Halloween

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Upon this night, the veil between this world and the next thins allowing the passage between two places. The dead in all forms comes back to walk the earth once more. Spirits visit family and friends, guided by the candle light inside pumpkins left at front doors. Whilst the scary Jack O’ Lantern faces keep evil away.

Ghosts drifted through the streets, their tethers to places broken for this single night. They moan through the trees, rattling the bare branches, haunting everything they can. The more powerful ghosts move heavy objects, scream against the wind and make their presences felt.

All the other supernatural beings move through the cities under the disguises of real people. They mingle with crowds of children and adults, dressed up in bright or dark clothes going door to door. The old chant of trick or treat rings out, filling the night along the laughter and small screams.

In the shadows, demons and witches wait to snatch any wandering child away, but they are out of luck tonight. What with everyone child safely protected by the costumes they wear. It’s hard to tell if that is a human child or a fairy laughing under a tree. Best to leave it alone and lay in wait once more.

Vampires move from their crypts, rising as they have time after time. They seek out the only thing that can keep them going, but there is too much choice tonight. They prowl about, killers hiding in the darkness.

Clouds pass the almost full moon that hangs down in a ink blot sky and the clocks begin counting down to the midnight hour. Soon it will be over and this one night will be gone for another year.

 

Haunted Pumpkin

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Charlie arrived breathlessly home from school and went to head up to his room.

‘Charlie?’ his mum called from the kitchen.

His foot touched the bottom of the staircase and he almost broke into another run.

The kitchen door squeaked open and his mum appeared in the hallway. She was dressed in her office clothes; a black pencil skirt, white blouse and black jacket.

‘Are you okay?’

He nodded, not trusting himself to speak.

‘Come in the kitchen. I’ll get you a drink,’ she suggested.

Charlie looked longingly up the stairs and almost told her no. It was best just to get it over and done with though. Slowly, he followed her into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

There was a bright orange pumpkin opposite him. It was mostly round, but a bit bumpy. He reached a finger out and poked the soft flesh.

‘Here you go,’ his mum spoke and put a glass of milk before him.

Charlie picked it up, his eyes still drawn to the pumpkin.

‘How was school?’

‘Okay…Can I go now?’ Charlie said in a low voice.

His mum sighed, ‘I suppose. Dinner will be soon.’

Charlie nodded, took a sip of his milk and went upstairs with it. There in his bedroom, he turned his TV and game console on. He loaded his fantasy game and began playing.

‘Charlie!’ his mum called a few minutes.

He rolled his eyes and tutted.

‘I need to nip out. I forgot something. Do you want to come?’

‘No!’ he yelled back.

‘I’ll be back soon then.’

‘Fine!’ Charlie called back then under his breath, ‘I just want to be left alone.’

He heard the front door close and turned his focus back to his game. A boss battle was coming up. He charged head into the fantasy game, forgetting everything else. Until a loud thumping sound came from the kitchen.

Charlie paused, shrugged and carried on playing.

The sound came again as if someone was knocking on the back door.

Charlie finally paused the game and got up. Growling, he went downstairs and into the kitchen. There was no one at the back door, but the pumpkin had gone from the table. Puzzled, he looked around for it and saw a flash of orange on the floor. He looked under the table and saw the pumpkin there against the wall.

‘What the….?’

He reached out for it. Changed his mind and went back upstairs with a shake of his head. The pumpkin had just rolled off. It hadn’t looked stable anyway. Charlie rushed back upstairs and to his game. Settling down again, he carried on playing.

He just about heard his mum come home and start tea. Later on, She had to call him down for it three times, before he give in and went.

‘What were you doing up there?’ she asked, as he sat down.

‘Playing my game…’ Charlie answered.

‘Did you do your homework?’

‘It’s half term. I got time now,’ he responded.

He ate quickly and before his mum could say anything further, Charlie had gone upstairs again. Loading his game, he fall back into completing his mission to find a magic sword. Sometime later, he heard his dad come home then his parents coming to say good night to him.

Charlie pretended to go to bed, but really he waited till he was sure his parents had fallen sleep and got up again. He went to turn on his TV when a he heard something moving downstairs. He stopped and listened. It sounded like a heavy ball rolling down the hallway.

Frowning, Charlie crept to his door and looked out. The hallway was dark and he couldn’t see. He walked out. Turned on the light and tried to listen for the sound again. He couldn’t hear anything. He made to turn back into his room, but then there was a creak. He went to the edge of the stairs looked down.

The pumpkin was in the hallway.

Frowning and wondering how it got there, Charlie went downstairs. The pumpkin was in the middle of the hallway, on it’s side. He touched it with his barefoot but it didn’t move. Shrugging, he went back upstairs, turning off the light and shutting the door. Charlie went to his TV again and turned it on.

He reached for the button on his game console. A dull thump, stopped his hand. Charlie looked over his shoulder.

‘What’s going on?’ he muttered, ‘Whatever.’

