Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween!

Best Halloween story EVER

So says a reviewer: Best Halloween story Ever!

From Latticework, Feast Night:

The living and the dead are inseparable.

HALLOWEEN. All Hallows Eve.
Some call it a pagan festival. Others know it as an evil feast. Time and technology has not yet forced it into the recesses of memory and myth. Some see it as a carnival of fun. Others regard it as the worst manipulation humankind has confronted, and continues to face. Relegate it to the past, bury it in layers of legend and let us be done, they say … and are ignored.
This is the greatest night of all dark nights for the dead.
On this one night the lifeless are awake and aware after waiting in impatience and agitation too many forgotten nights, again to stalk the innocent and unwary, a nocturnal forage of feasting on souls after spilling fresh, warm blood.
They will not surrender to memory and myth.
Dark, starlit and moonless are the heavens, the wind ghostly in towering leafless and gnarled trees. It is cold and fog swirls as apparitions. In mist-ridden shadows death appears once more.
Tree limbs are like old women's spectral fingers reaching out to anyone who happens to pass, anyone creeping along the path of blood and gore on this night, hoping to remain unnoticed, unseen. There is no hope.
Children out trick-a-treating are snatched by black-cloaked figures and what is left to remind their parents of terrible tragedy are fear-ridden, hollow screams, and wicked cackles from the shadows.
Children are sacrificed as living victims to the gods, gods who enjoy the spilling of guts over paths while fire dances its erratic rhythm around sacrificial altars. Gods with names from ancient, mythical times. Their names should be scrapped from every record, and yet even a whisper of a name keeps them alive.
This horror happens annually in the town called Flarant. It is a town isolated by nature and fear, given the widest berth by strangers near and far; a town to be forgotten by humankind, a sacrifice of the few to save the many.
Year after year the townspeople hope for change. Year after year they attempt to leave Flarant in the aftermath, and year after year an invisible force drives them back.
Fearful of the terror and tragedy, no one leaves home; everyone is indoors and barricaded inside before the sun sets for All Hallows. Year after year they hope to remain safely inside. Year after year they hope to save their children. Year after year they are terrorised and haunted out into dark and menacingly quiet streets. Children slink from house to house with their pails to entice sweets, terror dogging every step.
Half will be sacrificed, year after year.

Find out what happens when Flarant is besieged once again on Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2019


This is a personal post. In other words, I'm putting it up because it is something I need to do for me; it isn't about viewership and it isn't an invitation to gather in sympathy. This is about letting go or, if I'm not quite ready to do so, at least a means to lightening the load by sharing it here.

I lost my mom about six weeks ago and I was on the other side of the world unable to say goodbye in person. Due to circumstances, a flight back to the southern hemisphere for her funeral was out of the question also. I was there in spirit, though, and recorded a message to accompany photos to be played at the funeral (thank heaven's for technology!).

Earlier this evening, during a conversation with my sister, she asked about my blog and suggested I unload some of my sorrow by writing about it. I am not able yet to write about it, or talk about the circumstances that led to her unexpected passing, but I intend to when I have enough distance from the immediacy of loss. However, I thought I'd share my recorded words.  To that end, I listened to the message, to transcribe what I said, which was the first time I have done so after the fact, and having done so, I realised the act of sharing them here will help my healing process. 

Thanks, Denise, for prompting me to do this :)

Hi, mom; this is for you.

I’m going to miss you. I already miss you, in fact. I miss talking to you, joking with you, walking with you, and yet in an odd way I feel as if you are still with us. Mostly because of memories, but also because of everything you taught me.

Thank you for giving me a love for cooking and all the advice when I, as a new adult in my first new place, phoned you up multiple times about how to prepare this dish and bake that Cornish hen.

Thank you for teaching me how to crochet. I know I’ll never be as good as you and, man, you knew how to twist that yarn, but know that I smile every time I do use my crochet needles. It taught me patience too, I must tell you … and some swear words.

Thank you for gifting me a love for plants. My green fingers come from your passion for growing things. You know, no matter where in the world I am, that my house is ever filled with plants, even now.

Mostly, though, thank you for listening, for caring, for sharing, for every meal made with so much love, for every Christmas gathering, for every smile, for every hug, for every walk we took through every nursery, for every herb plant bought, for every flower, for … everything.

I’m sorry I’m not there to say goodbye in person, but I know you understand and, the truth is, saying goodbye doesn’t feel quite right. It’s more, go well, and I’ll be speaking to you still when only mom is meant to hear … you know, those secrets and things … until the day we meet again in person.

There aren’t enough words to explain my gratefulness and appreciation for everything you did for me over the years, but know that I love you. I will love you always. Go well, mom. Loads hugs and love.

Cheers, mom; go well.