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Holiday Teens & Young Adult

A shadow stood behind me.

I gasped and turned around.

“You scared me, jerk!” I slugged Marzipan.

“Sorry, are you ready to go?”

“I dunno. I have no freakin' idea what I’m looking for.”

"That’s why we’re going.”

“But it’s been five years since I dressed up.”

“Well, it’ll be fun shopping.”

“Yeah .” I ran the brush through my long, blond hair.

 

“’Ooh! Check this out, Gloria.”

I turned my head. “Uh, no way!”

“You don’t wanna be a sexy pirate?" Marzipan smiled holding the costume.

“No.”

He put it back. “How about a dinosaur? Or… Whatever the Hell this is?” He grabbed a creepy blue mask with large pointy ears.

“Hell no!”

”Well… can you give me a clue what you’re looking for?”

“I said I don’t know.” I wandered through the aisle. Werewolf… Witch… A demon... No. I sighed. "Ooh!" I walked to a vampire costume. It looked pretty cool. But, do I want to be a vampire? Nah… I moved on.

Vivi turned the corner. “Hey! You’re shopping for a costume?” She tossed her brown hair back.

”Yeah,” I sighed. “I dunno what I should be.”

“Maybe a big, juicy steak!”

“Maybe for you!”

She laughed. “Then, I would eat myself.”

“Yeah. I can’t wait for Halloween!”

“I know. Me too! This year’s gonna rock!”

“Yeah, especially our secret plan,” I whispered.

Vivi flashed an evil grin. “Yeah, I’m so ready.”

“Well, gotta continue looking.”

“Good luck, seeya!” She passed me.

I continued wandering around.

“Wonder what she will be?” Marzipan said.

“With that girl, who knows.” I shrugged.

 Marzipan turned around. “Wanna be a sailor girl?”

I rolled my eyes and browsed through another aisle. I wanted something different…Not scary… Hmm?

Then, I saw it! I grabbed it and laughed. This is perfect!

“Marzipan, I found it!” I ran to him and held it up.

“You wanna be a squirrel?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

I shrugged. “It looks cute!”

“OK, weirdo.”

“What about you?”’

Marzipan held a Freddy Krueger mask up.

We walked to the cashier and l sat my purchase down.

“Oh yeah!” The grey-haired man laughed. “I remember this costume! It has been here ever since we opened five years ago!”

”I can see why,” Marzipan muttered in my ear. 

 

“How do I look?” I asked in my room.

“Special,” Marzipan replied.

“Thanks.” I twirled around in my new squirrel costume.

“So, where are you gonna store your nuts?”

“Silly boy, I don’t have nuts. I’m a girl squirrel!”

“That you are.”

I danced. “Oh, yeah, I’m a squirrel! “ I beatboxed. ”I’m a squirrel! Yo, check out my fluffy tail!”

“You’re nuts,” Marzipan said.

“Ha, nuts!”

Marzipan pulled his phone out and snapped a picture.

”Don’t post that pic.”

“Why not?”

“I want it to be a surprise.”

“That you’re nuts? Gotcha!” He put his phone away.

"I can't wait til—”

A sense of confusion overcame Gloria. Where was this strange place? How do I get outside? She scurried around.

“Uhh, what are you doing?” the strange human asked.

Who was he? Did he want to hurt me? Gloria continued scampering around the room. She saw the blue sky straight ahead. FREEDOM! She jumped on the strange thing and hit an invisible forcefield.

“Whoa!” I said, realizing I was on my bed.

“Gloria?” Marzipan asked. ”Are you OK?”

I took the squirrel head off. “Yeah. What happened?”

“You ran across the room, jumped on the bed, and hit your head on the window.”

“I did?”

“Yeah, don’t you remember?”

"No.”

“Weird."

“Well, better take this off…”

“Yeah, I bet you wanna save it for Sunday night.” He walked out. 

I unzipped the costume and removed it. I put it on my bed and put a sweatshirt and sweatpants on. I looked at the costume. What did happen to me?

 

“’So, Gloria, are you dressing up?” Kayla asked the next day.

“Yeah, but it’s a surprise.” I watched birds walk on the pavement.

“Tell me anyway.”

“Well, it's furry..”

“A werewolf?

“No.”

