October Frights Blog Hop – The Scariest Scarecrow, Part 2


The following Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Appleby loaded up their pickup truck and headed off to a local farmers market to peddle their wares. As they often did, they left Kevin at home to tend the farm and keep an eye on his younger brother.

Soon after their parents had left, Keith brought out the remains of Sammy and laid them out on the porch. He sighed as he gazed sadly at the flattened and torn burlap face. The grinning poop emoji on Sammy’s shirt seemed to mock his sorrow, and he gave it a little kick before walking over to sit on the steps.

Not long afterwards, Kevin came to the front door and stood watching Keith for a moment. He took a bite of the apple he held and asked, “Whatcha doing, Keith?”

“Waiting for Damon,” he said matter-of-factly. “He said he was coming to help me build the scariest scarecrow ever.”

Kevin raised his eyes to the dirt-and-stone lane that led from the road to the house and chewed thoughtfully. He highly doubted that his friend would show up. “Don’t get your hopes up. I’m sure Damon has better things to do than help a seven year old build a scarecrow.”

“He’ll come. He said he would, so he will.” Keith turned indignant eyes on his brother.

Kevin said nothing in response, but bit another chunk out of his apple as he stared out toward the road. I swear, Damon, if you upset my brother…

“There he is!” Keith stood up and pointed at a figure riding up the road on a bicycle, hunched under a bulging backpack and wobbling crazily as he raced up the road. “I told you he’d come!”

“Yeah, I see.” Kevin came outside and chucked his apple core over the railing to one of the wandering goats. He stood next to Keith on the top step, watching Damon pedal furiously up the drive as though the devil himself was after him.

As Damon neared the house, Keith leapt down from the porch and ran to him. “You came! You came! Kevin said you wouldn’t, but you did!”

“Hey, K-bot,” Damon huffed, all out of breath. He glanced up at Kevin as he spoke. “I said I’d help you build the scariest scarecrow, and here I am.”

Something in Damon’s demeanor—a strange glassiness in his eyes—suggested that something wasn’t quite right. If Kevin didn’t know any better, he’d say his friend seemed…afraid. He immediately dismissed the thought. The only things that frightened Damon was his Scotch-Irish grandmother and the prospect of summer school. “So what’s the plan, Stan?”

Damon spared Kevin the briefest of glances as leaned his bike against the porch and slid the backpack ff his shoulders. “The plan is to build a scarecrow,” he repeated in what Kevin thought was a strained voice. To Keith, he said, “Wait till you see the cool stuff I found.”

Kevin was certain that his friend’s strange tone had something to do with the acquisition of some of that cool stuff, but he wouldn’t say so in front of his brother. Instead, he watched as the unlikely pair of his best friend and his little brother knelt on the ground taking things from the backpack.

“Here’s a couple old bike reflectors we can use for eyes. They’ll look wicked creepy shining in the dark.”

Kevin chuckled as Keith took the reflectors and held them up to his eyes.

“And this is one of my mom’s old banana hair clips.” The hot pink clip was missing a few teeth, which despite its whimsical hue gave it a somewhat menacing appearance as Damon opened and closed it a couple times before handing it to Keith. “We can use this for the mouth.”

Keith gave the banana clip a doubtful glance and tossed it aside; apparently anything hot pink didn’t register very high on his list of scary things.

Next, Damon pulled out a pair of plastic skeleton hands and a Styrofoam wig head. Keith squealed with delight and eagerly snatched the head from Damon’s hands. “Way cool! This will make him really creepy!”

At the sight of the pocked and slightly-dirty object, a tremor of terror raced down Kevin’s spine. Just in time, he stopped himself from crying out and backing away. He had long been frightened of mannequins and wig heads, but he had managed to keep his fear hidden, and he had no intention of making his fear known now.

“This stuff is just to drape over the hands and the head.” Damon took out several rolls of gauze and a large canister of Modge Podge. “We can use this to add details to the face and make it look realistic and scary.”

It’s scary enough the way it is, Kevin thought, staring at the wig head as though he expected it to turn and look at him. “What did you do, raid your grandparents’ attic?”

Thankfully, Damon didn’t notice the tremor in Kevin’s voice. “My grandparents’ attic, our garage…and other places.”

“But what’s the scarecrow going to wear?” Keith asked, his brows furrowed with worry. “He can’t wear my mom’s old pajamas; they aren’t scary enough.”

