A belated Halloween story

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Cloe had a skip in her step; she couldn’t wait to see her second grade teacher again. It was the first day back at school after the holidays and the warm sun lit up a perfect spring day. Cloe’s little three-year-old sister Wendy happily held hands with her father as they walked to school.

“I had a dream last night Daddy.” Wendy said, her blonde hair and pink skirt glistening in the sunlight.

Very attentively her father bent down, without slowing his pace.

“A dream? Was it about pink bunny rabbits?” He asked.

Wendy’s dreams always seemed to be about pink bunny rabbits.

“No.” Wendy said happily. “No pink bunny rabbits.”

At that moment one of Cloe’s classmates and her mother appeared out of a side street. The mother’s smile as stiff as the rest of her botoxed face.

“Hello.” Cloe said giving the other girl a hug. “Was Hawaii fun?”

“Awesome. We all got to surf at Waikiki.” Cloe’s friend said.

“I’ve always wanted to go there.” Cloe said throwing her dad a nasty glance.

“I dreamed about small, little people.” Wendy said.

“Did you go away?” The other girl’s mother asked Cloe’s father.

“No, just hung out at the local beach. Hawaii sounds like fun.” He said trying to move the subject of the conversation away from his unspectacular holiday.

“The little people came into my bedroom and played with me.” Wendy continued.

“Oh, Hawaii was so fun. I’m not sure who had more fun the kids or us. Expensive though.” The other girl’s mother said.

“Tell him about the Hula skirts Mum.” Said the other girl.

“The little people told me a secret.” Wendy said.

“We bought all the girl’s in the class a grass Hula skirt.” The mother said.

“They told me that you were going to smash up the car and that I was going to be dead.” Wendy added.

“Hula skirts for everyone? I hope you brought one back for me.” He joked

“No.” The mother said a little uncomfortably.

Cloe and her friend ran on ahead laughing and playing. While Wendy, her dad and the other girl’s mother walked silently the rest of the way to school.


Wendy was wearing a new yellow swimsuit as her father walked her towards the car.

“No, I don’t want to go in the car.” Wendy stopped.

“C’mon beautiful. We’ve got swimming lessons today.” Her dad said gently pulling on her arm

Wendy stomped her right foot on the ground. “I’m not going. I’m not going in the car. I don’t want to.”

“C’mon, you love swimming, let’s go.” Wendy’s dad said picking her up and carrying her towards the car.

Wendy started to cry and she frantically wriggled to escape his hold

“We can have popcorn after the swim.” Her dad said.

Tears streamed from her face as Wendy wailed and screamed. She tried desperately to hold onto the doorframe as her father put her firmly into her child safety seat and fastened the seat belt.

“Let me go, I don’t wanna go in the car.” She screamed.

“Wendy, you’re just being silly now. Stop that crying, stop it now or we won’t have popcorn. It’ll all be over soon enough. Stop the silly behaviour.”

Wendy’s father started the car and drove off with Wendy still screaming and thrashing in the back seat.

“Stop the car, stop the car, I want to get out.” She wailed as she struggled to free herself from her seat belt

“Don’t be ridiculous. Stop it, stop it now.” He yelled looking back at her.

Desperately Wendy pulled and struggled.

“Stop it. Stop it, you’ll hurt yourself.” He said glancing back at the road.

“But, the little people said I was going to be deaded.” She choked out breathlessly.

“What?” Her father asked spinning around in his seat.

Wendy’s father did not see the car recklessly speeding out from a give way sign.


The last thing Wendy’s father saw as he was wheeled into the back of an ambulance was a little person standing beside the unrecognizable remains of his car.

“Wendy, Wendy my beautiful Wendy.” The last words he uttered before he lost consciousness.





Liza Roach rated it 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! All the stories were great and the twists were so out there. But the best we’re definitely ‘”Voices of the Soul” by Rene Folsom and “Suburban Zombie” by Anthony Lance. Whoa!

