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October...



My Favorite Month in the Year has finally arrived!! As tradition holds true, here is my short story on the season [circa 1999, 21 years ago? Whoa. Time flies!]. If you care to read it, scroll down (it's quite long). A Haunting tale of folklore, dreams, mystery, and the horror of the night, All Hallow's Eve.


On this October night, I find myself walking through the country fields, into the forest entertaining the thoughts of a costume party I am to attend. My chiffon gown radiates silvery blue in the light of the autumn moon. It billows ghostlike with the breeze. Toting my silken slippers in hand, I walk on. Through the thin wispy clouds moonbeams guide me toward the trees. Ahead, the forest entices. As my foot falls, the sea of grasses yields to my step. With each stride, down-like seeds from the golden blades beneath me take flight. From a distance a dog barks, echoing back to me. Now before me the thicket stands. Into the woods I cautiously trespass. A haunting whisper of wind casts a spell. Blinded by the gloom, I stop. Something's lurking within for the odor of musk I perceive. As I advance, a faint touch to my shoulder I feel. Should I continue or should I run and take leave? I find courage and persevere...deeper into the forest I know so well. Convincingly I say to myself "You know this wood, you've been here before. A hundred times, at least". Farther I go forward, heart racing inside. That touch to my shoulder....imagination or real? In the pitchy surroundings there's a snap of a dried twig behind me. I twirl around, gulping breath as I find focus. Through the darkened skeletal branches red, firey, eyes are piercing my now chilled flesh. With undescribable fright, I scream! I close my eyes and hide them from further viewing with my clenched fists. Again, in haste, I find my footing. I swivel to my left, running. As I run away, low pine branches scratch and cut my face. I breathlessly try to leave before I am captured. I glance over my shoulder. The malevolent eyes...they've vanished! A hidden rock jutting from the dried pine needles and fallen leaves trips me. I fall to the damp odorous forest floor. The fragrance of musty, decaying grasses and leaves permeates, entering my every pore. From fright, I don't know, but I lose consciousness, laying nearly face down on the ground. Then, for maybe what was hour, or just minutes, I am awakened! A damp warm cloth is wiping across my scored face, bringing me back to reality. Slowly opening my eyes, I see through the haze a white creature, with eyes reflecting red from the night's dim light at my face! As I labor to rise, the leaves and dried twigs have a muted sound now, and I watch it run from me. My muddled senses and quiet thudding of hoofbeats tell me it is a horse....white, and ghostly! As I find balance, I once again hurriedly try to escape the heavy and dangerous canopy from above. I look up for an assurance of the moonlight to guide me. The glow of the autumn moon is faint. The color of a ripe pumpkin. A brisk gust of wind hums through the boughs and I am startled. I feel deep regret of such a venture on such a night. I pick up my pace, glancing down to the ground. My bare feet are streaked with small cuts and covered with my own dried blood. Leaving this retched place, going back home to its warmth would be oh so good. I continue, inhaling and exhaling with a little more ease with each step out. Every sound I hear is magnified in my horror. At one point, I caught myself thinking...this forest, I don't recall it being so deep, so vast. I must leave this wood, get out in the wheat fields, and do it now... get out...and get out fast! Minutes pass like hours! Moonrays from the orange orb overhead grow darker. The witching hour is near. Feeling lost and quite abandoned, I cut through the trees at a fork in the forest's growth. Movement of the branches stop...no breeze! Searching for the way, stillness becomes deafening. I sit on a jagged stump of a fallen oak. Aching. Tears of exhaustion and anxieties drop from my eyes onto my muddied chiffon. From behind me, deeper into the darkness, I hear a spine chilling scream. No where to go, but run! Run as fast as my achy legs and bloodied feet can carry me. Out from this terror! As I run, the woods become blacker. Mist begins to fall around me. Dampness. I was a lost soul. I knew not where I was. Then, voices I hear. Happy voices! Not far from me. Again I stand and listen. Yes! I hear them, just over the hill, somewhere near me. I step up my cantor and traipse on. Finally, a clearing in the wood. The fog of the night, surrounds my soul as I leave the darkness of the forest. Listening through the misty grayness of night the voices again come to my ear. With each step, laughter & sounds grow clearer and more distinct. I must be near town, at last heading to the party! Through the drizzle, they call me. An iron gate soon appears. Laughter, human voices. Fun. As I step through the black gate, figures appear! At last! I'm safe. In the company of friends! They know me, for they all call me. Call out my name. Groups of friends gather 'round. Their features still not distinct, I feel a warm glow in my heart. As I begin to retell my tale, some move in closer to listen, to console me. Then, it hits me. The smell of dead flesh! This is no party! I've entered a graveyard. Forms now become visible. Friends? No! They're certainly not mine. They're walking dead! Reversing my steps, I leave in a rush. Some chase after, beckoning me. The fields are now damp with moisture. Sticking to me as I run. The light from the moon has disappeared with the storm. Black is the night. Thunder rolls in the distance. What was beauty at dusk, now seems deadly, treacherous. Blades shredding my chiffon as I run. I did not know the direction I headed! Just putting distance between me and the dead, I felt I could survive this. Lightening flashes closeby. With the iridescent light, I saw a structure. A house! Within, lights glowed golden through the night, perhaps with it carrying friendship and guidance homeward. Each step I take takes great effort. I am tired and want to rest. I want to be home. Safe on such a haunting evening. Behind my own doors. Perhaps these fine folk will be able to direct me home. Flashes of lightning again show me the way. Yet, somehow the storm quickly subsides. A calmness in the night. Lunar beams reappear. Exhaustion nearly overcomes me as I step through what was once a wooden gate. I step nearer. The house glows in the darkened night. Pumpkin orange as the harvest moon. I collapse when I reach the delapidated steps to the entry door. As I fall onto the wooden slats, I realize the apparitions that seem to float around the house....I look to the moon. At the top cupola, a faint bluish glow flies through the night air. I awaken in familiar surroundings. I vaguely remember the happenings, though still lingering. I step from my bed, searching for clues. My ivory flesh upon my feet are not scarred, nor any evidence of cuts. My dress made of chiffon, thrown over the chairback is clean and lacking any torn parts. I search upon my image in the mirror, nothing. Was all this just a dream? Or, did it happen somehow? Knocking on my door brought me around from my trance. Mother comes in carrying my silken slippers! "These were found down by the old graveyard this morning. Dagger, our ol' mut musta drug them off...." She says as she drapes them over the victorian bedpost. Last evening was All Hallow's Eve, with an orange October Moon©

