Halloween | Humour

Tarantula House

Three spooky 20-word stories and a bonus twittle

Carolyn Hastings
4 min readOct 18, 2022


A grey and white house decorated with huge black tarantulas and a spider web.
author’s own photo

#1.. “Do you think she’ll like what we’ve done?”
“Are you for real? It’s the best trick we’ve ever spun together!”

Shereen Bingham entertained us recently with her collection of spooky 20-word stories that she’d written in response to Nikolaos Skordilischallenge.

As Nikolaos explains in his post, 20-word stories are an extension of the 10-word stories Sheri Jacobs dared us to try back in July. Since then, the 10-word story concept has gone through several iterations including a dialogue version introduced by Jim McAulay🍁.

Shereen very kindly mentioned my contribution to the growing catalogue of 10-word stories that can be found here on Medium. I thanked her for the shoutout and was going to leave it at that. Spooky is not my style; nor is Halloween (we’re a bit ambivalent about Halloween in Australia). 🙄

🕷 The tarantulas had other ideas! 🕷

I came across them the day after Shereen tagged me into her story — a scaremongery of huge black tarantulas ‘guarding’ a bound-up baby doll suspended from the veranda — you can see it there dangling in front of the spider web! 🕸️ 😱

Of course, one thing led to another — as it does when my brain gets tangled up in a web of ideas! Before long talking tarantulas had turned into skeletal story bones rattling around in my head.

#2.. If they’d known looks could kill, the skeletons in the closet would’ve aired her dirty laundry for everyone to see.

Two skeletons dancing in an open closet.
Gif created in Canva by author using image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I figured two, 20-word spooky stories was a good enough effort.

That was until the neighbourhood black cat nonchalantly sauntered past our family room window on its way to….

…climbing aboard a broomstick? 🧹

…and Halloween hijinks hijacked my brain again!

#3.. “You’ve heard what they say about me?”
“That you’re a black cat?”
“Exactly, and that’s all you need to



Carolyn Hastings

Well-practiced speech pathologist now practicing to be a children’s book writer — emphasis on practicing.