I’m supposed to be planning tonight’s big neighborhood Halloween Hotdogs potluck, cooking 216 hotdogs and five pounds of chicken nuggets, but the weather report has gotten so dire for this evening that we had to punt the party to tomorrow in favor of hopefully buying the kids a few more rain/wind/thunder-free trick or treating minutes tonight. Because it WILL happen tonight!

I set a few contingency plans in place, including an opt-in do-over for trick or treating tomorrow night (mostly for littles). So crazy it just might work? I guess we’ll see. The trick may be on me! But really, it’s all about the kids so cross your fingers and wiggle your nose for dry spells this evening!

I’m posting this really close to the wire, but it’s been a while and I wanted to have a go at ‘Muse” Susanna Hill’s 9th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest! I started something on this subject for last year’s contest but didn’t finish in time.

I’ve been thinking about the origins of Halloween and the cycle of death and rebirth that many cultures, traditions, and religions celebrate, at or beginning at this time of year (in North America). Also, my own grandmother is 101 and a half (you get the halves back again after you turn a certain age). I have been very lucky to have had her in my life these 47 (and a half) years.

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words potion, cobweb, and trick.

The Old Ways

“Tonight ain’t fit for man or beast,” Granny would’ve grinned.

Rain pelts the window by the flickering gourd. 

I leave warm bread on the sill, in case They still come for tricks. 

“Tonight the veil grows cobweb thin,” Granny would’ve winked.

I set her favorite scones and tea on the mantle.

Ma feels my head, gives me a potion, and tucks me into my quilt.

“Go to sleep, child. Tomorrow’s a new day,” I heard Granny sigh.

Restless and sweating, I must be asleep. Finally, I dream. 

Then bleary and blinking in the morning light, I realize she is gone.