A Derry Halloween

Wordless Wednesday will return next week, but in honor of All Hallows Eve, I thought I’d deliver up a challenge post I’ve been stewing on. The challenge was simple: Take 13 Stephen King characters and use them in a short story. And oh yeah, write it in exactly 666 words.

This piece was a ‘challenge’ seeing as how I’m not the biggest Stephen King fan, but the guy is so prolific that it’s entirely possibly to read several of his books by accident. As I have. Now, if this reads like a slice of life, that’s because it’s meant to be that way. I mean . . his characters have ordinary days too.

HALLOWEEN . . . .

Annie Wilkes peeked out the living room curtains to find the Cunningham kid next door buffing and polishing his ’58 Plymouth Fury for the millionth time. His girlfriend was a car . . he named it Christine for chrissakes!

As she moved into the hallway to check in on her favorite writer, the doorbell came to life.

“Oh cockadoodie . . what now?!” Annie spit. She cupped her ear to Paul’s door . . quiet as a church. She was going heavy on the opiates with their time together running short now that his book was almost complete.

The doorbell chimed again.

“Fiddely-foof! I’m coming, I’m coming!”

Annie opened the door to find the White girl, all dressed in her Sunday best, on Wednesday. Margaret was doing a number on this kid, for sure.

“Morning, Carrie . . whatcha selling?” Annie smiled.

“M’aam . .girl scout cookies,”

“Aren’t you a little old to be a girl scout?” Annie asked.

“I’m collecting for my cousin Charlie, she’s not feeling well . .”

“You mean the fire starter?” Annie blurted out.

“She has a gift is all,” Said Carrie.

“Well that gift is costing me sleep.” Said Jack Torrance, as he moved onto the porch and joined the conversation.

“Morning Jack,” Annie said.

“Annie, Miss White. Uh, could ya tell your cousin to keep this gift to herself. I got government vans casing her place every night and my wife Wendy waking me up at all fucking hours . .”

“Jack, language!” Annie shouted.

“Well, yes . . ”

“What do you want Jack?” Annie asked sharply.

“I have that manuscript you promised to look over,” Jack said sheepishly, as he handed Annie a manila envelope that looked as if it had arrived at term with the words inside its belly.

“Now Mr. Man, I told you I’m hosting a big shot author! Lordy, it seems everyone on this street is a writer! There’s that Beaumont character who literally buried his alter ego . .  he should be in the loony bin for a stunt like that. That widower . . Noonan, spends his days crying about his writers block at the Gotham Cafe. And don’t get me started with Mort. I swear, you never know who you’re going to get with that odd duck! And what happened to your Colorado trip?” Annie said.

“We leave tomorrow. This is the prequel to the story I’m planning,”

“I’m not making any promises . .” Annie said, snatching the envelope from Jack’s grasp.

“Annie, you’re a doll! Good day ladies,” Jack said.

“You sweet talker.” Annie blushed. “Sorry, Carrie . . you were saying?”

“Girl scout cookies?”

“Oh yes, I’ll take some!”

“I don’t have them with me but I’ll deliver them when they come in,” Carrie explained.

“Isn’t that the way of the world? Hurry up and wait! Hahaha!” Annie bellowed. “Okay, I’ll take a box of thin mint cookies for me. A box of shortbread for Mr. Smith, who just came out of that awful coma. And oh yes . . a box of lemons for Tanya. Poor girl is skin and bones from working nights,”

“Thank you so much Ms. Wilkes!” Carrie said excitedly as she stumbled off, nearly bumping into Mr. Halleck, who was out for a morning run.

“Hey Billy! Losing weight?” Jack shouted as he strolled along.

“It’s the jogging!” Billy shouted between deep huffs. “I’m eating more than ever! Anything I want!”

“Atta boy!” Jack smiled, as he thought, Fucking lawyers . . where do they come up with this shit? He moved to the other side of the street when he saw Cujo coming, where he came upon Father Callahan stapling a missing persons poster to a utility pole.

“That the Georgie kid?” Jack asked.

“It is, went missing after the thunder storm yesterday,” Callahan replied.

The local inhabitants of Derry were descendants of a madman whose bloodthirsty compulsion to cause murder and mayhem had landed him in the annals. In Derry, every day was Halloween and every night was full of those mythical sounds that went bump and howled at a moon whose home belonged to someplace else.

Hell.

