A Night in the Woods
It was the first of November and following a long evening of haunting human beings on Halloween night, the various demons, ghouls, witches, and monsters sat in the deep, dark woods, huddled together in front of a crackling bonfire. This was an annual tradition of theirs -- a chance for them to unwind after all their hard work and dedication. Some of the little monster children wandered off a ways, and the werewolf warned:
“Beware, little ones, I saw a princess riding a unicorn in yonder forest. She was being escorted by a handsome knight in shining armor, too.”
The children shrieked, their eyes wide with terror, and quickly scampered into the comforting arms of their hideous mothers.
The witch directed a reproachful glare at the werewolf, and hissed, “Don’t frighten the children like that. Speak to them of nice things like savage cannibals, or bloody beheadings, or deadly plagues and such.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” asked the corpse, wriggling itself out of a freshly dug grave. “I thought that exchanging spooky stories in front of a bonfire was standard practice?”
“Indeed,” agreed the vampire, sipping blood from a flask he had brought with him from his castle in Transylvania. “The little ghouls must learn how to be dreadful. Last night, I saw your child, Witch, shrink away from a drooling baby costumed as Mary’s little lamb. It was a disgrace, I tell you. Let the mummy tell the spooky stories -- he’s the best storyteller we have. It’s for the good of the children...”
“Yes, let the mummy tell us a story,” pleaded the grotesque little rotten ones.
“I will,” nodded the mummy, rewrapping his loose bandages by the light of a silvery full moon. “Listen carefully, children... it all began on a clear, sunny day --”
“Eww!” the ghastly children cried.
“Hush,” their mothers reprimanded. “No rude interruptions.”
“The sky was so blue, and the puffy clouds looked like cotton candy --”
“I think I’m gonna vomit,” groaned a little skeleton boy. “Oh, wait... I forgot that I don’t have a stomach.”
“Dozens of beautiful human girls and boys with bouncing golden curls frolicked in the meadow collecting fragrant wildflowers. Adorable birds chirped from their nests, and the warm sunshine bathed everything in light...”
“No, not light!” Screeched a young banshee. “Anything but light!”
“Soon a lovely princess riding the most gleaming white unicorn ever born trotted into the meadow and delivered the darling youngsters a basket full of the most delicious red apples...”
“Were they rotten apples?”
“Not rotten in the least.”
“No worms, or bruises?”
“None whatsoever. The apples were ripe and juicy, and... and...”
“And what?” the young ghouls cried out in unison.
“And the princess is coming up behind you right now!” the mummy shouted, pointing to the woods beyond the little monsters.
“Egads!” they whimpered, before bolting off in opposite directions.
The mummy laughed, but their hideous mothers were not impressed. “You’ve gone and frightened them. Now we must track them down, and that can take hours.”
“They’ll be fine,” said the elder zombie. “The experience will be good for them in the long run.”
“But the mummy did not have to make the story so horrid,” the witch protested. “Couldn’t he tell them a cute, soothing tale -- like the time Joan of Arc was burned alive at the stake?”
Soon, the first signs of the sun’s rays began to lighten the sky. The monsters would have to depart, shortly, before daybreak turned most of them into heaping piles of ash.
“Well, I must be off,” the vampire bid farewell to all. “See you next October 31st.”
“Yes,” the mummy added. “We need to wrap things up. Get it? Wrap things up.”
All the other ghouls grumbled and rolled their decaying eyes for none of them were overly fond of puns.