Fiction

Gone Fishin’ – A Mrs. Friedly Halloween Story

Here’s another old story about the delightful Mrs. Friedly!

If you like these stories, now would be a great time to order my new collection of horror tales, A PASSAGE IN BLACK AND OTHER STORIES. Everybody loves spooky stories on Halloween!

GONE FISHIN’

“Another year,” Mrs. Friedly piped, “another Halloween Festival!”

The Elk Ridge Community Center was decorated with paper jack o’lanterns, dancing skeletons, and dozens of orange and black streamers. Children in costume—goblins and witches, vampires and ghouls, princesses and ninjas—scurried around the large chamber, and their laughter and squeals formed a constant din.

Mrs. Friedly clucked her tongue as she watched the children. Maybe she was old-fashioned, but some of the costumes just didn’t seem very… Halloweeny… to her. Ghouls and ghosts and monsters—those were fine. But the princesses and cowboys and monkeys just didn’t seem to fit the spirit of the occasion. Halloween, as the elderly woman saw it, was supposed to be a spooky night.

What on earth, she thought, is a ninja anyway?

The festivities were in full swing. Music swelled as a group of older children (and more than a few parents) took part in a cake walk. Screams and giggles rose from the make-shift haunted house the local Industrial Arts club was putting on behind the curtain on the auditorium stage. Groups of kids were playing Pass the Pumpkin and Candy Corn Catch. All around the perimeter of the massive chamber were small booths featuring all sorts of attractions and games. Fortune tellers, face painting, apple bobbing—there was something for everyone. There was even a kissing booth, sponsored by the Elk Ridge High School cheerleaders, and the line of teenage boys waiting for a smooch was impressive.

A pudgy little boy approached Mrs. Friedly’s booth.

“What’s this all about?” he asked.

Mrs. Friedly looked the boy over in disappointment. His only attempt to get into the spirit of Halloween was to wear a t-shirt that read, “This IS my costume!” Still, she forced a sweet smile.

“This is the fish pond.” She motioned to the curtain wall behind her. The curtain was decorated with dozens of swimming fish, many with sharp, fearsome-looking teeth. “You cast a line over the curtain and fish for a prize.”

“What kind of prize?”

Mrs. Friedly eyed the boys round belly and smiled. “Usually something good to eat!”

“I’ll give it a try,” the boy said.

Mrs. Friedly giggled happily. “Oh, goody!”

The boy looked around the booth. His brow furrowed. “Where are the fishing poles?”

Just then, he noticed something large moving behind the curtain. It was the shape and size of a gorilla, but the head was misshapen and covered in what might have been wriggling snakes. The grotesque figure made awful grunting sounds as it approached.

“W-what’s that?” the boy asked.

He had his answer soon enough. The shadowy figure moved behind the curtain. A fishing line dropped down next to Mrs. Friedly. At the end of the line was a large, rusty hook. Mrs. Friedly grabbed the hook. Without a second’s hesitation, she flicked her wrist and drove the hook through the flesh of the boy’s mouth.

The boy screeched and trembled, pulled at the hook and flailed.

Mrs. Friedly looked around. No one else seemed to notice.

The elderly woman gave the fishing line two quick tugs. The line was quickly retracted, and the little boy was hoisted up. He vanished over the top of the curtain. The last Mrs. Friedly saw of him was his kicking legs flopping over the edge.

Mrs. Friedly smiled and hummed to herself as she waited for her next customer. Within a few minutes, she saw a princess walking her way, and she felt a little rush of Halloween excitement.

End

Posted by cullenbunn on October 16, 2017  /   Posted in Feature, Fiction

Friedly’s Treats (A Halloween Story)

A few years back, I started writing these short little Halloween tales featuring the devilish Mrs. Friedly. I figured it’s time to post them again. I’ll be sharing them over the next few days, and I’m working on some new ones. The first new Mrs. Friedly story is now posted on my Patreon page for my supporters, and I’ll share another new one on this page soon. If you like these stories, now would be a great time to order my new collection of horror tales, A PASSAGE IN BLACK AND OTHER STORIES. Everybody loves spooky stories on Halloween!