Claire Thake rated it 5 of 5 stars

A brilliant anthology separated into 11 short stories. I don’t want to ruin the surprise of any of the stories so has instead written by opinions of them all individually not giving the stories away.

Suburban Zombie – Anthony Lance
This really made me giggle! A very well written, alternative view on zombie life! A very interesting short read.

S. Policar rated it 4 of 5 stars

Since this is an Anthology This review will be slightly different. As Anthologies are a comprised of more than story, it would do the book as a whole a great injustice to review and rate the book as such. This review I image will be quite lengthy as I’m going to break down and review each individual story within this book’s covers…

5) Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance

I’ve read my share of zombie stories. None are as creative as this one is. This is the funniest story I’ve read yet. The fact of a bunch of zombie women sitting around talking about health risks made me laugh until my ribs hurt!
Now before anyone starts complaining about the use of Mormons being the “zombies” in this parody.. You really need to evaluate. There is no other religious sect that could have been put in that role. Every non Mormon at one point or another has been hounded by a Mormon or a two. They don’t care when you tell them you aren’t interested in what they say, they come back numerous times until you’re scared to leave your house.
I applaud this Author for being brave enough to take something we all think and twisting it into this hysterical story… Even if he thinks those of us that aren’t zombies are just brainless zombies.
5 of 5

Natalie‘s rated it 5 of 5 stars

Paranormal Anthology With A Twist
Edited And Compiled By Cynthia Shepp & Rene Folsom

*Suburban Zombie by Anthony Lance*

This is definitely not your every day, typical kind of zombie story. First time ever….but I will not be revealing anything about it. Why you ask?
It needs to be read by the reader in order to fully appreciate the humour. Anthony had me laughing out loud and enjoying every word of his imagination.
Kudos to you Anthony Lance. What a unique read with some very gory and laughable details.

Julia rated it 4 of 5 stars

Suburban Zombie – I thought this was funny and original. I liked all the dark humour.

Patricia Shull rated it 4 of 5 stars

This was actually a really good book. The stories in here centre around some sort of disaster, crises or murderer and they have a twist that you don’t expect. The story I probably most enjoyed was Suburban Zombie. Everyone in the story is a zombie. They live their lives like a normal everyday person. But one day they are attacked by none other than Mormons. When bitten by a Mormon, you become a normal human wearing nice dress clothes and carrying a bible. I laughed so hard when I read this one. Like seriously? Mormons? Some of the stories are mediocre at best but still very good reads.

Terri Kinckner rated it 5 of 5 stars

Suburban Zombie, by Anthony Lance

Neighbours Ted, Dave and their respective families are zombies. They live in a picture-perfect neighbourhood in zombie suburbia. As the mothers in the neighbourhood drop their children off at school and discuss crumbed brains among themselves, they don’t realize they are being followed. The neighbourhood is being invaded by…

The twist in this story is very ironic and hilarious. I loved the banter between the characters, and laughed out loud quite a few times while reading it. I will never think of zombies the same way after reading this!

Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book more than the Apocalypse one! These stories were more along the storyline I enjoy. But, they were both great and had wonderful authors! I loved the first story in this one. I read all of the books in the Soul Seers series! Rene Folsum is a great author! My other favorite was Suburban Zombie! By the title I was a little unsure but it was fantastic! Hilarious and I loved it! Anthony Lance hit a home run on that story! This was a great collection of stories and would highly recommend you read it!

The Ghost of the 26th Battalion.

Bitter and twisted the ghost wanders the ground that was once a bloody battlefield. Screeching and moaning he floats aimlessly searching for something, for some unfulfilled piece of his destiny.

Hundreds of witnesses have heard his tormented cries at 12 midnight. Some have seen the sorry shape of his battle weary ghost, still wearing the shredded remains of his uniform. Whatever fate had befallen this poor soul was dreadful beyond belief. More than one witness had reported the absence of his right arm and the blood that seeped forth from a belly wound with the same voracity as the tears that flowed down his cheeks.

