Halloween trailer: Season of plastic fangs and pumpkin gloop

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Oh, my loves, it’s nearly that time of year again. You know the one I mean.

The supermarket shelves are heaving with enough black polyester lace to bring a gang of Girl Guides out in hives (What’s the collective noun for Girl Guides anyway? A pod? A shriek? A toadstool?). Plastic fangs and tridents litter the aisles. Pumpkins, cobwebs, false fingernails, automated skeletons … Every shop looks like a garage sale at that nice Mr and Mrs Dracula’s house.

In truth, the most terrifying thing is the amount of sugar on sale. Honestly, how can dentists be amongst the most depressed folk on the planet, when we keep eating this crap and throwing money at them to fix the ensuing problems?

All of this adds up to? No, not a Tory Party Conference, but

HALLOWEEN

However, everything I’ve mentioned above, the commercial, tacky side of Halloween isn’t the best bit.

No, the best bits are the scary stories, the myths, the legends, the feeling that at this time of year, the web between our world and the next might be a tiny bit thinner, that we really should be staying home and hiding under the covers.

To celebrate, all my posts between the 25th and 31st of October will bring you stories, music, film, TV and anything else I spot that might give you the creeps and stop you from sleeping soundly in your beds.

You have been warned. Mwoo-hah-hah-hah! 


This season of events is inspired by the wonderful work of Walt Walker at Waltbox, whose inspiring October posts have made me so envious, I want to get in on the terrifying action. Here’s to you, maestro.

In the dark, all alone

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I’m in bed for the longest time, trying to fall back to sleep, trying to ignore the pressure in my tummy, but I won’t sleep while I need a wee so badly and I don’t know what to do because I know what’s out there.

But it’s no good and I think if I have to do it then make it quick, so I kick off my duvet, though it’s caught round my foot, and I push away my panda and my Sindy dolls and the others and I put my feet to the floor, scuffing dolls and bricks and books out of the way as I go.

It must be later than I thought, because I can’t hear the telly downstairs and all I can hear is snoring and the creak of the boards under my feet and the odd snap and crack which I tell myself is just from the house, just the voice the house has at night, nothing more.

I reach the door and wait. I want to be fast, so fast nothing can catch me, but I need to be slow too, because what if there’s already something waiting out there on the landing? But I know I won’t see it until it’s too late, because it will be hiding in the darkest shadows, breathing shallow, waiting for me, just me.

I think of Dracula and Frankenstein and ghosts and mad men, arms round their backs, all tied up in special coats, screaming between the bars of their cells. And I think of the faces that come at night, rushing from the darkness, their blank, open eyes, their hollow mouths buffeting my cheeks and I want a wee more than ever.

I step out on the landing, the door creaking so loudly I’m worried it will wake someone and I hope it will wake someone then I won’t be alone and I won’t have told anyone I was scared because I’m really too old to be scared of the dark.

The loo is across the way from my room, past my parents’ door, past my brother’s, very close but so very far away when you’re afraid, when you’re alone.

I run, open the loo door, switch on the light, lift the lid and sit, not daring to look down, not daring to look, in case the SOMETHING is there, staring back, in case it will reach up and snatch me. In the day I’d take my time, pick at the walls, peel off the brown paint with my fingernail, but not at night, at night I wee as fast as I can and I wipe myself, though not as well as when it’s light, and I won’t stop to wash my hands or to flush, because that means I’ll be longer, in the dark all alone.

I’ve pulled my pyjama bottoms up and it’s time to turn off the light, but I need to look first, need to check there’s no one there, nothing there, so I look out onto the landing and I see the brown swirly carpet and the airing cupboard, the Firebird paintwork and there is nothing, though I know that won’t stop me thinking there is. I can’t put it off any longer, so I pull the light switch and it’s dark, so much darker than before and the panic hits me, blinding, deafening and I worry I’ll be paralysed by it, that I won’t be able to run.

Then I’m running – one, two, three, four, five steps across the landing – I’m through the door, over the floor, in my bed, the duvet pulled over my head before I can think. I was sure this time there’d be a claw on my shoulder, teeth in my heel, but I’ve escaped, I’m alive and I wait for my heart to settle, for the shivering to ease so I can sleep again.

And I hope that tommorow night I won’t need a wee.


Day Seventeen: Your personality on the page

Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Today’s Twist: Write this post in a style distinct from your own.

Here’s a stream of consciousness from a very vivid childhood memory. I think I watched too may scary movies as a child…