“Chupacabra? Wait, are chupacabras furry?”

“No, I’m not gonna be a chupacabra.”

“Then what?”’

“You’ll just have to wait.”

“Well, I tried.” Kayla shrugged.

“I can’t wait til Friday!" I said and nibbled on my tuna sandwich.

“Yeah, are we getting a little old for this?"

“What are you saying? College students have Halloween parties."

“Just sayin’." Kayla stuck her fork in her salad.

“Halloween is awesome! dressing up as whatever you want, throwing awesome parties, scaring the shit out of children."

“That’s mean! You shouldn't scare kids!”

“It’s fun! I don’t scare them too bad." I stuck something in my mouth.

“Are you eating… an acorn?” Kayla asked.

“No,.” I heaved it into the grass as other students watched.

 

"Hey, nice costume," I said at the Halloween fair.

“You’re a squirrel?” Kayla blurted out dressed as Captain Marvel.

“Uh-huh.” I shook my large furry head.

“Why?

“I thought the costume looked cute." I spun around.

”OK, well, good for you," Kayla said and looked at Vivi. "You didn't dress up?"

"Uh, let's just say I will later." She smiled.

"What are you up to?"

"Nut-in..."

"Uh, OK?" Kayla said.

“So, what do you guys wanna do first?” Marzipan asked.

“Um…” I looked around. “Let's find some games.”

“OK," Kayla said and we started walking.

Little children were getting their faces painted. A witch sang and danced for a small crowd. Hunky guys bobbed for apples.

“This is great, huh? I just love Halloween!" Vivi said.

“Me too." Kayla petted Vivi's head.

“Hey, wanna duck the zombie?” a woman dressed up as a ghoul asked.

“Sure.” I  walked to the dunking booth.

The zombie sat on the platform under a tank of water, grinning.

"I hope that tank has a heater, otherwise that dude will freeze!" Marzipan said.

“Who wants to go first?” the witch asked.

“.Me.” I stepped up.

“Alright, Squirrel Girl, dunk him good!” She handed me five tennis balls.

I moved my arm back. Here I go. I tossed it. The ball hit the wall above the target.

“Missed!” the ghoul sang offkey.

I winced. Her voice sounded like tires screeching. I hurdled the second.

“Mussed… AGAIN!” she shrieked.

“OK, stop!” Marzipan looked at the ghoul.

“Sorry, I’ll quit.”

I looked at the target. You can do this. My pitching arm may be rusty since I quit baseball, but still... I took a deep breath and threw it. BAM! It hit the target and the platform dropped, plunking the poor guy in zombie makeup into the water.

“Good job, Squirrel Girl!” the ghoul said and patted my back

“Thanks.”

"Would you like to play?’” The ghoul looked at Marzipan.

“No, thanks.”

“Alrighty! Have a scary evening!” The ghoul cackled.

We walked away.

“She was kinda... annoying," Viki said.

“Yeah.” I wandered past more games. A couple played Whack a Zombie. They laughed like little kids, enjoying it too much for their age. A boy about ten years old shot a water pistol at moving plastic monsters.

“Are those shrunken heads?” Marzipan asked. A man played skee ball with green balls. I couldn’t see the balls very well, but he shot the one hiding at the very back. A bell chimed three times.

”Great shot!” I said.

“Thanks.” He turned around. “Squirrel Girl.” He laughed.

“Well, gonna play more games, see ya guys in class, Monday!” Kayla walked away. 

"OK?" Marzipan said.

"I guess it's the three of us, now," Vivi said.

“So, what do you wanna do next, guys?” Marzipan asked.

A ghost played guitar on stage.

“He’s pretty good.” Marzipan said.

“Yeah,” Vivi replied.

Confusion overcame Gloria.

What are these humans doing? Gloria darted around and sniffed the air. Yummy smells entered my nostrils. My tummy growled. She had to find food.

“EEP, EEP EEP!” She ran all over. What were they doing? Where was food? She sniffed.

“Gloria, stop messing around!” a male voice called. She continued scurrying, looking for food. EEP, EEP EEP! Strange humans everywhere. They stared at me. She spotted a man munching a hotdog. She scampered to him and sat down. “EEP EEP EEP EEP EEP!”

“What the hell?”