But most chilling of all are the reports of what this phantom cries out to the night. “Marilyn, Marilyn…” The creature sobs this remorseful name over and over. “Marilyn, what do you mean you can’t come and entertain us?”

It is rumored that the soldier had suffered a heartbreaking loss the night before he was killed in action. Marilyn Monroe was due to entertain the 26th battalion, but her flight was cancelled. Luckily for the troops Bob Hope was able to perform instead.

The ghost is also heard to wail, “Bob, Bob…not another old joke Bob.” “Something funny this time Bob.” “That was a one liner too many.” “Not another bad joke about golf.” “That joke’s so old it could have been what wiped out the dinosaurs.” But mostly the ghost simply slumps to the ground and cries to the moonlight, “We want Marilyn, we want Marilyn.”

For this poor tormented soul there is no Hope.

Tit for Tat.

As Cloe’s Mom made the finishing touches to the Jack o’ lantern she was carving Cloe crept inside. “Where have you been hiding?” Cloe’s Mom asked. Cloe looked up at her Mother with her big brown eyes and said, “I’ve been playing in the backyard with my friends.”
“Your friends? Tell me about these friends of yours.” Said Cloe’s Mom.
“The Weens, they are teeny weeny little people who live in our garden.” Said Cloe. “You’ll have to introduce them to me sometime.” Said Cloe’s Mom with a smile. She had imaginary friends as a child too. “I hope you weren’t getting up to mischief.”
At this Cloe looked instantly guilty. She was five years old and her chubby little face told no lies.
“OK, what have you been up to? Come with Mommy and show her just what you did with your little imaginary friends.” “Weens.” Said Cloe. “OK then, just what you did with your Weens.” Said Cloe’s Mom.
“Cloe wouldn’t have to make up imaginary friends if she still had a pet to play with.” Thought Cloe’s Mom. In the short six months since Cleo’s family had lived in the old house on Jacaranda Place they had lost three dogs. She was sure that Mr Kimble, their next door neighbor, had something to do with the disappearing puppies. He was a horrible man with tattoos all over his body, including a tattoo of the word SHARON on his right arm.  His wife is a scared beaten woman and her name is JANE.
Mr Kimble had complained about the noise from the first day they got the first Puppy. The puppy didn’t even, in Cloe’s Mom’s eyes, seem to make that much noise anyway. Mr Kimble would stand at the back fence and scream, “If you don’t shut that bloody mongrel up I’ll do it for you.” Cloe’s Mom couldn’t even bring herself to talk to the horrible man. She knew that he had done something terrible to the three puppies, but she had no proof. She never would have let Cloe play in the back yard by herself with that man next door. But Cloe must have snuck out while she was making the Jack o’ lantern.
Cloe and her Mom walked into the back yard and Cloe lead them towards Mr Kimble’s fence where the rumpus room was. The rumpus room was a large cubby house that was there when Cloe’s parents bought the house. So, what were you doing up here then Cloe Hunter?” her mother asked as she walked through the rumpus room door.
“Painting.” Said Cloe proudly. She pointed to a beautifully framed painting that she had done. The frame used to have an old movie poster in it, but the poster now lay discarded on the floor. “That’s an amazing painting, but how did you get it in the frame?” Said Cloe’s Mom.
“The Weens did it, they did a painting too.” Said Cloe pointing to another framed painting that was mounted on the wall. “That’s amazing thought Cloe’s Mom.” The painting was perhaps three feet square, and so detailed and elaborate with soft colors that blended into one another. The subject matter was a little scary though. Skulls and daggers and a Mermaid all swirled together in the one beautiful piece of art. Then Cloe’s mum thought she recognized part of the painting. It was a red heart with SHARON emblazoned across it.

A tall tale at Halloween.

It was a beautiful night in Fall, the air was warm, the trees were still orange and the ground crackled underfoot to the sound of the dry Autumn leaves.

