Spirit of Halloween

Cold wind bristles the trees. Leaves scatter as the children move like sheep, walking from house to house. Collecting their treats.

Not understanding.

Cute princesses and adorable pirates. Kids dressed as faux vampires, scruffy werewolves, and pop-star zombies. Silly costumes, trivial things.

Things that won’t trick.

Not in the slightest.

They’ve no idea why they’re dressing up. What the goal is.

But I do.

I know.

And I partake properly.

Not because I’m stingy. Or because I’m some crazy “purist”. But because I know.

I believe.

Tonight—and tonight only—it’s happening. They’re here.

They’re out.

Continue reading “Spirit of Halloween”

Demon in the Mattress

Used furniture is never a good idea.

I told her that. I definitely, absolutely told her that. You have no idea what happened on that couch. No idea what kind of creepy-crawlies could be lurking inside that cabinet.

But, what does she do?

Does she listen to me?

No, of course not.

She goes out and buys a used mattress.

used mattress.

How the hell am I supposed to sleep? Huh? How can I sleep not knowing?

How can I sleep when the mattress moves?

How am I supposed to live with that? Continue reading “Demon in the Mattress”

Hyde Within

It tasted like sanitizer. Like rubbing alcohol. Like pouring acid down my throat. A plastic bottle full of poison.

But I drank anyway.

Let the burn run through me as the haze settled in. As I started to sway, to fog up.

To forget.

An impossible thing, forgetting.

But I’ll try anyway. Continue reading “Hyde Within”

Rise, Helsing

Knowledge is power.

That’s what my old man would tell me, right before he went off to fight. To claim back “what was taken”. To push back against evil. It was the last thing he told me, right before he never returned.

Knowledge is power?

What a load of crap.

Knowledge isn’t power.

Just because you know those lights at the end of the tunnel are a train doesn’t mean you’ll be saved. Knowledge isn’t power.

It’s knowing.

There are things in this world coming for you. Things that are nearly impossible to stop. Knowledge just lets you know. Makes you understand exactly how much fear you should have. Continue reading “Rise, Helsing”

Undead Truth

People are foolish.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my thousand years, it’s that.

People will believe anything they want to believe. The truth can be staring them down, ready to eat them, and still.

They’ll believe what they want to believe.

A plague of their own. A curse that they consistently choose:

Ignore the ugly truth.

Not that I’m complaining.

Honestly, it makes my job a whole hell of a lot easier. Continue reading “Undead Truth”

Part of the Crop: A Tale of Harvest

Nobody outside of the community would know, because there’d be no way for them to know. This curse is ours, and ours alone. No other land sees the creature—no one else has to fear it like we do. Our ancestors spilt the blood on this land, and this land makes us pay for it.

Over.

And over.

And over again.

Every year.

When the crops rise, and the harvest moon peaks its bleary eyes out over the night sky, we know.

It’s almost time. Continue reading “Part of the Crop: A Tale of Harvest”

Giant Problems

Basements—especially the unfinished ones—were my least favorite. You never knew what you were going to find down there. Unfinished ones were usually designated storage space. Sometimes you’d find weird things, like mannequins, or halloween decorations, or old machinery. Sometimes, there’d just be mounds and mounds of boxes.

Sometimes, you’d find the source of their problems.

The cause for their fear.

Basements were hotbeds for them.

Bugs. Continue reading “Giant Problems”

Leading Ghost

Chill stings the back of my throat. A shudder rippling down to my toes. When the wind walks, it walks swiftly by, speaking in a whisper. An urgent, unavoidable whisper, and I know.

I must follow the ghost. Continue reading “Leading Ghost”

Understanding Ichabod

“Wasn’t he, like, a town guardian, or something?”

“What? No, he was a solider that got beheaded right?”

“I thought he was a demon.”

I rolled my eyes at the three of them. “First of all, he’s a legend. Second of all, he’s based on the Irish myth of the dullahan. In the story, he’s a soldier, but, the original idea came from the folklore. So, I guess he could be considered a demon? Some considered faerie creatures to be demons, so—”

“You’ll allow it?” Randy interjected.

I rolled my eyes at his devilish grin. “Yeah, I’ll allow it.”

The others chuckled as we made our way down the dark and spooky trail.

The trail that was more than myth, and more than legend.

The Trail fo Ichabod Crane. Continue reading “Understanding Ichabod”

Hollow Masks

Masks.

A magical device meant to ward off evil. Send the unwanted away from your person. Hide yourself from the gaze of the undead. From the gaze of those that would hurt you. Masks, back in the first days of All Hallow’s Eve, were meant to keep you safe. Protect you from the unknowns of this world. From the evil that surely lurked in the shadows, that came out to play on this one night every year.

They were a magic like no other. A warding off of evil. A way to protect yourself.

Masks were a sanctuary that not even the dead could cross. A facade so believable, even the monsters are fooled.

A way to engulf yourself so fully that you’re never found.

I wonder why we think things have changed. Continue reading “Hollow Masks”