Gloria jumped on him, knocking him down. She looked at the hotdog on the ground. FOOD! She held it up in her paw and started gnawing it. It was yummy!

A powerful energy swept over Gloria. She laughed.

“Gloria? “Vivi said.

She stared into her eyes. “You will be my pet!” she said out loud.

“Yes, mistress.”

“Strip."

“Yes, mistress.” Vivi took her clothes off.

“Good, now terrorize the night.”

Vivi scurried knocking a table down.

Gloria scurried after her.

“What the—“

Humans blurted out as Gloria and Vivi dashed past them.

The two swiveled thru the aisle 

A man danced to scary music on the stage. He wore a black cape.

Ooh! Let's knock him over! Gloria thought as she and Vivi ran.

Surprised yelps erupted as the two swiveled through the crowd, Vivi almost knocked a girl wearing a bright orange sweater over.

The two girls jumped on stage. 

“Hey!” the man stopped.

Vivi chattered and sniffed him.

“Uh… What the Hell?”

Putting her hands to her waist, Vivi chattered and tilted her head

Men in blue suits scurried to the stage.

“Alright, show's over. Get off!"

Gloria chattered and jumped on the skinny one. He went down and she helped Viki trip the man, The two chattered and jumped down. They scurried to the drinks and jumped over the soda vendor. Vivi chattered and looked around. Gloria pressed the button on the soda fountain. Orange liquid ran down the platform and onto the ground. Vivi knelt down under the stream and drank.

Everyone kept running.

 Vivi continued guzzling and rubbed her bare tummy.

Gloria smiled. “Good girl."

Vivi moved her head and Gloria let go of the button.

Vivi stood up. She leaped on the counter and shook her bare butt. Gloria hopped on and sniffed her.

EEP! Vivi nuzzled Gloria’s face.

 

The two friends jumped down and scampered past the food vendors.

We raced out into the parking lot. My heart pounded in my chest as Vivi ran ahead.

She chattered as her hair blew in the wind.  

We raced out of the parking lot and turned into a street.

We swerved in the corner and stopped

“Well, that was fun!” Vivi panted.

“Heck yeah!” I petted her smooth rear.

She chattered.

Monster Mash played. I pulled my phone out of my purse.

“Hey, awesome prank, you guys!” Marzipan said on the other end.

“Thanks." I laughed.

“I almost cracked up when you ran off with bare-ass naked Vivi."

“Haha, well, you know, I love a good prank!" I said.

“Running like a squirrel bare-ass naked was such a blast!” Vivi laughed

 “You’re a crazy bitch!“ Marzipan exclaimed.

“Thanks, I try my hardest.”  She brushed her hair back.

"Well, I gotta take my brother trick-or-treating, now," Marzipan said.

“OK, have fun!” I replied.

“After that stunt, nothing will ruin this night!” He hung up.

“I think I’m gonna burn this costume. It has evil powers or something.”

“Wait, were you when you did all this?”

“Run amuck at the festival?”

“Yeah,

I laughed. “Come on, let's go home.”

Vivi shrugged. “Ooh, can I have a belly rub and a cookie?”

October 28, 2022 21:27

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34 comments

Cliff McElrea
13:39 Oct 29, 2022

Cute story. I always thought you were a little squirrelly! LOL

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Tommy Goround
05:47 Jan 12, 2023

Come on. Come back

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Charlie Murphy
18:26 Jan 12, 2023

i've been working on other stories, would you like to read another?

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Tommy Goround
22:33 Jan 12, 2023

Yes

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Charlie Murphy
01:49 Jan 13, 2023

Are you on any social media or can I have your email?

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Tommy Goround
13:32 Jan 13, 2023

tpgoround@gmail.com

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Charlie Murphy
17:22 Jan 13, 2023

Thank you

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Charlie Murphy
17:57 Jan 13, 2023

i emailed you

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Tommy Goround
16:42 Dec 23, 2022

You coming back?

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Eileen Turner
20:09 Nov 04, 2022

It's almost all dialog - I like that. Nothing moves a story or describes what's happening like dialog. I laughed at Marzipan's remark "special" and the acorn scene. The POV switch made me re-read a few lines, but not really a problem; personally, POV and timelines are my edit, re-edit, ad nauseum.

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Charlie Murphy
20:47 Nov 05, 2022

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed.

