The carved turnips caught Melanie’s attention. The townsfolk had placed them by doors to ward off evil spirits at Halloween.

This is an opportunity for mischief, Melanie thought.

She opened the gate to a field and let loose a herd of cattle. The animals ambled through the town munching every carved turnip in sight.

Melanie smirked and sneaked off to a nearby lake.

What other naughtiness can I do? she wondered. Perhaps the Witch of the Isle has suggestions.

Jumping into a boat, Melanie rowed to the island in the middle of the lake and called, “Hello!”

“What do you want?” the Witch of the Isle asked, emerging from a cave.

“Halloween pranks,” Melanie said.

The Witch of the Isle produced a crooked wand and waved it in the direction of the town. 

“Now go away,” she said.

Melanie returned home and waited.

“The magic’s not working,” she grumbled. “I don’t have a single rascally idea.”

Disappointed, she went for a walk. At a street corner, she gazed up at a roof where a stone gargoyle sat.

“I bet you could help me have fun,” Melanie said.

The gargoyle sprang from the roof and raced off. Grinning excitedly, Melanie followed. As she ran, other gargoyles scurried behind.

When they entered the town’s park, the players on a soccer pitch panicked.

“Save yourselves!” the players shouted and sprinted into the distance.

The gargoyles bounded onto the empty pitch and began digging up the grass.

“Wait!” Melanie said. “Let’s play soccer! I’ll be the referee and you can be a team. All you need are opponents.”

She glanced about.

“If only the trees would join in,” she said.

To her delight, the trees in the park tore up their roots and lumbered to the pitch. Melanie put the ball onto the center spot.

“Play!” she instructed.

The gargoyles charged, burst the ball, and attacked the trees.

“Behave yourselves!” Melanie bawled, stamping her feet in frustration.

From behind a pavilion, a ghost dressed like a teacher appeared. The gargoyles and trees stopped fighting.

Melanie nodded. “That’s better!”

The ghost hovered in the air and moaned. The gargoyles sprouted horns, while the trees developed pincers on the ends of their branches.

“Hey!” Melanie said. “That’s not right! Stop!”

But the ghost had other ideas. Under its direction, the grisly-looking gargoyles and trees floated into town. They glided into people’s houses, where they caused mayhem. No one had protection because the cattle had eaten the carved turnips that kept evil spirits at bay.

Things are out of my control, Melanie thought and trudged home.

She stood by the window in her bedroom and waited for the pandemonium to end. At midnight, the ghost moaned again. The gargoyles lost their horns and settled on the roofs. The trees, no longer with pincers, lurched back to the park.

Melanie put on her pajamas and went to bed.

“Next Halloween,” she muttered, “I’ll stay in.”

About The Author

K. J. Watson’s fiction has appeared on the radio; in magazines, comics, and anthologies; and online.

 Books to which he has contributed appear on his Amazon Author page.

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