The Gobble-Uns Will Git You If You Don’t Watch Out!
By Jeff Baker
“See! There they are! I told you!” Abner said.
Pinkle’s Grocery wasn’t officially open for the morning and the two men in aprons and ties stared at the display just inside the front door. In front of the tables stocked with potted plants for sale were a row of tall ceramic pots shaped like smiling ghosts and jack-o-lanterns. Two of each.
“Halloween decorations? So? They go up every year right after school starts.” Roy said.
“Not those! They were out on the floor last year and the year before that and the year before that and I looked it up and WE DON’T CARRY THEM!!! And we don’t have them in the storeroom, I’ve had all year to keep checking!” Abner said.
“So? Maybe someone brought them in? Maybe that lady at the pharmacy who…”
“No! It isn’t!” Abner said. “We’re two men down, Murchison’s out with the flu and I’ve been coming in for him the last few mornings. Those things weren’t here one night and they were here the next morning.”
“So, what are you suggesting?” Roy said. “That there’s something unnatural about this?”
“I…I’m not sure.” Abner said.
“You’ve got Halloween on the brain.” Roy said. “Too many commercials, horror movies and candy.”
“Well, maybe.” Abner said. “But I was sure…”
“What about the security video?” Roy asked.
“Not working. Well, not recording anyway.” Abner said. “The security guy monitors those when the store is open.”
“Okay.” Roy said. “And the security guy’s out this week.”
The two of them stared at the ceramic decorations, casting shadows in the early-morning light.
“We should be opening up soon,” Roy said.
“Yeah.” Abner said. “And you know it’s probably some employee bringing these in or it’s part of some display for candy but I don’t see any signs or even candy on this table.”
“Yeah.” Roy said. “Let’s see if I can get the coffee started.”
“That sounds good,” Abner said as the two of them walked towards the office.
Behind them the ghost’s eye winked and the Jack O’ Lantern smiled more broadly if only for an instant.