A reminder: The Coffin Hop Blog Tour continues!
Comment here daily through Oct. 31 to win a copy of the new DEATH BY DRIVE-IN Anthology (& buy a copy to benefit literacy! ) New posts here daily to 10/31!
COFFIN HOP runs October 24-31 at WWW.COFFINHOP.COM with more than 75 artists and authors, partying it up, bringing the treats and the tricks to an online audience of thousands.
The party's underway at Dani and Jax's SPOOKTOBERFEST! over at Entertaining Interests. The fun goes from Oct. 25-28 and features short fiction based on a photo and using at least three particular words. Here's my second entry. The first story is here. (Somehow I ended up with similar themed, almost linked stories...)
Three words had to be used in the story from the following list. Mine are in bold in my story.
WRETCH(ED), IMPEDING, ALIEN(S), SKELETON(S), POTION(S), MASK(S)
By C. A. Verstraete
The night started out decent enough. We got to the bar and I had to admit, they'd done a great decorating job. Lots of cobwebs and dust. The bartenders looked eerily pale in the dim light. Cool potion bottles and oddly colored liquors lined the bar's shelves.
"This is great! Where'd you find this place?" I asked Mark.
He shrugged. "Heard about it at a party. So, what do you want to drink?"
I laughed. "What else? I'll have a Bloody Mary."
"A Bloody Mary and I'll take a shot of that purple potion," he ordered.
We clinked glasses and shared a kiss. "How's your drink?"
He laughed and nibbled my neck. "Purple."
"I'm glad you suggested this place."
He took my hand and kissed it. "Hey, if you think this place is cool, wait'll you see the little cottages they rent out. We can spend a nice, quiet evening by the fireplace, just the two of us. What do you say?"
I smiled back. "I'd like that. Let me finish my drink first."
We chatted and ordered a couple more drinks. Mark laughed at the bartender's warning about mixing the green and purple potions. "Oh, yeah, what'll happen? I turn into an alien or something?"
His expression made me laugh as he downed the green shot.
We finished our drinks and headed outside, but not to our car like I'd expected. Instead, Mark pointed to the dark thicket of trees. "We have to walk. It isn't far."
"Really?" I grimaced, but followed him.
What a wretched idea! We'd gone barely a few feet when Mark pulled a small lantern from his bag and turned it on.
"Stick close," he warned. " Watch for tree roots."
Too late, I stumbled and cursed as my toe hit something. I tripped again. I should've known better when he said cutting through the woods was a shortcut. What an idiot I was!
"Mark, where is this place?"
"Not far. C'mon Mattie, don't be a wimp."
"Wimp? You're kidding, right? You expect me to traipse around some haunted forest in sandals?"
He grunted behind me. I cursed when the light went out. "Mark? Hey, where's the light? I can't see anything."
I fumed. He'd turned into an inconsiderate jerk ever since… Wait. The bartender had warned about the potion bottles at the bar!
I fumbled around, finally found the lantern, and switched it on. "Mark, where—?"
Screams replaced my words.
The lantern held high, I stared at Mark—or what was left of him.
His skin had a purplish sheen. Big green spots dotted his face. His eyes bulged. Ant-like antennae flicked above his head.
When he slithered towards me, I turned and ran back to the bar, hoping I was going the right way, hoping the bartender had some kind of antidote…or a gun…or something.