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The House Sitter
The Pumpkin Head
The Cat's Eye
The Last Halloween
Love at First Bite
Why Bad Things Happen To Good Villians
Samantha Stole Satan's Saw
The Island of Dirty
How I _____, Mutilated and Killed Betty Smith and
Issue VII is the Satan Issue...
When we first read the incoming entries for this year's magazine, we became alarmed. There was certainly a lot of murdering and hurting and really bad stuff happening in these stories. Then we remembered that our theme was Halloween and Horror. And then we remembered that this year's sub-theme was "the Devil." So, we first accepted it, and then enjoyed their stories.
Our first story was dredged up from the cerebral depths of a screen writer named Huth. He said he didn't do prose. But we hurt him a little bit, and what do you know, he came up with a pretty good story called Dream Home.
Dave Kraybill kicked and screamed a bit on the way but once we held him with physical restraints at a keyboard, he pounded out a psycho thriller we put next, which he calls The House Sitter.
Then, even though we really don't like cowards around here, we accepted a submission from a guy who refused to give his real name. He claimed his pen name was more arrogantly forthright, So, "Libel Rathe" has submitted to us an account which, despite the eloquence of his "name", pushed our censors to their limits, entitled Lenny's House.
These next set of stories we found in a battered building in the woods that seemed to have been either burned or flooded. We couldn't tell which unless of course we were wrong and the damage had been done with some sort of sharp bladed power tool. I found no bodies but each story seemed pretty good and each had a title and a name. So I stole them. They were: The Pumpkin Head by Michelle Einhorn, Night by Julian Margo, The Cat's Eye by Melinda Bennett, The Last Halloween by James Bennett, The Piano by Tiffany Margo, and Love at First Bite by Ariel Margo.
Next we have another long-winded tale by Brad Beard entitled Why Bad Things Happen To Good Villains. What about "short story" doesn't he get? We beat him a little bit, but in the end accepted his submission because it used cool adjectives.
Then, pushing our censors over the edge and making one quit, Myron Wszelaki comes in with Samantha Stole Satan's Saw. This story comes complete with rhyming phrases -as well as a ratings disclaimer.
As if this weren't enough to send the rest of the "family entertainment" types running, we received another questionable entry from a long time friend of ours. This guy never is so cowardly as to use a pseudonym and always goes by his real name, John Jacob Engleheimer-Schmit. He proudly sends us over the edge in this read-between-the-lines mystery called The Island of Dirty Old Men.
Lastly we found ourselves written to by the "man" around whom we made our theme.
Yes, the devil himself sent us an entry and ... it was... interesting. This one didn't make our censors quit, but it did make them nauseous and they put their collective feet down firmly on this one. So, heavily censored, we bring you; How I _____, Mutilated and Killed Betty Smith and Her Family by Satan.
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November 24, 2005
by David Kraybill
©2005 Beard-Kraybill Studios