The Best Halloween Ever

Combine the following into a story: suburbs, cheerleader, throwing knife, finding a missing train, comedy


Jack and Bill were walking down the street, ready for the night of their lives. For it was Halloween you see, and they had the best costumes. Jack wack was an astronaut, complete with a helmet, visor, and all the doohickeys that go with it, while Bill went the cooler route: a ninja. Not American Ninja Warrior, but a real one: a mask on his head, ninja clothes, and he even armed himself with a throwing knife. A real one, so the vendor in Chinatown said. Bill could only imagine if the police found out: they would probably arrest him, he was such a badass.

Jack and Bill had been waiting for Halloween for so long, ever since they started in high school, lowly freshman, finally able to go to a party on their own. Bill’s brother, three years his elder, was the king of parties, the coolest kid in school. He gave them the address, told them exactly where to go.

And now they are outside, dropped off by Lyft since they still can’t drive. They had to check the address, since the place, located high in the Hollywood hills, seemed way out of the way for a high school party, but the address was correct, and they had arrived.

Jack and Bill surveyed their surrounds: a wealthy neighborhood with nice large houses, dark and quiet, with only a single beat up Camry parked across the street from the house they were visiting. But the address was correct, so the boys approach and knock.

After a short while, the door opens, revealing… the most beautiful women both Jack and Bill has ever seen. Dressed in a tight black dress, she was ready for a night on the town, making her even prettier. “Hello?” she says.

The boys are dumbstruck, their mouths hanging open, them unable to control them. Bill luckily had his face hidden behind his ninja mask, but Jack is in plain view, wishing now more than ever that he had gotten the helmet with the tinted visor.

“Sorry boys,” the girl continues. “No trick-or-treating here.”

And it is at that moment that Bill finally recognizes her, realizes where his brother sent him. “Are you…” Bill stammers out, barely able to speak, “are you that cheerleader from the LA Rams?”

“Yeah, that’s me,” the woman says. “Like you didn’t know that, trick-or-treating way out here.”

“We didn’t,” Jack says. “His brother sent us. He said there’s be a party here.”

“Nope, no party. Just-” the cheerleader stops mid-sentence, cutting herself off. “Oh shit,” she says. She is no longer looking at the boys, instead she is looking past them, at the beat up Camry across the street. She pulls the boys inside, closes the door behind them.

“Did you see that car on the street?” she asks. “Was anyone in it?”

The boys don’t answer, too dumbstruck acting being in this woman’s house. Everything here, the TV, the pictures on the wall, even the freaking toaster are the coolest they’ve ever seen. After some time, they finally manage a nod, but that is it.

“Fuck!” the cheerleader shouts. “That guy’s been stalking me ever since our first home game! I got a restraining order, what’s he doing here?” She is panicked, pacing throughout the house. She peers through the window, confirms it is him. “I’m calling the police,” she says.

At this point, the boys still dumbstruck, barely processing what is happening, Bill sees his moment. He pulls out his throwing knife, the real one, from Chinatown. “I’ll protect you, my lady,” he says.

“Don’t joke around,” the cheerleader replies, as she dials 9-1-1 on her cellphone.  “Hello, 9-1-1?” she says, to the voice that responds.

Just then, a knock at the door disrupts the scene, the noise striking fear into the cheerleader, who screams.

“Bianca!” a voice yells from outside. “Bianca! I know you’re in there, you can’t hide from me!”

Bianca, as the boys now know her, runs into another room, away from the front door. “Hello, police? I need you, 322 Byron Drive. I have a stalker, he’s right outside!”

Another knock on the door, pounding this time. “Bianca! Let me in!” the voice yells again.

Jack is still dumbstruck, his jaw agape, staring at this beautiful lady in distress. Bill slaps him. “We have to do something! We have to protect her! We have to be men!”

“You’re right,” Jack says. “Plus, I’m an astronaut. Everyone knows you don’t mess with them.”

“And I have this knife,” Bill says. “Now what can we do in this situation.”

BANG BANG BANG! Coming from outside. Not knocking, not pounding; the boys peer through the window and see the stalker taking a sledgehammer to the door! He’s going to knock it down!

“No time to think!” Jack says. “I’ll distract him with my astronaut-ness, you throw the knife at him.”

“But that’s murder,” Bill says. “We’ll go to jail forever.”

Jack looks at Bianca, on the phone with the cops, trembling and scared but still beautiful in her tight black dress. “It’s worth it,” he says. “Now get ready.”

Jack approaches the door, opens his arms wide. He then cues Bill, who opens the door, Jack and his astronaut costume blocking the entrance.

