I snuck cautiously over to Flindenore’s haunted house, keeping a low profile. Since her StepMa Mesmerelda would go off like a volcano if she saw me, my stealth moves were getting a lot better. I crept up under her window and called, “Flindie! It’s a beautiful evening! Lovely as the charming wee wart on your nubalicious nose. Let’s sneak away and watch the sun set over the marsh!”
She leaned out, skin warmed to viridian by the westering light. Glints sparkled off her piercings, and my frambulator went Chowunga, Chowunga, just to see her! Yet she sighed. “I’d love to, Sly. But I can’t.” Her shoulders slumped and her gearrings clinked despondently. “I’m still grounded. And Melda’s home tonight.”
I glooped up tall, leaned in at the window and gave her a big smooshy hug. “Wow, it’s been months. Melda still mad about you stealing her broom?”
Flindie looked down at her bat tattoo and twined her fingers nervously. “Yeah, that, annnd a few other things. Like us dating? You should have heard her. ’He’s a swamp monster! It’s not traditional!’ Melda raved about that for hours!”
“Yeah, I get it. Well, it’s not like I was expecting her to open the door and set out a welcome mat.”
“I’m sorry, snuggle gluggins. When it comes to you, she’s not just a closed door, she’s a raised drawbridge and a moat full of alligators.” Flindie rolled her eyes. “So I’ve gotta calm things down and keep the home cauldron blurping for a while. It’s boring chores for me, tonight. I’ve been spelling up Halloween eyeballs for the kids. See?” She held up a gelatinous glob dripping bloody looking goo.
“Relax. It’s not a real eye, just a sweet fake. Here. Taste one. I made this out of duckweed, just for you.”
“Aww, cuddle mushroom, you remembered!” I closed all my eyespots, and gulped it down. “Hey, pretty tasty! I give it seven pseudopods up!” I popped a row of them all along my main feeler.
She giggled quietly, “Made them with my new spell. Cloud cushion!” Suddenly she was floating on a puffy gob of white. I leaned closer. “Is that real marshmallow?”
“Yep! I just now learned how to make it, for the whites of the eyeballs.” She jumped down, and changed the cloud to a pile of sticky candy eyes.
She leaned up and whispered in my pseudo-ear, “Want to help peel the spuds for french fried fingers?”
I grabbed a sackful, and seven peelers. “Anything, my darling squidge midget! With you, I’d even watch pond scum dry. But what’s all this for?”
“We throw a big Halloween costume ball every year. Dancing the Boo-Galoo, bobbing for poisoned apples, huge potion buffet, fountain full of Cthulu fondue, the works! You and your Dad gotta disguise yourselves and come check it out tomorrow!”
“She won’t take the first step, but If we can trick her into actually meeting you, maybe she’ll learn to like you after all.”
“I’mmmm skeptical. But, I guess it’s worth a try?”
“Flindenore!” Melda’s voice bellowed down the hall. We sprang apart hastily. I flattened out of sight down in the shrubbery. “Have you finished those eyeballs and fingers yet?”
“Almost done, Ma! Be right there!” Flindie leaned out, and whispered, “Moonrise tomorrow! Gotta go!”
I nodded, and glooped back to the lair. Dad was reblobbing our Slimon and Son sign. “Oh, hi, Junior. What’s up?”
“Hey, Dad! Halloween party tomorrow at Flindie’s. Time to morph up some cool costumes! ”
“Aww, I dunno, son. I haven’t been to a party in bog’s years. I’d like to meet Melda, but I kinda got cold creepers. What if we get there and I freeze up?”
“C’mon, Dad! It’s a costume party! Dress up as some dashing mystery guy, and let your inner hero out!” Quickly I change up to look like Dankenslime, then Dead Pyrate Bloberts.
Dad’s eyespots glimmer. “I see! How about this?” He morphs up a flowing cape and fangs. “Vlad Swampula!”
“Um, not quite your look. Lose the cape, it’s too drippy.”
“Now?” He’s Prinz Swarming.
“Closer. Try again.”
“OK, what about now?” Dad emerges as Bogzilla, complete with scales and spiky tail.
~ ~ ~
Next night, when we gloop over to Flindie’s, the party is jumping! Everybody’s here, from ghosties to ghoulies to long legged beasties. We spot Melda right away, over by the cauldron, ladling out slime punch.
I nudge Dad and whisper, “Go on, tall, green, and handsome, talk to her!”
He drips nervously, then nods, stiffens his creepers and stomps over.
