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Tales to Tell 'Round Midnight: Nightmare At Nightmare High

Donny Marvin was more than a boy but significantly less than a man. His favorite possession was his skateboard and his favorite skateboard was one of his possessions. His favorite subject would have been skateboarding were it an offered subject at any school. He lived in the early-to-mid-nineties, and he looked a lot like any kid from the early-to-mid-nineties: He had brown feathered hair, carried a skateboard, and wore a lot of primary colors. If he didn’t know any better, he would have thought he was an extra in 3 Ninjas or (better yet) 3 Ninjas Kick Back. He wasn’t, though, and he had long since accepted that fact.

Donny’s father was a traveling salesman for the Army, so his family moved around a lot. His parents were no longer active (sexually), so Donny was an only child. He had grown accustomed to being alone but still told himself, One day, I will have a friend.

Today, Donny's father and mother were standing in the kitchen, doing nothing but standing.

"Good afternoon, dear," said Donny's father, eerily.

"Good afternoon to you, too, dear," said Donny's mother, just as eerily.

"Today I sold 10 vacuums for the Army," said Donny's father, eerily still.

"Of course. They make the very best vacuums," Donny's mother eerily replied as Donny came skateboarding into the kitchen.

"Whoa there, little guy!" exclaimed Donny's father. "You know the rules."

"Sorry, pop," said Donny as he came to a halt. His mother narrowed her gaze at him.

"This isn't our house anymore, Donny," she told him. "We sold it today."

"Aw, man!" Donny shouted. "Why do we stupid have to stupid move, anyway? We just got here!"

"You know darn well what we have to sacrifice for your father and his work," Donny's mother reminded him. His father kneeled down to eye level to give Donny a serious "here's what's what."

"Son..." Donny's father began. "If my boss, Sergeant Pizza, wants me to go sell Army-brand kitchen appliances to Nightmare, Oklahoma, then by golly, we're going to move to Nightmare, Oklahoma so I can sell its citizens Army-brand kitchen appliances.

Donny kicked at what he wished was dirt on the floor, but it was merely a very clean kitchen floor. They had, after all, just sold their house. Donny, frustrated, skated off into the hallway as his parents gave each other knowing glances.

"You know what I'm glancing about?" asked Donny's mother.

"Yes, wife," replied Donny's father. "Do you know what I'm glancing about?"

"I think so," she told him.

The two embraced each other and gave each other wifely and husbandly kisses.

"Donny, right?" asked Donny's mother.

"Yes."

*************

Moving day came early that year. Normally they would move to a new town around May, because for whatever reason it is the peak season for traveling salesmen who work for the Army. This move, however, happened around early March, at special request by Sergeant Pizza.

The move went smoothly, as it always seemed to. The Marvins had gotten it down to a science by that point. Science they didn’t even believe in, because they were witches. Was that mentioned yet? Well, they were definitely witches. Of course, Donny had no idea, nor did his parents want him to know. Their plan, you see, was to eat the boy on his 18th birthday, thus returning to them the power they had lost during the “incident.” So yeah, they’re like totally witches, but they don’t have their powers anymore or something.

But Donny was none the wiser. He loved his parents very much and trusted them fully. In fact, it had become habit for Donny to every morning skate downstairs, enjoy his breakfast, and say “Thanks for not eating me, mom and dad.” He thought he was being funny. How wrong he was. How wrong was he? Very wrong, says me.

“Thanks for not eating me, mom and dad,” Donny said on his first day of school. His parents cackled, though Donny perceived it as a good-natured chuckling. He wiped his mouth and headed for the door.

“Now, Donny,” his mom began, “Be good on your first day. This town is very… different. So don’t you go around not trying to fit in.”

“I won’t, mom!” exclaimed Donny. The first day of school was always his favorite day of school, because it was the one day he had the possibility of making friends with a clean slate. His second day of school was usually his least favorite day, because he almost always pooped pants on the first day.

Donny kissed his mother and father as they each licked their lips and wrung their hands together.

“You’re going to be delicious, son,” said Donny’s father.

“Thanks, dad,” Donny replied. That’s a little thing they do. His dad says, “You’re going to be delicious, son,” and Donny responds with, “Thanks, dad.”