“Already thought of that, K-bot.” Kevin thought Damon’s grin seemed a bit too wide, not to mention forced. He reached into the backpack one last time to pull out a pair of patched and faded blue jeans and an equally-worn black-and-blue plaid flannel shirt. “I present to you the ultimate in creepy scarecrow fashion.”

“Ew! It smells like death!” Keith exclaimed, covering his nose and mouth as he scuttled backwards.

Kevin’s nose twitched as the musty smell rose to meet him. Nothing about the clothes seemed in any way frightening. However, his brother’s words unnerved him and made him more uneasy than he otherwise would have been. “They don’t smell like death, Keith. They just smell old.”

“Old people die,” Keith insisted.

Kevin couldn’t argue with that logic, and in any case, he didn’t want to belabor the point. He just wanted to get on with it and get the task completed. “Whatever. Let’s get this done before Mom and Dad get home.”

…to be continued

Remember to hop on over to check out the other participants offerings as well.

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The Word Whisperer

Hawk’s Happenings

Carmilla Voiez Blog



Frighten Me

Winnie Jean Howard

Always Another Chapter

Balancing Act

James P. McDonald



October Frights – The Scariest Scarecrow, Part 1


Welcome to October Frights Blog Hop, 2019 Edition. During these six days, you’ll be able to check out some cool, spooky stories, blog posts, and giveaways. Check out the links to the other blogs below.

Kevin Appleby stirred and opened his eyes, then immediately groaned and squeezed them shut again. He had forgotten to pull the shade down last night, and now the early morning sun was streaming through the window and right into his eyes like a laser. He rolled over, determined to get back to sleep. It was Sunday, the one day of the week that he didn’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn, and he intended to make the most of it.

The universe, however, had other plans.

A cacophony of caws rose from somewhere outside, from a distance at first, and then coming closer. Stupid crows. He burrowed deeper into his pillow and covered his ear with his fist, trying to block out the sound.

Just as he got comfortable again, from down the hall, he heard a distinct thud that told him Keith was awake. Hopefully he’ll go downstairs and turn on Cartoon Network.

Again, the universe had other plans.

Thump-thump-thump-thump. Footsteps came down the hall. A moment later, the bedroom door flew open. “Kevin! Kevin, help! The crows are hurting Sammy!”

Kevin opened one eye to glare at his brother. “Go back to bed, Keith. The crows are not hurting Sammy.”

“Yes, they are,” he insisted, swinging the door back and forth in his distress. “They’re pecking his eyes. They’re ripping his face.”

“I don’t care, Keith.” Seven year olds could be so annoying. Kevin pulled the covers over his head and squeezed his eyes shut again, trying to ignore the squeak-squeak-squeak of the door and the incessant caw-caw-caw of the crows, both punctuated by Keith’s distraught whimpers. He’d get back to sleep, or die trying.

A moment later, Keith dashed into the room and pounced on the bed. “Kevin, you have to help! I love Sammy! Sammy’s my friend!”

After a single, surprised “Oof,” Kevin sat up abruptly, knocking Keith onto the floor. “Gosh darn it, Keith! It’s just a stupid scarecrow! You’re the one who was dumb enough to stuff his head with corn. It’s your fault they’re pecking his face off.”

Keith’s eyes widened with the realization that he was to blame for his beloved Sammy’s imminent demise. Suddenly, he let out a sob and leapt to his feet. “Mo-o-o-o-om!” His wail of anguish echoed through the house as he bolted from the room and ran down the stairs.

Kevin swore under his breath and threw back the covers. There would be no going back to sleep when his parents found out he’d made his brother cry.




Later that afternoon, Kevin sat on the front porch peeling potatoes for dinner–part of his punishment for upsetting his brother. His best friend Damon sat on the steps absentmindedly scrolling on his phone. Every so often, Mrs. Appleby came to the door to check on them. She was sure that Kevin could be trusted, but she couldn’t say the same for Damon. She agreed with her husband’s assertion that Damon was about as Eddie Haskell as they come.

Once, after Mrs. Appleby had gone back to the kitchen, the screen door opened, and Keith came outside. He paused long enough to glare at Kevin and then pushed past Damon to stomp down the steps.

“What’s his problem?” Damon asked as Keith ran off in the direction of what remained of the garden.

Kevin raised his eyes to glare after his brother. “The big, bad crows are after his precious Sammy.”

“How’s that your problem?”

“Because I told him it’s his fault.” Kevin tossed a peeled potato into the pot next to him and grabbed another from the bag. “Dipwad stuffed the head with corn.”

