CiQ V.1 i.5 (Nightmare Before Christmas)

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CiQ nightmare images before and christmas text edition from our time in Creativity in Quarantine Vol. 1 Issue 5 November 27, 2020


“Lock, Shock, Barrel” Day 17 of 31 Days of Halloween

“Vampires” Day 15 of 31 Days of Halloween

“Carrie White” Day 29 of 31 Days of Halloween

“Dark Witches” Day 14 of 31 Days of Halloween Dakotah Brown, @DakotahBrownPhotography Winchester, KY

The Witch that Lost her Broom A One Act Play by Jim Appleby

This is a 10-minute play with 1 adult female and a 9 year old boy and a 12 year old girl. This play is for reading only. If you have an interest in producing it, please contact the author for permission and terms by sending an email to Jim Appleby, Thank you. CAST OF CHARACTERS: MOM The Halloween Witch and Mother of the children BILLY A 9 year old boy JOANNE A 12 year old girl SETTING: A simple setting with just a sofa, Stage Center. Additional furniture optional. AT RISE: Mom is getting the children ready for tonight’s Halloween “Trick-orTreat.” TIME: Present.

MOM: Okay now. Let’s get ready to go. Billy, what have you decided you’re going to be tonight? A doctor or a clown? BILLY: A doctor in the hospital! MOM: Did Dad get you a surgical mask and stethoscope? BILLY: Yes ma’am. MOM: Then go get it and let’s get ready. (BILLY exits Stage Left.) Joanne, what are you going to be tonight? JOANNE: A witch! MOM: No you aren’t! I’m the witch. Remember? JOANNE: Then I’m not going. I want to be a witch! MOM: Now you know I’m the witch, every year. JOANNE: Why can’t I be the witch once? You’re always the witch! MOM: Why don’t you be ‘Dorothy’ from the Wizard of Oz? You can wear your pretty red shoes.

JOANNE: (Sarcastically.) Oh wonderful. Just what I wanted. I want to be a witch tonight! MOM: We had this very same discussion last year and you ended up being Goldilocks. Remember? (BILLY re-enters.) JOANNE: Yea! But only because you wouldn’t let me be a witch then either! MOM: How about you being Mary Poppins this year? BILLY: But don’t bring that umbrella! It’s already too crowded on the broom! MOM: I want us to leave just as soon as it starts getting dark outside because the first place we’re going is Stinking Creek Holler! JOANNE: Nooooo! Not that place! We won’t get any trick-or-treating over there. I also heard if you go over there, you better wear a six gun just like you do when you go to Harlan, KY! MOM: I’m not taking you there to go trick-or-treating. BILLY: Come on Mom! We want to go trick-or-treat everywhere. JOANNE: There aren’t any homes at Stinking Creek Holler, so why do we have to go there anyway? BILLY: I’ve never even heard of that place. Where is it? MOM: It’s over on the Tennessee/Virginia line where all the Tennessee moonshiners and the Virginia cattle farmers hang out. It’s an old haunt, from another decade where the “good old boys” got together to shoot the bull. They still do, and they tell so many lies that the limbs on the trees are all gnarled and twisted. JOANNE: Do we really have to go to that place? MOM: How do you know so much about it? Were you a part of that bunch the Sheriff ran off last week? JOANNE: No ma’am, but the stories about it are all over school. MOM: I want to go there and fly really low so those yahoos see us in costume and flying around on my broom. Maybe that will scare them into staying home with their families once in awhile! JOANNE: Is that why we always fly so high up? So no one sees us? MOM: Partially. And, being up high I can see all of the crowded areas where I might have to go check on. Which reminds me, have either of you seen my broom? BILLY: It’s in the closet in the hall. I’ll go get it. (Exits Stage Left.) MOM: Hmmmm. I checked in there earlier and didn’t see it. JOANNE: We have brooms everywhere Mom. Long ones, short ones, regular size.

Even black ones!

