Title: Goosebumps – Don’t Open The Monster Blood!, a.k.a. “SHADY PINES, GRANDPA!”
Author: R.L. Stine
Oh, Stine thinks he is SO sneaky with all these short stories he’s trying to get in under the radar. But he’ll have to think twice if he can sneak past the ol’ Judester’s radar.
This is yet another Goosebumps piece of short fiction not made readily apparent to the Goosebumps fandom at large. It was published in The Time We Ran Away And Other Short Stories, a collection of vignette fiction pertaining to several franchises currently published by Scholastic. I again have to thank the Goosebumps fandom on twitter for alerting me to its existence.
The Monster Blood sub arc is one of the most infamous amongst the Goosebumps fandom… because it sucks. Well, a lot of people feel that it sucks. [Wing: I didn’t hate it, and the cover is one of the more iconic covers. Oh, fandom, why do you hate it so?] During the original 62 series run, Monster Blood was the third entry and received no less than THREE sequels. Monster Blood IV was the very last to be published before Goosebumps Series 2000 began.
Troy Steele was largely responsible for the escalating hatred towards the Monster Blood books while also hyping up its co-protagonist, Andy. The books were well known for using Evan Ross, one of Stine’s most pathetic butt monkeys, as the focus character. Life is not kind to Evan Ross, from his apathetic and neglectful parents, to the bullying and physical abuse he receives from everyone around him, to the repeated life-or-death scenarios he gets stuck in thanks to the titular green goo.
It’s telling when Goosebumps HorrorLand was launched, Monster Blood made a reappearance but Evan and the rest of the supporting cast were gone.
That said, this short story’s got absolutely nothing to do with any of the previous Monster Blood tales aside from the titular monster goo. [Wing: Why does this sound so dirty?]
Eddie and Maggie always looked forward to Grandpa Hugh visiting. Funny, full of great stories, giver of awesome gifts, Hugh was amazing. He was always constantly in a hurry. Their mom joked Grandpa Hugh’s only setting was “Fast forward.”
Welp, Grandpa Hugh had a special gift for Eddie’s 12th birthday. He presented his grandson with a green and purple box that looked like it contained a toy. However, Hugh told Eddie he couldn’t open it and placed it on the windowsill in Eddie’s bedroom. Eddie could make out the words “MONSTER BLOOD” written in drippy letters.
Grandpa Hugh uncharacteristically turned serious as he warned his grandchildren they must NEVER open the box of Monster Blood.
Oh yes I can certainly this is going to end well.
Eddie and Maggie promised not to open the box, so they then went down to eat dinner. Grandpa Hugh finished his meal in about ten minutes before leaving. Yeah, I can certainly see why he’s the FUN grandpa.
[Wing: Gives a gift they can’t open, inhales his food, immediately bounces. He’s the absolute bestest.]
Alone in Eddie’s bedroom, the kids pondered over the mystery of the Monster Blood box. Eddie stopped his sister from opening the package, assuming his grandpa was testing the kids for… reasons.
Maggie shook the box but heard nothing, arguing they could at least take a peek. C’mon Eddie, dontcha wanna be like the cool kids?
Giving in to peer pressure, Eddie and oh so carefully lifted the lid of the box. He peered inside and…
The four inner walls were a shiny, metallic green, but nothing was there.
Maggie took the box from her brother and stuck her hand inside. Turns out there WAS something after all. A tiny green ball. About the size of a marble.
No wait it’s the size of an egg.
Now a softball!
NOW A GRAPEFRUIT!
IT JUST WON’T STOP!
Eddie and Maggie tried to stop the squishy, soccer ball sized Monster Blood back in the box but it wouldn’t fit. Even worse, the goo was stuck to Maggie’s hand. Eddie was too afraid to touch the Monster Blood out of fear it would trap him, too.
Maggie struggled. She twisted and squirmed and tugged at the giant green blob. “Oh nooo!” She screamed as it stuck to her face. “Eddie, do something! It-it’s swallowing me!”
It covered her face, her whole body now-and kept growing… growing… it was bubbling, squeaking… moving towards me!
Eddie grabbed his phone to call Grandpa Hugh, explaining what he’d done. Hugh ominously stated he warned Eddie not to open the box before explaining there should be instructions on how to get the Monster Blood back inside the box.
Diving for the box as the Monster Blood continued to grow with his sister trapped inside, Eddie triumphantly declared he had the answer to their problems…
For Instructions, write to:
Monster Blood, Inc.
P.O. Box 142
[Wing: WUT?! Apparently there actually is, or at least was, a Hadley, Missouri. IMMA VISIT IT. I’ll report back with any green ooze.]
WOULD YOU GIVE THAT.
TO A CHILD.
[Wing: I need to know this! Why give it to a child, why give it to them and forbid them from opening it which means they will immediately open it, why do you have it in the first place, what the fuck is going on, BAD GRANDPA.]