Halloween party planning is afoot. Rumors are spreading faster than notes and invitations, kids are eagerly discussing who brings what treat, and mothers are frantically thinking fast how to “make” 25 of the best boo-and-goo orange iced pumpkin cupcakes on the block with little or no warning.
Today’s feature story is a flash fiction story (1,000 words or less) called “The Woods “. It is about two brothers doing as brothers do, daring each other to go into the spooky woods beyond their house.
And just for fun, here is a Halloween poem I wrote to get the kids stomping and yelling. “Witches, Goblins, and Spooks – Oh My!”
A Halloween did you know:
Did you know that the jack-o'-lantern got its name from the will-o'-wisp, a torch made from a bundle of sticks or paper? There are numerous folklore tales from around the world. The details vary, but the premise seems to be much the same. A soul of ill repute appears in association with a strange flickering light. It may be the soul of a man or beast, depending on the culture. In some stories it tries to lure the unwary, in all it is something best avoided. When you see strange flickering lights at night or twilight resembling a flickering lamp, make haste for home. It might be something not of this world in search of a victim to torment.
What are the lights really? Some believe these strange lights, the will-o'-wisp, or ignis fatuus in Latin, the “ghost lights”, are the product of gasses created by organic decay. Another theory is that they are the result of electricity being created by a tectonic shift, and the heating up of rocks containing earthly goods like quartz or silicon. Yet another theory is glow in the dark owls. Yes, apparently owls do glow in the dark. Those darned barn owls and their luminescent plumage apparently may have been terrorizing lone travelers for centuries. And of course there will always be the original (and more fun) folklore myths about what those eerie lights in the distance really are.
Just in case, I think I’ll walk a little bit faster and keep my eyes steady on the road straight ahead the next time I happen to be strolling at twilight past bogs, swamps, or marshes, and any other lonely stretch of pristine land – just in case.
And now a very spooky picture just for Halloween.
Tia (R.I.P.) the Devil Dog
And for something even more frightening ... I don’t know what they are or where they came from, but they sure have a scarily uncanny resemblance to something I know ... but what? I know those can’t possibly be MY kids. My kids don’t eat bananas, swing from trees, or chase down gazelle for dinner - much. Whatever they are, I think they ate my kids. (You are what you eat and all that).