Posted on October 28, 2008 by mforbeck
Today’s new monster in the Halloween Horror series is brought to us by author and game designer Matt Forbeck (Mutant Chronicles, Ghost Stories). Matt knows a thing or two about little “trick-or-treaters” and adds a twist to a common Halloween night activity. Artist Aaron Acevedo adds a bit of gruesome horror to this entry in his own style.
Just what kind of horror is under the cute little costume?
The Hollow Wee ’Un
Created By Matt Forbeck
“Trick or treat!”
“Oh! Don’t you just look incredible! What a wonderful costume!”
“Trick or treat!”
“Hold a moment, honey. I don’t see your parents. Aren’t you a little young to be wandering around out here on your own?”
“Trick or treat!”
“All right. I suppose if your parents aren’t worried about you, I shouldn’t be either. Here’s some candy for you. Now what do you say?”
“Thanks for treat! Time for trick!”
“What’s that, sweetie? Oh, my—! No! NOOO!!!”
The evening of every October 31, hundreds of thousands of kids across the United States and other parts of the world dress up in costumes and do something they would never do on any other night of the year: knock on the doors of complete strangers and demand treats. Better yet, these strangers not only comply with the demands but sit and wait for their young callers to arrive.
Parents escort the younger trick-or-treaters on their annual quests for candy, while older kids find their own kind of mischief. But who watches after those welcoming strangers?
The hollow wee ’un—that’s “hollow little one” with the dialect stripped out—first cropped up in Ireland, where the traditions of Halloween began. This horrible spirit crawls into the husk of a discarded costume and fills the space with an ectoplasmic force that moves about just like the child that once filled the fancy garments.
An angry and simple spirit, the hollow wee ’un is unused to the effort required to animate a costume. It shambles about slowly and doesn’t care much for words. Whenever it meets someone, it shouts “Trick or treat!”
If someone supplies a treat, the spirit says, “Thanks for treat!” If there are other people about, the hollow wee ’un then wanders off to demand candy from others. However, if the treater is alone, the spirit attacks.
To do this, the hollow wee ’un strips back its mask to reveal that nothing substantial or visible stands inside the costume. While the victim goggles at this sight, the spirit becomes visible as a translucent child made of swirling mist. It sweeps forward, passing through the costume, which collapses to the floor.
The hollow wee ’un then rushes forward through the victim. As its insubstantial form passes through the victim’s body, it removes every bit of sugar from the victim’s blood and uses it to feed its ectoplasmic sweet tooth. The victim collapses and dies moments later as every cell in the body simultaneously starves to death.
Satisfied for the moment, the hollow wee ’un makes its way back to its discarded costume and animates it again. Then it shambles back into the night, looking for fresh, sugary victims on which it can feed.
About Matt Fobeck
Matt Forbeck has been writing stories and designing games since 1989, for which he has garnered over 20 awards. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Ann, and their five very substantial wee ’uns. For more about him and his work, visit www.forbeck.com.
About Aaron Acevedo
Aaron Aurelio Acevedo is a full-time artist, author, and game designer living in New York. He is most widely known for his work in the Adventure Games industry. He has worked on the A Song of Ice & Fire, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands, Dungeons & Dragons, Legend of the Five Rings, Solomon Kane, Warlord, and Wheel of Time properties and produces art and design for bands, comics, dvds, films, games, and concept work. Visit www.aaronace.com to check out his gallery.