2022 Halloween Flash Fiction featuring Melody Johnson

Happy Halloween!! It’s the final day of our Halloween Flash Fiction blog event, and Melody Johnson has the first of our two stories today! I hope you’ve been loving all our stories this week. Be sure to check at the end of each one for the contests/giveaways!!

Melody Johnson

Encouraging her coven to host their All Hallows’ Eve celebration at the river docks probably wasn’t the wisest decision for a woman who couldn’t swim, but Peyton St. Peters looked adorable in her sailor-style romper, if she did say so herself. She’d purchased the outfit, with its smart brass buttons and flirty peplum, specifically for this occasion—or more accurately, to seduce Walter Reece at this occasion. She’d even worn her navy and white striped bikini underneath in case the opportunity to disrobe presented itself. Who’s to say there wouldn’t be a hot tub on the docks tonight? There’d never been one on the docks before, but stranger things had happened. They were witches, after all, and she’d take advantage of any excuse, real or fabricated, to display her assets to their best advantage.

After twenty years firmly locked in the friendzone as his best friend’s little sister, Peyton needed every advantage she could get.

Her twin brother, Parker—better known as “BP” for his status as “Big Peters” to her “Little Peters”—had ceased actively sabotaging her seduction attempts towards Walter after high school, but something still prevented Walter from deepening their relationship. A three-minute delivery delay shouldn’t have impacted her life so significantly, yet here she was on Halloween night in five-inch stilettos about to throw a Hail Mary in the one game she consistently lost and the only one that mattered.

To her, at least.

Peyton had adored Walter from the day they’d met, evidenced by dozens of inseparable baby photos during coven potlucks and celestial celebrations, but according to Peyton’s memory, her sixth-year birthday party was the moment she’d fallen head over heels. Walter had kissed her cheek under the shaded slide of her swing set, tied a braided bracelet around her wrist, and confessed, “You’re my best friend. Not BP.”

And Peyton’s heart had irrevocably cracked wide open.

At the moment, Walter was chatting with Parker and their fellow former chess club teammate, Garth Hawkins. Five years since Garth’s senior year win to clinch the State title, and Walter could still talk about each move of his teammate’s game like he was currently watching. His mind was as sharp as his hazel eyes and as brilliant as his aw-shucks smile.

Get a grip, Peyton! Her twin’s voice snapped in her mind.

After so many years lamenting her unrequited love, Parker should be numb to Peyton’s waxing adoration. Despite their teen years of trying to break their mental connection and their more recent strides to strengthen it, she’d never been as good as Parker at controlling her magic, whereas he could sense her moods, track her physical location, and hear her thoughts as clearly as her voice.

Even if he hardly ever listened to either.

Tonight’s the night, right? he asked.

Yes, this was it. No more constant pining. No more unrequited longing. She’d promised Parker to make a move or move on, for both their sakes.

Thank Goddess.

And she’d promised herself to give that move everything she’d got.

Deep breath, eyes on the prize, Peyton approached Walter in confident strides, managing to strut her considerable stuff without sinking a stiletto between boardwalk planks and twisting an ankle.

If she could do that, she could do anything.


Walter Reece watched Peyton with his peripheral vision, wincing as she crossed the old wooden dock on insanely high heels that had probably cost more than his month’s salary at the bank. Not that money was an issue for her. Her custom jewelry line had become so wildly popular online that she’d opened a brick-and-mortar boutique in town. He’d helped with her investments, but honestly, being her financial advisor was good for his business. Anything Peyton wanted, she worked for until she achieved it.

If only such admirable, unwavering effort wasn’t currently aimed at him.

Walter’s gaze stuttered and stuck on her long, stunning legs as they strode inexorably closer, and he wished for the millionth time that his life outside the coven wasn’t such a catastrophe.

He couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment he’d fallen in love with Peyton. Movies and books and Peyton herself made falling in love seem like a lightning strike—one look and you’re toast—or like a slow cooker, melting together into one entity over time. But Walter had never felt either of those things, not a lightning strike nor a melting togetherness.

He suspected he’d been born loving Peyton.

