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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 10.26.05
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Halloween Tale-O-Rama

Come, my unwashed little ones, gather your dank selves round me and I shall share a haunting tale of spectral beings and boogety-boogeties. I said come round, my little germ farms. Come here, I said! Don't make me hobble over there!

That's better. Now, where was I? Oh yes, put away your school-subsidized laptops and your PS3s and gather at my gnarled feet. Careful: don't budge my bunions.

This evening - this All Hallows Eve - I can offer a choice of tales, any one of which will make your blood chill. And by "chill" I mean "run cold," not "yeah, man, just chillin' here in the bloodstream, hangin' out with the corpuscles and my hemoglobin homies."

So, my Children McNuggets, what is your desire?

Are you, perhaps, brave enough to hear...

AFTERNOON OF THE PM!

It's a grisly tale of former prime ministers who rise from the grave of historical obscurity to wander the earth, with a particular fondness for shopping mall book signings. They are neither living nor dead; they are... the un-Fed. Watch in horror as they point fingers and spit venom. Oh, can you bear to look as they feed on the entrails of their peers? Fear. Fear, I say, as you witness their insatiable quest for legacy, their thirst for revenge.

Joe Clark!

Ha-ha-ha! Just kidding. Scared you, though, didn't I?

No? Too political?

Then perhaps, my little bloodberry muffins, you might curdle under the spell of...

UNREASONABLE ACCOMODATION!

Picture, if you will, the peaceful town of Ondavall, a peaceful pondwater where the inhabitants mind their Ps and Qs and most of the time their Rs. But then one fog-bedeviled night, an odd shipment arrives at the graveyard gates. On the crate, inscribed in crimson ink, is one word: "BATS." At last, thinks the gravedigger on duty, our baseball team will have some equipment.

The gravedigger cracks open the case and out fly horrid, bloodthirsty bats. As the full moon emerges from the clouds, the bats are transformed into lean and hungry... vampires!

"Well, howdy!" says the gravedigger. (Did I mention that Ondavall is a friendly town?) "Welcome to our friendly town." (See?) "You all must be hungry. Why don't you pull up a crypt and I'll go fetch some undesirables and ne'er-do-wells to feed you up. How many are you?"

"That's very kind of you," says the tallest vampire. "There are five of us, two immortal adults and three children of the night."

"Hmmm, five. I think there are some hoboes down by the tracks. Be right back."

Before long, the family of vampires has settled into Ondavall and the villagers happily go out of their way to make the bloodsucking fiends feel welcome: removing garlic from produce sections, clearly marking holy water at all church entrances, keeping wooden stakes safely locked away, and feeding them derelicts, fallen women, and the uglier kids at the orphanage.

But then, the vampires start making demands. They want the crosses removed from the churches because they are offensive and cause heartburn. Then they request that all mirrors be removed, since the vampire's lack of reflection is a constant affront to their self-esteem.

The townspeople are shocked and appalled. For, you see, the town's main employer is the mirror factory, Mirror Mirror Ondavall. Grumbling ensues. Grumbling leads to ghastly letters to the editor demonizing the demons, which leads to accusations of intolerance, which ultimately leads to torches, pitchforks and the odd decapitation. But then, just when things couldn't get any worse, the ultimate horror is unleashed upon the town...

A GOVERNMENT COMMISSION!

No? Too sociological?

Then perhaps you will tremble in fear as you imagine that...

YOUR MOM IS BRITNEY SPEARS!

Too superficial, huh?

You little barnacles are a tough crowd. Fine. Want to hear something really scary? It's called...

FUTURE TENSE!

Imagine the world you belly-crawlers will grow up in, a world where climate change and pandemics will unleash hellish global conflicts. Paranoia and isolationism will prey on helpless victims. You'll cringe in horror as your job prospects are devoured by monstrous Asian economies. But don't worry; you can always join the military.

Ha! I knew that would scare you. Boo-ha-ha-ha!

Joe Clark!

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