The locations are real. The people are not.
For The Blood is the Life: A Frightful Halloween Quest.
11.30 PM. Monday night. School night, should be in bed. He couldn't help himself, but Travis decided he needs a drink at the store down the way. Paying his dollar, drink in hand, Travis returns home using the backroad: dimly lit, gravel road. Few travel on it anymore because most everyone drives rather than walks.
"Hey. Are you going to Melissa's party tomorrow night?"
"No. I got my homework. Stuff for English."
End of the backroad. Post Office to the left, no one in there. Field to the right, dark and shady. Elementary school forward, well lit with some signs of activity. A stray ball here, big ]constuction work there. Climbing to the top of this gravel mound in the middle of the parking lot, Travis can see everything the light touches. This is boring, he thinks.
"Hey. You two want a ride home?"
"Nah. We're fine. We'll just skate home."
"All right. See you tomorrow."
One foot at a time, Travis. Slowly now. Don't fall! Dammit, now wipe yourself off. What's that, over there? By the hut, I mean? It's nothing. Sorry I disturbed you. But over there, there's a stray cone. Put it in an innovative spot, why doncha? The basketball hoop? That's a great idea. Hmmm... can't reach. I know! Put in that plastic swing at the end of the row. Yeah, like that. Now close the restraint. Sweet. Construction workers'll wonder why that's there. Good harmless prank.
"Kind of dark out, yeah?"
"Yeah. Can't see where I'm- dammit. that hurt like a bitch!
"What, you got a rock caught in your wheels?"
He notes a faint mist coming from the path behind him. Travis turns around. Hey! You gotta get home! Silent step. And another. Repeated until Travis is at the tennis courts, a couple hundred feet away, and a few feet up.
"If your mom finds out you're smoking, she won't like that too much."
"What, like I'll lose my board or something?"
"If you lose it, it's all over for a while.
You'll have to ride the bus back home instead of going to the skate park."
"Hey, lay offa me. It removes tension."
Why are you ignoring me? I'm only here to help! A ghastly emanation comes from the smoke. One eyeball, one empty eye socket. One nose. Transparent. It drifts gently along toward the school, maintaining a perfect line.
Another one, two arms
, one head, one leg
. Flies at Travis, screaming "My leg!" He ducks, and starts backing up. Travis feels the breeze
on his face as the ghost pulls around him, still screaming.
Kick! It might not be effective against ghosts, but give it a try! Foot flies out, and it meets soft flesh.
"Bastard! I'm gonna get you for this!"
And the skateboard swings around, with the edge of the board hitting Travis in the back of the neck, snapping his vertebrae. Goodbye. Twitch. Twitch. Still.
"Hey, dude! Did you get that thing washed up yet?"
"There's something funny in this fountain water. Ow! My leg! Do you have to smoke so much?"