Funny Business


Sharon’s Note: Happy Halloween! This is the first outing of a character I hope you’ll be seeing a lot more of; Sarah, the Conjure Woman. If you are reading this during our Halloween contest, don’t forget to vote for me! Warning: Clowns.


I didn’t hate Halloween, but it was my busiest time of year. Supernatural creatures aren’t actually any more active in October than any other time. People are much more likely to stop and talk to the sharp toothed clown when he’s not the only one, though. Speaking of . . .

There was a man eating creature in a clown suit leading a little boy of about eight away from the haunted house. It was easy to see why the kid took his hand. There were a half dozen clowns dancing around in front of the attraction, and he was the least scary. I sighed heavily and got out of the truck to follow.

“What kind of parents bring a child that young to a haunted house? Honestly.” Caroline sniffed. Even a hundred years across the pond from England, you could still catch a ghost of the vampire’s accent. 

“I’m less concerned about bringing him to the haunted house, and more about leaving him outside alone while they go in.” I kept our pace slow, so the killer clown wouldn’t notice us and spook. That would save this little boy, but put some other kid in danger. If what I suspected was true, then the boy wasn’t in immediate danger.  “When we’re done here, we are totally calling CPS.”

“Really, Sarah, you could just let me eat the parents.” Caroline teased.

I shoved lightly at her shoulder. “Don’t eat people. Besides, even if you did, we’d still have to call CPS.”

Clown and boy disappeared into a clump of trees, giving them less visibility and allowing us to move a little faster. My vampire companion started stretching her arms across her chest in preparation for a fight. Even the undead can get pulled muscles. “So, any clue what this nasty is? Should I be expecting a challenge?”

“I’m not really sure. Without getting a better look at it, I’d say it’s some kind of fairy, probably. They’re not that strong.” I lifted my shirt and drew a pistol from the holster that hugged my ribs . “This will most likely take care of it.”

“Oh, great.” Caroline rolled her eyes. “So I am missing a killer Halloween party to go out hunting a killer clown, that isn’t even a real killer clown. I’m not going to get to show off my sexy nurse outfit because we are out chasing the John Wayne Gasey of fairies.”

“This shouldn’t take long.” I patted her shoulder, all the while keeping an eye on the little footprints in the soft dirt. “We can go shoot the bad clown and get to the party before it even really winds up.”

“What are you going as?” Caroline stepped out in front of me a little to bat down a spider web. The kid had been too short to disturb the web, but the clown should have walked right into it. It also only hit me just then that there should have been a giant pair of footprints beside the little ones. Fairies couldn’t become intangible. Just ahead, the kid screamed.

“Ah crap.” I said, and as I ran, I yelled to Caroline, “Not a fairy!”

In a blur the vampire darted out in front of me, and I blessed her speed. Ahead came sudden screechings and angry british swearing, and I broke into a clearing to see Caroline. She was standing between the killer clown and the boy, threatening the monster with its own arm. My vampiric friend had a thing for ripping off limbs.

The clown thing screeched, and its toothy jaws stretched far beyond physical possibility. I shot into the back of its head and the bullet passed straight through to hit a tree. I swore.

“Any other bright ideas?” Caroline yelled.

“Yeah, get it to hit you!” A basic rule of the universe; if something wants to hit you, it must in turn become hitable. 

“What?!” She shrieked.

“Get it to take a swing!” 

I took aim. It went to show how much the vampire trusted me, that she rushed the killer clown thing, and as its remaining arm blurred towards her, I pulled the trigger again. This time the bullet connected and the clown dropped like I’d hit the off switch. 

Caroline shot me a dirty look over the brightly dressed corpse. There was blood splattered all over her face. 

I shrugged sheepishly. “Hey, it’s Halloween. No one will notice.”

Caroline made a disgruntled noise. Dropping the disembodied arm with the rest of its body, she picked up the trembling kid and hiked him over her shoulder in a fireman’s carry. The boy didn’t protest, so neither did I. 

“So, what was that thing?”

“Honest answer?” I shrugged. “I have no idea. Some kind of carnivorous spirit, maybe? I’ll look it up when I get home. Come on. You can clean up at my place and we can still hit the party.”

“So, what are you going as?” Caroline asked as she followed me back towards the haunted house.”

“Red Riding Hood.”

“I thought you broke up with that werewold arsehole.”

Again, I shrugged. “Yeah, but I still had the costume.”


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