Short Horror Story: ‘BOB’

Short Horror Story: ‘BOB’

For the pupils of Strickland Junior High school in Columbus, Ohio or inmates as they used to call themselves, the annual Halloween disco was a rather tawdry affair. Especially for the eighty five seventh graders attending, who were too self conscious to enjoy the dressing up and party games but still too young for more mature forms of mischief like cannabis and fondling. It was six forty five pm on Friday October 31st and each of the other years had already had their allotted two hour party and ration of two canned soft drinks per head that day.

The little fancy dressed figures filtered past the janitor, Mr Mickey “Irish” O’Neil who was seventy one years old but could have passed for ninety one. Never once did he regale the kids with tales of the old country though… He just locked doors and cleaned up piss… And he had done so since arriving fifty two years ago. O’Neil held the door open as the kids streamed in but could not take his eyes off the moon that stood out in the sky like a full ripe fruit. It had a flush of red and O’Neil’s jowl hanging face was angled up at it with trepidation. The children of course didn’t notice either him or the rouge dashed satellite, too busy glued to their smartphones which were soon to be confiscated in a large refuse sack for the duration of the party to encourage “cohesion” as the principle put it.

And in the school gym hall that was copiously adorned with ghoulish decorations hanging from the monkey bars like cut-out paper pumpkins and silly string spider’s webs by the kids caught smoking at break-time, the boys took one side of the space and the girls took the other. But in the middle of the hall was a large blue family sized paddling pool filled with water for the main event of the festivities – the bobbing for Apples contest.

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