46 comments :

  1. Usually September is my favorite month, but this year we had a lot of appointments with doctors and dentists. Fingers crossed for October.

    I started reading your story but it sounded too scary. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really isn't scary ... but a mystery, more or less.

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  2. Ok so when I clicked the link it came right back to this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It opened the same page for me too.

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  3. OOPS, my bad. I didn't scroll down far enough...lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fixed. I just went out & copiedรพpasted it here.

      Delete
  4. [[[[[[[[[shiver]]]]]]]]]] Okee-dokie!! *haha* You're a true Halloween Gal, Anni!!! :-) ~Andrea xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Anni,

    I love your moon image and I enjoyed your story. Take care, have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I so enjoyed your story and I love your October moon!

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  7. Fun read. October is YOUR month to rule for sure!

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  8. with a story like this in your head, no wonder you love Halloween and Witches.. All the way through I was laughing inside my head because i will not even go out in the backyard with the dog at midnight without turning on the flood lights. when bob does he takes a flashlight so he can see the black dog in the shadows, but doesn't turn on lights. I love mystery and action and books like that but don't read the ones that are horror stories... yours was great and i kept expecting it to be horror but it was not. liked the ending...

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  9. Loved your story Anni, it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. You are a woman of many talents! Have a spooktacular October :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best month for me! Can you tell? lol

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  10. Ah so you're a writer too. Great story. Spooky.

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  11. What a story!! Not too sure I breathed during the read. You really held me and I was so hoping for the dream aspect but then those darn slippers. That would be a great story to tell around a campfire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would probably scream with the wood crackling!

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  12. Can I breathe yet?? Whew, you are a woman of many talents and this is an amazing story. No wonder you love the month of October so much.
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love your HALLOWEEN photos.

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  14. Suspenseful for sure! I choose to believe it was all a dream, but the ending makes it all seem possible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...everything's possible, they say.

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  15. October is a good month, but to me they all are good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May, June, July & August is torture here along the coast.

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  16. Dearest Anni. Please do not ever, ever invite me to go with you to a Halloween party. The answer is no, nada, zilch, nope, uh uh, never, absolutely not! I am still shaking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd tend to think of saying "boo"...but, instead, I'll say sorry it scared you.

      Delete
  17. Captivating and thrilling story! Whew!!! Thank you for sharing! Have a grand weekend

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  18. oh no, not disturbing as you commented on my blog. Rather, an excellent write! Scared the crap outta me! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow! That is a riveting tale Anni, beautifully told and had me on the edge of my seat. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great story! It kept me wondering....

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  21. Loving it Anni!!!
    Excellent!!! I was gasping for breath, too, as I read this wonderfully haunted tale.
    Loved the twists and the turns of her flight of fright! Great story for the season ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒ™
    As a matter of fact I am going to read it again...tonight as I sit by my fireplace with a cup of tea ☕

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your kind words...knowing your ability to write, I feel accomplished.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous10/05/2020

    I truly liked reading what you wrote, it had quite a shocking twist! Your story kind of reminded me of a movie I saw long ago, where there was a woman that discovered she was sleepwalking.

    ReplyDelete

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