Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Halloween Store - Chapter 5


It was two weeks to go until Halloween and the amount of customers entering the store picked up. Andre kept whacking the newbies on the head with his rubber club as the corny, flute-filled Halloween music played on. 
There were also healthy amounts of kids running around the store hitting each other with plastic swords and axes. John yelled at the them. “Hey, slow down! No hitting with the weapons, that’s how they break.”
One of the kids slowed down and John snatched the broken plastic sword away from him. John put the sword back with the other plastic weaponry. “Fifth one in the last three days.”
“We can’t have any more broken weapons gentlemen. They cost twenty to thirty a piece!” Said Gary appearing seemingly out of nowhere.
John instinctively looked to his left and spotted Megan talking to another brunette. She was short, around Megan’s height, milky white complexion. John wasn’t sure if some of it was make-up or her natural skin color. Her long raven-black her touched the top of her shoulders, she was slightly plump in her breasts and rear. As she walked towards the cobwebbed vampire section, he noticed her beautifully round face and smiling pink-red lips.
John wandered off but moved closer to her as he straightened the costumes on the shelf, not really fixing them but trying to straighten them out just for an excuse to be her line of sight.
As they talked, Megan introduced Laura to John.
“I like the suit. I love Ghostbusters!” Said Laura with her Irish inflection.
John smiled a bit, “Thanks, you’re not from around these parts are ya?” Asked John in a southern draw while raising his right eyebrow.
“How’d ya guess?” The smiling black-haired beauty replied.
John pulled a prop cigarette from his front pocket and puffed out the fake smoke away from her face. “Just a feeling, I’m kidding, I’m not from the south. I’m a transplant too, I’m from Michigan, very nice to meet you.”
Laura smiled. John was charmed way before her smile. There definitely weren’t any beautiful Irish girls from his native land. Why would there be? Sure there were plenty of American girls who’s ethnicity was Irish but an honest to God Irish beauty from the county with the accent and all. He never met one, until now.
Yes, the exotic girls from around the world came to Los Angeles. By now John had flirted with Russian women, Australian women and now a Irish woman.
“So what are you doing in LA? John asked.
“I’m a folk singer tryin’ to get picked up by a label.” She said smiling.
“Trust me, you don’t need a major label to pick you up when I can do it for free.” John said with a smile in the corner of his mouth.
Laura giggled and turned as her cheeks swelled red.
“What do ya wanna do after I get out Laura?” Megan walked around the isle towards them.
“I don’t know know, what time do ya get out?” Laura replied.
“At about tree.” Megan responded.
“Um, at about three,” Andre echoed while eavesdropping.
“Shut up Andre! Dat’s the time I get out.
“There’s a great little bar on the corner of San Fernando and Alameda called The Blue Room. “That sounds good! Well, since ya mentioned it, how about ya come?” Laura asked John, lifting her eyebrows with a slight smile.
“Um, yeah. I get out around eight?” John replied. 
Andre smiled and smacked John on the arm with his club. “What? You’re not gonna invite me? 
Tanks! Tanks a lot!”
“Why do ya have to be so racist towards us Irish girls Andre?” Said Megan. 
“Because it’s fun,” Megan smacked Andre on the back of the head. ”Ouch! I am when people replace a plant with a number.” He rubbed the back of his head.
“Alright ladies, eight o’clock it tis.” John replied in his own Irish accent.
Just then, Allen showed up behind them. He shot his hands up in the air, waving them in his usual Nixon-like manor. “Get to work everybody!”
Andre shot into the back of the store. John put his plastic blaster on his shoulder. Laura smiled at him and giggled mouthing. “You better be there.”
John smiled as everybody dispersed. John strutted to the middle of the store, blaster over his shoulder. He took it off to quickly take it off and shot at a white cartoon-like ghost hanging from the ceiling. John smiled then walked down an isle. The ghost spun around.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Halloween Store - Chapter 4

The Halloween Store
(c) 2016 Chris Calderon


The red and blue lights flickered on the cobwebbed pained glass door. Gary and Allen opened the door to greet the officers. John, Andre and the rest of the girls stood inside watching the two managers talk to the men in blue. They looked like two young kids trying to explain where their younger brother or sister went. Allen waved both arms and hands above his head in a Y. This always reminded John and a few others of Richard Nixon when he would put up his arms with two peace signs in both hands. Instead of peace, Allen’s gesture always signaled frustration. The girls whispered to each other wondering who was to blame.
Allen came back into the store and waving his arms once more, “Everybody, get back to work, c’mon!” He tossed out costumes to everyone, “C’mon, let’s get movin’.”

