An unexpected caller

A SHORT STORY FOR HALLOWEEN

AN UNEXPECTED CALLER

“Justin, there was a knock at the door. Will you get it please? I’m up to my neck in grilling sausages and burgers.”

“Okay Debs. Keep your hair on. I thought all the guests had arrived now.”

“Well it must be somebody we forgot. We sent out about a million invitations. If you remember, you said you wanted the biggest Halloween party ever. Now, please go and answer the door.”

***

Justin opens the front door.

“Welcome, that’s a great costume. Love the three-cornered hat and the greatcoat – could be straight out of that pirate book I’ve been reading, Tread Carefully on the Sea.”

“Well can you let me in? It’s raining cutlasses out here.”

“Sure. I’m really sorry, I know we must have met. But hands up, I can’t remember your name.”

“Captain Flint.”

“Oh yeah, of course. Good to have you here, Captain. You’re a bit late. You missed the pumpkin soup.”

“Hmm. I had trouble parking my galleon.”

“Galleon? Is that the new Ford model?”

“No, Silly. It’s my wonderful ship, the Walrus.”

“Ship. Walrus. Oh, I get it. Goes with you being dressed up like a pirate. Great joke. Where did you park in the end?”

“On your neighbour’s swimming pool.”

“Ha ha. Well the neighbour’s in here so you can tell him all about it. What can I get you to drink?”

“Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.”

“You’ve got a great sense of humour. Do you take coke with your rum?”

“No. Coke hasn’t been invented where I come from.”

***

“Hey, everybody. We’ve got another guest. I want you to meet Captain Flint.”

“Where is he then, Justin?”

“Well, here, Debs, right beside me. This man in the three-cornered hat.”

“What man in what three-cornered hat?”

“Oh come on, Debs. Stop playing about. He’ll think you’re rude. He’s late because he’s left his walrus in Fred’s swimming pool. Look, Captain Flint, let me take the hat. You’ve got water pouring out of the brim.”

“Justin, where did you get that hat?”

“Captain Flint just handed it to me.”

“Justin…”

“What?”

“You’re babbling about an invisible Captain Flint, a walrus in a swimming pool and you’ve got an empty rum bottle in your hand. Have you downed the whole lot?

“No, Captain Flint drank it.”

“Justin, you’re drunk. How could you spoil our party like this?”

“For God’s sake, Debs…”

“Just take your imaginary Captain Flint and go and walk round the park. Try to sober yourself up.”

***

Knock, knock

“Hello Deborah.”

“What? Three-cornered hat, greatcoat. You must be that Captain Flint my husband was talking about. I thought he’d imagined you in a drunken stupor.”

“No, Deborah, I’m here.”

“Hmm, nice to have you here. Love those black eyes.”

“Thank you. Now I’ve a tremendous thirst on me. Do you have any more rum?”

“Yeah, of course. Hey, did you come by the park?”

“Yes.”

“Did you see my husband out walking? He hasn’t come back.”

“Well I saw a man heading towards your neighbour’s swimming pool. He said he wanted to see the Walrus.”

“That’d be him. Anyway, never mind. Take my arm and let’s join the party.”

 

 

 

 

Halloween recipes

TWO SHORT STORIES AND HALLOWEEN RECIPES FROM MY WIFE STEPHANIE

NUMBER ONE

A hangman sat at his table eating his favourite meal – eel and potato cake.

His busy wife had put in extra eels to celebrate his 60th hanging. But in her haste, she had neglected to take all of the bones from the eels.

Simon G, as he was known, ate greedily from the cake with a big wooden spoon, cramming down each mouthful.
Towards the end of his meal just one big spoonful was left.   Simon G put the spoon into his mouth and started to swallow and, as he did so, felt a searing pain from a lodged eel bone stuck in his throat.  He couldn’t cry out.  He couldn’t breathe and, as he began to lose consciousness, a sea of grimacing faces swam before his clouded eyes. They belonged to the poor souls he had so cruelly dispatched from this world. Some were crying, others looked at him in terror, others were laughing.
The following is a recipe for this cake, but beware to remove all the bones of whatever fish you are using, and hope that your misdeeds do not appear before your eyes
Hangman’s Cake

1 lb of cooked potatoes mashed with butter.
1 egg well beaten
6 ozs plain flour
3 ozs sugar
spice to taste
4 ozs currants
4 ozs fish Optional)
Work in dry ingredients and fish, if using, into the mashed potato. Add a little milk to give a soft consistency.  Bake in a greased, shallow tin at mark 180C until top of cake is firm to touch.  Do not over cook.
NUMBER TWO
Isne and Norman had been married for 30 years. They had produced no children and, being an insular couple, had few friends.
The location of their home was deep in the wilds of Norfolk, England, surrounded by marshland and rivers.
In winter the winds from the North Sea blew mercilessly around their house and, as they sat by their meagre fire, the misery within them grew. For from the first year of marriage they had begun to hate each other with a passion as fierce as the storms from the sea.
One Halloween, Norman could stand his life with Isne no longer. That night he sat on their bed fingering the sharp bladed knife he used to split the eels he caught and sold.
Isne had just finished a cake which she covered with white frosting.
It took Norman a few seconds to sever the artery in her throat. The blood streamed over the cake making a ghastly contrast with the white frosting.
Norman disappeared without trace and some months later a passing neighbour discovered the decaying corpse of Isne. The blood on the cake had congealed into a dark red mass.
The story goes that on Halloween night a cake with white frosting must be made and then covered with deep red cherry jam. When this is done the ghost of Isne is said to appear.
Recipe:
8 eggs
8 oz butter
8 oz caster sugar
8 oz self raising flour.
Beat eggs, butter and sugar together until smooth, gradually beat in the flour until smooth and it drops of the spoon.
Pour into an 8 inch greased baking tin. Bake on 160C until a slight brown colour and coming away from the side of the tin.
Make frosting by using between 6/7 ozs of icing sugar, adding a little water until slight runny.  Pour icing over the cake.  Add a little warm water to the jam and pour over the cake.
Place on a plate on the table and wait for the faint form of Isne to appear at the stroke of midnight on All Hallows Eve.