Damon snorted and then laughed aloud. “What a dumb kid.”

Both boys watched as Keith approached the drooping scarecrow. As he flailed his arms and shouted, a dozen crows rose cawing from the scarecrow and circled the garden before settling on the fence.

Keith wrestled the limp scarecrow from its perch and started toward the house. Kernels of corn fell from a hole in Sammy’s burlap head, leaving a Hansel and Gretel trail behind him. Seeing the chance for a free meal, the waiting crows flew from their perches and gobbled up the corn. Realizing what was happening, Keith whirled around to chase them away, but in doing so, he scattered more corn, which in turn attracted more crows.

“This is great! This is epic!” Damon leaned against the railing, laughing so hard he could barely hold his phone as he shot video of the spectacle. He began doing his own comical narration. “Ru-u-un! Zombie crows! They’re after your scarecrow brains!”

“Shut up, you idiot! I’m in enough trouble,” Kevin hissed, dropping both potato peeler and potato as he jumped off the porch to help his brother.

Still laughing, Damon set down his phone and followed Kevin. He kept the thieving crows at bay while Kevin helped Keith get the scarecrow back to the house.

Once the scarecrow was safely on the porch, Keith sat staring at it for several minutes, lovingly fingering the holes in its face. Then in a fit of grief and rage, he tore one of the holes wide open and emptied the remaining corn from Sammy’s burlap head. When every last kernel had been dumped out, he threw handfuls of corn from the porch, all the while shouting, “Stupid crows! Stupid crows!” The crows, of course, were only too happy to accept the corn offering, no matter the spirit in which it was given.

When every last kernel had been hurled from the porch, Keith picked up his beloved scarecrow and cradled it in his arms. Large tears formed in his eyes and spilled onto Sammy’s poor, deflated, crow-pecked head.

Even though Kevin thought his brother was making a fuss over nothing, he couldn’t help feeling sorry for him. He stopped peeling once more and turned his eyes to his friend.

Damon, too, had corralled his mirth and sat regarding the young lad with what could only be described as sympathy. In an uncharacteristic display of compassion, he reached out to touch the boy’s arm. “Hey, K-bot.”

“Don’t…call me…K-bot,” Keith snuffled, pulling away from him.

“Come on, little dude,” Damon said. “I just want to help.”

“You can’t help,” Keith replied, throwing Sammy’s remains on the porch and getting to his feet. “My scarecrow sucks. He isn’t scary at all, and the crows just want to eat him.”

“True dat.” Damon nodded, looking down at the decapitated scarecrow.

When Keith stomped his foot and scrunched his face at Damon, Kevin intervened. “Damon, lay off will ya?”

“Dude, I’m just trying to help. Keith, come here.” Keith stayed where he was, but met Damon’s gaze. Damon picked up the limp scarecrow and studied it as he spoke. “Look, you’re right about Sammy not being very scary. I mean, seriously. A poop emoji sweatshirt, smiley face pajama pants, black button eyes, and a painted-on grin? That’s not scary at all; that’s cute.”

“Not to mention the corn you stuffed his head with,” Kevin muttered, not quite loud enough for his brother to hear.

Keith swiped at a renegade tear running down his cheek as he considered Damon’s words. “So how do I make a scary scarecrow?”

“You have to give him creepy eyes and sharp teeth, and maybe even some claws. Make it something you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark cornfield.” He lunged at Keith with a toothy leer and a swipe of his fingers that made Keith gasp and take a step toward Kevin.

Kevin immediately jumped to his brother’s defense. “Chill out, Damon. He’s just a little kid; don’t put your horror movie ideas into his head.”

Insulted by his brother’s words, Keith stood as tall as he could. “I am not a little kid, and I’m not scared of Damon’s scarecrow. I want to make a scary scarecrow, a really scary scarecrow!” He gave Sammy’s remains a disdainful kick. “I don’t like this stupid baby scarecrow anymore.”

Damon grinned, and Kevin knew his friend had something up his sleeve, but he was afraid to ask what. “Tell you what, kid. I’ll get the stuff together and come over next Saturday, and we’ll make the scariest scarecrow you’ve ever seen.”

…to be continued.


Remember to hop on over to check out the other participants offerings as well.


Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The Word Whisperer

Hawk’s Happenings

Carmilla Voiez Blog



Frighten Me

Winnie Jean Howard

Always Another Chapter

Balancing Act

James P. McDonald