Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween 2009 - 3 More Sleeps

Halloween 2009 – 3 More Sleeps

I’m noticing more houses on the street becoming playgrounds for the ghoulish creatures from the land of B horror movies and nightmares. But it sure is a far cry from the fanciful ghoulish wonderland I remember as a child. It used to be that you could tell a house’s motives even before the day witches, goblins, and vampires roam the night. Almost all the houses participating in the ritual of Halloween treat giving had some kind of decoration. Later, as droves of fairies, cowboys, and two-legged pumpkins roamed the darkening streets with all manner of monsters, each house told its own story. Decorations meant they embraced this night. No porch light and no decorations meant keep off my property, there will be no treats here tonight. A decorated house with no porch lights meant the candy well had run dry.

Some things have not changed over the years. Bigger kids mugging smaller kids for their candy, the occasional house being T-Ped or egged (usually the ones where the homeowner were less than kid friendly), and the stern admonition to not eat any candy until it could be thoroughly inspected by a parent. And, of course, there has always been the ones verging on teen-hood and are at that awkward stage of being too old for trick or treating, but still long for those youthful days that are so fresh in their memories. Eventually they manage to sneak off one way or another for some late trick or treating before all the houses shut down for the night. I don’t mind those kids. I was their age once and remember that longing. Some of them even manage to come up with something resembling a costume, while others mumble and hang their heads, thinking they should be embarrassed or ashamed.

One thing that certainly has changed is the number of parents roaming the streets. When I was a kid that one night of the year the dark belonged to the children. Gaggles of giggling kids roamed the neighborhoods, racing from one house to the next, trying to hit as many houses as they could. You saw the occasional preschooler waddling along, parent in tow. But usually they were done before the school-agers were out. They’d hit a few houses, and then quickly retire to the warmth of their homes to hand out candy. Now, almost every group of kids has at least one adult guardian shadowing them through the darkness. Parents keep a wary eye, homeowners keep a wary eye, and kids no longer race about with the same free-spirited enthusiasm as they did when they ran free once upon a time. After all, they now have to behave and let their slower travelling parents, who are generally not inclined to race pell-mell from house to house, keep up.

Has the world we live in really become so much more dangerous over the years? Or has the global world of technology and communication only served to make us more aware of the dangers that lurk in the night? Are the dangers really that much more prevalent than before, or that we know of, or have we just turned paranoid?

Today’s feature story is a double dose of flash fiction storys (1,000 words or less).

First up is “Snow“. It is a somewhat surreal look at a how things happen around each of our own little worlds, separate from each other. Oh yeah, and there’s a killer too.

Then we take a peek “Behind a White Curtain” where we look at this same story in a more focused way. And that focus is on the killer himself and his world.

A Halloween did you know:

Did you know that the custom of begging door to door for treats (trick-or-treating) while dressed in costumes dates back as far as the middle ages? This was practiced not only at Halloween, but also when people went wassailing at Christmas too. At Halloween people (mostly the poor and children) went souling, begging door to door for food. They would be given soul cake in exchange for giving prayers for the dead.

An interesting read – Halloween Candy

Here’s a fun Halloween candy game for the kids.

And here is a frightening visage from HALLOWEEN 2008 (cue spooky music):


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