* * *

As it was getting closer to Halloween they gave the reps a chance to promote the store by recieving a free costume to wear while working. It was good for the store because the customers would see how the costumes fit on a real person as opposed to a picture. John wore a Ghostbuster costume. He had been an immense fan of the film ever since he was a kid. He knew just about every line from the comedy. He used this eccentricity to his advantage by always quoting various dialog from the movie. He donned an inflatable proton pack complete with the particle thrower.
Campy Halloween music played on repeat for the rest of the night. Campy kids, Halloween music to Micheal Jackson’s Thriller. To the crew, Thriller was definitely the best some of the bunch.
John put some of the cavemen costumes together. Andre donned a viking horned helmet and nudged John on the shoulder.
“Hey, take a look at those!” Said Andre pointing at Stacy donning a leopard spotted almost-a-bikini top. She also wore a matching headband around her dark black hair. Her brunette hair seemed to frame her huge round breasts. Their gaze fell upon her as she bent forward vacuuming back and forth. Andre chuckled as John continued to watch.
Andre hit him on the head with his squeaky rubber club and laughed. John shook his head and walked around the store.

* * *

More and more people started to file in. John, Andre, Stacy, Star and Jen kept helping the wandering customers. John couldn’t take his eyes off a beautiful brown-haired girl. She stood next to her mom. She was dressed in the popular Cinderella costume. The long curly brown hair fell down to her bare neck. He felt the urge to go and chat her up but the mother was a major obstacle to him.

* * *

Jennifer had to go into the back of the store wearing tons and piles of brown boxes which contained lots of back-up costumes for the front, most of them were not priced yet. Allen told her to check in the piles of boxes for a vampire costume. After opening several boxes and not finding any costume that even came close, she started checking the boxes in the back. She tripped and fell over the mound of brown cubes in the middle.
Soon, she found herself swimming in them. She couldn’t find her balance and footing. The boxes fell on top of her and became heavy almost to her as if they were pushing her down on purpose. Her body was fell towards the floor in a quicksand of large brown boxes. The only thing she could get out of the cardboard was her right hand. She seemed to descend for an absurd thirty seconds. This depth was way beyond the actual store floor. Time seem to slow like Alice falling through the rabbit hole.
As she slowed her hands and legs shot out in an inverted Y. Below her was a very old black wooden coffin. She panted as the door creaked open. There was nothing but darkness. Then a pale, finely clothed man opened his eyes, smiled, showing his long two-inch fangs. Jen screamed in terror.
Outside the mound of boxes just a mere muffle could be heard if someone was near that area.
“I heard you were looking for my clothes.” Said the ghoulish, red-eyed, vampire. Her scream slowly died into a whimper as she stared into his hypnotic eyes. Her mouth stayed open as she slowly descended into the pale man’s arms. His fangs plunged deep into her soft neck and the coffin lid fell over her. The coffin knocked just once at the last bit of struggle. The boxes fell back on top.
Meanwhile, Allen was still getting grief from an impatient customer. “Andre! I need you to check up on Jennifer and see if she found that Dracula costume yet, it’s been about five minutes.” He glanced at his watch.
“Yes sir,” Andre said saluting and smiling at him. He strutted down to the back of the store and to the storage room. 
Allen raised his hands in the air and waved his hands. “Hurry up! Got customers waiting!”
Andre turned his head slowly, smiled, walked backwards, turned and kept strutting at his usual pace. When he finally arrived he opened the curtain to reveal the usual mountain of boxes, but to his surprise they had been perfectly stacked on top of each other so that they took up almost half of the room. Only one box remained on the top layer. Flabbergasted at the organization, since he only measured five foot three he took the top box just above his shoulders, and opened it using his box cutter. He saw the word Dracula and instantly snatched the first one without thinking to look at the rest of tge package. He jogged forward just a few seconds then went back into his usual slow strut. “Man, you were so quick!” Said Allen. “Lightning quick! I tell ya.”
Andre only cracked half a smile and held out the bagged plastic costume. The angry woman rapidly grabbed it from his hand. She gave it a glance and quickly slammed it on the counter “forget it!” She snapped and promptly left. Allen picked up the costume, shook his head. “Y’know you might want to read the whole title.” Said Allen as he held and showed Andre the costume. It read, “Bride of Dracula.” He threw the costume on the glass cashier table with plastic vampire teeth memorabilia under it. “Now go put it back were you found it and go get Jennifer. Wherever she is.”
“Right boss,” Andre replied.