He pressed the button and settled down. As the game loaded, he heard what sounded like someone walking up the stairs. Only it sounded more hollow and with large gaps in between each step. Charlie ignored it and started playing his game. He was in the middle of another quest now.

He heard the loose board on the landing creak.

Charlie stopped his game and turned off the TV. He scrambled into his bed and pulled the duvet over his head. He quieten his breathing and stilled himself. He listened hard. It was just his mum or dad getting up to go the bathroom or something.

There was a knock at his door.

Charlie faked sleep as best as he could.

His door opened, but instead of footsteps the carpet, something very heavy rolled across his floor.

Frowning, under the duvet, he wondered what was going on. He almost pulled the bedding down to see, but nervous had gotten to him. He held his breath and waited.

Something knocked into his bed and he felt vibrations through him.

Taking a deep breath, Charlie threw the duvet back and clicked on the lamp. He looked down and saw the pumpkin at the foot of his bed. A crude mouth and two eyes had been craved in the surface out of which yellow light was coming out. The pumpkin was grinning evil up at him.

A scream ripped out of Charlie’s mouth and echoing in his ears. He tried to get out of the bed, but the bedding was tangled around him. He fell to the floor and the pumpkin rolled towards him. Charlie screamed again and scuttled across the floor to the door. He reached it at the same time his mum appeared in the doorway.

He grabbed her legs and pressed his face against her. He felt her arms around him then heard her scream as she saw the pumpkin.

She pulled Charlie to his feet and they ran into her bedroom. Slamming the door, they both looked at Charlie’s dad getting out of the bed.

‘What is it?’ he asked.

‘The pumpkin….did you do that?’ Charlie’s mother gasped.

‘What?’

‘The pumpkin had a face on it and it was next to Charlie’s bed.’

‘It came into my room by itself!’ Charlie cried.

‘Don’t be silly!’ his dad snapped.

Pushing past them, his dad opened the door and looked out. They looked too and they all saw the pumpkin sat in the hallway. Light from it’s eyes and mouth pooling on the floor and casting an eerie glow around it.

‘Charlie, did you do that?’ his dad asked.

Charlie shook his head and backed away.

‘Why would he?’ his mum shot in, ‘he’s been in his room all day.’

‘Right, well someone’s having a laugh aren’t they?’ his dad said.

He went out into the hallway, picked the pumpkin up and they heard him carry it downstairs.

‘Honestly, Charlie, did you do that?’ his mum asked.

‘No. Why would I?’ Charlie shouted.

Shaking off the last of his fear, he went back to his room and closed his door softly. Charlie turned the TV back on, but before he sat down to play his game again, he went to the window. His bedroom looked over the side of the house. He couldn’t see anything out there other then the glow of a streetlamp and the side of the neighboring house. He went back to his game and after a few moments heard his dad come back in and to bed.

He heard the hush voices of his parents, but couldn’t make their words out. No doubt they were talking about him though. Ignoring all of that, he started to play his game again. However, he couldn’t help but think about what had just happened. Who had done that to the pumpkin and why? It had seemed so real, but of course it couldn’t have been….

Soon tiredness crept on him and Charlie went to bed. Just as he was falling asleep though, he heard something moving in the downstairs hallway. Pulling a face, he listened and tried to decided what that was. Then he heard something rolling up the stairs…

He clutched the duvet then throwing it back, he got out of bed and rushed to his desk. Grabbing his chair, he dragged it to his bedroom door and wedged the top of the chair under the door knob. He stepped back just as something heavy banged into his door. Charlie looked around his room, wondering what else he could do. But there was nothing here that would help.

The bang came against his door again and carried on.

He wanted to scream, but couldn’t.

Then the banging stopped.

He waited for what felt like an age, but was only a few minutes. He took the chair away and opened his door. He turned the hallway light on and saw it was empty. Then he noticed his parents bedroom door was open.

His mum’s scream ripped through the house and Charlie bolted over.

He turned on the light as he entered and his feet stumbled to a stop.

The pumpkin was on the bed eating his dad’ head. There was blood everywhere and his mum was fleeing into a corner. Charlie looked around and spotted a pair of small scissors on top of a cupboard. He grabbed them, charged in and stabbed the pumpkin with them.

The pumpkin turned to him, blood dripping from sharp fang teeth which tried to bite his fingers.

Charlie stabbed down again and again.

The pumpkin tried to move out of the way, but Charlie was faster. He stuck the scissors deep in, grabbed the pumpkin and threw it to the floor.

The pumpkin smashed and the yellow light went out.

Charlie looked at the mess, trying to catch his breath. Behind him, he heard his mum scrambling around on the bed. She was speaking, but he couldn’t hear her. Then her words sunk in and Charlie reached for a mobile phone and called an ambulance.

Somewhere In A Farmer’s Field

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Tony walked through the pumpkin field, looking for the perfect one to turn into a prize winning Jack O’ Lantern. However, he couldn’t seem to spot one. All the pumpkins seemed too small and dis-formed. In fact, only a handful were orange colored and the rest were yellow, green, white, brown and black.

