I woke slowly in the dark with both of my cats beside me, their soft warm bodies pressed against my hip. I reached down to pet them without thinking but my leg started to cramp, bent against my chest for too long. I shifted, just a bit, displacing the little tabby. She mewed her displeasure. There was an answering groan from the other side of the closet door. I held my breath as something moved toward us, thumping unevenly against the floor, and I wondered if this was the moment it would finally figure out how to work the knob.
This is the second in my series of October drabbles – tiny fiction that clocks in at exactly 100 words each. It was inspired by the fact that my cats don’t really like to snuggle until the weather turns cold, and then they’re practically glued to our sides. Which I love! But what if that great moment came just before something horrific?
I’m challenging myself to write as many as I can throughout the month. (You can read the first one here.) Let me know what you think!
The security of Mankind is found in the Blood of ReYuGa*. He died for us, was harvested and preserved by us, so through his sacrifice are we preserved. The faithful trust an enzyme made from ReYuGa’s godly essence – sprinkled across windows and doorways – to repel Night Creatures until dawn. This Salvation is for all Humanity! Even those Taken early are promised a future home in Heaven, forever encircled by the glory of ReYuGa’s many arms, if they have invested in Him.
* Available from your local Church or to those praying with a credit card Online.
I challenged myself to write a bunch of drabbles – tiny fiction that clocks in at exactly 100 words each – throughout the month of October. Since this month is basically candy corn and spooky vibes as far as I’m concerned, I plan to make all of these little stories a bit spooky too. Weird. Creepy? Maybe even a few downright scary ones…
This story was inspired by the wacky Chick Tracts I grew up with, and the generic gospel tracts I keep finding in my laundry room now. (Hopefully it’s clear that my fictional tracts aren’t based on any real religion, but a mix of cosmic horror and a fictionalized version of the worst parts of proselytizing from any religion.) Let me know what you think! Though I’ve got other drabbles ready to post that aren’t these tracts, there will definitely be more from the Cult of ReYuGa as the month goes on…
FX played both movies last night, so I watched them both and sketched my favorite creatures from both. I’m reviewing them together because I’d seen the first Goosebumps before but not the sequel, which means only Haunted Halloween is new to me. And looking at the movies together, it’s easy to see a distinct difference between them…
Both movies have similar budgets/number of monsters (lots), and design; in that way, they’re pretty similar. If you only have time to watch one, you’re left to choose entirely based on the plot. In each one, author R.L. Stine (played by Jack Black) has to face his own demons when the monsters he created in his novels come to life. Each movie has individual kid vs monster fight scenes, each has parents/adults who don’t believe something is wrong in their little town until it’s too late, and each has awkward teens standing up to the monsters to help Stine save the day. It’s how the characters interact that makes the first Goosebumps the superior movie.
In Goosebumps, Stine is present from the very beginning, as the reclusive neighbor raising his teenage daughter in a small town, when a new boy moves in next door. In Haunted Halloween he only shows up at the very end to quip a few one-liners after the kids already solved their own problems. You might think that’s growth; probably, it was meant to be a “passing the torch” sort of thing, but Jack Black is such a presence that putting him in for just a few minutes means you miss him the rest of the movie, especially if you’re watching Haunted Halloween right after Goosebumps ends. But it’s more than that. In HH, the kids are siblings and though they end up sort of working as a team by the end, mostly the older sister treats her younger brother the same way their mom treats them both: she’s dismissive of the supernatural problem until she’s forced to believe in it, then takes over and orders everyone around for the next 90 minutes.
In G1, the kids are a team from the very beginning. New kid meets Stine’s daughter right away, and she’s the one who takes him out of his comfort zone to see the town he’s just moved to. He makes a new friend at school right away too, and the three of them work together to fight the first major monster. The moms in both movies are single moms, but in G1 she’s a widow trying to move on while taking a job as the school’s vice principal, supportive and loving her son even when she doesn’t know why weird things are happening around her… vs HH, where the mom is an overworked caregiver at a nursing home, expecting her teenage daughter to take on a lot of parenting, and blithely dismissing pretty much everything her kids try to tell her. In G1, Mom sees her son for who he is – a good kid who’s grieving the loss of his father but has a good heart – whereas in HH, Mom sees her kids as problems she has to deal with. Sure, she loves them – she even compliments her daughter once, right before telling her to watch the younger kids for the weekend – but it’s clear from the dialog that HH’s Mom just wishes they’d stop requiring so much of her time and attention.
Haunted Halloween isn’t the worst movie I’ll see this month. It just isn’t much fun to watch. Spend those two hours watching the first Goosebumps instead.
I’ve been doing this thing lately where I watch a movie and do a little sketch of something that stood out to me from the movie. Since it’s October, I thought I’d share some of the monster-related ones I’ve seen (and drawn) lately. First up is last year’s adorable post apocalyptic adventure, Love and Monsters.
Seriously, this movie is adorable. If you’re looking for a Halloween/monster movie that’s cute and fun with gorgeously rendered monsters, this is the one. There’s a small amount of violence, with non-gory deaths at the very beginning and very end, but mostly it’s the story of a guy (played by Dylan O’Brien) who really needed to get out of his shell, then found some friends to help him do that. The creature effects are wonderful — you know they’re not real because they’re wildly mutated animals that don’t exist in our world, but they look real. They fit the world they’re in. Our hero is a little insecure, but he’s open to learning new things. His friends are a little sarcastic (the movie has Micheal Rooker in it, y’all) but kind. You can care about the people in this movie because deep down, they’re all decent. With the exception of some obvious villains toward the end, they’re all trying to do their best. It’s the story about folks coming together at the end of the world. Don’t we need more of those stories?
I missed Love and Monsters when it came out but rediscovered it this week, and I’ve already watched it twice. I’ll probably watch it again before the month is over. It’s the kind of movie that feels much quicker than 1hr 48 minutes because the plot is straight-forward, there are quiet moments to breath between each of the monster encounters, and the hero is focused on a single goal. You could put it on in the background while you do other things, but I’d suggest that you turn everything else off and just enjoy this movie for a few hours. Life’s hard enough. You deserve some fun.
Spoilers/Warnings: The dog does not die. In fact, no one you really care about dies. You can watch this movie confident that you won’t be too scared or too sad when it’s over.