October is finally here. It’s time to pull sweaters out of storage and get ready for a month of shivers and all things ghoulish. Autumn’s crisp breath will whisper a dreaded prophecy of summer’s death while it rustles blood-red leaves overhead. With a climactic gust, their spines break and they float down to join their dismembered kin. Once pliable with youth, their desiccated bodies crunch under my boots’ leather soles. Get the picture?
Leaf piles, apple cider, and all things pumpkin appear overnight. The days shorten and bleak mornings yawn and stretch while trying to shake off a shroud of fog, When it lifts, burnished leaves shimmer against the bright blue sky. They will drop with temperatures later in the month then naked trees will shiver, their gnarled arthritic branches revealed for all to see. I can’t help myself.
Farmers and gardeners hustle to eke out the last of their harvest. Productive perennials shut down, then settle into their roots for the winter while their annual neighbors fight for life. First frost lurks with icy fingers which slip through the landscape strangling fragile fern and fauna. With a silent gasp in the night, all is dead. Sheesh. I did it again.
Young and old will consider costumes for Halloween night. Some will seek superheroes, fairy princesses and other upbeat alter egos. While others will find pleasure in donning hideous masks of blood-thirsty vampires, zombies, or creatures I could only find in my worst nightmares. I’m being pursued by a phantom, a shadow, a sociopathic maniac with a shuffling step which closes in behind me as my feet become stuck in the muck. I wake and my heart pounds as I check under the bed, the closet, and then heave a sigh and smirk at my ridiculous imagination. Once inside the shower, my dog barks in warning. One single yip and it is silent… Muahahaha…
Television stations will count down the 31 days of horror and we’ll see reruns of horror’s best. Hitchcock will return with a murdering psycho who raises a butcher knife to sounds of high pitched violin squeals. Birds will flock in an uncommon way and attack with unpredictable pandemonium. Stephen King will see a spike in revenue as our longing for scenes of sheer terror hit a feverous frenzy. My heart will pump at an alarming rate but I’ll force myself to watch.
Boxes of Halloween decor will be unpacked. I’ll slip into an especially ghoulish costume, then the guests will arrive. It’s my favorite month. October.
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Do you love autumn and Halloween? What do you do to get into the mood?
And a creepy flash fiction for you–