“Go away!” Jack shouts. “Bianca doesn’t want to see you! She is a beautiful lady.”

“I’m going to marry her! Ahhhh!” the stalker screams as he grabs Jack, tries to choke him. Except he can’t, Jack’s astronaut costume being too thick. Instead, he and the stalker tries to spin Jack around while Jack resists, neither one getting an upperhand on the other.

“Do something!” Jack screams. “He’s attacking me!”

“You’re in the way!” Bill shouts, his throwing knife in hand. “I can’t get him!”

Jack and the stalker continue to wrestle, each one trying gain an advantage. Bill pivots around, looking for an opening. Finally, he finds one. “Hold him there!” he screams, then throws the knife straight at them.

He misses! Misses completely! The knife flies out the front door. “Oh shoot!” Bill says.

“What?” Jack asks, and in that moment the stalker gains the leverage he was wrestling for, throwing Jack to the ground. He then goes after Bill, who tries some karate moves to stop him. Except Bill doesn’t know karate at all, his moves barely doing anything.

But they do enough, stalling the stalker just long enough for the police to arrive, tackle the stalker, take control, and bring the craziness to an end.

The next hour or so consisted of nothing but police statements, the stalker locked up in the police car, Jack, Bill, and Bianca explaining the events. Jack and Bill leave out the throwing knife however, not wanting to get in trouble for it, and thus the police were totally confused about its position on the front lawn.

Finally, the police leave, Bianca allowing the boys to stay long enough to get picked up by their parents. But before they call them, she steps in. “You know,” she says, looking down at her sexy dress, “I don’t feel much like going out tonight. Wanna hang here with me instead?”

The boy’s jaws drop once again. All they can do is nod yes.

And that’s how the night went, Bianca changing into comfy clothes, Jack and Bill in their costumes (minus the mask and helmet), them all relaxing on the couch, eating frozen yogurt and watching scary movies. One involved something about a missing train, but honestly, the boys don’t remember any of it. All they remember is spending Halloween with a cheerleader from the LA Rams. It wasn’t a party, but it was the best Halloween they’d ever have.

Spending Time With Uncle Dean

Cross these questions (chosen at random from a Scientology pamphlet) to create your prompt:  (#14) Would the idea of inflicting pain on game, small animals, or fish prevent you from hunting? and (#17) Are you usually concerned with the need to protect your health?


My uncle Dean is in town again, and he’s crazy, Fucking crazy. Mom makes he hang out with him but I hate it. Hate him. He’s crazy. Kicked out of high school and also out of college. Lost his job, should have gone to jail for that last one, attacking that girl in the back alley, he said she was drunk, that she said she wanted it.

And now I get to hang out with him. Yay me. “Family,” mom says. This is not good.

Dean wants to go hunting. The worst idea imaginable, him with a rifle, a shotgun, how can he even have these things?

He picks me up, me too young to drive so I’m stuck in tow. My mom thinks I’m not man enough, not playing football or hooking up with girls, preferring to read and play the saxophone. She puts up with it but she hates it; that’s why she makes me do this.

We drive out of the city and into the woods, where after an hour or so we pull over, a lookout, nothing but trees and greenery and the road we came in on. Dean goes to his cab, grabs his rifle. It’s as big as I am.

“Ever held one of these before?” he asks, already knowing the answer is no. I don’t respond and so he laughs, then without warning: “Catch!”. He tosses the gun.

I freak, stick my arms out, catch it in midair.

“Nice reflexes,” he says. “Use that out there. If anything moves shoot it.”

“What about other people?” I ask, no idea what I’m doing.

“No one out there but you and me,” Dean says. “Just don’t step in front of me, cause…” Dean mimes a bullet entering his head, then it exploding. This is not good.

“Alright,” he says. “Let’s go.”

Into the woods. Through the thick forest, me with the rifle, him with his shotgun; are they even loaded? He didn’t load them at the lookout, so either they aren’t or he drives around with loaded guns.

He’s getting ahead, way more into this than I am. “Wait up,” I say, not wanting to get lost, then I’ll be a target, something moving in the woods. He’ll shoot me, I know it, shoot first and check later, then he’ll see it’s me, little scrawny me who’d rather be playing my saxophone, not hunting animals, not getting killed. He’d probably just shrug.

“Hurry up! You’re slowing me down,” Dean says without breaking stride. I run up to keep up.

“Will it hurt? Will they feel it?” I ask.

“Huh?” he replies. “What are you talking about?”

“The animals. Will they feel it?”

