Friday, October 28, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: The Children of Cinema Lane

Frank was a giant child. Given a bucket of candy and a DVR, he settled in for a night of movies. It was up to Lenore to hand out the treats this year. She adjusted the feathered skirt of her raven costume and paced the hall, excited to see what the kids of Cinema Lane were up to this year.

The first ring came at 7:00 sharp, the doorbell chiming along with the seventh ring of their grandfather clock. She hustled to the door, smoothed her feathers, pulled it wide with a smile.

"Trick or treat!" came a little girl's voice.

Lenore had to look down to see her. At her feet, on top of the WELCOME mat, sat a Samsonite briefcase. She quirked her head at it until the double-locks trembled with anticipation.

She asked, "What are you?"

It haunted its latches open, babbling, "I'm top-of-the-line luggage!"

"Yes, you are," she told the ghost-child, dropping two Reese's inside her vessel. It rotated its sliders in greeting bobbled off to the sidewalk.

Lenore closed the door and affixed the candy basket to the wall. Yet no sooner did she move to return to the den and Frank's zombie marathon, then the doorbell rang a second time.

She put on a smile and pulled open the door. A sapling waited on her stoop. All its limbs were curled inward, save two, which extended straight out to its right. A hat hung from the upper one. A suit jacket hung from the lower one.

She pursed her lips. Probably the evil tree's kids. She could make out its parents hiding conspicuously in the forest across the street.

"Trick or treat," said the sapling.

She asked, "And what are you?"

"I'm a coat rack."

Its limbs rustled, revealing a candy bag hidden under the suit jacket. When Lenore leaned in to hand over the Reese's, she noticed the fine tailoring. Not the sort of thing a family of trees typically had around for costume games.

"Very inventive," she praised, and off the sapling swayed. She closed the door and frowned into it. Behind her, some shellshocked blonde screamed about how 'they' had eaten her brother. Frank and his incessant love of the undead.

The doorbell rang. She fixed herself and answered. She recognized the little bastard immediately; the teen wolf from up the street, the one who was howling at his own music too often. He was well-mannered tonight, his fur stuffed into a trousers and a dress shirt. There was a red tie around his neck. Since his paws couldn't manage a Windsor, it was left in a loose shoelace knot.

"Good evening, Michael."

"Trick or treat!" he announced, paws thrusting a pillow case into the threshold.

"Aren't you a little old for this?"

"Never too old for free candy!"

Wolves always looked like they were smiling, so she couldn't read much into his expression. She narrowed her eyes at his attire instead.

"And what are you this year?"

"Huh?" He said. His muzzle dipped over his dress shirt like he was making something up. "Me? I'm, uh. I'm the one percent!"


"It's topical!" He nodded to assure her and re-presented the pillow case. She gave him one Reese's. When he hesitated for more, she gave him a gorgonic glare. Away the boy trotted for the next decorated doorstep. She waddled down behind him, peering first down the street, then up.

She made out a lone car parked half a block up. One door was open, all the windows lit. There was no driver.

She sighed before trotting up to her house. Inside, she shouted to the television room.


Her answer was the sound of panicked survivors boarding up a farm house against droves of the undead.

"Franklin Einstein, I know you can hear me."

The volume muted. In the stillness, his deep timbre responded, "Yes, dear?"

"Go check up the street for me. I think the neighbor kids ate another stock broker."


  1. Very inventive. If a kid shows up at my door dressed like the 1% I'm going to take candy out of his bag.

  2. Nice twist on the usual Halloween fare.

    Sad that even for the monsters its just about the candy these days...

  3. Possibly my favorite line: "She quirked her head at it until the double-locks trembled with anticipation." Oh gods so CUTE!

  4. LOVE this! If the neighbor kids ate a 1%er, I'd really load 'em up with the candy.

  5. Ha! If only Frank would get off his butt he might see the Real horror movie. Fun stuff John!

  6. Who knows? Maybe it's one of those communities where they share the goodies all around. They all had a piece of him. Or what was left at least.

  7. "Gorgonic stare" - I love it. Very clever.

  8. "Me? I'm, uh. I'm the one percent!"


    "It's topical!"


    Here's mine :-)

  9. This was a lot of fun! Love the look at the monsters finding their costumes in what we consider mundane.

  10. Hahaha! I like the payoff.

    I think werewolves eating stockbrokers isn't such a bad idea.

  11. LOL I wonder if the wolves who ate the stockbroker were realted to the 1% werewolf? Or maybe the stockbroker is a wolf, huh?

  12. Yes! Eat those stock brokers.

    I want to go as the 1%

  13. "Hmph. If you're the 1%, you can damn well give ME some candy!"

  14. Thanks for this. I really enjoyed it. The coat rack...ahhh I miss homemade Halloween costumes.

  15. Just in time for Halloween! Hilarious!

  16. This was a fun twist on Halloween and a nice change from all the spooky stories today.

    1% *snort*

  17. I'm with Tim, takin' candy out of the 1%er's bags. Funny John! This line tickled me, "Frank and his incessant love of the undead." Happy Halloween!

  18. I'm with Tom too! Happy Halloween!

  19. The new movement: Occupy Cinema Lane, led by the neighborhood kids. One down, the 1% minus one to go.

  20. Best ending ever. I think most stock brokers should share the same fate.

    And have you noticed how they're called brokers? Way too good at breaking things...

    And we definitely are the fun fogies ;-)

  21. Hilarious. Now I have the Addams Family theme in my head...

  22. Love the costumes. Clever story here John.

  23. Clever. Very crunchy treat.

  24. Ooh great twist on the trick-or-treat parade!

  25. You never fail to amaze me, John. This was terrific. Loved it.

    Thanks for participating in the contest.


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