“Please I…I don’t have much time. I can feel it coming on again….I should have listened. She tried to tell me, no she tried to WARN me. But I was a stupid young know-it-all. They say “mothers know best” but it is truly a universal constant. Growing up in what some would call a religious fundamentalist household I was barred from many activities and entertainment most people my age would recall with warm fondness. Trick-or-Treating, Harry Potter, hell even the Gargoyles cartoon show. Sure there were times when I felt I was missing out but for the most part I internalized the same convictions and began to echo my mother when questioned by my peers. “Why aren’t you dressing up for Halloween?” and many such inquiries were always brought on during this time of year. Eventually I was old enough to say “I’ve never done that so by now I just don’t care. I’ll buy my own candy.” And I meant it. But over time my convictions in such things softened and I evolved from rigidity to general apathy towards entertainment and “holidays” which exuded an occultist or spooky energy. There was always one restriction though. Always one which even as a youngster I found to be particularly ridiculous. I see now the evil one, that prince of darkness was waiting to play his cards at just the right time.
Count Chocula cereal. The chocolate flavored, marshmallow adorned, sugar filled breakfast cereal with that goofy looking vampire which is obviously meant to be a caricature of the Dracula from literature. My mother was insistent on banning that from our home. Sure Cinnamon Toast Crunch was king in my culinary kingdom but the mere fact of a prohibition existing made me want to rebel! Cookie Crisp was perfectly acceptable and those characters were robbers! The hypocrisy was astounding. Eventually time passed and as prohibitions on other such things like books, tv shows, and movies were lifted my desire for it simply ceased. It didn’t look all that tasty to begin with so why bother with it now? But to hear as a child that “Count Chocula is demonic” sticks with you even as an adult. Now I firmly believed such statements were complete nonsense. Well this is where we find ourselves. I was enjoying the Halloween season and saw that Count Chocula was displayed at my local Walmart. That’s when the sinister thought seeped into my mind: “buy it and finally move on.” I should’ve resisted. I should’ve recognized the devil’s whisper. But instead I grabbed it, checked out, and was on my way home.
Please forgive me…..It’s growing stronger now. Soon there will be no “me” left to write this warning out. You see the moment I swallowed my first spoonful….no……let’s start from first pour. I got home and was in no particular hurry to have myself a bowl so I put the other groceries away and lazily browsed through facebook and youtube until my damned sweet tooth overtook me with desire. I opened the kitchen pantry and….”wow it’s cold in here!” I didn’t recall it being so cold in the pantry. The rest of the kitchen was normal temperature. How strange. Oh well, I spotted my new chocolatey prize and although it was well into the evening I was having cereal for dessert. I fetched the bowl, spoon and milk and as I began pouring the Count Chocula I felt a faint but real, dark presence fill the kitchen and surround me. I became cold and I thought I heard a distant scream or screeching, what one would imagine a banshee to sound like. I shuddered and chalked it up to neighborhood kids at play. But the cold, the shivering cold….
I had a full bowl and the milk was at the perfect level. Time to kiss childhood prohibitions goodbye! The moment I swallowed my first spoonful I knew something was wrong. Something in me was wrong. Like a long slow bear hug from behind, I felt and sensed clawed hands and long arms wrapping around my insides. “W-what…what is this!?” I exclaimed out loud but before I could utter another word my throat seized up and I began retching. I vomited up the entire day’s meals and drinks but not the Count Chocula I had just consumed. How was this possible? This was some serious form of food poisoning I had never encountered! But then I heard it. No I felt it. It wasn’t an audible sound but a feeling more real than a first kiss. The feeling SAID “No.” No what? What was happening? No it wasn’t food poisoning. It was my master. Without thinking my body seized so hard I thought my spine would snap but my arms inexplicably grabbed the bowl still full of the sinister brew and I plunged my entire face into the bowl and lapped up the contents like a starving dog. “What is going on!?” I thought as I could no longer speak. But just then as if in response to my confusion a malicious audible sound crawled it’s way from the innermost caverns of my soul and out of my mouth. A deep growling so guttural and primal slithered out, for a split second I wondered if a grizzly bear had broken into my home. Then the unthinkable happened; I began gnawing and chewing at the bowl! It broke and snapped to pieces and I kept chewing as it cut into my tongue and sides of my mouth. My teeth were loosening as blood gushed out all over the kitchen counter. But I kept chewing until I swallowed the shattered pieces against my will. The room began changing color and tunnel vision was creeping in from my peripheral as I began stumbling about the kitchen. The last thing I saw before blacking out was that stupid expression on Count Chocula’s face. But wait! Did he just move his eyes and look at me!? *THUD*
I won’t go into the details of the next few days as it would take time I simply do not own. You see Halloween is tonight and I feel an inevitability. Count Chocula’s demonic frenzy of my body and soul will crescendo tonight in my sacrifice. That was the plan all this time. I wonder how many others the Count has claimed on Halloween night and the story was never told. Or perhaps the dots were never even connected? Please stay far away from this cereal. For your life and soul you must not touch it. My mother’s religious warnings were right. Count Chocula. Of all the damned things. Count Chocula. Lord have mercy on my soul.”
Thanks for reading! I had to come up with this in 45 min or so before bed so apologies for the rushed nature of it all. Stay safe this Halloween. 10/31/18