In honor of Halloween, I wanted to talk about a horrible problem I’ve noticed. This may not seem like a major issue to most, but it’s something that crept up in my mind over the last couple of days, and I thought I might take a moment to address it here on my blog.
The problem is that the world is in love with vampires and werewolves. Don’t get me wrong. Vampires and werewolves are the pinnacle of the monster world, and the drama that surrounds them is enough spark the interest of any writer. The frustration and loneliness of the immortal life of a vampire … the pain and lack of control of a werewolf’s life.
But if we have gained anything from the genre of horror, it is that there is a plethora of monsters and ghouls. There exists a whole sea of monstrosity from which we could catch our ideas. Yet it seems like a majority of paranormal romance and young adult fantasy repeatedly turns towards the two big two, vampires and werewolves.
Quite frankly, it doesn’t seem fair. Where are the books that feature the troubles of being a creature of the black lagoon in high school? Or the love between a girl and a zombie?
It is with that in mind, that present to you …
Frangelica sat in the cafeteria, her chatty friends around her as they were most of the time. It use to bother her–in the beginning, the sense of never being able to be alone. But it was the price she figured she had to pay to hold her position in the hierarchy of high school.
She was popular, pretty, and relatively smart. She was the girl that all the guys glanced at in the hallways and that all the girls secretly admired. She wasn’t cruel, however … never mocking other, less fortunate peers. She had been raised with better manners than most and tried to hold those standards close to her heart.
Her boyfriend, Lou, was not as sweet of a soul as she had first thought he was. Sure he was kind to Frangelica, always saying the right things and bringing her flowers for no reason at all. But when he didn’t think she could see him, Lou was a whole different sort of person. A monster, really, terrorizing people in locker rooms and laughing ecstatically at the pain he caused to others.
They had only been dating for a little over six months, but it had gotten to the point in their relationship that Frangelica was seriously considering ending it. Life is short, and time is easily wasted … especially that of a high school student. She never planned to marry Lou, they were only kids, after all. But what would it say about her if she continued to stand silently by while her beau terrified the whole school?
“But he’s the captain of the football team!” her overly excitable friend, Tilapia said. “Don’t you understand the repercussions of dumping someone like him?”
“Like what?” Frangelica asked, even though she didn’t hold much stock in the world of dating politics.
“You’ll become a social piranha!”
“I think you mean pariah,” Frangelica said with a smile.
“Same thing,” Tilapia fumed.
“I don’t see what’s so wrong with him,” Mocha pointed out. “He seems like the perfect hunk to me.”
“He’s a bully,” Frangelica said, stomping her foot beneath the table.
“Helloooooo, he’s a football player!”
“He’s malicious, though,” Frangelica went on, stirring her salad as she looked at the green, leafiness of it. “It’s as if he’s … a monster or something. He doesn’t seem like he’s kidding around. Remember when he was hassling that Kirk kid?”
“That little dweeb? Who cares?! What he did to that boy was hilarious!” Mocha said, mischievously sipping her can of Tab.
“He tormented him for weeks!” Frangelica said, stabbing her lunch with her tightly gripped fork. “I don’t think anyone has seen the poor kid in a few days … what happened?”
“I think there’s something more behind this than just your morals.” Tilapia was smirking as she said this, craning her head over the table towards Frangelica. “I think this has to do with the new boy.”
“Shut up,” Frangelica simmered, her face uncontrollably turning a dark shade of red.
“Oh yeah, you’re totally right, Tilapia,” Mocha chuckled. “That kid is so totally Frangelica’s type!”
“You guys are totally off,” Frangelica said, her brain busy attempting to will her face back to it’s usual, more pink shade. “I don’t have a type!”
“Sure you do,” Tilapia shrieked, Mocha chuckling beside her. “Seth is your perfect guy … sad, broody, and tall.”
“The Frangelica special,” Mocha chimed in, and all the girls laughed … all excluding Frangelica. She was in the midst of a panic attack as she realized that Seth was not only in earshot, but was also ambling towards them.
“Shut up,” she murmured to her friends, slapping her hand on the table. The girls, fluent with subtle body language, were quick to quiet down, all the way down until it was so quiet that anybody who would happen to wander up couldn’t think they were talking about anything other than them.
Frangelica didn’t care in that moment if Seth knew they were talking about him. Even if he hadn’t heard their girlish prattling, her face would have given it away. She had always hated how big and goofy her smile could get.
“Hi, Seth,” she said to the tall boy that bumped against their table, his lunch tray rigidly extended before him. “How’s your day going?”
“Mmmmrrrph,” he mumbled–that deep, rumbly voice came out, muffled by the linen bandages that were wrapped around his face. Frangelica’s heart skipped a beat at hearing that timbre and she couldn’t control herself as she pushed herself up and out of her seat.
