I’ve got a little extra treat for y’all for Hallowe’en. I submitted this to the Alone In A Room With Invisible People podcast, put out by Holly Lisle and Rebecca Galardo, when they asked their listeners to submit a flash fiction tale to be read on the show. They accepted it and today the episode dropped. Go take a listen to Episode 71: 2nd Annual Hallowe’en Special: Listener Edition – Part Two.
For your reading pleasure, here’s the story. Enjoy!
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Please Only Take One Piece Of Candy
Steve grabbed a handful of candy and shoved it in his bag. The porch had a single dim bulb, a small table with a bowl of candy sitting on it, and a hand-lettered sign. The three boys didn’t bother knocking or shouting the traditional “Trick or treat!”
“Hey! You can’t do that!” Bruce objected. “The sign says to take only one piece. It’s underlined and everything.”
Randy grabbed a handful too. “Stop being such a baby. They left the bowl out here unguarded. It’s their own fault.”
“It’s the last house of the night. Might as well get as much as we can.” Steve added. “Come on.”
Bruce watched Steve and Randy head down the walkway to the street. He grabbed a single piece of candy and followed after them.
The path through the woods to home was dark, and quiet. The boys gobbled their candy, eating as much as they could before their parents took it away to inspect it.
“You’re gonna get in trouble for taking all the candy,” Bruce said.
“You only get in trouble if you get caught” Steve shot back.
A throbbing hum filled the air above them. Looking up they saw a large disc, lit up like a Christmas ornament. The lights dimmed and brightened in time with the hum.
“Cool, it’s a UFO!” Steve cried out. He knew all about aliens and space. He watched everything he could on the subject. When he wasn’t watching the Discovery channel, he was reading about aliens.
“Is not. UFOs don’t exist,” Randy argued.
“What do they want?” Bruce’s voice trembled.
“They probably want to snatch you up, carve your brains out, and eat them.” Randy mimed scooping brains out and eating them.
“That’s stupid. They don’t do that.” Steve said. “They probably want to study us, like we study ants.”
A hatch opened in the belly of the saucer and a large ball descended, pieces of piping extruding from all sides. The pulsing sound stopped.
“They aren’t gonna study me.” Bruce started running.
“Chicken!” Randy shouted after him.
The area flooded with light. A spotlight fell on the two boys, yanking them off the ground. They screamed as they fell upwards toward the spaceship.
Bruce stopped running only when he barged through the front door of his house, up the stairs and straight into bed, pulling the covers over him.
In the control room of the ship, Galeb and Tryce looked at their new acquisitions on the monitor.
“Hey! You can’t do that!” Tryce said. “The rules are clear that we can only capture one inhabitant for study.”
“Cease acting like a newling,” Galeb spat back. “They were traveling unguarded. It’s their own fault. Besides, it’s the last planet to collect specimens from. We may as well stock up in case one passes on during examination.”
Galeb set the guidance computer for home. The spaceship turned and headed out of the solar system.