Happy Halloween! Here’s my response to the @Sweet and Scary Blog Hop from the incomparable Rian Durant! To see her challenge (as well as her amazing Halloween picture), go here https://riandurants.wordpress.com/
We were asked to write 200-1200 words of flash fiction. I decided to do this, which has a specific Halloween theme, for this Cauldron. It’s only slightly over 300 words. I’m doing another one at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com about Leiwell from my Shadow Forest/Tales of the Navel mythos. Tomorrow begins NaNoWriMo, so I’m going to start spending a lot of time with Leiwell and his brothers, beginning tomorrow. However, this particular fairy tale did have a cameo reference in ‘The Hand and the Eye of the Tower’. It felt appropriate to play with it, on the eve of All Hallow’s Day and NaNoWriMo.
Light burned in the hollow sockets of his eyes. Children giggled in delight to see him, the illuminated, hollowed out gourd. He smiled and exposed a single tooth, jutting out of his shell. Such a scary hag’s grin he sported. One particular hag’s.
Perhaps his creatrix had been thinking of her, when she stuck a knife in his crown. Perhaps she’d been remembering that warm welcome in the hag’s home, when she pulled out out the sticky strands of his innards. She’d smiled to remember the hag. Her hag. The smile touched her lips and illuminated her features. Maybe sadness was his creatrix’s light, which glowed from within. Perhaps she, too, was hollowed out. Why else would she recreate these eyes, this tooth, and this particular grin?
“You look just like her, Jack,” his creatrix had said, when she turned him in her hands. His orange innards clung her fingers. “I had to do it. I had to push her into that oven.” There it was, the grief that illiminated her eyes and shone through the empty gourd of her human face. “For my brother. She would have eaten him, if I hadn’t.”
The hag definitely would have. She might have eaten his creatrix as well. Perhaps she had saved her brother. Hopefully, her brother had stayed long enough to thank her. He’d hadn’t stayed long. His creatrix was all alone in this house, which smelled like gingerbread. Her only company were the jack o’ lanterns she carved, once every year. Always with the same face. Every year, they smiled at the children, who crept up to the house, lured by the promise of tricks or treats.
Of course, there were the children themselves, who visited his creatrix. Those greedy enough not to take the offered treats. The ones who started eating the wall of his creatrix’s cottage, instead. Sometimes, she let them inside, just as the hag had. Those foolish enough to enter wouldn’t be leaving. She might decide to keep them, just as the hag had kept her. She got lonely all by herself. However, she could only keep the children for so long. Sooner or later, she’d get hungry. Pumpkin and gingerbread only went so far in satisfying her appetite.