Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Start To The Halloween Season

Here's a little something to start the Halloween season in a spooky mood, but also as a warning to parents. This was published in October of 2003, and I wrote it in about twenty minutes. I must have been in the writing 'zone' at the time.

The Dark Road



Leaves skitter along the road in the chill autumn breeze. The road is a dark and quiet place.

The boy is eight years old. Dressed in a brand-new Batman costume, the cape a swirling dull sheen in the twilight, he skips along the dark road. He carries an empty sack in his hand. Halloween is just beginning. The mask he wears limits his vision, and he watches the roadway a few feet ahead to avoid holes and roadkill. He doesn't want to ruin his new costume.

He can hear his breath echoing in his ears and thinks of Darth Vader.

"Luke, I am your father," he intones in his best grown-up voice. He giggles and tries it again.

Light streams around him from behind, his shadow suddenly appearing ahead of his skipping form.

"I'm the Batman," he whispers.

Too late, he realizes something is different. The road ahead is filled with light and the elongated shadow of Batman.

He stops. A horn blares close behind. He turns, his eyes widening in shock, then fear.

He has no time to even scream before the huge truck strikes him.

The red tail-lights fade into the distance; leaves skitter along the road in the chill autumn breeze. The road is a dark and quiet place.


*****

Howard and June pulled off the road and stared into the dark night. They sat in the car, silent, as they had done each Halloween for the past ten years.

Howard glanced at his wife, saw the tears glistening on her cheeks in the dashboard light. He took her hand and gently squeezed it. She squeezed his in return, her eyes never straying from the dark road ahead.

"We should've been with him," she murmured.

Howard said nothing. They'd been over this before. Many times. Everything that could've been said had been.

"He shouldn't have been out here alone," she whispered.

Howard turned away, stared out the windshield. "He couldn't wait, June. We told him to wait for us. You know that." His voice was quiet, gentling.

"We should've been with him," she whispered again.

Howard watched the dark, windy road and sighed.

At last, June sniffled, patted his hand, and scrabbled through her purse for her hanky. It was her signal that it was time to go. Over until the next Halloween.

Howard started the car, glanced in the mirrors, and pulled out. The headlights illuminated the road, and the swirling leaves ahead. He drove slowly and carefully.

*****

The red tail-lights fade into the distance; leaves skitter along the road in the chill autumn breeze. The road is a dark and quiet place.

The boy is eight years old. Dressed in a brand-new Batman costume, the cape a swirling dull sheen in the twilight, he skips along the dark road. He carries an empty sack in his hand. Halloween is just beginning. The mask he wears limits his vision, and he watches the roadway a few feet ahead to avoid holes and roadkill. He doesn't want to ruin his new costume.


(© Copyright 2003 benning)
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11 comments:

camojack said...

Not bad.

Here is a fun game, just in time for Hallowe'en...

American Crusader said...

That wasn't the happiest of stories.
Nice writing though...
How about a happier subject?

Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Yes, that was "zone" writing. I'm not a lover of Halloween and that story just confirms my dislike of it.

Truth-Pain said...

.... I love this stuff, but then again I've been know to let the darker sides of my virtues froth to the top of my mind's "coffee". Thanks for a great read!

Gayle said...

Patrick and I have that in common. I'm not a lover of Halloween either, but I do admire exellent writing, and this shows your brilliant creative side, which I admire. :)

As for this word-verification thingy blogger uses, I can't believe the word I must type in to get this comment published: "ucfku"!

Anna said...

You definitely were in "the zone" there Benning! Great job!

Always On Watch said...

Benning,
I love this! Then again, I grew up on The Twilight Zone, Shirley Jackson, and Edgar Allan Poe. As an adult, I've read nearly everything Stephen King has written.

Thanks for setting a Halloween mood.

benning said...

Thanks, Folks. I promise you all, for the Christmas season, I have one that's quite upbeat! LOL

Brooke said...

Very good, very good.

A good rule of thumb: Know when the Halloween trick-or-treat nights are in your neighborhoods, and don't drive during them.

Passing out candy is WAY more fun... Unless they are old enough to shave.

WomanHonorThyself said...

wowza..Linked it up at my site hun!..Boo!

benning said...

For years I would buy some bags of candy and get ready for Halloween. But I have rarely had anyone stop by trick-or-treating. Part of Apartment life, I suppose. Last year I got one visit - cute little kids with their folks - and doubled the take for them. And that was it.

This year I'll get ready, too. But it ain't like it used to be. And in this apartment community there are quite a few families with kids. Maybe if I stop eating the children the rest of the year, more of them will come trick-or-treating?

Hmmmmm.....

Thanks to all of you for stopping by! Camo: I statred with 3 strikes, then fell apart. :(