And I am closing out October properly by finishing up a daily re-read of Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October, which I highly, highly recommend. It’s a fun story, with references to so many other stories and movies and characters that it takes more than one read to really appreciate it all. Zelazny’s prose is sparse and wonderful, and there’s a lot of humor in it. I’m glad to have finally read it again.
Fictober, Prompt 28 – “Enough! I heard enough.”
Warnings: bad language, implied past harassing behavior, implied violent death, monster, slightly ambiguous ending? Horror.
“You stupid bitch! You can’t tell me where to walk on a public—”
“I can when you’ve repeatedly been asked to stop harassing my friend and persist in doing it anyway.”
“This is harassment, you can’t just—”
I raised one extremely unimpressed eyebrow at him. “You’re the one spending your Friday nights walking around in a serial killer mask, getting your kicks by scaring random strangers. If one of us is in danger of harassing somebody, it’s not me.”
This launched him into another diatribe, with more insults liberally peppered throughout. I was tempted to cast my own aspersions on his character (well, more than I already had), parentage, and intellectual abilities, but restrained myself with effort.
A quick glance showed me that Sasha had snuck by while I was physically blocking him from following her, and she was now out of sight.
“Enough!” I cut him off. “I’ve heard enough. I can’t stop you from walking up and down a public street. I get that it’s almost Halloween, and you’re not the only one in costume. Plenty of the bar goers even seem to appreciate the scare. But I can and will prevent you from scaring my friend, who has to walk by here for her job every night. She has repeatedly asked that you leave her, specifically, alone, and you have refused, which definitely moves you out of ‘sort of acceptable Halloween creepy’ and solidly into ‘actually creepy asshole.’ So, I will be here every night to walk with her and prevent you from being that creepy asshole as far as she is concerned. Capiche?”
He swore at me again, voice low enough to be muffled by the mask, and turned away.
I wished desperately that I could give him the ass-kicking he richly deserved. Halloween was big in our town, had been for almost a century, and he’d become an (unfortunate) fixture in the past couple years. If he kept his scares to the drunk bar patrons who were looking for that sort of thing, or for ‘fun’ selfies with a famous fictional serial killer, that would be fine.
But that wasn’t enough for our masked friend. I didn’t think he was a real danger to anyone, fake knife notwithstanding, but he was definitely the kind of asshole who enjoyed actually scaring people unwillingly, and that wasn’t cool.
He headed back into the dark alley that he enjoyed lurking in, with one more obvious glance and a raised middle finger at me.
Man, he really deserved that ass-kicking, but I kept my feet firmly planted on the sidewalk outside the alley. He’d not raised a hand or made any attempt to grab or harm me, even now when he’d been really angry, and I wasn’t going to be the one to escalate things.
Something else moved farther back in the alley.
Something big.Continue reading
October has started out chilly and rainy for me, but that has made it a perfect day to curl up in my living room with my Halloween decorations up, the Green Dragon on the TV, and work on prep for the upcoming local author fair and formatting for The Witch.
I’m pleased to say that I’ll be able to do a cover reveal and announce a release date for The Witch (a prequel short story to The Wizard of Suomen) in the next couple of days! Stay tuned. 🙂