To mark the upcoming Halloween, Jackie Felger and Dani Bertrand are hosting another of their blogfests. Participants are posting flash fiction stories of 300 words or less, containing the words:

cobweb(s)
cauldron(s)
jack-o-lantern(s)
ghost(s)
razor(s)

Winners will be announced on Halloween (my favoritest holiday besides Yom Kippur, which I know is a seemingly strange juxtaposition) and will get huge bags of their favorite candy, plus some fun spooky items.

I had to go with Daphne Vanessa Roblensky (née Filliard), since she’s just so much fun to write. Daphne’s dream of marrying her boyfriend fresh out of high school immediately took a very unexpected, unpleasant turn, in part because she invoked the wrath of her 13-greats-grandma Jennifer. Since Berus finally found his balls and walked out on her (at least for the time being), Daphne has been all alone in an efficiency that feels as small as the stateroom in A Night at the Opera.

My piece is exactly 300 words. It’s Halloween 1998, and Daphne is 18.

***

Daphne batted a mop at a gigantic cobweb lurking in the corner of her glorified box.

“What’s wrong, little Mistress Roblensky, afraid to sully your hands?” Jennifer asked. “I was never afraid to sully my hands with cobwebs.  Our sex may have had less rights in my century, but we weren’t afraid of hard work.”

“Are you going to disappear soon?  Abby and Katie are coming over in an hour.  They’re my last hope for making friends at Rowan.  If they knew some stupid ghost is constantly lurking around me, they’d think I was a freak.”

Jennifer crossed her ankles. “I passed as a human just fine when I went to that sorority you were attempting to join.  The girl who answered the door only realized what I was as I was walking away.  And I’m not just any old ghost.  I’m your thirteen-greats-grandma, and I’m only doing this to try to teach you some important lessons.  When have I ever been a nefarious spirit?”

Daphne dropped the mop where it was, uncaring that a puddle began forming on the ugly, dirty carpet.  Once in the box-sized bathroom, she reached for her razor and the cheapest shaving cream she’d been able to find.

“Unless your costume shows your bare legs, or if you’re planning to have relations with a boy at your party, why bother to shave?  Women in my day never shaved.  My Daniel certainly never thought me less a woman because I had hair on my legs.  And you just shaved a day ago.”

“Do you really want me to lob one of my jack-o-lanterns at you?”

Jennifer eyed the candies in Daphne’s plastic cauldron. “I’m surprised you have candy. I thought you wanted to preserve your stick figure.”

“Whatever, at least I’m not a freaking ghost.”

16 thoughts on “Spooktoberfest—Jennifer and Daphne

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