Halloween Memories Back to Blog
It’s pretty much a given that the seeds of Halloween originated with the Celts and their celebration of Samhain. The Celts believed that the veil between this world and the next was thinnest at this time of year. They believed that friends and relatives who had died would often return, with their souls inhabiting an animal – often a black cat. Black cats have remained a symbol of Halloween all the way until now.
Once of the Celtic customs involved going door to door asking for food to be donated to their deities. And young Celts would ask for wood to be burned on a hill top to celebrate Samhain and further honor their gods. These are two of the possible origins of Halloween’s Trick or Treating.
When I was a kid, I wanted to dress up as something different every Halloween. One year a black cat, the next a hula girl, one time a princess — I suppose I was like the children now who want to dress up as whatever movie or tv icon catches their imagination. My brother and I would race from door to door yelling Trick or Treat with our long-suffering mother trailing behind but keeping a careful eye on her own little gremlins. At the end of our neighborhood canvassing, we’d return home, examine our loot and proceed to stuff ourselves until Mom put a stop to it.
All too soon, I considered myself too old to run door to door begging for candy and dressed as something I most definitely was not. When my daughter was born, I considered dressing up while I escorted her but none of the other mothers in the ‘hood did and my sense of conformity kept me from doing it.
What a shame.
Halloween is one of the last childhood institutions that actively encourages imagination. And what better way to do it than running through crisp Fall leaves on a cool night yelling at neighbors to give those sweet candy bribes or risk getting windows soaped or trees decorated with TP?
That is…unless you’re a writer. Or someone who likes strange, possibly frightening tales.
The ringing phone jarred Keriam out of a sound sleep.
She bolted upright, heart pounding and groped for the handset.
No one answered.
Her heart continued to pound.
“Hello?” she repeated. For a second, she thought she heard
breathing and an uneasy tendril snaked down her spine. She’d had
a number of these no-answer calls in the last few days. Normally,
they didn’t bother her.
This one did. She hung up.
Too awake to fall back asleep, Keriam swung her legs out of the
bed, feet hitting the cold floor. She’d been locking the doors lately,
though she didn’t remember doing it. Probably another facet of her
episodes, another sign she was losing her mind. Still it wouldn’t hurt
to check them just to make sure.
And she could check on Wolfgang. Having a huge dog gave her
a sense of safety. Not that she expected to keep him, but she might
think about getting a dog of her own. She stared at the telephone
for a moment, then stood.
She rubbed her eyes, then, without turning on the lights, went
into the hallway. The quiet house had an empty feeling, as if she was
totally alone. That couldn’t be. Not with Wolfgang in the kitchen.
Still, she advanced slowly, using all her senses to detect anything
out of the ordinary. Moonlight shone through the living room
window and she paused, looking out into the front yard. Nothing
there. Turning, she tiptoed into the kitchen, the same eerie feeling of
emptiness hitting her again. This time, she flipped on the overhead
light. The dog wasn’t there. “Wolfgang?”
Quickly, she checked the living room although she already knew
it was empty. A growing urgency had her race through the rest of
the house checking under tables, behind furniture. She didn’t find
him. She ended on the back porch, shivering in the cool night air
and looking out over the fallow field between her house and her
She couldn’t see much past the glow from her doorway and
stepped farther into the shadows to let her eyes adjust to the dark. Her
toes brushed against a leathery object and she picked up his collar.
Somehow, Wolfgang had gotten out. Or been let out.
She whirled, looking back into her kitchen.
No, Wolfgang would have barked if there’d been an intruder.
She was sure of that. And she would have seen anyone who’d come
inside. She pressed her teeth onto her bottom lip, confused. Worried.
The door had been closed. Locked.
How had he gotten out?
It didn’t matter. She had to find him. He was her responsibility.
She raced inside to get dressed.
Within minutes, she thundered down the stairs and headed to
the kitchen door. Wolfgang had probably gone into the woods out
back. A big dog like him, he’d enjoy chasing the small herd of deer
or the raccoons or possums. She hoped he didn’t find the skunks
though. She didn’t have enough tomato juice for that.
A sudden banging on her front door had her nearly leap out of
her skin. Then she realized it had to be Mr. Mountley. The old man
knocked like he was driving nails with his fist. He’d probably caught
Wolfgang nosing around the emu pens. She hoped Wolfgang hadn’t
gotten injured by the big, mean-tempered birds. She whipped the
door open preparing to thank Mr. Mountley and scold the big dog.
“Marc?” Surprise made her step back.
Marc jerked, sweat sheening his face. His hair curled in damp
tendrils on his forehead and his eyes looked fever bright. He made
a moaning sort of noise and leaned unsteadily on the doorframe.
“Are you all right?” Keriam pushed the screen door open
without thinking. Then took another look at him. Something in his
expression sent an uneasy shiver up her spine. Something’s wrong
here, she thought. Something’s off. She hesitated, then years of
country-manners kicked in. “Come in, Marc. It’s freezing outside.
Is something wrong? Is that why you came by?”
He moved like a marionette, stiff and loose at the same time. As
he walked past her, the rank odor from his body was overpowering.
She drew back, startled. Marc had always been fastidious.
He was obviously ill. Maybe drunk. But she didn’t smell alcohol.
Marc’s gaze whipped around the living room but he didn’t move. He
simply stood there as if trying to figure out what to do next. She felt
heat pouring off his body. Not drunk, sick. The thought didn’t ease
her slowly tightening nerves.
Marc took a ragged step forward, followed by another. He approached
the family portraits hanging above the stone hearth. Keriam
watched, puzzled, as he stared at Meredith’s picture. Her mother’s
red-gold hair gleamed in the autumn sunshine. Keriam moved behind
him. “What is it, Marc?”
He stilled at the sound of her voice. His hand trembled as he
rested it on the mantle just below Meredith’s photograph.
A chill traced over her skin at the quiet menace in his voice.
“Ezahdhee? What does that mean?”
Marc turned, ignoring her question. The ravening hunger in
his eyes seared her. She backed away as he grinned, a feral baring of
teeth. Ruthlessly, she shoved her uneasiness aside—this was Marc,
her ex-fiancé—and crossed her arms over her chest. But still… “Marc,
I think you should go.”
He took a step toward her. She retreated again.
“You’re not well, are you?” Her voice quavered and she hated it.
He took another halting step closer, closer.
Eric d’Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and
fulfill the ancient Gar’Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But
when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than
the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will
it cost him the woman he loves?
After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks
she’s losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d’Ebrur saves
her from the monstrous Gawan, she’s sure of it. But insane or not,
she’ll find the Heartstone and, if she’s lucky, a love to last a
Heartstone is also available on Amazon.com
GIVEAWAY: If you join or are a member of my newsletter group, send me an email with Don’t Open The Door in the subject line, and your snail mail address in the body, I’ll enter you in a drawing for a ‘Heartstone’ necklace of your very own.
Email me at Lynda@LyndaKScott.com
Deadline: Friday, Oct 29
My alien kitten, Wookie, will assist me in picking a winner (she likes bribes but I insist the drawing must stay honest, so no bribes please, lol). I’ll announce the winner on my newsletter group.
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