After a year's hiatus, my friend and author Eric Douglas is once again hosting his Halloween fiction event on his website. I look forward to this event every year and am glad to have the chance to participate. Sometimes he chooses a specific format, like flash fiction. This year he gave us our choice, so I'm going to try something completely different than what I normally do.
Please click here to go to Eric's page with this year's entries. Each entry will be a link to that author's own website/blog, etc. where their story is posted. To quote Eric, "Do yourself a favor and read some of the other things on their site." Well said, my friend, well said!
You can find the 2018 stories by clicking here. Don't worry, all of the links I create will open in a new window. You won't lose your place on this page. Take a look and whet your appetite for this year's frightful feast. I'm sure this year's event will be every bit as tasty as previous years' events.
So, are you ready? Follow me into my literary house of horrors and have no fear. I'll make sure no harm comes to you. Hopefully.
Hello, folks! Ed Pearson here with another "Special Ed-dition" exclusive interview. That's right, my faithful fans, I scored another exclusive that's so out of left field that even our national tabloids wouldn't touch it. It's all true, though, every word of it. My fact-checking crew has been hard at work and hasn't found even a shred of evidence to the contrary. Strap yourself in folks, it's gonna be a wild ride.
Grab your reading glasses and be prepared to go old school and read all about it. No fancy podcasts or videos this time. I couldn't even get my digital voice recorder to work, so I had to grab a pen and paper and actually write everything down. In this and age? Yes, in this day and age. And before any non-believers fire up your conspiracy blogs, forget about it! You'd just be wasting your time. I haven't steered you wrong yet, and I'm not going to now.
I'm just going to let the interview speak for itself, and let you decide.
Ed: I have to say, this is my strangest interview yet. Can you spell your name for me? I can't even start to think how to spell it.
Valgathun: You can just call me 'Valgathun' to make it easier on you. It's impossible for a mere human to pronounce my name correctly.
Ed: Well, OK, Val, I can do that.
Valgathun: Valgathun! You may wish to refer to yourself as Ed, rather than Edward, but I will be referred to by what I told you.
Ed: Hey, no offense meant, Valgathun. My apologies. So, you sought me out for this interview, and I must say I'm impressed that you not only found me, but made it all the way inside my house without tripping a single alarm.
Valgathun: Mere child's play, as you'll soon find out.
Ed: If you aren't human, then what exactly are you? A ghost?
Valgathun: There is no proper label humans have for me, but my kind has been referred to as 'demons' before. Demons. Such a quaint and naive term for us. It will do for our purposes, though.
Ed: Wow, OK, you heard it here first, folks, the first interview ever with a real-life demon. Eat your heart out, Anne Rice! May I ask why you sought me out?
Valgathun: I have my reasons. Maybe you'll figure it out.
Ed: Hey, I'm up for the challenge. Let's get started with the basics. You told me earlier that you've just arrived back. Does that mean you've been here before?
Valgathun: Many times, over many years. This is just the most recent.
Ed: When was the first time you were here?
Valgathun: My first appearance? In the merest blink of an eye for me. I watched as millions died from a simple bacteria in Europe. Quite amusing, actually, how these people died like they did.
Ed: I wouldn't call that amusing. It's rather demented, actually.
Valgathun: It's all about perspective. What you call 'demented' I call nourishing. You eat food and drink water to live. I consume pain and fear to sustain me.
Ed: Well, I really don't know how to respond to that. Is this why you come and go as you do?
Valgathun: Call it a 'vacation' if you will. It is my reward for service and fealty to the Great One.
Ed: And who is this Great One?
Valgathun: The Great One is none of your concern, and you would be well advised to never speak the name again. You humans are unworthy of even thinking the name. Do I make myself clear?
Ed: Yes, absolutely. My apologies. Getting back to your most recent....vacation. You come here to eat our pain and fear? That sounds like some tired cliche, like a psychic vampire or something.
Valgathun: There you go again, human, with your simple labels. It's your nature to try to label and describe things so you can better understand them. So be it. It's my nature to sustain myself in my own manner.
Ed: So we humans are just basically livestock for your type?
Valgathun: Oh, more than just livestock. Entertainment, too.
Ed: How do you move from your world or dimension or whatever?
Valgathun: We find a convenient portal and just walk on through. Many times you humans will open a portal for us.
Ed: Let me guess: Ouija boards and seances top the list, right?
Valgathun: Sometimes. You forget about other ways, such as 'dark rituals' and such. This vacation started a couple of years ago when some simpleton played a game with several others. I saw the opening and took advantage of it.
Ed: A game? You're telling me a game opened a portal for you?
Valgathun: Yes. A game called Soul Survivor. Surely you've read about it in all those news reports. This time, your mass media actually got it right.
Ed: I think I'm beginning to understand.
Valgathun: I doubt it. But you will soon.
Ed: Are you saying....implying.....that what we've been going through this past year is your doing?
Valgathun: Maybe you've been listening after all. I think this is my best vacation so far. I wasn't expecting my little side trip to China to yield such a feast. And it's still feeding me quite nicely.
Ed: Oh, come on! Surely you didn't start this whole COVID mess....did you?
Valgathun: I didn't personally start it. I might've helped it along at the beginning. Even I didn't know my little snack would turn into such a banquet.
Ed: And once you're satisfied, you'll make it stop, right?
Valgathun: Not my problem. It's up to you humans to fix.
Ed: And we are working on it. Your feast will soon come to an end and you can go back to wherever you call home.
Valgathun: Watch your tone, human. I have little tolerance for impudence, especially from such a lower form of life as you.
Ed: Sorry. I guess we all just have to take it, then. I guess all of the fires in our country and the crazy weather are your doing as well? Is that your dessert, so to speak?
Valgathun: I had nothing to do with all of the storms your coastal areas have seen, although I've been enjoying the anguish from them. The fires? Well, maybe some of those who dropped a match here and there may have had a little push.
Ed: And these so-called "murder hornets?'
Valgathun: Ah, those. Nothing more than a tasty little treat from all the panic. Over nothing! You recent crop of humans are such a delightful treat!
Ed: I'm sorry. I just can't continue with this. My heart is pounding and my head feels like it will split open at any moment. Is there any way I can convince you to please end your vacation early and go home?
Valgathun: Oh, the best is yet to come. I'm just getting started.
Well there you have it, folks. As soon as Valgathun said his last line he just vanished. No theatrical puff of smoke or bang, just there on my couch one second and gone the next. Take this for what you will. I'm done.
I hope you enjoyed my contribution to this year's Halloween festivities. Please be sure to read the other entries in this year's Halloween fiction event.
Until next time......