(BILLY returns.) BILLY: Here’s your broom Mom. MOM: That was fast. Thanks honey but I need the ‘station wagon’ size broom. I have to get all of you on it with me. Remember? JOANNE: Maybe we should get a ‘pickup truck’ size broom! BILLY: What’s this one for? MOM: That’s the one I use for advertising Halloween. JOANNE: Advertising Halloween? MOM: Yes, I use it when I fly across the sky in front of the moon at night. Harold Jerrell, the photographer takes pictures of me. You see his pictures everywhere… in newspapers… magazines… He’s really famous. BILLY: Ok. I’ll put it back in the closet. What about your pointed witches hat? MOM: It’s upstairs. I’ll go get it. (Exits Stage Left. BILLY hands her the broom on her way by.) JOANNE: I think she’s been inhaling too many fumes from all those potions she’s been making! BILLY: The other day, a man asked her about making him some kind of potion that would help him get rich. JOANNE: Everybody wants her to make that kind! BILLY: He told her if she did, he’d marry her. JOANNE: Yea right! We’ve heard that before too. (MOM re-enters from Stage Left, carrying the hat.) MOM: Okay, I have my hat. Now… the next thing is, where is Mr.Tanner? JOANNE: Probably still asleep. He was out all night again! MOM: He’s going with us tonight too so one of you go get him down here please. BILLY: Well he’s not going to sit next to me on the broom again this year! It’s someone else’s turn! MOM: He’ll sit where the small seat belt is. The rest of the belts are larger to hold your sizes. Do you two think you should wear helmets also? JOANNE: No way! BILLY: No ma’am! JOANNE: I’ll go get him when we get ready to leave. He needs his rest.

BILLY: Needs his rest?! That’s all he ever does. MOM: I need to remember to put the addresses of the Mayor of Jonesville and the Town Manager of Pennington Gap in my GPS. Mayor Harris always gives out home-made candied apples and Manager Harless gives out certificates for McDonalds Happy Meals. We want to be sure to go by there don’t we? JOANNE: Do you know of anyone that hands out money instead? BILLY: Can we fly up to Norton too? One of my friends at school said he was there last year visiting his Aunt and Uncle and said they really have good treats up there! MOM: No we can’t. Sorry. That’s out of my franchise territory. BILLY: What’s a franchise territory? MOM: It’s a place or an area where someone is an agent for a company. BILLY: Is it a store where you sell stuff like at Wally World? MOM: No honey. I don’t need a store. JOANNE: Why not? You sell potions! BILLY: And lots of them too. MOM: But I don’t need a store. My customers come see me when they need something special. JOANNE: This is getting weirder and weirder! BILLY: This year I’m taking a big, black, plastic bag to put all my goodies in. MOM: That reminds me, I want you guys to promise not eat anything you get without showing it to me first. BILLY: Why? I thought getting lots of goodies was the reason we went trick-ortreating. JOANNE: It’s because there are some crazy people out there! MOM: Yes there are. I’ll explain it to you later. Just bring everything back here and we’ll go through it. Right now, I’m concerned about where my broom is! BILLY: Can’t you make it appear with one of your funny looking wiggles or a giggle or… maybe shake a little sand like when you’re making those magic potions? MOM: You aren’t supposed to see me do those things. JOANNE: Ha! We’ve both seen you! Especially when you’re mixing up that ‘Love Potion Number 9’. You look like you’re doing one of those new virtual duet dances or something you see on TV. MOM: Oh my goodness… you guys forget about all that! You hear me? Now… where is that broom? I need it to go do my job!

