Excerpt for Halloween Monster by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Timothy applied glue to his forehead and a little under his chin in order to secure his mask. He’d be a monster, a hideous troll, hideous enough to conceal his real identity. He’d been struck with Morphea, a rare condition which, with time, mutates skin and in severe cases, even bone. He was now thirteen and the disease made him look like a monster, worse than the mask that he would hide behind. He watched himself in the bathroom mirror as he carefully applied the fake green hair, then the mask. He’d worn the mask each Halloween for the last three years, and was looking forward to again being a regular kid for that one night.

This was the only time he could disguise himself. The other kids couldn't tell that there was anything abnormal or disgusting under the mask. For this one night, he could avoid their frightened looks and cruel laughter. So, Timothy went out, on his own, even though his mother would not have wanted it.

It was a cool night in Haleyville. Maple leaves had turned the fiery crimson-yellow of Indian Summer. It had rained earlier that day, sticking wet multi-colored leaves to the sidewalk. At dusk, carefree goons and goblins splashed through puddles of idle rainwater, running to ring doorbells. They zeroed in on houses decorated with lighted Styrofoam gravestones or plastic black cats. These promised to deliver goodies after yelling “Trick or treat!”

Timothy the monster followed three or four smaller kids to a house that featured flashing lightning and a cackling witch on the porch. As he cautiously stepped up to the door, a hobo kid ran right into him, almost knocking him over. They both tried for the bell, but the monster won out.

As the door opened, they yelled, “Trick or treat!”

Only one candy each was carefully dropped into their bags. A little dismayed, they walked back to the sidewalk together.

Hobo exclaimed, “I like it better when they let you pick the ones you want, don’t you?”

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