Halloween Story Contest 2012- Honorable Mention
updated: Oct 30, 2012, 5:28 PM
By Robert Call
Sunlight shone through a crack in the curtains. Dawn had arrived, and with it another beautiful day in Santa Barbara. In the distance, the bells of the
Mission tolled, and a train whistle signaled its passing. Birds sang out and the sounds of traffic were just beginning. Everything seemed so regular, so
normal. And yet, nothing was normal at all…
The room in question belonged to a young man who should have been there, should have been waking up right that minute to a beautiful new day. But
the young man wasn’t in his room at all. He wasn’t there to see the sun shining through the curtains or hear the Mission bells tolling. In fact, the young
man hadn’t returned at all the night before. The night of Halloween, a night when anything can happen and many things do.
As hours passed, the young man’s friends began to worry. They were not alone. All across the city real people were waiting for their loved ones –
waiting for the real children, the real aunts and uncles and grandparents, the real husbands, the real housewives of Santa Barbara to return. Waiting for
friends and relatives they would never see again. No one thinks that the Apocalypse will come from the sea. But mankind has been pouring pollutants into
the ocean for the last hundred years. What did everyone think would happen? It was bound to go bad sooner or later.
The young man, who was not in his room, was the first to find out just how bad. He was not one to enjoy the silly Halloween festivities so instead he
chose to walk on the beach that fateful night. The beach was dark and deserted with the white of the waves gleaming in the moonlight. The young man
was enjoying the solitude and beauty of the night when suddenly there was a sound like thunder. Startled he saw the sea rear back with tremendous force,
revealing dozens of creatures walking out of the ocean. The creatures seemed not quite like men, not quite like fish and were covered with seaweed that
looked much like wilted kale.
The young man gasped at the sight. He picked up a piece of driftwood holding it like a baseball bat, even though he realized it was next to useless as a
weapon. “What do you want,” he stammered as the fish-men came closer.
“We’re here to reclaim the earth,” said the leader, “and rid it of vermin.”
“You can’t do that. You’re just a fish,” said the young man with foolish bravado. “You’ll be in someone’s frying pan by morning.”
He was a nice young man and didn’t deserve what happened next. Still he should have known better than to argue with a sea monster. The leader, who
had little patience with back talk, turned the young man into a crab and sent him scuttling into the sea. That evening the very traumatized crab was joined
by many other sea creatures, all the people who’d unwittingly opened their doors to trick-or-treaters and instead found themselves looking straight at the
sea monsters. Some had marveled at the cleverness of the costumes until the sea monsters turned them into crabs and sea urchins and starfish. And –
sometimes capriciously – into plankton. Adding insult to injury, the sea monsters then gobbled down the proffered treats. (Even sea monsters have a
At dawn the sea monsters made their way back to the ocean. But the young man, with his tiny crab brain, knew they would be back again and again
each Halloween until mankind no longer ruled the earth. When the entire human race had been transformed into tiny creatures battling for survival in the
ocean depths. When the land and the sea once again belonged to the tigers and elephants and pelicans and salamanders and butterflies and dolphins and
whales and all the wondrous creatures of the earth.
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