The walls between worlds draw thin. This world and which other, you might ask? The world of shadow, dreams, and imagination. Its denizens hurry along the streets in masks, shrouds of white, black, and orange, and bags full of sugar-bombs.
Tis the season. No, not that season. The other one. The one many of us horror fiends celebrate all year round, in our fashion.
The day is known as Samhain to those who recognize and celebrate the occasion’s Celtic roots, Hallow’s Eve to some others, and Halloween to many. It’s inspired countless adventures, tales, and films across the years.
In general, I’ve found inspiration in the fall season. Its arrival is unmistakable with a cooler note on the winds rustling among falling leaves, the season coloring the trees and steering summer behind us as another year winds toward its wintery conclusion.
Maybe the next year will be better. Maybe not. Perhaps we should appreciate what we have while it’s around. Watching the leaves fall has become a subtle reminder.
To step outside and sip a tasty beverage isn’t out of the question. Oktoberfest brews line the shelves, though I’m not partial to the style. In my experience, a winter warmer goes a long way on a brisk October day, even if October isn’t quite winter.
So there I am, sipping my whiskey-barrel ale on a Halloween night while the vampires, princesses, pirates, and green witches with pointy hats make the streets and occasion their own. A night of tricks and treats, a catalyst for liberation, and imagination overcomes fear.
Rise and conquer, children of the night. This is the stuff of stories.
Tommy B. Smith is a writer of dark fiction, author of The Mourner’s Cradle, Poisonous, and the short story collection, Pieces of Chaos, as well as works appearing in numerous magazines and anthologies throughout the years. His presence currently infests Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he resides with his wife and cats.