“Not if you do it right,” he says. Do it right? I don’t want to do it at all. He sees my fear and so he replies “Don’t worry, animals can’t feel shit.”

He keeps walking, must be going somewhere. Don’t know where but he’s fast and determined, passing all sorts of animals. Well not really, but a squirrel here, crow there. He’s too focused to notice, focused on his travels. So much for shooting anything that moves.

Finally, we reach it: a stream. Where the big game come, Dean tells me. Deer and beavers and maybe even a bear if we’re lucky. We take our hiding spot, settle in, and then he tells me about last time he was here: a bear came, he popped two in its head but it was still alive when he went over, had to gut it with his knife before it was dead.

We wait and wait. No animals coming, not that I mind. This is manhood? Sitting here bored, waiting for animals in the cold itchy woods, being attacked by insects just so we can kill some innocent creature? I’d rather be reading, or playing my saxophone.

An hour goes by, Dean cursing and annoyed, me lying quiet, hopeful and annoyed. Hopeful the animals stay away, annoyed at being stuck here, afraid of my uncle Dean, when he’s annoyed he does bad things.

Another hour, I think. I don’t know for sure, for I closed my eyes, tried to sleep, who knows how much time actually went by. Then Dean nudges me, points downstream. A hundred yards away, a deer, grazing by the river. Two actually, a mom and her newborn. They are beautiful.

“Shoot it,” Dean says, me with the rifle, them in my range. I shake my head. “Shoot him!” Dean says again, louder but still quiet enough not to alert his game.

“No!” I scream, taking a stand. “I won’t! Run deer run! Escape!” I scream loud enough for the deer to hear, to see us and save themselves by running away. They do, they look our direction as Dean grabs me and ducks down below, his hand over my mouth, silencing my noise, forcing me to hide. The deer don’t see us; they go back to their grazing.

Dean looks me straight in the eyes. “Don’t fucking move,” he says as he grabs the rifle out of my hands. Slowly rising from hiding, he settles himself and takes aim. Taking him time, the perfect shot, taking aim.

Bang! A huge blast, echoing loud, throughout the woods. But it’s not him, it’s me, shotgun in hand, aimed up at the trees, birds scattering and surprising Dean as the recoil knocks me off my feet. But it doesn’t matter, because the deer hear and instantly start running, sprinting away. “Run deer run! Escape,” I scream again as I jump to my feet. Dean takes his shots but he’s desperate now, all over the place, the deer on the run and Dean keeps on missing, then they are gone.

Dean stops, looks at me. Rage in his eyes, on his face; he’s unable to speak. Then he hits me. “Fucking prick! What was that shit?” he yells as I fall to the floor, him towering over me.

“Your mom was right, you are a little bitch,” he says as he grabs his things, including both weapons, then starts heading back the way we came.

I follow, happy to leave, careful to keep my distance. Bang! The shotgun goes off, birds scattering from the trees. “I’m killing something today boy!” Dean screams, “better hope you’re not it.”

Dean reloads, continues walking and I continue to follow, leaving more space this time. This continues the whole way back, him shooting from the trail, birds scattering as he cusses at nothing and I hang further back, further and further until I lose sight of him completely, only the bangs of his shotgun telling me where I’m going.

Eventually we make it back. Except I’m so far behind that he has to wait. And when I arrive, out of the woods and through the clearing, I find his rifle aimed, pointed straight at me. I freeze.

“Whatcha gonna do now big boy?” Dean says, taunting me. “How you gonna save this one?”

Save this one? Save me? I don’t respond, unable to breathe as Dean’s foot comes crashing down, squashing a bug underneath it.

“There, I killed something. Lets go,” Dean says as he gets in the car and I do too. “Never again,” he says, glaring at me, “let your mom deal with your shit.” Those are his last words and it’s a quiet drive home, where he drops me off. No loss for me, I don’t mind never seeing him again, even if he’s family. Soon I’ll turn 18, leave my whole family behind, but until then, if at least Dean’s gone, I’ll definitely take that. I turn away from the car and walk back to my house, no Dean, no family, I’ll definitely take that.

I Got Married!

Hey all! You may have noticed that I haven’t posted here in a while and that’s because I just got married! Yay! Here are some videos about the wedding, one a slideshow about me and my now wife, former girlfriend/fiancee/bride Inna, met, and the second a compilation of our favorite engagement photos. I’ll post more wedding stuff as it comes and will of course get back to my regular postings shortly. Until then, enjoy!

FYI: I made the first slideshow but did not make the second one. Credit on that one (and credits for the individual pictures) goes to Ostrovskiy Photography,