Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night


A shrouded moon cast no shadows while he skulked from house to house.  The cool breeze carried a crisp aroma of decaying dried leaves.  Thunder rumbled overhead.  He hurried past flickering jack-o-lanterns.  A heavy deluge erupted from the laden clouds, washing red and yellow leaves into the gutters.  Lighting forked to the earth.  A loud clap made him race under the portico.  Shaking water off his coat, he pressed a doorbell.  A man with an eye patch answered the door.  He entered then removed his soaked coat and hat.  The door closed behind him with a bang.  Clutching an offered cup of blood red liquid, he joined the throng of ghosts, witches, vampires, monsters, and celebrity masks.

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This time of year sparks the macabre imagination.  The combination of cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and ever earlier sunsets feeds into the concept of Halloween and its forebears.  Personally, I’ve never been one for the grotesque.  However, I do harbor a belief in versions of the supernatural.  Perhaps that’s why I gravitate towards fantasy in my writing.

Between bonfires and corn mazes and pumpkin pouring out of your ears, autumn has a magic all its own.  It stirs our primitive memories.  The instinct to preserve, to celebrate the harvest and its symbolism.  Watch horror movies.  Read books that will keep you up all night.  Wear your favorite costume.  Carve the biggest pumpkin in the patch.  Gorge on candy apples and popcorn balls.  Dark and stormy tastes sweet with a few spider webs and broomsticks in the background.