shop dimension revealing thick leathery pages filled with grime and dirt. The doors looked as if someone had torn the corner off of the middle pages of the book. Two massive wooden doors stood in the middle of ripped and raw pages. He couldn’t see inside, but it had an upstairs as well and a small balcony on the back.

He look off towards the east of town and saw a small building through a corn field. He moved to take a closer look. A small house with a towering chimney sat out among the corn. In front was a what looked like a ghost. A sheet hanging in mid air with two lumps of sheet arms. one was holding a paint brush. An easel sat in front with a painting on it. A small painter ghost and it’s haunted house. Michael smiled and leaned in to take a look at the painting that the ghost was producing.

There, on a canvas no bigger then his thumb, was the shelves that he was standing in front of. In tiny detail the store came alive in paint that he couldn’t believe. He did a double take. Staring at the shelves committing it to memory and then back at the tiny painting. He crouched to the packaging below the display.

The Ghostly Painter. The package showed the small shack and the ghost statue that came with it. Michael picked up the box and then looked back at the display. The ghost seemed to have turned slightly. It’s sheet whipped in the wind. Did it smile at him?

He looked again at the box in his hands. Nothing on it said that it was magical. Magical ?! What was he thinking, but then he glimpsed at the canvas one last time.

He brought the box with him and retrieved his canvas that were bored of waiting.

His dorm room would have a new addition this year.


I love going into Michaels around Halloween. They have their Halloween town thing that they do. I always pick up a figure here and here. This year I bought a pumpkin snowman. A couple years ago I bought a pumpkin water tower. They are fun to put up around the year in small spaces. I would love to one day buy one of the big displays. They are so detailed and have really cool architecture to them. The whole vibe is something close to my heart. Do we think Michael might be pulled into the mini Halloween town ? Maybe it can be a source of inspiration for him as he goes through the blitz of art school.

Nothing to crazy with this story, I would like to explore mini towns like this in the future. I remember the Goosebumps episode where the kids get sucked into the miniature town. A pretty scary episode, especially when the girl gets turned into a human pig thing.

Till next time

Midday Haunt

Katie dotted around her kitchen checking on the different dishes she was making. Bread was in the oven. A salad was being mixed on the middle island. Cookies were being frosted across. Pots and pans stacked in the sink foaming from the ingredients. Soft jazz played over the speakers and she danced from one spot to the next. She checked the time. 1:30 p.m. Plenty of time before her guests arrived for the night. She was having get together with all her high school friends. They were a tight group. Five of them had weathered all of lifes storms together. It brought them closer and even after thirty long tough years, they still supported each other. Katie picked up a small bowl and turned to put it down next to the sink. As she turned she came face to face with a figure.

The figure wore a white sheet over itself with two large black eyes cut out. It draped upon its body and ended just before its feet, which were an inhuman black. They did not touch the ground, but rather hovered completely still a few inches from it. Her hands lost the bowl and it came crashing to the floor as she screamed and backed up. The figure moved as she moved. Silently. Nothing motioned on it. She couldn’t take her eyes off it,wide eyed with tears forming, she stepped back a bit and it floated the same space towards her.The soft jazz still filled the air, but now accompanied by her panicked breath. Katie stood still, waited for moment to collect her self, then bolted towards the door. She opened it and in panic flailed outside to run to the neighbors house. She screamed, cried, flailed her arms for some one to help her. Her whole body cranked towards where she thought some one might be. She did not dare turn around. There was no noise from her pursuer, but she could feel it. Hovering just above the ground, inanimately chasing her. She fell violently to the ground from tripping over something. She scuttled, tears running down her face, thoughts and speech incoherent. She rolled on her back screaming wildly as loud as she could to scare the haunt.

There was nothing there. She cried. This time from joy. What ever it was, was no longer there. She stood up and looked towards her wide open front door. She stared. Her mind blank, body exhausted, her breathe was still trying to calm. Katie stood for a long time. So long that night fell and her friends arrived. The house would never be the same.

This is inspired by a short film I would like to make. The thought that monsters and ghosts only come at night doesn’t make sense to me. It would be much scarier if a ghost was there during the day.

Also when the ghost chases I would remove any sort of music. Movies often bombared watchers with music to create mood. But in real life the tension is there with no music. Sometimes less is more. It would be katies exhileration and panic that could be heard while the camera stays infront of her. Showing her panic face and the ghostly figure following her with a uncanniness.