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642 Writing Challenge: You Dressed up for Halloween and Never Stopped Wearing the Costume

It’s time for the next challenge inspired by the 642 series (642 Things to Draw, 642 Things to Write About, and other sources of endless quirky inspiration), the ultimate set of books to help you get creative every single day.

We’re excited for Halloween, inspired by all of those participating in NaNoWriMo, and really feeling the coziness of the season. All of that adds up to the perfect time for an autumnal writing challenge from the brand new 642 Stories to Write, a collection of fiction-writing prompts.

Here’s your prompt: You dressed up for Halloween and never stopped wearing the costume.

Post your answer in the comments or with the hashtag #642things on Tumblr or Instagram for a chance to win a writing prize pack including 642 Stories to Write, Creative Writing, Inspiration: A Journal, 642 Things to Write About, and 642 Tiny Things to Write About.

642 NYC Challenge Winner

@rar_avis_nyc

Thank you so much to everyone who entered our last creative challenge—your Big Apple bagels looked delicious! Above is our winning entry by @rara_avis_nyc. They’ll receive a copy of the pocket-size 642 Things to Draw: New York, 642 Things to Draw, and a set of our Bright Ideas Neon Colored Pencils!

Psst: Did you know 642 is on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? We highlight our favorite pieces of content inspired by the series and would love to feature you! Tag us and use the hashtag #642things, or use the handy submit feature on Tumblr. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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5 Comments

  • Tiffany Chang October 7, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    It was the perfect Halloween costume. It took me months to make. I had decided to dress up as a character that I created. I glued faux black cat ears onto a thin headband and plastic vampire fangs. I couldn’t find the right wings for my costume so I had to go with angel wings. I did, however, find midnight blue contact lenses that transformed my hazelnut brown orbs to seductive blue pools.

    Dark purple dress shirt and black dress pants along with a pair of brown high-heeled boots completed the look. I wore a midnight blue hooded cape with a blue rose clasp and dark red lipstick as the proverbial cherry on the sundae. I was quite pleased with the way my costume came together. Little did I know that I will never be able to take it off.

    I went to a Halloween party at a friend’s house. Everyone was wearing generic costumes that one could find at a costume shop. I saw princesses and monsters of all kinds mingling about in a dimly lit house. I was enjoying a nice glass of fruit punch when an oddly dressed woman came up to me.

    “Care to have your fortune told, my dear?” She said, grinning a crooked smile. “No thanks, lady. I don’t believe in psychics.” I said, hoping that the woman would leave me alone.

    The woman then muttered something under her breath and turned on her heel and left. I breathed a sigh of relief and immersed myself in the party sphere once more.

    By the time I got home, it was well past midnight. I entered my apartment, too tired to do much else but sleep. I dropped my keys into a bowl on the table beside the door and trudged into my bedroom. I collapsed onto the bed, still wearing my costume, and quickly succumbed to the powers of the Sandman.

    The next morning, I woke up to the sound of birds singing outside my window. I pushed myself up from the bed and made my way toward the bathroom to begin my toilette. I splashed some water on my face and looked in the mirror. My eyes went wide as I saw my reflection.

    My once hazelnut brown eyes were now a piercing midnight blue. The faux black cat ears were now permanently placed on my head. The plastic vampire fangs became real ones as I pricked a finger touching one. My legs almost turned into jelly as I saw that the angel wings were now Pegasus wings.

    “This cannot be happening.” I muttered as I rubbed my eyes again, hoping against hope that this is nothing but a bad dream. I opened my eyes and my shoulders sagged when I didn’t turn back into my normal self. “Why?” I mumbled as I sank onto the bathroom floor. “Why did this have to happen to me?”

    Reply

  • Michael Robert October 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Like most origin stories, mine is filled with tragedy, dark tales and began on a stormy fall night. Wind, rain and thunder rattled the windows of our old house. Violence and tragedy gripped the city, news and citizens. Police were helpless to stop the wave of insanity. It was classic, cliche to some degree.

    We completed the finishing touches on our costumes, praying to the Gods the rain would subside soon. My son, decked out as a tiny pirate, asked that I too, take the pirate approach. Abundant drab clothes draped our bodies, covered in grime and dirt as we worked hard for the realistic approach. My son ran around with his cutlass, fighting off those rascally would-be treasure thieves and mutinous buccaneers. As the time arrived to finally hit the streets, the Gods appeased us, relinquishing the rain and clearing up nicely for the festivities to begin.

    Swashbuckling our way through the streets on Halloween night, parents accompanied their children with eyes watching closely for suspicious and maniacal persons looming. Halloween inspires fun and fear in equal parts, the essence of it’s joy. However, when the fear is real, the fun dissipates quickly. Thankfully, my wife and I hid these dark truths from our son. Innocent children had no need for thoughts such as these.

    Despite our fears, the night was a lot of fun and mostly uneventful. He and his friends gathered bountiful sacks of candy – or in his case, a treasure of booty. Happily, we made our way home. Tired and overjoyed, we walked up to the house. In the distance, the storm appeared to rage on over the mountain, outlining the old MacArthur mansion in ominous haze.

    Not much had happened there since the place was condemned by the city those many years ago. It was merely a haunting reminder of darker times. Of times we did not speak of. Tonight’s storm was a frightening reminder of then.

