Photo: Tandem X Visuals
Photo: Tandem X Visuals
It was a dark and cloudy night…the moon looked down upon the earth and chortled. Not loudly, just a short snort and a snicker or two. I mean, we look like dots to the moon. But still, when you’re the moon things can get kind of boring, even with all the action taking place around you. Falling stars, things winking in and out of existence, lots of stuff blowing up and radiating other stuff. Planets being born, and planets dying, aliens flying back and forth, and don’t even think about Dark Matter, which won’t difficult, since we don’t know how to think about Dark Matter.
Anyway, the point is, that it was dark and cloudy. The free roaming animals were trying to hide, since the humans looked weird. But animals have to eat, so they just did it more quietly and in deeper shadows.
Vampires love Halloween Night. They can wear their capes, go to parties and do all sorts of things that they normally can’t do during the rest of the year. And besides, dark and cloudy only matters if you’re outside, right? It’s light inside buildings…usually. it’s just being outside that everyone needs to worry about.
So, dark and cloudy and lots and lots of Vamps on the prowl. The Werewolves kind of keep the Vamps in line, because a lot of Vamps are allergic to dog fur. Werewolves don’t actually have to attack the Vamps, they just have to shed on them. Not many humans know that, so if you’re going out, take a small, very hairy, dog with you. I’d suggest a cat, but if you’ve ever tried to carry a cat around with you, for any length of time, especially in a new and loud environment, well, good luck with that. If you want to give it a shot, be sure to have a first aid kit close at hand. FYI not all Vamps are named Vlad and not all Werewolves are named Miles.
Okay, dark and cloudy, Vamps, Werewolves and allergies. Let’s not forget the Fairies. Fairies absolutely LOVE to drag people across the border into Fairy. They are incredibly manipulative and adore making irrevocable deals with humans. They will spell you with food and drink and make you their pet. You may never see your loved ones again, so really, I’m telling you straight, don’t screw around with them. Here’s the hard part, Fairies are gorgeous. The most beautiful human in the world would be ugly next to one of them. Because of their great beauty and grace, it’s far too easy to be misled by them. Fairies have no feelings for humans and if you become their minion, you’ll either end up dead, or wish that you were. If you see anyone too beautiful to be true…run.
Let’s talk about rug rats. They merrily go from house to house threatening people who refuse to give them treats. Now that the world is diseased, not a lot of that is taking place any longer, much to the delight of dentists everywhere. Or maybe not, depending on how much money dentists want to make.
Other beings can masquerade as rug rats. Sure they look cute, big eyes and sweet smiles that cover their sharp, pointy incisors. They have no trouble eating your liver, heart and other internal organs. Ghouls are like that, so don’t open the door to anyone, if you want to live. FYI: Not all monsters are ugly.
Nothing matters to a monster, and some of the worst monsters ever, can be people you know. So, seriously, on Halloween night, lock your doors and windows, pull the curtains closed, make sure your phone is fully charged, keep the lights ON make yourself a cup of hot chocolate. Put on your fuzzy slippers and dress comfortably. Grab your Glock 22, make sure it’s fully loaded, and spend the night reading anything that’s not a horror story. Keep your dog close and your cat on your lap.
No matter what you do, have fun and try to survive. The monsters are everywhere. Hopefully you’ll never run into a politician.
Morgan was on the far side of five, when his interest in dinosaurs set in. He loved them. All of them. No matter the occasion, whatever the gift, all he ever asked for was a dinosaur.
People bought him books and t-shirts with dinosaurs on the front, but while Morgan wore his dinosaur clothing, and read his books, noting truly satisfied him. At first, people thought his love of dinosaurs was cute, but then it turned into a full-blown obsession.
It was near Halloween and, of course, Morgan wanted to go the school Halloween party, dressed as a dinosaur. His mother had a costume all ready for him. But the night before the party, Morgan couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t that he was excited, it was more that he wanted to BE a T-Rex. He finally dozed off around two in the morning.
His mother had breakfast ready, knowing this was a big day for school children, but when she went to tell him his waffles were ready, he was nowhere to be found. She heard a soft noise in the yard. When she looked out of the window, she finally saw Morgan. His wish had come true.
it’s never too early
or too late
to be who you really are
to embrace your true self
isn’t that what everyone
but the truth is
there are those
for the safety of the rest of us
need to keep their true selves
locked up tight
Photo: Zachary Kadolph
“I was told you were a Seer,” he said, walking into the room.