She stood in front of him, glaring up and into his soft, fogged over eyes as he looked off in to the distance. He always seemed so deep in thought and she could barely stand not knowing what it was that preoccupied his mind.
“Restrain yourself, Frangelica,” Mocha whispered behind her. Frangelica ignored her, merely swatting at her friend from behind her back. She didn’t think Seth had heard Mocha, either; his dead, soulful stare never left the far wall—such a sad, brooding boy.
Frangelica continued to talk to the boy, her hands touching Seth’s arm against her wishes, rubbing the smooth, black leather of his jacket’s sleeve. “Are you going to Millison’s party on Friday?”
“Oh, I hope you change your mind … it’s going to be a blast.” Frangelica felt different around Seth, the cute new boy that made her weak in the knees. She always felt more animalistic around him, capable of things that would make her mother blush.
“Lou is watching,” Tilapia whispered a warning to her friend. “He sees what you are doing.” Frangelica looked back to her friend in fear, and followed her nimble finger as it pointed towards the cafeteria window.
Peering through the smudged glass, she could see her boyfriend clearly, He stood out in the parking lot, surrounded by other football players, though they seemed miniscule next to Lou … like tiny toy soldiers around his clawed feet.
“Oh, crap,” Frangelica muttered, seeing the anger rise in Lou’s red eyes, even from this distance. Lou cried out, the tentacles about his face slithering before his gaping mouth as his growl came out, warbling as the sky grew gray above him. He raged in the midst of his teammates, his great wings ripping through the material of his letterman’s jacket.
Lou, or Cthulhu—as his mother named him, cried out in fury, the sense of betrayal heavy in his cold, black heart. He raised his brown, scaly arms upward as his cry went on, the graying sky above swirling in a surprise, pop up storm.
The students in the cafeteria raced to the windows to watch as the cry grew loud and shrill. “This is not good,” Frangelica said softly, looking up into Seth’s, gray eyes … those soulful, deep thinking eyes. “Why does it have to be so hard for us?”
“Mmmmmrrrmmmpphhh?” Seth said through the wrap around his face as his head slowly turned towards the source of the noise. As his eyes met those of Lou, the windows in the cafeteria exploded inward, showering the tables in broken shards and sending the nosey teenagers scrambling as the wind fell in from the windows.
“We’ll get through this,” Frangelica said as she watched her monster of a boyfriend commence in his tantrum, stomping around on cars, grabbing up nerds, devouring them whole as he flung his teammates around as if they were rag dolls, warbling like an anthropoid-like god of evil. “We’ll find a way, Seth.”
She turned to look at him once more, but Seth was already a few yards away and moving as quickly as his stiff, knee locked legs would carry him. Frangelica was struck by the aire of mystery that seemed to hover around this new boy that she desired. So mysterious, she thought. Seth had nearly exited the cafeteria, crying out; his voice a muffled, fear struck moan as he ran from Cthulhu’s call.
3 thoughts on “Where have all the good ghouls gone?”
You know a story’s going to be great when the characters have names like Tilapia and Mocha. Throw in the call of the Cthulhu and you have one of the smartest, funniest short stories I have read in a while! 😀
Is this Frangelica story one that’s currently being written?? Sorry, I’m not familiar with these writing blogs at all. I just saw your new book, Plod on Sleepless Giant, but didn’t have cash with me to buy it at the time-so I looked it up online and now I’m here…lol! I was reading the “Frangelica’s Choice” story that you posted and looked it up to see who wrote it and where to buy it, but it’s not listed anywhere. From the other comment listed, I’m assuming it’s the beginning of a “short” story?! If it’s out there anywhere, I’d love to know how to get it. If someone is currently writing it, I’d love to be notified when it’s available. I’m a vampire and werewolf junkie, so that’s right up my alley! Congrats on your new book-It’s so inspiring to see people follow their dreams! I sent a link about it to several people and will be back to get a copy soon. I love how you use Tommy’s Diner and other local places here in c-bus-so fun!! Hope you sell tons of copies and let me know about the Frangelica story (if you see this and get a chance).
Hi, Cindy! Thanks for the interest and for helping spread the word. To answer your question, “Frangelica’s Choice” was something I wrote just for fun. I found it sad that werewolves and vampires seem to monopolize the spotlight as far as paranormal romance goes. So I wrote a short, short … so very short story that centered around a love triangle with less sexually appealing monsters, like the Mummy and the great Lovecraft creation, Cthulhu. It’s not available for sale anywhere, yet. But maybe I’ll releaase a collection of short stories one day, and maybe a longer version of “Frangelica’s Choice” will make an appearance. Thanks again!