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Halloween is just around the corner.  The decorations are up, kids costumes bought, the pumpkin is awaiting carving, and we’re putting off buying the candy so it doesn’t get eaten before Halloween.

 

In honor of Halloween, I’ll be sharing a few ghouslish tidbits.

Today’s feature story is a flash fiction story (1,000 words or less) called “Knock on Ginger“.  It is about (yes you guessed it) the game we have all played at some point as kids.

 

A Halloween did you know:

Did you know that Halloween has Celtic roots?  According to an article on Wikipedia, in the festival of Samhain the end of the harvest was celebrated with tones of the  festival of the dead, a festival honoring deceased community members.

 

Quoted from source:  Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain

“Celtic Reconstruction”

“According to Celtic lore, Samhain is a time when the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead become thinner, allowing spirits and other supernatural entities to pass between the worlds to socialize with humans. It is the time of the year when ancestors and other departed souls are especially honored. Though Celtic Reconstructionists make offerings to the spirits at all times of the year, Samhain in particular is a time when more elaborate offerings are made to specific ancestors. Often a meal will be prepared of favorite foods of the family’s and community’s beloved dead, a place set for them at the table, and traditional songs, poetry and dances performed to entertain them. A door or window may be opened to the west and the beloved dead specifically invited to attend. Many leave a candle or other light burning in a western window to guide the dead home. Divination for the coming year is often done, whether in all solemnity or as games for the children. The more mystically inclined may also see this as a time for deeply communing with the deities, especially those whom the lore mentions as being particularly connected with this festival.”

 

 

And as a final note I’d like to share with you  HALLOWEEN 2007 (cue spooky music):

 

Halloween Princesses

Halloween Princesses

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007 10 31 robyn 34mos halloween barbarian fairy princes (7)

2007 10 31 robyn 34mos halloween barbarian fairy princes (9)-2cropped

2007 10 31 sid 4yrs halloween snow white (2)

2007 10 31 sid 4yrs halloween snow white (3)-2cropped

Bookmark Halloween 2009 - 5 More Sleeps by L.V. Gaudet

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Knock On Ginger

By L. V. Gaudet

© January 2009

 

 

                The doorbell chimed, its ring bouncing merrily off the walls.

                The old woman pulled herself from her chair with difficulty, pulling her walker to her to use for support.  In the slow shuffle-walk of the infirm, she carefully placed the walker ahead then shuffled three little steps.  Thump shuffle shuffle shuffle, pause.  Thump shuffle shuffle shuffle, pause.

                When the old woman at last pulled the door open with shaky arthritis knobbed fingers and looked outside, no one was there.  She looked up and down the street in confusion, rheumy eyes squinting to see.

                From behind a bush around the corner of the old woman’s little house came the sound of giggles and snickers of children.

                Her eyes blazed with anger and her face turned red.  Feebly, the old woman raised one gnarled hand, trying unsuccessfully to make it into a fist to shake.  She shook it anyway, the loose skin of her arm flapping below the bicep.

                “You kids leave me alone,” the old woman yelled in her croaky old crone’s voice, spittle flying with the anger of her words.  “Leave off my bell!”  She shambled backwards with some difficulty and slammed the door closed, muttering and shaking her head angrily as she did so.

                Great guffaws of laughter burst from the bush and kids rolled out from behind it, holding their stomachs as they rolled, so hard were they laughing.  One, two, three, four kids; three boys and one girl.

                One boy got to his feet, wiping tears of laughter from his eyes.

                “That was great,” he exclaimed.

                “Did you see her face Billy?” another boy grinned eagerly as he joined the first boy.  Billy just nodded enthusiastically.

                The girl, Samantha, Sam for short, joined the boys with a sheepish grin on her face.  She did not feel right about doing this to the old woman, but that old woman always yelled at the kids when they played in front of her house.  Besides, it was fun!

                The third boy, Justin, finally stopped rolling on the ground and joined the other kids.

                “Billy, Evan, Sam… that was great!” he exclaimed.  “Did you see?  I swear she was gonna have a stroke, the old lady looked so mad!”  He looked at the other kids, eyes blazing with excitement.”

                They all stood around grinning at each other.

                “So, who’re we going to knock-on-ginger next?”  Justin asked.

                Just then, Sam’s mom came walking down the sidewalk towards them.  The kids all froze, staring at each other nervously.  Had she heard?  Did she see what game they had been playing?  They were all in trouble now, they thought.

                “Hi, kids,” Sam’s mom said as she paused on her way past the kids.  She looked at them, then at the old lady’s house, then back to the kids with a strange knowing smile hovering on her lips.

                “Kind of weird, isn’t it kids,” she said, looking at each child in turn.

                The four kids just blinked at her, fidgeting with nervousness.

                “Yes,” Sam’s mom said, answering their unasked question, “old Mrs. Wierdar has been part of this neighborhood forever.”  She looked at the house with a strange look, almost as though a vague sense of unease filled her.  “The house seems so… empty… since they took her away.”

                “Um, took her away,” the kids asked in unison, staring at Sam’s mom with very strange looks on their faces.

                “Yes,” Sam’s mom said, “didn’t you know?  She was taken away yesterday.  Her home care worker found her…”  She swallowed, a little uncertain now if she should be telling the kids this story.  “They think she might have been dead for two days before her home care worker found her … possibly a stroke.”  She reddened, embarrassed by the looks on the kids faces.  “Um, I have to go now,” and she hurried off down the street.

                The four kids just stared at each other, their faces white and eyes filled with fear.

 

 

 

Published:
Jan 20/09 online at MicroHorror http://www.microhorror.com/microhorror/category/author/l-v-gaudet/

Feb 23/09 online at Patchwork
http://www.patchworkproject.com/lvgaudet.html

Bookmark Knock On Ginger by L.V. Gaudet (Horror Flash Fiction)

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