He stopped in the middle of the field and looked around. Deep down he knew the perfect pumpkin was out here. He put his hands in his pockets and began walking again. Rain began to fall, softly at first then harder, but he ignored it and fixed his eyes on the pumpkins passing his feet.

In the distance, he could hear a tractor and the sound of cows. For a few madding moments he thought Farmer Jones had taken the perfect pumpkin for himself. Of course everyone wanted to win the Harvest County Fair. Surely, the farmer had better things to put in then a Jack O’Lantern though and hadn’t they always had a good deal with buying products over the years of being neighbors?

Tony shook his head and carried on walking. Out here, somewhere, he knew the perfect pumpkin was just waiting for him to pick it up and carve out his final master piece.

Halloween

Dakota walked down the street avoiding the large puddles whilst the cape swirled around his legs. The front doors and gardens he past where mostly decorated with cobwebs, fake gravestones, glowing lights and hanging ghosts. Grinning Jack O’ Lanterns followed him with flicking eyes as he went by their windows. The voices of costumed people, doorbells and theme music crowded the air. However, it was the houses that lay in darkness which drew him the most.

Everyone knew not to visit those houses. It was drilled in by over protective parents and ghost stories. Trick or Treat haters, religious believers and old people against anti-social behaviour, whom might open the door stating they didn’t take part and gave you leaflets instead of treats. Or else there were none-door-openers or those that would go out of the night, making it seem their houses were abandoned.

Turing the corner, Dakota sidestepped some Disney character dressed up children and their grumpy guardian. They, like him, clutched bags weighed down by money and food. They were at the right age to be, whilst Dakota fresh out of his teens probably shouldn’t be pretending he was too.

Rubbing a gloved hand over his makeup face, he got rid of that thought. Tonight he could be whoever he wanted to be and no one was allowed to judge him. He walked up to the next house. A pumpkin carved as a howling wolf and other cut as a flying witch flanked the door. Ringing the doorbell, he took in a deep breath. He smelt warm cinnamon and ginger.

The door opened, a tried middle-aged woman held out a green bowl of lollypops. He took one, thanked her and quickly moved on. It had become a habit now and away to keep the embarrassment and anger from flaring up.

The next few houses went by, though numbness was starting to creep in and before he could do the last few, he gave up and walked to the cemetery. Halloween was much more exciting as a kid. Not that he’d ever known that feeling. Going through the gates and following the twisting pathways, Dakota realized that the dead were not the only ones in the cemetery tonight. Loud music and voices floated to him as well as the heavy stink of other things. He could easily have found a group to hang with, but instead he went to the back and oldest part.

A large crypt loomed from the darkness, standing guard over crumbling headstones. Dakota sat down on the steps and pulled two candles and a lighter from his pocket. Lighting them, he rummaged through the bag and pulled out a chew bar. He could hardly hear the music and voices from here. A feeling of calm came over him and he ate more chewy bars.

He’d delay going back he decided. The apartment would only increase his loneliness.  He felt thirsty and put his hand to the bottom of the bag where he’d put into some Coke cans before setting off. A lolly was stuck to the side of the can as he pulled it out. Removing it, he popped open the can and took a drink.

The smell of burning wood swept through on a breeze and was then gone. The candle flames flickered after it, but became still again. A girl screamed somewhere, the sound cutting through the quietness. Dakota looked around even though there was nothing to see. Laughter rose and fell like waves, signalling the results of a harmless scare. He wanted to leave, but willed himself to stay longer.

Taking another drink, he reminded himself why had wanted to take part in tonight. That didn’t help how he was feeling right now, though he was as sure as ever that demons and devils weren’t going to get him. He didn’t believe in any of that anymore and now he’d experienced All Hallows’ Eve for himself, Dakota couldn’t grasp the things he’d been convinced to stand against.

He unwrapped the lolly and started sucking on it. Giggling and a hushed voice had him searching through the gravestones. A teenage couple appeared on the path and before he could move, they had seen him and come over.

‘You got a light?’ the boy called.

Dakota pulled it out and held it up. He woke up the flame and the boy lit a hand roll. The girl, who had been staring at him asked if he had any chocolate bars. With a shrug, he dug around in the bag and handed her one. She seemed grateful for it and then they were on their way back through the gravestones. He watched them go whilst he finished his drink. He blew out one the candles and waited for the wax to harden. Putting it and the empty can in the bag, he picked up the other one and walked home.

The streets seemed quieter now. Though music still drifted on the cold air and voices reduced to whispers and echoes trailed after it. He made it home without any trouble. The apartment felt as if someone had died in it. Which Dakota guessed could have been true. He placed the candle in the pumpkin he carved before and left the bag beside it. Only two doors led off the living room-kitchen and he went into the bathroom first to wash off the makeup before taking his vampire costume off in the bedroom.

Sitting down on the broken sofa, he watched the candle flicking in its orange lantern. He felt like his whole life had been one big lie. He wanted to believe that escaping it all had been the best thing to do, but a part of him had never been completely sure.