A couple to a few years ago, I got an idea for a collection of short stories or novellas. While that by itself is not unusual because I often get ideas for writing. What is odd is that the idea persisted over the years to the point that I wrote more this summer. Unfortunately, my plan to finish the stories by both last and this Halloween failed. And, so, I reset the deadline once again. This time, though, I can actually see the finish line of Bad Moon Rising on the horizon.
Yes, as with many of my short stories, a song inspired this one. Obviously, Bad Moon Rising my CCR in this case. Also, I approach this deadline with a renewed vigor for writing, both for the web page and for these stories. It remains to be seen if I can keep that vigor going through the winter months and into the traditional fury of spring and summer. If so, then look for Monsters Attack! An Homage to Classic Movie Monsters next Halloween. If not, then enjoy this sampling on our first official celebration of Spooktober.
Halloween, 2020 (Saturday)
Clint sighed as he turned the key to unlock the door This has already been one hell of a year. A novel coronavirus caused a worldwide pandemic that shut everything down for a few months. Due to an obstinate population, that dragged through the entire summer in most states. Even after a select few showed that it could easily be contained with minimal precautions (wear your fucking mask, social distance when possible), hot spots continued to be reported daily.
Even now, in Massachusetts–one of those states able to contain it–school still have contingencies for red and yellow days. So far, he knocked on the wood of Mrs. Tyler’s door for good luck, they had not needed to enact them. However, winter and the colder weather beckoned. Even with the most stringent of measures, everyone cooped up inside together meant most germs would have a damn field day. Hell, even when not in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, schools were a breeding ground for disease.
In other summer news, protests started off contentious and violent, then faded. Periodically, they flared again. A statue defaced or torn down, molotov cocktails thrown into a department store or chain restaurant window. He admired their tenacity. Things were changing. Slowly, of course, but things he never though possible suddenly became plausible and even likely. Police departments restructured. Long time government officials exposed and likely to lose.
Along those lines, the election loomed. The current president dialed the crazy up to 11 and finally it looked like more people than not saw through his ruse. That’s not the say that Clint thought for a moment that he’d lose. The man proved to have more lives than a damn cat. But, at least, it looked possible.
He sighed again as he reached the custodial closet. The sad truth behind this whole thought process was to distract him from tonight. Yeah, these are the distractions.
How fucked up is that?
Everyone in town knew the story. He heard about it firsthand from the previous night custodian when he took the job. 38 years ago, four boys from the high school trapped a girl in the biology lab, raped her, and killed her. More like eviscerated her.
Ever since, every year a group of seniors recreates the scene. Every year, the recreation becomes more gruesome and lifelike. Every year, he wishes it would end.
With that thought, the distractions dissolved. He prepared to face whatever horrors awaited him. Nothing to prepare him for those that did.
How fucked up indeed.
To Be Continued
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Bad Moon Rising. I will be back next week with another installment. Thanks for reading and if you see fit, check out my other collection of short stories, From Shadows.