SHORT STORY: A Little Night Music - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the September 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine

SHORT STORY: A Little Night Music

Halloween was coming, and as always at this time, Maspeth was hard at work preparing for it. People were out in their front yards hanging the ghouls, fitting their upper story windows with huge, scary owl-eyes and enmeshing the nearby bushes and hedges with webs of white, gauzy gook to evoke a landscape invaded by giant mutant spiders. They even hung skeletons and effigies onto the trunks of the street trees, tying them there with the same gauzy white gook.

Unbeknownst to those intent on their labor, just outside Mt. Olivet Cemetery, several of the town's monsters were busy planning their own holiday fun. ͞I think we should all start singing some weird-sounding songs at midnight,͟ suggested Elmer. ͞That should scare the pants off anyone passing by, don't you think?͟͞

Oooh, what a deliciously fiendish idea!͟ replied his friend, Gnarly Barkley. ͞Even better than the silly pumpkin head of that Ichabod Crane fellow!͟ offered Little Willie Knotwood. ͞Maybe we'll become famous like him!͟͞

I LOVE to sing!͟ exclaimed the Ancient Alligator, his arms raised in glee, his two teeth ‒ the only ones left to him ‒ gleaming in the sun. ͞And I do know quite a large number of weird songs.͟͞Perfect!͟ piped up the one-eyed Shaggy Green Dragon. ͞You can lead us! But only if I can breathe fire in between the lines.͟͞

You're on!͟͞

What great fun! We'll be sensational!͟͞We'll be terrifying!͟͞

Woo-hoo!͟ shouted the Ancient Alligator. And so it was agreed. That year, in the weeks before Halloween, if your evening walks led you to a certain spot near Mt. Olivet, you'd have heard sounds that you might have taken for the wind keening in the trees. It wasn't. It was ͞The Bosky Boys͟, as the group now called themselves, rehearsing for their big gig.

* Came the eve of Halloween, they were in top form. They waited with barely contained excitement until all the neighborhood parties were over and the very young trick-or-treaters were safely tucked into their beds and long in dreamland.

Then, just at the stroke of midnight, their own party began. If you happened to pass near Mt. Olivet at that moment, you would have heard the Ancient Alligator say, as he raised his forelimbs to conduct, ͞And a one, and a two, and a three ...͟

Then an unearthly choir bellowed out infernal sounds. If you had stopped and listened closely, though, you might have made out a few of the words: We're doin' the Maspeth Monster Mash. It's a graveyard smash! Come join the fun, it's really ghoulish! [Here the Shaggy Green Dragon let loose a giant ball of fire.]

Why run away? You're being foolish!

Sadly for the monsters, they drew a crowd of only one: The Lonely One, he who prowls the streets day and night with his Canon, who sees and hears ‒ and documents ‒ all. Still, despite the poor turnout for their scary song-fest, ͞The Bosky Boys͟ managed to have themselves a blast, like everyone else in town that Halloween.

September 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine

September 2017 Table of Contents