Robert Arrelstein was in quite a slump. After several years of writing a successful series of spooky and fright-inducing books for kids, he suddenly lost his edge. Ideas wouldn’t come to him anymore, no matter what he tried.

His old tricks failed him. The graveyard bore no fruit. The foggy forest up the road brought only yawns. He needed help, so he enlisted the aid of a popular freelance ghost-writer in the area. He goes by Tim.

“How ya doing Mr. Arrelstein?” Tim said like an excited child meeting Superman at the mall.

“I’m doing fine young man, thank you for agreeing to help me with some ideas for my new book. I’ve heard good things from Stefie Queen, although you do understand that my horror stories are for a younger audience I take it?” answered Robert.

“Yes, of course. I’ve read all your books and love them! That’s why I want to help you give these kids the scare of a lifetime.”

“What exactly did you have in mind?” said Robert slowly, a little insulted that Tim seemed to think his books would be better if they really gave children nightmares.

“Well, for starters. I had this idea where a world-wide disease, like the kind you see in zombie movies, has taken over every known country, slowly turning every adult into a grotesque statue of themselves while their children watch.” Tim moved his hands around a lot when he talked, as if his idea was so complex that it would be greatly aided through the art of mime.

“That’s certainly… creative, Tim. I’ll give you that. Don’t you think a story about a deadly infectious disease is in poor taste?”

“I don’t know what you mean, but guess what! My second one is even better. So, all of a sudden everyone in the world has to get a special shot that protects them against aliens that are going to invade. But it’s actually a trick perpetrated by the aliens and all of humanity is being turned into helpless frogs, especially the kids!”

Arrelstein drops his head into his open hands. “I think I’ll just do another one about a creepy doll in the attic. Thanks anyway.”

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