* * *

The second time the police showed they thoroughly searched the store from front to back. No trace of blood was found to back room. No trace of blood was found or piece of clothing. They searched throughout the room throwing all the boxes aside only to reveal a regular light blue carpeted floor. 

John and Megan watched Gary and Allen talk to the police once again with Gary cross armed and shaking his head while Allen hands predictably shot up into the air again. Megan was dressed as a clown with a huge round waist as big as a trampoline.
The yellow striped pants were followed by huge red shoes. “It’s so weird what’s been happenin’.”
“I know, it’s like their here one minute and then they’re gone.” John said while watching the police officers.
Andre had been looking around trying to stay busy. He grabbed the rejected costume from the glass display desk.
He looked down at the cover and gave a second look.
He walked up to John and Megan and handed them the costume. Megan looked down at it and screamed instantly dropping the plastic package to the ground. John picked it up instantly and turned pale.
The title was The Bride of Dracula. Jennifer pale and with two blood holes in the side of her neck stood in a long black outfit. They thought, either she had a twin as a model or somehow it was her. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Halloween Store - Chapter 3

The Halloween Store
(c) Chris Calderon 2016


Lucy was fresh out of high school she had long black hair and wore jean short shorts. She was nice, courteous to her coworkers. Both John and Andre thought She was a quiet and they assumed she was introverted because of her thick rimmed glasses.

* * *

Gary, was from Australia, he was the taskmaster for a very busy Friday night in October. “C’mon guys stop talking! You have to keep it moving! There’s plenty to do, straighten out isles six and seven. He grabbed a few vampire costumes and tossed them to Jen and Andre. One of them fell from Jen’s arms.
They all quickly scurried away like ants to put them away.

* * *

Lucy was given the assignment to look for a missing clown costume in the back of the store. She got the shivers as she walked down a hallway with mirrors on both sides. She had a scary feeling from the lower part of her body work its way up top. The mirrors seemed to watch her as she walked past them.
Gary told her some clown costumes were accidentally left at the dark end of the long hallway. She was quickly walking down. At the end of the dark cornered hallway was yet another mirror, however, this one was different it had an old Victorian-style design.
Pointy corners resembled horns in each corner of the mirror. To her it was just another creepy artifact in an already super creepy hallway. Of course she spotted the boxes behind the long skinny mirror. The Mirror almost seemed to her to drag her in. Lucy didn’t want to look into it and see mirrors reflecting mirrors. Endlessly into oblivion. She knelled down and grabbed the brown box behind the mirror. She opened the box with a slice of the box-cutter she took out of her back pocket. The box opened to reveal a white painted face with a big rubber red nose and a typical multi-colored clown suit. Everything on the cover was normal except for one thing, the smile, the insane smile on this jester disturbed her very much. It seemed to stare directly at her. She looked straight back up into the mirror again. She looked at the mirrors within the mirrors and the deeper she looked she swore she saw a red boot front a costume. She turned and didn’t see a red shoe on the ground. Suddenly she heard some giggling in the mirror in front of her.
Whatever was in the mirror was getting closer. She spotted a red and yellow clothed leg step behind a mirror, if that was possible. She meant to run out of the hallway but was fully entranced. Her arms fell to her sides as she felt absolutely powerless to stop what was now happening. She couldn’t look away as a clown with a jester’s hat appeared in front of her in the mirror. He or it laughed hysterically. Lucy couldn’t help but giggle too. It was as if a force was making her laugh against her will but then it felt good to her. He was now laughing hysterically. Suddenly, the jester’s arms shot out of the mirror. Lucy hardly had time to realize what was happening and her thin waist was pulled into the mirror as if its surface was made of water. Her jet black hair strands were the last to follow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Repost: The Halloween Store: Chapter 2

