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.