Friedly’s Treats

By Cullen Bunn

Joshua hated Halloween. He once loved costumes and jack o’lanterns and candy. But now he dreaded the holiday.

Outside, trick-or-treaters giggled and climbed Mrs. Friedly’s porch steps. The shuddering knock sent shivers down Joshua’s spine. He squeezed his eyes shut.

The door creaked open. Cool air swept the foyer.

Guttural voices cried, “Trick or treat!”.

“Aren’t you fearsome!” Mrs. Friedly beamed at the anxious little monsters. “I’ve something extra special for you.”

Joshua squirmed as she lifted him, but the ropes around his hands and feet held tight. The gag muffled his screams. Grinning sweetly, Mrs. Friedly plopped him into one of the yawning treat bags.

“Oh, dear!” She pursed her lips. “I’m afraid I’m all out of treats. I don’t have enough for each of you.”

A disappointed groan rose from the beasties.

“Oh, I know!” The kindly-looking woman snapped her fingers and ducked into the house. She reappeared minutes later.

She dropped shiny treats into the other bags.

Wide-eyed, Joshua watched over the edge of the bag.

“Here you go!” Mrs. Friedly said. “Remember to share.”

Thanking the old woman, the hideously-masked trick-or-treaters skipped down the sidewalk, Joshua in one bag, butcher knives and meat cleavers in the others.

End

Posted by cullenbunn on October 11, 2017  /   Posted in Fiction

First Review of A PASSAGE IN BLACK!

My collection of short stories–A PASSAGE IN BLACK AND OTHER STORIES–will be available tomorrow! It’s a great collection of stories to help you celebrate the most spooky time of the year (any time of the year, actually). The first review of the book was posted on horror-writers.com, and the reviewer had some nice things to say!

“No matter your brand of horror, there are stories that you will enjoy.”

“…this was the absolute best work I have read since launching the column.”

“This is a must own for any real horror fan.”

“Rating: 5 out of 5 (actually, can I give a 6 out of 5?)”

Check out the entire review here: http://www.horror-writers.com/papercuts-a-passage-in-black/ and make sure to order the book tomorrow!

Trade Paperback; $18 398 Pages Cover by Tim Mayer Available at Amazon and OmahaBound.com

Trade Paperback; $18 398 Pages Cover by Tim Mayer Available at Amazon and OmahaBound.com

 

Posted by cullenbunn on October 05, 2017  /   Posted in Feature, Fiction

Followers of the Serpent

What follows (no pun intended) is the first piece of short fiction that I ever sold. I had been paid money to write before. My first paid writing gigs were articles for Fangoria and White Wolf Magazine. But this was the first time I’d been paid money for one of my short stories!

“Followers of the Serpent” was a Lovecraftian/western mash-up slated to appear in Eldritch Tales Magazine. The tale is an obvious homage to Joe R. Lansdale’s “Dead in the West,” a story I read (and still read) over and over again. Read More

Posted by cullenbunn on January 31, 2015  /   Posted in Distractions, Fiction

Video – “Come Again, Halloween”

To celebrate Halloween, I’m posting a reading of one of my short stories. If you’ve got 20 minutes or so, I hope you’ll check it out!

This time around, I’m reading “Come Again, Halloween.” This is a tribute to all the things that make Halloween special to me. This story appears, along with twelve others, in the pages of CREEPING STONES & OTHER STORIES, released just this week from Evileye Books!

It’s been a long time since I did a reading, so I feel a little rusty, but I hope you enjoy it!

If you dig the story, I hope you’ll check out the collection. You can order your copy on Amazon!

Come Again, Halloween from Cullen Bunn on Vimeo.

Posted by cullenbunn on October 30, 2012  /   Posted in Fiction, Video
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