When his dad had split, Peyton had played Zelda with him for days without complaint even though she preferred Final Fantasy. When his mom had started drinking again, Peyton had helped clean up the messes, both literally and figuratively, throwing out broken bottles and running sobering baths. Life’s burdens had never been too heavy to carry, because he’d never had to carry them alone. Over the years, she’d delivered more late-night pizzas and laughs and hugs and Mortal Kombat thrashings than he could count. Peyton was gorgeous in ways that transcended physical beauty and more a part of his lifeforce than his own beating heart.

Goddess help him, he couldn’t tear his eyes from the sight of her strutting legs no matter how he didn’t deserve them.

Garth must have noticed Walter staring, because he followed the direction of his gaze and gaped. “BP, man, what the hell is your sister wearing?”

BP glanced aside and groaned, but when he refocused on Garth, all he said was, “Lay off.”

“She’s gonna break an ankle or fall into the river. The current tonight could drown even a competitive swimmer,” Garth persisted. “What’s she thinking?”

BP raised an eyebrow at Walter.

Walter felt his face burn.

Garth followed BP’s eyes, registered Walter’s blush, and pounded BP on the back. “I’mthinking we need another beer.”

“You read my mind,” BP said, full beer still in hand.

“Don’t—” Walter hissed, but no sooner had he reached out to anchor one of them to his side, a delicate, perfectly manicured hand squeezed his shoulder.

His heart throbbed.

“Passed your place on my way here,” Peyton said. “Your tomato plants are looking great for so late in the season.”

BP winked. Good luck, he mouthed, and Walter wasn’t sure whom he was encouraging, him or his sister.

Probably both.


Tomatoes. Goddess help her, she was opening with tomatoes.

Walter turned to her as Parker and Garth very helpfully made themselves scarce. Peyton plastered a smile on her face as her heart catapulted into her throat. Oh, Walter was adorable. Even with his mouth compressed in annoyance—he’d been abandoned by his best friends, after all—his lips still managed to pout.

“Thanks.” His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. “I had a BLT last night for dinner, and I can attest that they taste as good as they look.”

Bless him. No matter what nonsense spewed from her mouth around him, he always managed to salvage the conversation.

“BLTs are the best.” Invite me to dinner. Invite me to dinner. Invite me to dinner.

“Would you like some of my tomatoes?” he asked.

“Sure” was on the tip of her tongue, but that would be her normal response. Her safe response. Her “I’m your best friend’s little sister” response.

“I want more than just your tomatoes” would probably be too corny.

“Only if you stay to help me eat them” was probably spreading it on too thick.


“What’s BP doing?” Walter asked, squinting off into the distance.

Giving me all the rope in the world to hang myself with, Peyton thought, and then, following the direction of Walter’s eyes, she laughed. “When other people do it, it’s called a keg stand. When Parker does it, it’s called a keg fall.”

No sooner had the words left her lips than Garth lost his grip on Parker’s flailing leg, and the two of them spilled sideways on the dock, laughing.

Walter shook his head. “You called it.”

Peyton bit her lip, feeling suddenly intrusive. Well, more intrusive than usual. “Am I keeping you?”

“From that?” He turned back to her and grinned. “Yes, thank you.”

The warmth of his smile flushed through her body from cheeks to toes.

Make a move or move on, she reminded herself. “You want to get out of here? You know my place is only two blocks over, and you haven’t seen my new loft over the studio yet.” She raised her eyebrows enticingly. “I installed surround sound. When we play Zelda, it’ll be like we’re really in it.”

“I do want to see your new loft,” Walter said, but for the first time in twenty years, the prospect of playing videogames killed his smile. “Maybe some other time.”

He was going to make her say it, damn it. Weren’t the heels and romper indication enough? “Playing Zelda isn’t the only reason I want you to see my loft.”

Walter met her eyes, and the intensity in his gaze stole her breath. “I know why you want me to see your loft.”

“I’m not sure you do.” She’d nearly prefer to fling herself into the river rapids and certain death rather than live through this conversation, but… “I love you, Walter.”


“I see you, all of you, and I want more. I want—” Oh, Goddess, give me strength. “I want to kiss you. I want you to see my new loft and play videogames, but I also want you to stay the night. I want—”

“I know, Peyton.” Walter took hold of her shoulders. “I know exactly how you feel.”

Her heart lurched. “You do?”

