Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady



A Gift

“Grandpa, there’s a round green thing growing out back by the broken fence.”

“There is? We better take a look.”

After a slow painful walk, Grandpa said, “I’d say that’s going to be a pumpkin.”

“Can we keep it?”

“Rightly it belongs to the neighbors. It’s their vine coming through the hole.”

“Let’s not tell them.”

“Would that be right?”

“No, but can we wait till it gets big so I can watch it grow?”

“No harm in that.”

A few weeks later they found a note near the big, almost orange pumpkin, “It’s yours. Carve it for Halloween.”


In response to Charli Mills July 12, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence. You can mend it, leave it, or explain its place in a story. Go where the prompt leads.

July 12: Flash Fiction Challenge

Security System

My father has been gone twenty-five years already. Seems like yesterday I was sitting at the table in his antique shop called “The Mousetrap.” His shop, located in a small town of 300 people in western New York, sat next to a large parking lot that had once belonged to an active business building that was set way back from the road. That parking lot attracted bicycle riders, skateboard attempters, and other children playing in the day light. At night, cars of teenagers parked in the shadows doing what they do in the dark.  Continue reading “Security System”


I grew up in a one-block town. Literally! There was one block, and a few houses that extended off each street. As a youngster in the early ’60’s when planning a costume for Halloween you had to pick one of three goals: not be recognizable; be the most unusual; or the most outlandish.  There were many houses in town that the lady had to figure out who you were before you got your candy. Sometimes it could be a slow process. It was fun if you could stump them. No one wore just a mask! My favorite house gave out homemade caramel popcorn balls (Nice big ones.) Another house wanted us to come inside for cider and doughnuts. We went there last.

Back then the full size candy bars of today only cost five cents. We got a lot of them; they didn’t have to be checked before we ate them and parents didn’t go with their kids.  My father had an antique business in the ’70’s and ’80’s in that same little town. He gave out huge candy bars.  The Hershey bars that were 4 inches by 8 inches!  He called them his security system. He never locked the doors of the big house turned shop.  Occasionally he would hear of some shenanigans in town and chuckle that his house was never touched because the “Kids” would protect it from others.

My mother had a friend that lived out in the country, so she would come to our house to see the trick-or-treaters.  She purposely parked her car where the windows would get soaped saying it needed to be washed at least once a year.  Then it got waxed.  She parked it out back in our barn after that.

We would often have about 100 trick-or-treaters and it was a fun evening we planned and looked forward to for weeks. There was a Halloween parade in school, and carved pumpkins on most steps.  Now I live in suburbia and my street has no sidewalks or streetlights.  The most visitors we have ever had for Halloween is nine.  It’s a good thing I have good memories.

National Sour Candy Day

I’ve never thought much of sour candy, other than lemon balls.   When I was young, Sweet Tarts, was the sour candy of choice.  When I got them on Halloween, I gave them away or traded them for anything with caramel in it.

Speaking of Halloween, I grew up in a one block town, literally.  My sisters and I, along with our mother, could sit at the kitchen table and go from house to house on each side of the street, name the adults, children if any, and pets.  We did this one evening to count the number of dogs in town.  Who remembers why.  We also knew which house gave the best candy, or treats on Halloween.  One lady gave out homemade caramel popcorn balls.  Big ones.  I went to her house first.  Another lady wanted us to come in, sit down, and chat while we had doughnuts and cider.  We went there last because it took so long.

In the mid 1970’s my father turned our childhood home into an antique shop.  On Halloween he gave out what were then $1.00 candy bars.  Though he never locked the shop, he never had a break-in.  He would tell people those huge candy bars were his security system because the older teens in town protected his property.  We agreed with him.  He taught us one got better results with sugar, than by being a sour-puss.

I can’t tell you what the sour candy choice of today is.  I still only eat the lemon balls.






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