I make a beeline for Flindie. “Great costume, bogalicious. Love the spiky bits!” We lurk into the bushes and peek out at them.
Dad draws himself up, looking all cool and scaly. “Ah, Mesmerelda? Hi, I’m Squodge Slimon, Sly’s Dad.”
Flindie smacks her forehead. I mutter, “Way to blow the disguise, Dad.”
Melda drops the ladle and spins around, “You! How dare you let your son date my stepdaughter?”
Dad turns pale lime, but answers stoutly, ”Sly’s his own blob. He decides for himself who he goes out with.”
“It’s breaking TRADITION!” Melda spells up her broom, swings wildly, and chases poor ol’ Dad all the way to the edge of the clearing. The broom bounces off him and hits a tree with a loud crack.
“You, you, green behemoth! Leave my party! And take your sneaky son with you!” She plucks me out of hiding and tosses me at Dad. “Flindenore!” She grabs Flindie’s arm and pulls her away from me. “You’re double grounded! Come away! Now!” She storms off, dragging Flindie.
I wince. “That could have gone better.”
Dad’s feelers slump. “I don’t think this is meant to be, son.”
I slap him wetly on his mossy shoulder. “There’s other frogs in the marsh, Dad.”
“I suppose, son. Just, not tonight, OK? Let’s go-“ He droops globbily and starts slumping away.
Melda storms back out of the house, then takes off angrily on her broom, soaring high against the golden-green moon. But she wobbles suddenly. Something’s wrong! The broomstick breaks off short in her hands. She shrieks and starts plummeting, out of control!
I bellow, “Flindie! Come quick!”
She bursts out of the house. “What’s wrong?”
I point up. “Melda! She’s falling! Grab your broom and go get her!”
“I’m grounded! It won’t lift!”
“Then use your cloud! I’ll give you a boost! Trampoline gut!”
Flindie charges me, chanting her spell, and takes a mighty leap! I bounce her up past treetop level. She wobbles a bit, then conjures a wind, and sweeps on. She swings the eyeball cloud under Melda, breaking her fall. They careen wildly down, then finally wobble sideways into an oak tree. The candy cloud sticks to the branches, and leaves them perched like two bedraggled crows.
Dad and I gloop up. I hop on his shoulders, we stretch tall, and morph a safety slide to get them to the ground.
“Thanks, big guys,” Flindie gives us a wobbly smile. “There’s no way I could get her to climb down, after that.”
Melda hobbles over, looking sheepish. “Um. Thanks, all of you. Flindie, you’re still grounded. But, Sly can come over now.”
I boggle. “For sure?”
She nods ruefully. “Nothing like having my whole life flash before my eyes. It’s like, I was lurking behind a door I’d slammed shut in your faces. And you? You could have just let me fall. BOOM! Dead witch. How traditional. But you saved me anyway. So I was wrong about you two. And I see now, I’d much rather have a broken tradition than a broken me.”
Flindie hugs her. “Yeah.”
“So I guess,” Melda goes on, “I’ve been an old stick-in-the-bog. And I’ll probably grouch and get all cranky about this. But since you saved me, the least I can do in return is open the door.”
She steps up to Dad. “Squodge, I-I, I’m sorry. Come back to the house. We’ve got lots of party snacks still. We could use help eating them up.” She plucks a sticky glob off her cheek, and holds it out. Grins awkwardly. “Have a candy eyeball?”
Dad oozes cheerfully. “That’d be right nice, Mesmerelda. I’d say our marsh just got a lot more mellow.”
And if you’d like to get the prequel story, Sign of the Times, that introduces Dad, Sly AKA Junior, and Flindie, Click on this:
Also, My story Romancing the Stone Soup is now available free at:
It Came from Beneath the Slush Pile
Bill Bush Trapped
Benjamin Thomas Autumn Cascade
Crystal Collier Emily’s Ghost
Viola Fury 911
Juneta Key All Hallows Eve
C. Lee McKenzie Beautiful
Erica Damon Penance’
J. Q. Rose Sorry
Elise VanCise Lady In The Woods
Barbara Lund Spooky Space
Angela Wooldridge Quiet Neighbours
Katharina Gerlach Australian Dream
Karen Lynn The Waves at Midnight
Sherri Conway Ants
Elizabeth McCleary Over James Henry Wilcox’s Dead Body
Canis Lupus The Picture
Thanks to J. Q. Rose for reminding me to add a comment section to this page. 🙂