In Other News

By Gordon J. Twa

Third Annual Spooky Fiction Contest Third Place

When I was 14, we lived in a very small town in central British Columbia, Canada.

There was no sewer system in the town so everyone had outhouses. These were usually situated on the alley behind the house. Of course, these were favorite targets for us young hoodlums. Those, and wood piles.

Also, Halloween was the night for fireworks in Canada. My buddy and I had found the formula for blasting powder in an old book my uncle had. It was similar to black powder but burned much quicker.

Every Halloween, the town put on a party in the local Knights of Columbus hall to try to keep us juveniles out of mischief. The hall was on the main street next to, but separated by an alley, from the town’s second hand store. In that alleyway was an old four cylinder engine block with no head on it, just open cylinder bores.

We decided we would liven up the party a mite. We obtained the cardboard core from the string the butcher used to wrap parcels. It was about eight inches long with a hollow center about half and inch in diameter. We glued a wooden plug in one end and filled it with our blasting powder. A wooden plug with a groove in it for the fuse was glued in place on the other end. We obtained about 20 feet of slow-burn dynamite fuse which we glued in place.

On the night of the party, we set the “bomb” in one of the cylinder bores and lit the fuse. We went into the party all glowing innocence. About 15 minutes later when the party was in full swing, there was one heck of a big bang and the building shook.

Everyone ran out of the building. There was a large cloud of blue smoke rolling out of the alley.

One of our buddies was just opposite the alley when it went off and he said that flames came out of the engine block higher than the three-story building.

That sort of ended the party as the Mounties were called and questions started flying. My buddy and I quietly left the scene.

Later that evening, we had the pleasure of watching an amazing sight. We were walking down one of the alleys, considering selecting a target, when up ahead of us four other young hoodlums had picked out their target. It was an outhouse situated just off the alley. The approach from the rear was clear. There were no streetlights so it was dimly lit by a partial moon. They bunched together on the opposite side of the alley and on a signal, they charged across the alley to hit the house.

They disappeared from view amid some loud cursing cries. There was laughter from the owner’s house. He had moved the outhouse forward off the hole. Now there were four lads up to their armpits in the hole.


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