Life Of The Party

“He had it coming to him,” Amy said matter-of-factly.

Jennifer couldn’t form words to respond.  Her sister’s calmness raked her nerves.  It wasn’t the first time she had feared her sibling.

Amy looked over her shoulder.  “Aren’t you going to help me find the right one?” She turned back to the display of pumpkins and plucked a green one from the pile.  She shook her head.  “No, I really had my heart set on orange.”  She set it to the side.

Jennifer mechanically picked up a round orange pumpkin with a curved stem.  “What about this one?” Her voice came out a squeaky whisper.  Her mind couldn’t purge the image of the black-cloaked headless body that sat in a chair outside Amy’s front door.

“Oh!  It’s perfect!  And about the size of his head, too.”

Her stomach flipped.  “Did you really…?”

Amy narrowed her eyes.  “He cheated.  He’s dead to me.”  She turned the pumpkin around one more time.  “Yes, this is the one.”

Jennifer’s legs were numb, but she managed to follow her sister to the cashier.  She watched Amy pay thirteen dollars and tuck the soon-to-be-head under her arm.  “You coming?  The party starts in two hours.”

She followed.  In two hours, costumed guests would gush about how realistic the party decorations were.  They would have no idea.  They would ask where Steve was, and she would tell them he had to work late.  They would believe her.  She wished Amy had not confided the truth.

She watched as Amy expertly carved the jagged teeth of a jack-o-lantern into the pumpkin.  “What did you do with his head?” Jennifer blurted the question.

Amy tilted her head.  One side of her mouth lifted into a half-smile.  “His face is the candy dish.  Check it out.”  She turned her attention back to carving.

Jennifer eyed the dish she’d taken the caramels from.  She didn’t want to see, but couldn’t stop her hands from reaching for it anyway.  She lifted it up over her head and gasped, sucking the caramel into her throat.  It was him!  She dropped the dish, scattering caramels and candy corns on the table.  She felt her face redden and coughed but she couldn’t breathe.  Amy’s arms circled around her waist and a sharp pull shot the caramel to the middle of the floor.

Amy let out sigh.  “You’re awfully edgy, sis.”

“I-I need to go.  This isn’t my thing.”

“Wait!” She smiled.  “The head’s done.  I just need to put it on the body.  Come on, you have to see it!”

Always persuasive, Jennifer gave in to her younger sister’s pleading.  She watched as Amy delicately placed the carved pumpkin on the cloaked shoulders.  Steve’s shoulders.

Jennifer swore the shoulders twitched.  She took two steps back.  Was that a groan?  The arms lifted, this time the movement was unmistakable.  She squealed when the figure stood and glided toward her.  She stumbled away, but tripped on an old tree stump.  Sprawled on the ground, she cried.

Amy’s laughter echoed in the darkness.  “Oh that was good,” she gushed.  “This video will go viral!”

Jennifer stared in horror as the figure removed the carved head.  Steve poked his head from the cloak and extended a hand to help her up.

Grasping his hand, she whispered, “D-Does she know?”

“Nah, she just loves a good Halloween prank.”  He winked and squeezed her hand before letting it go.

They turned toward the rumble of a chainsaw behind them.

“Just wait until you see what else I have planned for tonight,” Amy shouted over the noise.  She revved the motor, moonlight casting shadows on her safety goggles and sinister grin.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

This was written for a new writing prompt challenge I’ve seen around but have never tried.  The prompt challenge instructed us to write a piece under 750 words using “He had it coming to him.” as the first line, and a photo of pumpkins as inspiration.  Click the badge below to read other submissions, or better yet – submit your own 🙂  Thanks so much for reading!!

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49 thoughts on “Life Of The Party

  1. nrhatch October 1, 2013 / 10:41 AM

    Very sinister! Halloween #13!

    • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 7:56 PM

      I’m not usually one for creepy, but I’ve had a few strange stories come to mind recently. I’ll post them throughout October! Thanks for reading, Nancy 🙂

  2. J. Milburn October 1, 2013 / 2:41 PM

    Awesome story! Darn it, here I was hoping there wouldn’t be much competition ;). I love how you foreshadowed the twist at the end.

    • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 7:57 PM

      Hahaha, you’re funny, J. Milburn! Thanks so much for reading and offering your reaction to the story.

  3. Joseph Cereola October 1, 2013 / 3:52 PM

    Good story, maybe I can use it to scare some kids this Halloween.

    • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 7:58 PM

      Aw, poor kids 🙂 It would make me scream, that’s for sure!

  4. Stacie October 1, 2013 / 4:32 PM

    Ooh very good! And welcome to the speakeasy! Hope to see you back again.

    • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 7:59 PM

      Thanks for the welcome, Stacie! I’m enjoying the stories I’ve read so far 🙂

  5. kimrauker October 1, 2013 / 7:43 PM

    I enjoyed this story so much. I love the classic fireside feel it has, although you went well beyond that.

    • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 8:01 PM

      I’m glad you liked the story, Kim! I’m not great at spooky, but in the spirit of Halloween, I’m going to give it a shot this month 🙂

        • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 11:24 PM

          Thanks – will see how it goes, anyway 🙂

  6. pattisj October 1, 2013 / 10:19 PM

    This is one party I think I’ll skip!

  7. Widdershins October 1, 2013 / 10:36 PM

    See? That’s why I don’t like practical jokes. Sooner or later there’s always a chainsaw involved.

    • jannatwrites October 1, 2013 / 11:24 PM

      Haha! I’d like to think that not all practical jokes end with a chainsaw. Maybe I’m just kidding myself 🙂

      Thanks for reading, Widdershins!

  8. Catherine Johnson October 1, 2013 / 11:57 PM

    Awesome story! That was really gripping.

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:08 PM

      Thanks for reading, Catherine – I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  9. Suzanne October 2, 2013 / 7:59 AM

    This is so good Janna! Really, really creepy. And what a fantastic ending!

    Thanks so much for linking up with the Speakeasy this week!

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:10 PM

      Yay – it was creepy…I’d hoped it would turn out that way 🙂 Thanks for reading, Suzanne!

  10. Jennifer October 2, 2013 / 9:18 AM

    Creeptastic. Just the thought that she would be surprised that her sister could do something like that should have kept her from doing it. Or at least that’s what you would think.

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:13 PM

      🙂 It’s one messed up sibling relationship, Jennifer!

  11. philosophermouseofthehedge October 2, 2013 / 10:25 AM

    You carved us up with this “It wasn’t the first time she had feared her sibling.”
    Scaaaaary!

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:13 PM

      Thanks, Phil! I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

  12. Debbie October 2, 2013 / 11:35 AM

    Oooooh, good Halloween-ish story, Janna!

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:14 PM

      I’m not a big Halloween person, but I’ve got a few stories that might fit in well this month. Thanks for reading, Debbie!

  13. Lance October 2, 2013 / 1:16 PM

    I like how this move and Amy’s character is really strong.

    Great ending

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:14 PM

      Amy’s character is a bit nuts, too, Lance 🙂 Thanks for reading!

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:15 PM

      She just might before the night is over 🙂 I appreciate you stopping by, LaTonya!

  14. Cookie October 2, 2013 / 7:15 PM

    Awesome story very creative!

    • jannatwrites October 2, 2013 / 9:16 PM

      Thanks, Cookie – I appreciate you taking time to read it!

  15. gem October 2, 2013 / 11:14 PM

    Ooh it had me creeped out! My stomach was churning…you had me! Reminds me of the Simpson’s Halloween specials for some reason.

    • jannatwrites October 3, 2013 / 9:58 PM

      I’ve never watched the Simpsons…your comment has me curious, though! I’m glad creepiness came through. Thanks so much for reading, Gem 🙂

  16. Sean October 3, 2013 / 8:11 AM

    this is good. It had enough mystery to make you wonder and yet enough information to give you some answers. You have a very nice gift. Thanks for sharing this and your creativeness in different genres.

    • jannatwrites October 3, 2013 / 10:01 PM

      Thanks, Sean! It was fun trying my hand a creepy. I have a couple more I might post this month. As always, thanks for taking time to read it. Hope things are going well for you!

  17. nataliedeyoung October 3, 2013 / 5:08 PM

    Terribly creepy! Eek!

    • jannatwrites October 3, 2013 / 10:07 PM

      🙂 Yay! That’s what I was going for, Natalie!

  18. Eric Alagan October 4, 2013 / 5:32 AM

    Chainsaw? Hmmmm —- now it gets really interesting 👿

    • jannatwrites October 4, 2013 / 9:11 PM

      Yep – the story ends just as it begins. Your imagination can write the ending here, Eric 🙂

  19. Imelda October 4, 2013 / 7:42 PM

    This is superlatively great, Janna. I am quite scared of Amy – and of what she can really do. You write thrillers very well.

    • jannatwrites October 4, 2013 / 9:25 PM

      Your comment means a lot, Imelda! It actually felt odd writing ‘creepy’…I almost scrapped the story. I’m hoping my crash course in creepy (i.e., October) will make it feel a little more natural 🙂

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