Every year at this time the Halloween carnival would come to town. Like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life the children would dress up in costumes, eat too much cotton candy and scream too loudly on the roller-coaster. But to Josh Connolly it was just another fair. He had run the WILD MOUSE roller coaster for three years, that’s two years longer than anyone previously. To him it was just a job, just a way to pay off the mortgage that seemed to get bigger rather than smaller.

He was already over the night and ready to go home when a small child strode out of the queue. Josh had never seen a child so odd looking, so hypnotically beautiful. Blonde shaggy hair and big blue eyes that you could swim in. “Another Kid in Halloween costume,” thought Josh, “Pointy ears, could it be the inbreeding in some of these isolated country towns?”Josh laughed at his own thought.

The small child waited for Josh to wave him through but that wasn’t to happen. “You’re too small to ride on this ride.” Said Josh. Sometimes he just loved being a Carny. He pointed to a wooden cutout of a cartoon character that was three feet high. “You have to be taller than this.” Said Josh.

Josh had no way of knowing that standing before him wasn’t a small person, or an inbred with pointy ears, it was a Ween. A tiny, weenie, person. The Ween looked up with pleading eyes but Carny’s have seen all the tricks and Josh sent it on it’s way.

Soon the same cute, very odd child was back. Clumsily it walked towards Josh. It stood innocently next to the cutout cartoon character, but this time it was taller.  The small child’s legs seemed to be longer. So Josh bent down to see what the child had done.

As he rolled its cuffs up he saw a child’s legs, complete with shoes, were bound with rope to the Ween’s small feet like a pair of stilts.

Now screaming in terror Josh tried to come to terms with what he was seeing. He noticed the small bloody footprints leading their way to where he stood.

Hello eeeen!

In the spirit of Halloween I thought that I’d share a Ghostly encounter I had when I was about six years of age. You will think that I am making this up, or pulling your leg, but as I remember it this is all true.

While I lay in bed something dark started to flap in circles around my bedroom floor. I could barely make it out, all I could see were flickers of movement. Already terrified I hid under my blankets, eyes peering over the top. In the dark I only got the occasional glimpse, but I could see more and more shapes circling my bedroom. Mostly the movement circled the floor and then funneling up towards the roof. I remember thinking it was bats and large spiders.

Then the white shapes appeared. They came from the floor and circled their way up to the ceiling. They mostly looked like X-RAYS of bats flying.

(In 1969 I had never encountered an X-RAY, a horror movie or any of the events that unfolded on this night that now seem like cliche horror movie fodder.)

I was terrified. Hundreds of creatures flew in circles getting faster  by the minute.

It wasn’t a blur, everything was so detailed. I could focus on a bat as it fluttered around the room. Or something crawling up my wall. They were all like X-Rays now, but swirling with them were hundreds of shapes that I couldn’t make out.

I remember the occasional creature scuttling closer to me, as if to take a look, and silently almost pathetically I tried to to shoo them away.

By now I was crying or whimpering with fear. The vortex of creatures getting worse.

Then at the foot of my bed something moved. I lay paralyzed as a dark shape began to climb onto my bed.

It was a clown, like a stuffed toy clown. And it crept so slowly toward me that I could barely perceive its moves. All the time it looked me directly in the eyes.

I was too terrified to scream.

Even now, as an adult, re-living this memory chills me to the bone.

As the clown inched its way towards me I tried to say something to it, to beg, but nothing came out. Eventually I squeaked out something like, “Please leave me alone.” As I repeated the word please over and over the clown inched its way up the bed.

My plea became more frantic but still was suffocatingly quiet.

The clown, smiling, almost laughing, climbed to where only the top half of my head peered above the sheets.

It didn’t listen to me.

As it arrived at my face I remember screaming at the top of my lungs. My Mother and Father burst through the door within seconds and the light came on. They tried to tell me it was a dream. They tried to tell me it never happened. But I have had lots of dreams since that night and I have never experienced anything so real.

I swear that it really happened even though every shred of common sense tells me otherwise. I have since seen special effects that are almost identical to what I saw.

