J.M. Templet is one of our Halloween writing contest finalists for 2015. We’ll be publishing our contest finalists every day until Halloween, when we’ll announce our contest’s winner.


existential trolls


We set up under rainbows

no one notices the crunch of bones

or the rattle of stone

as we gorge on candy

left from last year

perhaps a hand might be attached

we don’t mind


the pink the white

the awful red

the purple and blue

they all mask the ugly

faces we hide from each


on the night we hunt

we don’t don

leather or cloth

we stride like water

from bridges and old oak


the children see

they hide behind red devil

horns, white sheets

orange round fruits

wide round eyes


we give them

our real faces

those folds and flaps

never quit fit like

real plastic does






The new boy is strange. He smells of ginger and his skin has this tinge of brown sugar. His mother, this very old woman with pointed shoes, folds his hair back just so as birds circle the bus stop. Their black eyes watch as he almost hops up those metal plastic stairs, making hardly a sound with his soft shoes. He says he’s from Minnesota. Sounds like a made up place to me. There must be other boys made of sugar there, all hopping to escape birds like him. At recess all the girls giggle and dare each other to taste. He screams. All the birds scream back. The girls smell blood, like leeches they find the points in his skin that tear rather than break. His blood is icing they lick before getting to the cake.






he says

the dress is too short

I should spend all night

pulling it down

below my knees


women, he says

take any excuse


do normal nurses

wear glitter there?

they would be

all the time

sprinkling shards

in sick people’s eyes


I remember he once

wore fishnets

with this corset

he wanted to be


instead the fat roll

just above his hips

made him look inflated


now he stays home

giving out pennies

apples, and these

sticks of jerky shaped

like pumpkins


the kids

avoid our house


I would too



J.M. Templet lives and works in Baton Rouge. She graduated from LSU several years ago and earned the Matt Clark prize in short fiction there. She’s currently in graduate school at TWU in the field of Library Science.
Previous Publications: Triggerfish, Counterexample Poetics, Marathon Literary Review,Strong Verse, Dig, Crossed Genres, and Fae Fatales.