“I feel the same way.”

You do?” Her heart soared. She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Let’s go back to my place, and we can—”

“We can’t.” Walter’s grip tightened, holding her at arm’s length.

“Parker’s okay with it,” she assured him. “He knows how I feel, and he wants us to be happy.”

Walter nodded. “He knows how I feel, too. But this isn’t about BP.”

She blinked. “Then, what’s it about?”

“Peyton…” Walter swiped his thumbs over her shoulders on a sigh, and Peyton felt his touch like a bonfire in her soul.

“Walter,” she whispered.

“You deserve the best of everything life has to offer. Your kindness, your spirit, your unbelievable empathy.” Walter released her left shoulder to cup her cheek. “You’ve worked so hard for everything you’ve achieved with your business. In your life. I could never come between you and your success. You and your happiness.”

“What are you talking about?” Peyton sandwiched his face with her hands. “You are my happiness. Or would be if you came to my loft tonight.” She bit her lip. “Every night.”

“My father reached out to me last year,” Walter reminded her. “He’s incarcerated for armed robbery.”

Download the full short story for FREE and discover how Peyton and Walter’s story ends!

Other books by Melody Johnson

Love Beyond Series

Beyond the Next Star
Sight Beyond the Sun

Delaney McCormick is not an animal, but after being abducted by aliens and witnessing the murder of her only friend, she pretends to be one. She endures the humiliation of being washed, the tediousness of being trained to “sit” and “come,” and the intrigue of hearing private conversations. But in her owner’s care, she finds something unexpected on this Antarctic planet, something she never had in all her years on Earth while house-hopping between foster families: a home. Must she continue the charade, acting like an animal to hide from the murderer waiting on her misstep? Or can she trust her owner with her secrets… and her heart?

Night Blood Series

The City Beneath
Sweet Last Drop
Eternal Reign
Day Reaper

As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven’s secrets safe. However, Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. As the battle between vampires takes over the city, Cassidy will have to decide where to place her trust… in revealing the truth or in Dominic’s capable talons.


Romancing the Holidays, Vol. 1-3

About Melody Johnson

Melody Johnson is the award-winning author of the “out of this world” Love Beyond series and the gritty, paranormal romance Night Blood series published by Kensington Publishing/ Lyrical Press. The New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lynsay Sands, “laughed out loud” reading Beyond the Next Star (Love Beyond, book 1), and Kirkus Reviews praised is as, “an engaging and unusual otherworldly tale.” 

Melody graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology. Earning the 2021 Maggie Award of Excellence, Beyond the Next Star is an exciting branch from her paranormal romance roots, keeping the dark grit from her Night Blood Series and taking it to new worlds. Ruby Dixon, author of the viral sci-fi romance novels: Ice Planet Barbarians series, “stayed up far too late reading this.” The City Beneath (Night Blood, book 1) was a finalist in the “Cleveland Rocks” and “Fool For Love” contests. 

When she isn’t working or writing, Melody can be found swimming at the beach, hiking with her husband, and exploring her home in southeast Georgia. Keep in touch with Melody on social media or sign up for her newsletter to receive emails about new releases and book signings.

Social Media Links

Website: http://authormelodyjohnson.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://authormelodyjohnson.com/newsletter
Blog: https://authormelodyjohnson.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormelodyjohnson
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormelodyjohnson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authormelodyjohnson

In honor of Halloween, we’d love to hear what your favorite Halloween tradition is! Have you had a favorite costume to wear? A favorite festive treat? Tell us about it in the comments!

Melody is offering one random commenter an ebook or audiobook copy of BEYOND THE NEXT STAR, book one in her Love Beyond series, OR book two, SIGHT BEYOND THE SUN, that will be out in January! (If you choose book two, your prize will be delayed until release date of this book.)

Contest starts today, and our winner will be chosen from all eligible commenters at the end of our event. Winner will be chosen, then announced in our wrap-up post on November 1st.

Good luck!!

Check out the Kick-off post HERE to see the full list of authors participating in our 2022 Halloween Flash Fiction Blog Event. Links will be added to the main post each day when that author’s story goes live. Each post will include the inspiration image from a DeviantArt creator, the story, and the contest/giveaway info.

Happy Reading!


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