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Fall 2022

Halloween Possession

A romantic and love-after-death short story by Acin Fals


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Garvey needed something good to slip into. Floating around as an incorporeal spirit was not working out for him. The best he had managed to accomplish in his afterlife was to flutter the sheets when his husband made the bed. He had flickered several room lights by squeezing into Roy’s screen while his computer was charging, but that had felt embarrassing. Too stereotypical.

"Oooh." He settled into a promising form that sprawled among plastic boxes on the side stairs. His new body was almost as familiar as home. It really was a part of home, purchased almost twenty years prior, when he and Roy had moved in together. The Bones of Ole' Pumpkinhead had been expensive but durable, able to withstand the years, and had been his favorite decoration. Roy must've taken it out to prepare for the upcoming holiday. The trouble was that even though Garvey could occupy the life-sized jointed skeleton with its Jack-o'-lantern head, he couldn’t immediately control its movements. His first attempt ended with a crash at the base of the stairs.

Roy peered out from the side doorway. His gaze could be felt even as the pumpkin face, turned down into concrete, interfered with its new occupant's sight. "Is that you, Garvey?"

"Oooh, yeah." Garvey tried to nod the plastic head, but he tipped sideways into a position the most generous person would describe as comical. He would figure out how to move eventually. Garvey had time for practice, assuming Roy would live for a while longer.

Only one of them had been cursed with the assortment of chronic health issues and
persistent bad luck that had brought on an early death certificate.

Roy sighed dramatically. "I remember our vows were 'until death do us part.'"

"What? No, they weren't!" Garvey flailed a plastic skeleton hand against the concrete. Or, maybe it was a foot on a stair that made the pathetic tapping sound. Something moved.

Roy chuckled. He descended to pick up the fallen Bones. "Come on, Pumpkinhead, I
believe you now. You're back. Does this mean you’ll stop messing with the thermostat and the blinds? This is more entertaining."

Yeah, Garvey thought, it is a perfect fit.



Acin Fals is a queer author of speculative fiction. Their work has appeared in Daily
Science Fiction, multiple Medium.com publications, and under the byline of A.M. Fals in Strange Horizons. They occasionally pop up around the internet under the name
shadowfals.

Copyright © 2022 by Acin Fals
Published by Orion's Beau