There truly could not ever have been a nicer day in October. She could feel the sun wrapping warmth around her like an electric blanket on a cold night. The sky above was like a rotunda of deep rich blue with a gauzy white cloud just hanging about.
Walking though an oriental carpet of leaves she swished her feet forward tunneling them deep and tossing the set pattern into a wild motion that fell quickly back to rest to display a more muted color pattern left behind her.
She felt strangely at odds. It was if a battle was about to begin, or like she had to climb a mountain, or dive off a cliff landing in some deep dark water below.
Her hair hung straight down her back in its flaming red color and she wore a long black scarf around her neck. While she walked, the sound of the crunching leaves mesmerized and calmed her. She didn’t know why she was agitated and couldn’t remember where in fact she was going. She wasn’t able to stop or turn; it was if all will and self control were lost to her. Suddenly a gust of wind whipped up sending her hair into her face and at the same moment the black scarf twisted tightly around her neck. So tight was its grip that she could not breath and it took all the strength she could muster to release its hold on her. She undid the scarf throwing it on the ground as she sucked in a deep breath of air that had turned strangely cold.
The streets were empty except for a few Halloween decorations. There were displays of pumpkins, some that had carved toothy grins; there were tangles of cobwebs on bushes with large black spiders clinging in wait of prey, dancing bones hung like wind chimes from porch ceilings and ghostly sheets whipped about like tablecloths on a clothesline. This was her favorite time of year and these Halloween decorations brought a crooked little smile to her face. She laughed, but what came out was not her usual laugh, but a high pitched kind of cackle…as if she had drawn in a breath of helium from a balloon. She couldn’t help herself when this thought crossed her mind and laughed again.
When she reached the end of the road she looked up to see a rusty iron gate behind which stood the ruins of a once grand home. The white paint had turned a dingy gray. The front porch was vacant but for the skeleton of a broken rocking chair. It was dark inside except for a flickering light in one of the broken upstairs windows.
As she stood looking up something seemed to be moving. It was almost like a cloud of smoke snaking past the window. As she blinked and refocused the form came into view then vanished. She couldn’t stop herself and in an instant she was heading through the iron gate, up the dilapidated steps and had her hand on the front doorknob.
As she touched the doorknob it felt like a huge electrical shock went into her arm and then through her whole body. She jerked her hand off the knob as the old door creaked open. She very tentatively moved through some thick cobwebs, fearing that there might be some spiders lurking in them, and tried to shake off the strands that clung all over her. Making her way inside where it was darker than night she heard a sound that seemed to vibrate in the stale air around her.
As she felt her way along she realized that she had touched something warm and wet. It was then she remembered that she had a mini light on the key chain in her pocket. She fumbled around getting it out and turned it on. The light immediately hit the wall and she saw it was dripping with blood; deep, rich, red blood. She felt her head spin; the light went out and coming from deep inside of her she heard herself scream, felt a falling sensation and then nothingness.
Afraid to open her eyes she sensed something moving nearby. She knew there was pale light in the room and that she was lying on her back on something cold and hard with her arms and legs tightly bound.
Carefully she opened one eyelid and saw the back of a ghostly figure standing at a lit fireplace in which a large black cauldron was bubbling. Without turning the figure uttered “Ahh, you’re awake! Do not move. It will soon be over.” in a voice that sounded high pitched and creaky. As if reading her mind, she was told not to try to call for help. Her screams could no longer be heard by the living.
With her eyes fully opened now she saw that the room was full of ghostly beings whose shadows seemed to undulate on the walls like firelight casting its eerie glow. She could see a table on which there were tall, thin glasses that held a greenish bubbling concoction and in a big bowl globs of orange and purple … something … overflowed and oozed on to the floor. Knives set from smallest to biggest lay in wait while the shadows seemed to float higher and higher in anticipation of what was to come.
Then one of the beings moved above her and without a hand held a large knife over her and said, “This Halloween the honor is yours! At midnight you will die.”
She closed her eyes not wanting to see beyond the pain of death.
The words had barely been spoken when there was a wailing and screaming. The air was full of energy and then suddenly blank as if it had been swept clean. As she opened her eyes she saw that the room was empty of those drafty beings and all that remained was the gentle glow from the fire. Before her stood a well dressed man in a black cape, easily the most handsome man she had ever seen. He had a wide open smile on his face and fangs that were dripping with blood. As he moved closer to her she felt her body tingle knowing that he needed and wanted her not just for her blood, but for her heart and soul and mind. He had saved her for himself and if she lost her life to him she would live forever.
Just then the clock struck twelve and as he leaned down and kissed her forehead she turned her head giving him her everything.
- story by my cousin, Mel, and very similar to what she made up for her sister and me as bedtime stories. No wonder I’m twisted!