(c)Chris Calderon 2016


John had been making great progress with the locations of the costumes. They were nearing the end of September and the store had seen plenty of traffic and sold lots of costumes and plastic props.
Andre, a short, plump, goateed sales rep had been boinking his fellow employees on their heads and arms with his squeaky, rubber, caveman club. Stacey, who was destined to be a Playboy Playmate in the minds of her male counterparts, had recently graduated from high school about a year before.
Jennifer, was a freshman at Burbank’s Community College. She also played softball there and was a decent outfield catcher.
Megan just moved to Los Angeles so she was considered a transplant along with John. She had come a longer way though, all the way from Ireland along with her friend Laura who also moved with her to make a cd and record label. John had talked with Megan about why she moved to LA. She wanted to get work as a nature photographer but most of all get out of the cold rainy climate she had grown weary of over the years. They had both had that in common with each other. Michigan had similar weather, where one didn’t know what to dress for from day to day.
Star, was one of the first original sales reps to be dressed in costume and what a costume it was. The blue Alice skirt stopped close to her rear, exposing her legs with black-net stockings. The dress also left open a generous portion of her cleavage. The outfit also included a multi-colored skirt. John was a big fan of her occasional exposed cheeks when she bent over and even when she didn’t.
She even had a tattoo of a star on the back of her neck. John tried flirting with her on several occasions over the weeks but she was stiff and not very talkative at least not to him. He still found himself occasionally looking at her as she put the plastic bagged costumes away. What could break her social ice wall that she put up? “Cheer up! You only have two-hundred more bags to go,” said John.
“Heh…” Star replied and stared dead ahead.
John walked on to his next task of getting some more costumes for the racks himself.
The next week they hired another girl John didn’t mind staring at for several minutes as well. Her name was Lucy.

Repost: The Halloween Store: Chapter 1

By Chris Calderon
(c) Chris Calderon 2016



The leafs never fell in Burbank California during the fall. It never felt like the season to John. Things had changed much since leaving Michigan for a shot at the movie business. It had been a bold move indeed. After shacking up with a friend for two straight weeks he had been diligently looking for a job up and down San Fernando Blvd.
Ideally he’d been wanting a videographer job or a PA gig on a film or TV set. Unfortunately, John had to pay rent and feed himself. His unemployment would run out soon.
After filling out an application and chumming around with the manager about being a videographer in the past.
Gary, the manager told him to call back soon because they needed lots of people for the Halloween season.
They were in the first week of September but to Gary they were already late into the approaching Holiday. Gary and his management team always made sure they were stocked with costumes at least six months in advance.

* * *

The week John started. He worked with a majority of girls. Most of them were in their twenties. There were also a few guys they varied from five to ten years older then he. John was the oldest floor sales rep there. He had to do what he had to do. He purchased a red polo shirt and black pants, the company didn’t supply its own uniforms. John could only afford to buy one shirt. He was lucky to have the black pants. Money for him these days wasn’t an object. The pressure to make money for rent and feed himself was high, and he was a long way from home.
Allen who donned white hair and glasses gave John the tour of the isle. He was second in command to Gary. He showed him where the food costumes were. He showed him isle four, the gangster outfits and faerie costumes in ail seven. Allen had to make sure John was familiarized with the store’s costumes, the newest costumes in the store. In the back of the store Allen opened the curtains where piles and piles of boxes of costumes were ready to be opened.
The white-haired man opened the rickety tick metal door. The dark metal garage was all around them as they stood on a iron floor above the stairs. Next to it was a cut off square platform.
“This lovely area is where we take the garbage out. Ponder the garbage bin in the corner, “Allen pointed in its direction. He grabbed the red and green button controller hanging from the ceiling and pushed the green button with his thumb. “Green means go.”
The platform slowly lowered.
“So it does sir.” Replied John.
Allen shook both hands in the air. “Make sure you always have someone help you when taking the garbage to the bin. It’s store policy."

