It was everything candy should be; eye catching colorful packaging, fun name, and it came in a variety of fruity flavors like Grapeula, Frankenlime, and Zomberry.  With it being only weeks till Halloween no commercial campaign was necessary just well placed cardboard displays at store fronts and Monster Chew bubble gum was sure to be a hit this holiday season.  So it was no surprise that Katie and her best friend Brittney, from Sacred Hearts Academy, were mesmerized as soon as they entered the ShopQuick.  Katie’s favorite color was blue and as such she was immediately drawn to the gum with the pale blue ghostly specter with the curious flavor of Boosenberry, while Brittney picked up the one sporting a hot pink witch.

“Which one are you getting Kate,” Brittney asked as she started walking to the counter.

Katie fallowed her looking longingly over her shoulder at the comic book bubble showing the price, “I can’t get one, I spent my extra lunch money on that Carmel apple today,” she said kicking at a nonexistent dust bunny.

“I’ll share some with you,” Brittney said while they walked out the door.  She made a big show of opening up the foil pack and sniffing to see if it would really taste like the name suggested, but then she paused.  “I don’t think we can share this,”  Brittney said shaking a small amount into her palm.  It was powder.

“How is it gum?”

But Brittney was reading the back of the package and ignoring her as they continued on their walk back home.  Then out of nowhere, “Okay, it says here that it works like magic.  Just pour the powder in your mouth and start chewing, add more powder to intensify flavor, and get this it say at the end of every bag is a magical surprise.”

“A what?  There’s no room for a surprise you would see it or feel it through the bag.”

“It probably just paints your tongue, or switches flavors or something,” Brittney said all garbled.  Sure enough she was licking the powder off her fingers and then dumping more in after.

“Brit, you look ridiculous trying to turn that powder into gum.  Maybe the surprise is lockjaw,” Katie said striving to be humorous while still feeling rather jealous.  Brittney just waved her off and continued down the street to her house.

Throwing her book bag on the bed Katie looked into the mirror and promised herself that even if she went without lunch next Friday she was going to stop first thing Monday morning and buy some Monster Chew.
                                                                                                           ***
Staring at her phone and willing it to ring Katie debated her options; she could go with her family to a cousin’s football game, stay home and watch movies by her self, or call Brittney even though she was supposed to call her.  Desperate to avoid the game she dialed, and was greeting by, “Chom, chom, chom…yeah.”

“Britt?  Um…did you want to come over and rent a movie or something?”

“Can’t, chom, chom, chom.”

“What, why?  What is that sound?”

“Chom, chom, chom, haven’t gotten to the surprise yet.”

“How much gum are you chewing, I think I can actually hear you chewing that powder.”

“Gotta go, chom, chom, chom, talk later.”

Katie sat there staring at the phone listening to dial tone. 
                                                                                                              ***
Laying in bed Katie stared at the ceiling and thought about what had happened at the game.  All night long she had heard that awful chewing sound as everyone seemed to be trying out Monster Chew, but on her way to the concession stand to buy some, for her and her brother to share, she had seen what looked like boy with a greenish tint to his skin sitting in the shadow of the marry-go-round tearing through a bag like an animal.  Even though Katie was sure she hadn’t seen what she thought she saw it decided her against the stuff.  As the game wore on all the chewing sounds went away with all the children to the poorly light playground, and while that concerned Katie her mother didn’t even seem to notice.  So here she was worried about her friend for no reason.  I mean gum can’t hurt people you don’t even swallow it, Katie thought to her self as the sound of shattering glass rang through the night.

She jumped out of bed and ran to her window barely brave enough to peak through the blinds.  Huge dark things were prowling the street smashing into cars and houses alike, but it wasn’t until one stood beneath the light at the end of their driveway that terror truly set in.  Before her very own eyes stood a large, hairy, snarling werewolf.  Katie gasped and slowly back away from the window unsure what to do next.  When her door swung opened she screamed, but it was only her mother and brother, “Watch him Kate.  Stay here and hide do not come out for any reason, I’ll come back for you.”. Then she was gone?

The smashing sounds were getting closer.  The closet wasn’t deep enough to be a good hiding spot and under the bed was an obvious choice, but nowhere else would fit them both.  So it was under the bed pressed back against the wall that the two clung to each other when she heard it.

Chom, chom, chom.  Then the front door splintered inward.

Chom, chom, chom as the monsters made their way down the hall.

Katie clasped a hand over her own mouth as well as her brother’s as her door slammed open, ricocheting off her foot board.  From under the pink dust ruffle Katie could see only feet as the things from nightmares entered her room, and hear only the pounding of her heart which seem to beat in time to the chewing.

Chom, chom, chom…

Advertisements