    My son ran inside, tossing his treasure chest on the floor, beginning his methodical sort in haste. My wife stood outside, staring at the old mansion.

    “Honey… come here,” she said, apprehension gripping her tone.

    I joined her, staring at the mansion. As lightning continued to flash, a flickering light could be seen just inside one of the windows.

    “Is there someone inside that?” she asked.

    “Probably some kids trying to scare each other tonight,” I said, thinking little of it. I pulled her by the hand inside.

    She relented, pulling her hand away and walking back.

    “I’m not so sure,” she said.

    Returning outside, the light in the house grew ominously. Moments later, a green crackling light grew brighter and brighter.

    “What the hell is that?” I said to no one in particular.

    The light became near blinding and flashed quite suddenly so brightly we shut our eyes as if the sun had instantly shown through a dark cloud.

    When we awoke, the sun was up, and neighbors all around began stirring, sitting up in a haze of confusion. Over the next few hours, confusion turned to panic as the reality took grip. Whatever that light had been, whatever it did had permanently altered us. Whatever we were the night before – werewolf, zombie, naughty nurse or pirate – we were that now and forever.

    My costume, makeup and wig all were fused to me. Integrated into my very being. What was once a pleasant town, was now one that would forever be the town of Halloween.

    The question was – return to our normal lives, or embrace the change? Argh – the choices!

    Reply

  • Jennifer Essad November 4, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I dressed up as a Ghost, a costume that I made from Martha Stewarts Halloween issue/magazine. After the party and handing out candy to trick or treaters I shut all the lights off and lowered the volume of the eerie music playing on our turntable. Walking thru our home, 3 stories, I took a candle with me and would stand in front of the windows. Moving about the house I had hoped to catch the attention of the people still in the neighborhood walking home from trick or treating. I hoped to leave to their imagination a scary thought #642things

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  • Ruth Nolhan November 25, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    How can you make the raven stay?

    1. Erase all the chalk hopscotch games in the land of the spirits so that the Raven will get so bored it will take a stone and fly away. The raven will drop the stone into the ocean and it will become the land of the humans and you can go camping together.

    2. Take all the fire in the world. The raven will take it back and hide it within the rocks. Strike two rocks together, sparks of fire will come out and it will be time to make a hot breakfast.

    3. Put all the light of the universe into a box. The raven will steal it and throw it up into the sky so that all the plants and all the animals can go the the party together.

    4. As an adult, swim against the current to the river from whence you came. The raven will fight the very bears for you.

    I walk through the loveless night. A clouded sky unscarred by stars fogs up the dark above me. My hoodie up, it seals me in against the best of the rain. Dodging the bright streetlights I walk the dank pathways along the railway tracks.

    Up the black slippery stairs, the bricks crusted with moss, the wooden rail slips like seal skin under my hand. I turn the corner and find shadows at the top of the stairs. It’s too late to turn back. I keep my head down and keep walking.

    “What’s that?” A shadow says.

    Walking between the five figures I had half hope of a nameless grace. But a ray of light has hitched its self to my person and I’ve been given away. I feel a shove at my back and the breath comes out of me as though I’ve been given a birthday candle. In the shadows I catch an eye under raven hair. All at once I am condensed, distilled into being and my gaze falls away again. This is the raven, she is here.

    “Freak!” And I am jolted back with a shout from the shadows. A social contract between pedestrians is violated as I am pushed against the chain-link. This is a perilous group, this nest of thorns. Peril to which I would like to offer a thermos of tea and wrap in a blanket and leave a note for in the morning saying that I had popped out for milk, peril, to which I would not return.

    “This one’s dressed up for Halloween” A hand reaches out to pull my hair. My beautiful hair that for one day I will be turned to and told that I “walk in beauty like the night” But this is not that night and someone is pulling my halloween hair.

    “And never stopped wearing the costume.” There’s a kick, I’m almost away. The raven stands apart from the rest but is still looking at me. I can feel her eyes on me. She can’t help her thoughts turning, she’s wondering whether she’d steal fresh water for me.

    I walk fast, a welt above my brow glowers. This train yard, there is purity in these ruins. The moon parts the clouds. I’m all alone. I’m almost home, incomplete. I wonder about the raven, standing in the darkness, her hands by her sides. I would swear to aid her and abet her. Through parking violations, cavalier jaywalking, using fireworks without a license, all of it.

    I hear footsteps down the stairs behind me. And there she stands, free as the birds. A bird of mystery, one who isn’t afraid to know and won’t turn away. One, who when they actually find something which may prove to be something, sticks around. Because nothing in a nest of thorns is going to cheat them out of a single, cut-to-the-bone honest breath on this stony planet. “Wait” she says, and to my ears this is a warm, earth, campfire sound.

    “Wait.” And I turn and see her as though through a glass, darkly. I see the raven as she is, with so very many broken stories, a muse and so much more than that. She walks next to me. We walk to the train tracks together. Night rain falling on her hair. And not today, but sometime in the future a love so great stirs inside that it may just be possible to conjure a box with the moons and stars inside, and to hold on to it whilst being booked for jaywalking, on a night complete with all the complexities of a halloween.

    #642things

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