Friday, September 16, 2016

Time For a New Short Story

Yep, Halloween's getting closer and I have a short horror story ready to go! As always, like The Ranger & Dark Carpentry it'll be a trial run which means it won't be perfect or in its final form. It will however be a quick read full of potential. Feel free to comment and hit me up on my Short Stories page on Facebook.
I hope you're ready to get your costumes :)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dark Carpentry: Chapter 13 - God Pounds Them

                     God Pounds Them

                    Chapter 13

Will dropped his stack of 3x6’s onto the deck. He walked over to the fresh stack of 2x4’s were he placed his hot coffee. He jerked his tongue and head back a bit in reaction to the hot bite it gave. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted Renald dressed in his usual black attire and shades. Will’s head shot over his right shoulder and walked towards the man.
Renald’s hands were behind were his back as he turned and started walking away.
“Hey!” Said Will walking towards him. Renald picked up the pace as his gradual walk, turned into a faster pace then into a start of a full sprint. “Oh, no ya don’t.” Following pursuit, the sunglassed man quickly turned his head while Will ran jogged after him onto the cement driveway.
Will chucked his hammer straight at the Renald’s back. It connected, bouncing off and he hit the ground before the hammer did.
Renald’s mouth opened without any sound coming out and Will looked down at him with unsympathetic eyes. Will took his own sunglasses off. Renald found the strength to face the attacker above him. Renald found the strength to shakily take his sunglasses off. His hauntingly light blue eyes peered up and met Will’s steel blue. Renald’s, pupils dilated. “This whole time you’ve been feeding us to the lion…when you gonna pay us?” The black jacketed man in pain cringed.
“Ah, I have it. You’ll be paid for your troubles.” Said Renald cringing in pain.
“That thing down there threatened my friends and my family, I think you owe us a little overtime hazard pay, for this one.”
“Well, I don’t know about that.”
Will poured some of his hot coffee onto Renald’s face. It hissed on his forehead. “Ahh!…okay, okay…”
Will smiled while looking down, “where there’s a Will there’s a way.”
“I’ll double your pay.”
“Hm, good rhyme. What was your deal in this whole thing? What was your part?”
The Man winched in pain once more then looked deeply into Will’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity. “He was my master. I had to follow him, do what he asked. I’m between both worlds, the living and the dead. He made me his servant. Forced to serve him.”
“Hm,” Will sipped his coffee “…no master, eh? Guess that makes you unemployed. Your master went back to hell where he came from and I’m, well I’m down at least two and a half men, wait…” he quickly counted in his head. “three men now with Chris leaving, that makes three men gone. Good men.”
“Your point is?…”
“My point is, now we’re behind on the next colonial and I…I need an extra man. How about it? You’re master’s gone now.”
“…how about that?” said The Man rolling his eyes and cringing.
“So uh, let me ask you a question, do you wanna die instead?” Asked will sipping his coffee with a hint of smile.
Renald frowned and seriously contemplated leaving the living world with quick smack of a hammer stake. “I think I’d rather die?”
“In those days men will plead for death and they will not find it.” Book of Revelation.
“God pounds his nails and I’m the hammer Gunga-Din.” Will held his hand out to him as he grinned.

* * *

The following day Renald was on the roof on the two story colonial, shirtless. His pale white skin burned under the hot sun as he pounded nails onto the roof trusts. He wiped his brow, sweating.
Will looked up and watched, sipping his coffee.