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Pale Trash - the first of Pique's tormented tales

Pique staff have penned three spooky stories for you this year. Curl up in front of the fire and read them by candlelight, or read them out loud to the kids. We hope you have a spooktacular night.

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"Sounds like good advice."

"But did he listen? Nope. Idiot went to England in pursuit of some lady and got his head chopped off by her husband and that Van Helsing guy."

Suddenly Brad stood up and started screaming at the television. "Go! Go! Go! Yeahhhhh! Touchdown!" The Seattle Seahawks had scored on a punt return. "I had ten bucks on that game!" crowed the Lord of the Undead.

After the sports highlights, Brad wanted to go out and look in on a girl he was seeing on Lot 14. But she must have figured out something was strange about Brad because when we arrived we found a crucifix hanging over the front door and about a hundred cloves of garlic.

"Hoo-whee miss!" said Brad. "That's a lot of garlic!"

"You get the hell out of here, ya damn succubus!" yelled the woman inside. "I ain't givin' you a drop more of my blood. Ruined a good pillowcase last time you stopped by! Now shoo! Get!"

"C'mon Destiny, we can work it out. Look into my eyes and tell me you don't want me. Look deep into my eyes..."

I left then, not wanting to get involved in a lovers' squabble. I found out that she squirted him with holy water when he tried to get in through the window, and he had a hell of a welt on his face the next evening when I stopped by.

"Well, it's over," he said morosely. "Darlene got a Doberman and one of them portable UV lights now. She doesn't want to see me no more..."

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

It's October. Brad likes the fall because the nights are longer.

"I just like to be outdoors, you know?" he says, and pats his round stomach. "I go a bit hungry because everything good to eat is hibernatin', but then I could stand to lose a couple of pounds."

"You never eat, you know, people?" I ask him. It was a question I had been dancing around for months. I expected him to deny it right away, but he got a wistful look in his eyes.