Latinx Halloween Series: Flash Fiction by Jose Montano
BY JOSE MONTANO
THE LAUGHING TERROR
On a warm Halloween night, five friends took a late-night trip to Penny’s Eatery; the local diner in the small California town of Almohada Lago, for some cheap food. They had spent the entire evening at a Halloween costume party, drinking heavily all night long, and now needed some greasy food to help soak up some of the alcohol in their systems. They sat at a round-table in the left corner of the diner which was their usual spot, since they frequented that diner often after nights of heavy drinking. The friends were Darby Kaufman, a really tall, goofy young man, who was dressed as Grigori Rasputin, wearing a cheap black beard and long acrylic nails. Sitting next to him was Sabrina Pickles, who was always giggly and ebullient, dressed up in a homemade jellybean costume, that consisted of a large clear plastic trash bag wrapped around her torso, filled with inflated balloons of different colors. Next to her was Denver Knotts, that was sort of a slacker/stoner, and was always cool and calm. His costume really defined his laid-back attitude, which was just blood poured on his white shirt and smeared on his beard and around his mouth. It was unclear what his costume was supposed to be exactly, but he claimed he was a zombie. Next was Gwen Valentine, a shy and quiet girl, but someone who always had the best and most elaborate Halloween costumes. On this particular Halloween, she was dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein, with her hair sticking straight up, and wearing a homemade white gown and white arm wraps, perfectly executed. The costume won her the best costume award at the Halloween party. Last but certainly not least was Gonzo Infante, who was the linchpin of the group, that had brought them all together. He was dressed as Milhouse Van Houten from The Simpsons, even down to the comically oversized blue eyebrows. They order the same meal they’d usually get; Moons Over My Hammy and a root beer for Gonzo, shrimp linguine and a lemonade for Gwen, a bacon cheeseburger and coke for Denver, a Grand Slam breakfast and ice tea for Sabrina, and a giant plate of nachos for Darby, with a chocolate milkshake. They sat around the table, eating, laughing and just talking shit like they always did.
“What do you guys think was Tim Curry’s best role ever?” Gonzo asked.
“Oh, Wadsworth, no doubt!” Darby replied.
“Seriously? No way! It’s Frank N. Furter. I mean come on, that’s what he’s best known for.” Sabrina rebutted.
“I liked him in The Worst Witch.” Gwen said.
“Those are all good but Herkermer Homolka in Congo is way underrated.”
“You’re just being ridiculous.” Darby said, as everyone laughed out loud.
“Well, the correct answer is Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island.” Gonzo said.
“Get the hell out of here!” Darby exclaimed.
Jose is a Chicano writer/poet from Camarillo, California. Jose's work has been featured in Yes Poetry, Idle Eyes Zine, Sybil Journal, Pretty Cool Poetry Thing, and others. Jose has also self published a collection of short horror stories entitled Pulp Spooky, available on Amazon. You can find Jose on Instagram @spooky_lawn