BILLY: We’ve seen you make potions for lot of people. One time you made one for someone dressed up in what looked like a Halloween costume in the middle of summer! JOANNE: Oh yea I remember that. The guy had big eyes, a wrinkled forehead and long pointed fingers. MOM: You weren’t supposed to see that either. JOANNE: He was saying something about “aliens” and needed a lot of one of your special potions because lots of “hostile creatures” were after him! BILLY: Yea! I remember that. You didn’t have anything big enough to put that much potion in so you used some plastic milk bottles. MOM: Oh my goodness! I hope my supervisor doesn’t find out about any of this. Making potions is not included in my franchise. I do that on the side! BILLY: How did you find out about all those tough guys, and potions anyway? MOM: One Halloween, while I was flying over the north end of my territory, I was approached by a small space ship. The commander stuck his head out of the window and asked if I made potions. JOANNE: How many space ships did you see? MOM: Only the one, that time. BILLY: The aliens on TV don’t invade unless there are lots of space ships. You were lucky. JOANNE: This is getting kind of creepy and scary. I’m glad we didn’t know very much about it. MOM: Me too! I didn’t know you knew this much. If my boss finds out I might be in big trouble. JOANNE: Did you see any of their guns or anything? MOM: No but I was scared just the same. Seeing the guy with the wrinkled forehead was enough! It was about eleven o’clock at night and his space ship was lit up like a big Christmas tree. JOANNE: Eleven o’clock at night? That was after we finished our trick-ortreating. Do you and Dad go back trick-or-treating after we go to bed every Halloween? MOM: No. But I do have to go back because it’s my job. That was how I got started in my “side business.” I’m making so many potions, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop. JOANNE: You’re making potions all the time aren’t you? Not just during Halloween. BILLY: Yes she is. I found a little secret place in your workshop that we hide in and listen and watch when you’re making them. MOM: You what?

BILLY: You look so funny. And that music you play is weird! JOANNE: Why did you tell her that? Now we won’t be able to watch any more. MOM: Oh no. Both of you are watching me make potions? Look, let’s get back to tonight! Right now I need my broom! So please help me find it. BILLY: I’ve got an idea. Let’s take the broom that’s in the kitchen and paint it black. It has a long handle on it. MOM: No dear. It may look like mine but that one doesn’t fly. JOANNE: How about doing that spell you did for the guy that needed… (Interrupted by MOM.) MOM: Stop! Never mind that! We need to find my real broom. BILLY: Well then… if we can’t find your broom that flies, let’s just go trick-ortreating like everyone else. JOANNE: That’s a good idea. That broom is overcrowded anyway. MOM: Today is Halloween! I’ll lose my job and be thrown out of the NA-W if I don’t find my broom! It has to be around here some place so please help me find it. JOANNE: Who’s going to know? MOM: My supervisor that’s who! She flies around every year, checking all the territories to be sure that all witches are on the job! BILLY: Being a witch is a job? MOM: Yes honey, the N-A-W issues franchises all over the world. You like to go trick-or-treating don’t you? BILLY: Yes ma’am. What is the N… A… W? MOM: The National Association of Witches. You would not be going out on Halloween, dressed up in funny outfits and begging for candy if it weren’t for us keeping it safe out there. It has to be supervised and that’s where we witches come in. BILLY: You have my head spinning like a flume of cotton candy! I just want to go get a bag full of candy! That’s all. JOANNE: That’s why you won’t let me be a witch too, isn’t it? If a franchise is necessary to be a witch, then that means the government must be involved in Halloween! MOM: Yes to both, I’m sorry to say. In order to become a witch, I had to go see lawyer Ronnie Montgomery to get a business license and an L. L. C. to get a franchise territory. JOANNE: L. L. C? What does that stand for? BILLY: I hope it means “Lots and Lots of Candy!” Look, I’m seven years old. Can we please go trick-or-treating before I turn eight?

MOM: He’s right. Forget about all those legal shenanigans and help me find my broom. Joanne, go get your friend, Mr. Tanner. JOANNE: He’s not my friend! He’s just a plain, old, every day black cat that likes to sleep in my closet. That’s all. MOM: (Becoming frustrated.) Today is Halloween. I can’t do my job without my broom! And if I can’t, I’ll be thrown out of the witches association. I’ll be a disgrace! Not just me! The whole county will become a disgrace… because of me! (Her cell phone rings.) Hello? … You what? Oh thank goodness! Please bring it to me as quick as you can! I need to be out in my territory right now! (Long pause while listening to phone conversation.) Oh… Okay… Thanks. (Puts cell phone back in her pocket.) BILLY: Was that you supervisor? Are you going to lose your job? MOM: No! That was your Dad. He said while getting in the truck to come home from work, there was my broom! He used it this morning to sweep it out and forgot to bring it back in the house before he left. JOANNE: I’ll go upstairs and put on my wonderful, ‘Wizard of Oz’ costume and bring down Mr. Tanner. MOM: We’ll leave just as soon as your Dad gets home. By the way, he said he’d like to go again this year and is going to wear a football player costume, with a helmet and shoulder pads and ride on the broom with us to go trick-or-treating. Is that alright with the two of you? JOANNE & BILLY: NOOOOOOO!!! NOOOOOOO!!!