She nodded. “Sit down.”
“How much will it cost?”
“That is yet to be decided. It depends on what I see.”
“I want a price up front,” he said, smiling at her.
“I see that you’re in danger.”
“You probably say that to everyone.”
“No, not to everyone. I only say it to people who are in danger.”
“You can leave now.”
“I don’t like you. And your negativity will poison this space. Go away.”
“But I want to know my future.”
“You will. You’ll know it as it plays out. Of course, someone named Randy, your best friend and partner, I believe, is going to kill you in two days. So your future won’t be as long as you thought it would be.”
He stared at her.
“Goodbye,” she said, standing up. “I have clients who are serious about what I can tell them and you are using up their valuable time. ”
“Randy’s going to kill me?” he said, laughing loudly. “You must be joking. And how do you know Randy?”
“It would be good if you removed yourself immediately. I don’t think you’d like being a frog, although some men do actually like it, or so I’ve been told.”
“I’ll pay your price, whatever it is. Tell me how he’s going to kill..ribbit…ribbit.”
“I just saved your life,” she snickered. “He won’t find you in the pond out back. But he will take over the company you built together, and he’ll try to get your wife to marry him. She won’t. She never really liked him. I don’t think she liked you either, at least not for the past couple of years. She’ll going to buy herself a beautiful house on the ocean and live happily ever after, without you. If if makes you feel any better, she won’t be the least bit lonely.”
“Mary, will you take this lovely frog out to the pond and introduce him to the others?”
“Of course,” said Mary, picking him up off the floor.
“Then send in the next seeker, please.”
Mary smiled and nodded, softly closing the door behind her as she left.
Photo: Charles C. Collingwood
It was the kind of night that encouraged one’s heart to beat faster. Dense fog, and an empty platform. Quiet as a grave, some would say.
The next train would arrive at eight, so twenty minutes to wait. He didn’t want to go downstairs to the platform, until a few minutes before boarding, so he started pacing back and forth. He texted his wife, telling her he’d be late, but she’d already left to pick him up and said she would just wait at the station.
The fog deepened. He could barely see a foot in front of him. He told himself there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. After all, he was a six foot two, well built, man who knew how to fight. But something was off.
The fog felt as if it was caressing him. Wrapping itself around him. He knew it couldn’t be whispering, but he didn’t know where else the whispers could be coming from. He took out his phone. He’d call her and talk until it was time to catch the train. But the phone’s battery was dead, which was impossible, since it was fully charged ten minutes ago.
Then he heard his name being called. The voice was throaty, deep and delicious. He shook it off and thought maybe it was time for a check-up. But he heard it again. And then again. He felt someone run a hand down his face, then his back. It felt so real, but he was the only one there. He’d been working too hard. That was it. It was time for a vacation. He just needed some time off.
Then he felt soft lips against his and he fell back against the bench that was behind him. He wiped off his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Not funny,” he should out loud.
A female body was suddenly pressed tightly against him. Fingers running through his hair. Lips, once again on his. He dropped his briefcase and tried to push whatever it was away, but the only thing there, was fog. His hands fluttered in front of him, as her laughter washed over him. He was finding it difficult to breath. Fear wasn’t something he was used to and his senses went into overdrive. Eyes wide, he tried to see through the fog. He couldn’t remember what time it was, or where the stairs were. The fog was too thick. He couldn’t think.
Her hands were all over him, under his clothing, tugging his face forward, toward her waiting mouth. His shirt was open, he was shivering, damp and cold.
“Yummy,” she whispered, into his ear, licking his shoulder, which was bare.
He started shouting.
“There’s noting to be afraid of,” she said, breathlessly, nipping at his chest.
“Nothing at all,” said a new voice, as more hands began touching him.
“What are you? What do you want?” he said, trembling. “Tell me,” he begged. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
They found his body on the platform, the next morning. The sun was out, the trains were running on time, and everyone was talking about the strange fog they had noticed the night before. Not one person mentioned the naked man covered in bite marks who had been found on the platform. After all, it wasn’t the first time.
Photo: Jonas Jaeken
Photo: Annie Spratt
Photo: Karolina Grabowska
Photo: Daniel Lincoln