There is no memory from my childhood so vivid as the events of that night.

The downhill spiral.

It had been only two days since I asked Kate to marry me and we were to stay the night in a castle. The Château Montmaur had two circular turrets, one either side of a fortified wall. Its ancient walls like a set from a horror movie.

As we walked through the doors it was both like coming home to a place that you belonged and unsettling at the same time. The château had an old worldly charm, with thick hardwood beams, giant stone blocks along with woven tapestries and rugs. But still there was something uncomfortable about this place.

The elderly lady who owned the château had distinctive Russian features and greeted us in that same offhanded manner that many of the French use with tourists. (They are actually lovely people). She explained that during the war the château had been used by the French resistance to hide allied soldiers. An old man with a toothless smile led us up a grand spiral staircase to our room.

The room was beautifully quaint; it was like stepping back in time. Everything seemed to accentuate the history of this magnificent castle, including the pictures on the walls. In our bedroom there was an old lithograph, a couple of paintings of the French countryside and a tiny painting of a woman. Upon seeing the painting of the woman Kate made an off hand comment about how bitter the woman looked.

At that moment I swear the air turned cold. Kate said something about not speaking ill of the dead, but no matter how much she back-pedaled we could both tell that a line had been crossed.

We showered and dressed and went to check out the local town. As we made our way down the spiral staircase Kate fell.

The stairs became only three inches wide at the very centre of the spiral. It was here that her foot slipped out from under her and all of her weight came down on the other leg. I said, “Are you alright?” But as soon as I saw her foot flapping in the breeze I knew she wasn’t. “I think I’ve broken my leg.” She was turning pale, I was already pale. “I was pushed,” Kate said. I looked, but there was no one there.

My friends would later say that Kate had tried to commit suicide after realizing that she had promised to marry me.

Kate held onto my shoulder and we made our way to the car. She was almost passing out. The lady who owned the château hopped in the back seat and as we drove to Gap hospital, mostly on the wrong side of the road, the woman would tap me on the shoulder that corresponded to the direction I had to turn.

We raced into emergency and the woman from the château summoned the troupes. I have no idea what we would have done without her generosity. Kate screamed “Je sui allergic.” She is allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

Later I left Kate at the hospital and tried to find my way back to the château to get some toiletries and clothes for her. This was hard because not only was the trip to hospital a blur, but I hadn’t driven the entire time we’d been in France so I was struggling with the whole wrong side of the road thing.

Despite several wrong turns and a couple of ‘grown man crying like a baby’ outbursts, I made it back to the hospital just as the sun was setting. But the emergency section was closed, so I frantically walked all the way around the place looking for an entrance but found none.

There was an old wing to the hospital that was attached by a walkway on about the fourth floor; in I went. This must have been the original part of the hospital and it looked as though it had not been used in years, no, centuries. It looked like an old lunatic asylum or tuberculosis ward. There were occasional ancient hospital fixtures still hanging from the walls but mostly there were just stains, rot and decay. I wove my way up an ancient fire escape. The hair on the back of my neck standing up. I was emotionally shattered, the light was fading fast and I was in the bowels of Bedlam itself. And I am sure that I was not alone. Scared and lost, I wandered aimlessly into room after room looking for a way out. Past rooms that still contained obsolete laboratory equipment. Then, as if from nowhere a nurse appeared. She was shocked to see me. I pleaded, “Du un, du un.” Kate’s room number 2121. The nurse pointed but did not move and I soon found myself in the main hospital. I turned to thank her but she was nowhere to be seen.

Kate had a spiral fracture which required major surgery. In spite of the doctors recommendations she wanted to return to Australia. The French doctors put her leg in a half cast, which meant she could only fly in first class. There was a huge risk of clotting, (Deep vein thrombosis), so each day she had to inject herself in the stomach, a task that I didn’t have the stomach for. To get to Paris we had a two day drive across the French Alps from Gap. I’ll tell you the rest of the story another day.