Welcome to my stop on the Just Romance Me Halloween Blog tour. Comment below to qualify for a FREE copy of my novella Contagion. This scene is a standalone. Follow this hop to the end and fill out the form to win a kindle.

A Haunted Cabin in the Woods

The screams from the backyard grew louder and Tessa blinked as the sound pulled her from her memories. Halloween had been one of her family’s happiest times. Living in the Appalachian mountains, it was hard to scare the people who lived there. But one year, her father dressed up as a black bear and scared everyone. The evening started at sunset when her father put on his bear costume and wandered, on all fours, to the lake a hundred yards from the back porch. He made sure he was seen by the neighbor children. He recorded the sound of a frightened bear that had been caught in a trap over the summer. Her mother sewed a small music player and portable speakers into the costume. The sound echoed across the lake. Her brothers covered themselves in blood and intestines and ran screaming down the longest dock and dove into the lake. Halloween almost got cancelled that year. Until her dad took the bear outfit off and her brothers walked out of the lake laughing. He retold that story every year. He was a twisted man and I miss him.  

The screams in the backyard changed to yelling. Tessa pulled on the hat for her witch costume and walked outside to see what was going on. Jasper was a young dragon, fifty years old, fluorescent green, and currently had a neighbor child trapped on the back porch. As soon as the door closed behind Tessa, he wrapped both arms around her legs.

“Save me Miss Tessa. That animal is going to burn and eat me!”

She recognized Corey from the other side of the lake. He was a hefty boy of 10 or 11 and dressed as an ogre. Jasper hated ogres and the only thing that kept him from killing as many as possible in the Otherworld was his ogre allergy. He sneezed fire every time they got close so they won’t come near him.

“This is a child, Jasper.” Her smile let Jasper know she was okay with the boy being so scared his pants were wet. “You can let him go. He is not a real ogre.”

“I AM a real ogre,” Corey insisted. He stuck his lips out but didn’t dare turn his face away from hers.

“Dragons burn ogres with their breath, Corey. Do you want Jasper to burn you to death?” She asked.

“No ma’am.” He wiped tears from his face with his sleeves improving the makeup.

“Where are your parents, Corey?” She pulled the child off her leg.

“My brother brought me but when your dragon scared me, he took off.”

Teenage laughter came from the edge of the woods. “I’m right here you blubbering idiot.” A lanky teenage boy, yet to grow into his height approached the porch.

“Jasper, what do we do to bullies who abandon family in the woods?” Tessa asked Jasper.

The teenager’s face paled and he stopped a few feet from the porch.

Rusty, a goblin with a desire to be the worlds best chef, answered. “Jasper burns their clothes off and I barbecue them over the fire.”

Rusty pointed to his chef’s apron, “Cooking Raw” was written across his small chest in crimson red letters.

The teenager lunged for his brother, grabbed the boys small pudgy hands and took off. “I’m sorry to bother you Miss Tessa. And you have the best haunted house on the lake this year.” He yelled as they ran across the yard.

“Haunted house?” Rusty asked.

“They think you are wearing a costume Rusty.” Tessa answered laughing.

“But this is my favorite apron,” he replied with a hurt look on his face.

Tessa knew the boys would tell everyone in the neighborhood so she moved the candy dishes from the front to the back yard.
Dad would be proud.


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