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Love and Monsters!

Perfect for Halloween, because Halloween is all about monsters, and I love Halloween.

Halloween for my family is a long-anticipated yearly event. Only Christmas is more anticipatedand just barely.

Each year we fry donuts. Dozens of donuts. Nearly 200 last year. Half the neighborhood hangs out at our house Halloween night. No wonder, eh? No, you can’t have my address.

Our childreneven at 25, 23, and 18begin planning costumes, decorations, and pumpkin carving patterns months before. Pinterest has been on fire!

Last year the pumpkin theme was literary horror storiesPoe, Shelley, Stoker. This year it’s horror films. My son, 23, has been assigned The Creature From the Black Lagoon. The German silent classic, Nosferatu, is on the list as well. My job is to shop for a pumpkin tall enough to handle the high-haired do of the Bride of Frankenstein. A trip to our local farmer’s market is on the calendar.

All day we work side by side, my husband and I. We make our traditional dinner of Sloppy Joes with potato chips, make a big pot of warm spiced cider, roast pumpkin seeds, fry donuts until we’re covered in grease splatters and droplets of glaze. Our costumes are kitchen aprons.

But the day isn’t about costumes. It’s not about pumpkins or Sloppy Joes, or even the donuts. It’s about family, and it’s about love. Black and orange hearts.

As for this month’s stories, they are four of the most memorable stories I’ve read this year. They are pumpkin-plump with all the feels.

Happy reading, and Happy Halloween!

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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