Jim Appleby Middlesborough Little Theatre Ewing, VA

October 7th: Vampire Mab’s Drawlloween 2020 Raylee Magill

“Pukwudgie” Oct 13th Prompt of Mab’s Drawlloween Club Raylee Magill

October 30th: Mask Mab’s Drawlloween Club 2020 Raylee Magill

October 31st: Reaper Mab’s Drawlloween Club 2020 Raylee Magill

Satan’s Second Chance by William H. McCann, Jr.

CHARACTERS LORD: Creator of heaven and Earth SATAN: Master of hell SETTING A cloud AT RISE: The LORD is standing on a cloud. Enter SATAN LORD Lost, Satan? SATAN No. Cooler up here. LORD That’s your fault. SATAN Got a proposition. LORD Not interested. Been through all that millenia ago with . . . What was his name? SATAN Job. He’s why I’m here. LORD Job has been dead for centuries. Besides you put him through enough the first time: killed his camels, killed his family, on and on.

SATAN Look there. LORD Where? SATAN That church on top of Mt. Karma? On the roof is Rev. Peter Job-direct descendant. LORD If he falls . . . SATAN It’s a good 1,300 foot fall to the bottom. LORD Ooops! SATAN Quick, while he’s falling, Heads or Tails? LORD “You’re sick. Get out of my sight, Satan.” SATAN Damn! LORD Lost again. Gooooo! --END--

William McCann, Jr.

7. Dinner (After a National Geographic Illustration) Inktober 52 Ink on Paper R. Campomanes

8. Spider Inktober 52 Ink on Paper R. Campomanes

10. Elf (Cover Image) Inktober 52 Ink on Paper R. Campomanes Winchester, KY

On the Road to Damascus Fiction by William McCann

Driving towards Damascus, VA after a long day, it was almost inevitable that Kevin would pull over for a brief nap. He had gone through he didn’t know how many small towns, wanting to stop for a cup of caffeine—it didn’t matter if it was tea, or coffee, or an energy drink. But at every opportunity he’d not bought anything. This damn Covid-19 pandemic might mean he wouldn’t be able to find a place to pee later. Besides, the Lord would keep him alert.

So he held his eyelids open with toothpicks and drove on.

Approaching Damascus Kevin found a wide spot in the road and pulled over. Kla-thump. Kla-thump. As he settled in for “ten,” he thought, “Oh, and before he went on, he’d better check out his tires; he might have a flat tire. Maybe two.” But first he wanted a bit of shut eye.

Kevin was uncertain how long he’d been asleep. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. Suddenly he was awakened by the long lonesome sounds of a train whistle—literally

right beside him. The train’s lights filled his car. But, even before he could move his car off the tracks, or even could turn its engine on—the train was crushing his car, and his spirit was travelling upwards. “Kevin,” chided Jesus, “I kept suggesting the caffeine drinks.” “That was you? I thought it was Satan, trying to play a joke on me.” “Nope.” Kevin responded without thinking.” “Oh, well, live and learn, I guess,” “Except you did neither.” “Ya got me there, Jesus.” “No. I’ve got you here. Welcome to heaven, Kevin.”

William H. McCann, Jr. (he, him) is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and is the arts columnist for the Winchester Sun. He lives in Winchester with Jeanine Lister, three cats, and Halligan the Wonder Dog.

Two Roads Diverged.... William McCann

Thank you to everyone who shared their creativity with us. Dakotah Brown Jim Appleby Raylee Magill William H. McCann, Jr. R. Campomanes

Edited by Rebecca Campomanes Published by Leeds Center for the Arts