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Bats for Bats

I started a new job a few weeks ago.  I’m working as a personal assistant to a friend of mine who runs a handful of small online business ventures.  One of her shops sells holiday-themed home decor.  Being October, she’s just wrapping up her Hallowe’en sales.

I’ve been prepping, packaging, labeling, and mailing bats.  Lots of bats.  Thousands of bats.  Felt bats and vinyl bats, gloss and matte.  I’ve come to loath the sound of packing tap stripping off the roll.

But I love bats.  I love skeletons and jack-o-lanterns and black cats. Hallowe’en at our house is almost as fun as Christmas.  My daughter has been buying us holiday decorations.  We’ll start decorating this weekend (but we’re not allowed to put anything up until my daughter gets home from work).  We’re looking forward to pumpkin shopping at a nearby 10-mile section of highway regionally known as Fruit Way.  My oldest two have been exchanging Hallowe’en memes and gifs since the first color started showing on the leaves.

We’re not quite sure what Hallowe’en will look like this year.  We may not have any trick-or-treaters, and it’s unlikely we’ll have a houseful of friends sipping hot spiced apple cider and munching on our homemade donuts.  We’re debating exactly how many donuts we should make this year.  The kids, of course (all adults, mind you), are trying to convince us to make a full batch.  Guess how many donuts that is.  Go ahead.  Guess.

Two hundred.  That’s right.  Two-zero-zero.

Not happening.

We’ll almost certainly watch one of our Hallowe’en favorite films.  Arsenic and Old Lace, or Young Frankenstein.  Maybe a new favorite?  The Quiet Place, or 10 Cloverfield Lane.  (We’re not into the jump-scare gore kind of stuff.)

But, for me, one of the best parts of Hallowe’en is saving up a few good horror/ghost stories for the October issue of FFO.  And do we have some great ones this year!

On the super creepy uncanny-valley side, “Larry,” by Elsa Richardson-Bach.

On the heartbreaking father-of-a-werewolf side, “Fences and Full Moons,” by Corey Farrenkopf.

On the sweet ghostly-acceptance side, “Ghost Collecting,” by Sheila Massie.

On the darkly twisted-fairy-tale side, a reprint from FFO alum, Marie Brennan, “Waiting for Beauty.”

Enjoy, and stay safe this Hallowe’en!


Suzanne Vincent

Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.


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