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C P
22:10 Nov 03, 2022

Good one..

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Charlie Murphy
23:31 Nov 03, 2022

Thank you. What did you like about it?

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Sam Smith
20:35 Nov 03, 2022

Interesting Halloween story , I liked you used several different meanings of one word !

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Lindsay Flo
17:40 Nov 03, 2022

I think I agree with a lot of the other commentors. Fun idea, develop it a bit more! I like the switch from 1st to 3rd person, but it confused me at first. I think it needs to be more deliberate. I like how towards the end it becomes clear its a bunch of college kids messing around on Halloween, one of them in a maybe-cursed-maybe-not squirrel costume.

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Devadeep Gupta
19:49 Nov 02, 2022

Thanks for sharing the story! For some reason, I was reminded of Alice in Wonderland though I am not sure why... Also, was the costume a metaphor for something else you are trying to get rid of? Such as the ego?

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Charlie Murphy
20:24 Nov 02, 2022

No, I didn't intend for it to be a metaphor. Thanks for reading. Can you give it a like?

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Devadeep Gupta
20:50 Nov 02, 2022

Done!

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Charlie Murphy
23:42 Nov 02, 2022

I don't see a like from you;.

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Devadeep Gupta
05:14 Nov 03, 2022

Odd.. I can see it

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Story Time
16:25 Nov 01, 2022

Hey Charlie, I liked that you played around with structure for this one. There were times when I think the narrative got a little unclear, but there was a lot of wit present and I appreciate playing around with something lighter for the holiday.

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Charlie Murphy
17:50 Nov 01, 2022

Thank you. What parts were unclear?

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Jennifer Cameron
10:59 Oct 31, 2022

An interesting idea but I think it could have been developed more, it was slightly confusing, and it would have been nice to see some descriptions of the characters/places so we could visualise it a bit more.

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Zoë Page
18:56 Oct 30, 2022

This story had a strange but fun idea. I liked the playfulness you gave the characters, which was portrayed well. There were a few areas for development here and there. For example, a few parts seemed more like notes than actual writing, so when editing cleaning things up like this is useful (one example being "spotted a man munching a hotdog. scampered to him and sat down."). The odd place you'll forget a full stop, or a capital letter, or an inverted comma at the end of some dialogue. These are all little mistakes which writers will make ...

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Charlie Murphy
19:58 Oct 30, 2022

Thank you. I fixed the scampered sentence. Do you mean TEMPORARILY change perspective?

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Zoë Page
10:51 Oct 31, 2022

Yes, possibly just for the parts where she's the squirrel.

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Charlie Murphy
15:54 Oct 31, 2022

I changed where she was the squirrel in her room to third person. Since its vague whether or no4t she was in control at the fair, should that be in third person?

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Charlie Murphy
17:24 Oct 31, 2022

Gloria says "Good girl," when Vivi drinks from the soda fountain, so maybe its best to leave the whole third act first person?

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Charlie Murphy
20:12 Oct 31, 2022

i just revised it with prospective change. can you reread?

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Michał Przywara
18:29 Oct 30, 2022

There's a fun premise here, about what appears to be a cursed Halloween costume. It certainly seemed that way when Gloria first put it on, and didn't recognize her friend and tried to escape. I think a lot could be done with that premise, like her squirrelly behaviour. It seemed to affect her memory too, so it's kind of got a werewolf vibe going for it. But it seems like near the end, this idea is dropped, or it's only partly applicable, since she speaks to Vivi with human words and gives her commands. This is where I found a bit of confus...

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Charlie Murphy
20:05 Oct 30, 2022

Thank you. i intended it to be vague whether or not the costume was cursed. Reread the ending.

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Tommy Goround
03:05 Oct 30, 2022

Recap and comparison: I saw social symbolism in five of your last stories. This allowed them to be fun on the first layer and suggest that the author was trying to make allusions to society. Even The lumberjack story had portions of dual reality and under theme.

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Tommy Goround
03:07 Oct 30, 2022

Fix: go third person like Kafka. "Charlie put on the Squirrel Mask and had the sudden, all-encompassing, obsession with nuts...." 51 days till winter death.

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Charlie Murphy
16:23 Oct 30, 2022

Thank you. can you give it a like?

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