*************

The bus ride to school was scarier than normal, but only because of the horrible screams coming from inside the seats. No one else seemed to notice or care, so he took his mother’s advice and made it look like he didn’t notice or care, either.

Donny’s first day at school was like any other except this particular school was called Nightmare High School For The Terrifying. He assumed it was Latin for Nice High School For The Gifted, so he sat in the back and listened quietly to his lessons. There was no skateboarding class but in his Algebra class, Professor Hideous did ask a word problem that involved skateboarding (In case you’re curious, Britney bought the red skateboard on Tuesday, Toddy bought the blue skateboard on Thursday, and the Demon With A Brain For A Head didn't buy a skateboard). Yes, it seemed like everything was coming up Donny. It wasn’t until lunch that things got a little bit gifted. Sorry, I mean “terrifying.”

The line of students moved one to the right in unison every couple seconds. Donny did not know the timing yet, so he was bumped into a bit until he reached the lunch lady, who somehow had the eyes of a cat. In front of her were several trays that boasted a wide assortment of "spooky" cookies.

"Are these all cookies?" Donny asked.

"Yes, ma'am," said the Lunch Cat Lady

"Sir," Donny corrected.

"'Sure,' what?" asked the confused Lunch Cat Lady. "You want some cookies or not?"

Donny sighed and pointed at the cookies. "Yeah, yes," he said. "I'll have two cookies, please..."

The Lunch Cat Lady happily handed him a Spider Cookie and a Bat Cookie, adding a cheerful, "Boo!" for good measure.

As a disappointed Donny began to push his tray to the cash register, the Lunch Cat Lady spoke up once more.

"Hey, kid," she called to him.

"Yeah?"

"I'm kiddin'. It ain't just cookies."

Donny let out another sigh (this one was of relief) and eagerly pushed his tray back towards the Lunch Cat Lady.

"Hell, yeah," the Lunch Cat Lady told him as she produced a large tray of cheese sticks. "It's cheese stick day. We also got cheese sticks."

"What's tomorrow?" Donny asked.

"Cookie Day."

"And the rest of the days?"

"Cookie Day."

"Right," sighed Donny once more (this one was of disappointment again). He paid for his food and ventured out into the nightmarish cafeteria.

*************

The Boy With The Fangs was noticed by Donny very early on in the day, and Donny had done a very admirable job of avoiding eye contact. That is, until he dropped a cheese stick at the boy with the fangs’ feet.

“You dropped something,” said The Boy With The Fangs as he picked up the cheese stick.

"Yeah, sorry, that's my cheese sticks," said Donny, quite nervously.

"Well, it's mine now," said The Boy With The Fangs.

"Oh..." muttered Donny. "Okay..."

"Hey, I'm just kiddin'," said The Boy With The Fangs as he placed the cheese stick back on Donny's tray and smiled, further exposing his already-exposed fangs. "You're new here, right? Have you noticed my fangs?"

“I didn’t want to say anything,” Donny explained.

“It’s okay, I don’t mind. I clearly have fangs,” said The Boy With The Fangs. ”You can sit with my friends and me if you want.” The Boy With The Fangs pointed to a nearby table where several boys with feathered hair, skateboards, and primary colors waved. They were also clearly ghosts but looked pleasant enough.

“Maybe I will,” said Donny. I need to get another cheese stick, though.”

“You can have mine,” said The Boy With The Fangs as he handed Donny his entire lunch tray. ”I’m not really hungry anymore. I get full just from meeting new people.” He shook Donny’s hand firmly, smiled again, and walked away towards the nearby lunch table.

“Welcome to Nightmare High!” shouted The Boy With The Fangs over his shoulder (He shouted over his shoulder; his fangs aren’t over his shoulder. They’re in his mouth, next to his teeth).

That wasn’t so bad, thought Donny, For a nightmare high school, that boy with the fangs was awfully nice.

*************

Later that day, Donny’s father was fired from the Army, but got a job peddling goods for the local Nightmare Militia. The Marvins were able to stay in Nightmare for quite some time, and even though Donny very much pooped pants later that first day, the next four years were pretty great. He was captain of the Ghoul Squad for two years and was voted “Most Likely To Be Hanging Out With The Boy With The Fangs.” Of course, when he turned 18, he was eaten by his parents.

The End?

Yes.

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