 

 

28 thoughts on “A Derry Halloween”

  1. B,

    Had to wait for this classic video to end before I could comment!
    Of course this challenge was created by none other than yourself… 666 words indeed! And 13. Perfect (un)lucky number. I am, of course, duly impressed with your knowledge of all these King titles. I have to admit to knowing the titles without having read the books or seen the movies, except two or three…
    I love the way you created this story using all these characters. Not at all what I was expecting when you mentioned your desire to come up with something for Hallowe’en!

    Cheers to your All Hallows Eve gift to us!

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Q,
      I actually forgot it was in my drafts! I had a jumble of notes and thoughts and even a Dolphins rant post, which I quickly deleted for all time. May it rot in hell.

      King really is one prolific bastard. Which probably saved countless lives, seeing as how he’s also sick in the head.

      The Thriller video, because it has to be, on Halloween.

      Like I said, I was originally going to try for 31, but that was just going to take forever and it wasn’t going to be nearly as quaint.

      666 I veer away from, usually. The number 13, it’s fine with me.

      Cheers to the witching hour!!!

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      1. B,
        Well, lucky for us that you discovered it lying there in your drafts! Fuck the Dolphins. I’ll take your King-based story any day.

        Speaking of King, he truly is. I was blown away when I decided to google just how many of his books have been turned into movies. He must surely have the all-time record, no?

        And yes, Thriller was THE only way to go.

        31, if you were gonna keep to your 666 words, mighta felt a tad squished 😉

        Nothing wrong with 13, far as I can tell. But get this – where I work? we don’t use the number 13 for a banquet table. How stoopid is that?

        Cheers to witches, and goblins and ghosts

        Q

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Dolphins should move to London. I would still root for them, of course. But it would be cool if I ‘forgot’ their games were on earlier, so by the time I saw the final score . . it’s Happy Hour!

        If King doesn’t have the record, I can’t imagine who does.

        Yes, 31 in 666 wasn’t going to work unless I just tossed names in. I did that in one passage because even 13 is a lot when you’re trying to keep a flow going.

        That makes no sense. I would ALWAYS ask for 13! Or 17. Or 4. Or . . okay . . 13 would be on the list is what I’m saying.

        Cheers to those bumps in the night.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Buahahah!

        I think I shall have to google this particular stat…

        You had great flow with your 13. Was most enjoyable, to be sure.

        As for 13… I kinda like that number. Plus it’s the number before my birthday. What’s not to like?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I do believe there is a top 50 King stories out there, which tells you just how many he has written if it’s putting a list into the top 50.
        It’s a great number. That’s why you can’t listen to peeps. Gotta go with common sense. Peeps make Reddit, after all.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting idea and accomplishment. 1) I love Thin Mints and Lemon Cremes … 2) I was wondering how it would end, so well done … 3) I don’t know if I’ve ever read one King book or watched one King movie …. 4) but I think the Painted Lady is capable of terror.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frank,

      Me too on those cookie counts. . .

      I read King when I was younger, and evidently I knew more about his works than I realized.

      Uh oh . . Painted Lady you say? . . .

      Like

  3. I was a diehard King fan for many years until he finished his Dark Tower series and I realized he was a vile, disgusting human being. 😉 Well, not quite that, but still that story ruined King for me forever. And then he just kept writing the same story over and over again. But for about 20 years, I read him religiously and I couldn’t possibly do what you’ve just done with this. Kudos to you. You got his characters down pretty good.

    As for King’s prolific career … see above, the last 15 years or so has been a lot of the same thing over and over again. Kind of like every Rush album for the last 25 years. There seems to be only so much creative bandwidth creative people actually have before they start replicating themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark,

      You make a great point, because in reading up on some of his later works, I did come across stuff that was derivative or just plain not very good. I read a little bit of “Cell”, which was panned by most everyone. And yes, it seems there is a window with these peeps.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dude. What a challenge! The fact that Annie was the main character rocked. Misery totally freaked me out when it came out … I was like that lady is crazy. Plus Bates was awesome in it. The fact that you got Cujo in there was an added bonus. Great Halloween challenge buddy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cali,

      I made Annie the main character because I am the most familiar with her when it comes to ‘visually writing’ this. Bates is just awesome in everything, and it’s her mannerisms that stick with me. She is definitely a writer’s actress, lol.
      Cujo! He had to get in there somewhere, and why not a walk? Haha!
      Thank you pal, glad you enjoyed!

      Like

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