I just realized I never posted a link to my Halloween story. Torquere's Halloween Blitz was published on October 30th this year -- I couldn't get a reliable connection from the ship, then afterward I just didn't think about it. :/
Mine is Candy Courage. Glenn Bellamy, a divorced dad, is taking his son around trick-or-treating. He confiscates some homemade peanut brittle -- and eats it himself of course -- not knowing that the old man who made it is an alchemist who adds something special to his candy each year. This year it was Courage, so when Glenn and his son hit Neal Sampson's house, Glenn finds himself flirting and making a date for the next day. Will the candy courage wear off, or will Glenn find the guts to go after what he wants?
Sebastiano Fiorentelli studied the calendar -- a freebie from the Humane Society with photos of puppies and kittens on it -- on the wall of his cluttered basement laboratory and observed that it was the thirtieth day of October. Since emigrating to the United States and discovering the Halloween custom of sending children around to beg for treats, he'd made a habit of including something extra in the candy he made for the occasion each year. By the Nineteen-seventies, when hysteria over poison and razor blades swept the population, Mr. Fiorentelli had been living in his San Jose neighborhood long enough that no one fussed about letting their children eat his wax-paper-wrapped candies.
He paced back and forth in front of open cabinets and crowded shelves, pondering what to make this year, until finally he stopped and nodded.
"Courage," he said. "This year, I think I'll make courage..."
The next evening, Robbie Matheson, age eight, refused to share the wax-wrapped peanut brittle he'd gotten from old Mr. Fiorentelli on the corner. His real favorite candy was those little Milky Way bars, but Mr. Fiorentelli made some pretty cool candy and he always knew he had to eat it as soon as he could or his mom would sneak it.
Ten minutes later, he stood in his room and stared out the window into the dark back yard at the trampoline cage. His big sister Stephanie had been bouncing in it since she was five and had been teasing Robbie for being a scaredy-cat for the last three years, because no matter how his sister had taunted or his parents had coaxed or his friends had snickered, he'd refused to even stand on the trampoline.
Robbie knew -- really knew -- that he couldn't get hurt in the cage unless he landed on his head or something. Just bouncing up and down without trying any flips or anything was perfectly safe. He knew that.
Of course he knew that.
Get the whole thing here. :D