A story for Halloween
Tuesday October 31st
What a night it’s been. The good, the bad and the definitely not ugly. I hadn’t wanted to go on the errand for Mum but she’d insisted. I’d sulked and tutted but to no avail, it had been a futile protest.
“Go and see Old Mrs Hibbert,” I’d been instructed, “and take her this jar of blackberry jam I’ve made. She likes a bit of blackberry jam, especially if it’s home made, and stay a while; she gets lonely on her own.”
I hadn’t gone with a good grace, and I’d had no intention of staying a while. Old Mrs Hibbert gave me the creeps, as did her house. I was sure it was full of ghosts. Everyone knew she was a medium and I could never understand my mother sending me there. Didn’t she care whether or not I was possessed by some spirit bent on controlling my immortal soul?
Lonely she’d said! With all those bloody spirits to keep her company? I don’t think so. Besides, there were other places I wanted to be. My mates were all going trick or treating tonight and I’d particularly wanted to go because Ben Jeffries had said he might be there, but I’d ended up going to Old Mrs bloody Hibbert’s instead.
Her front door had creaked eerily as it always did when she opened it, and I’d shivered involuntarily as the darkness beyond loomed, eager to swallow me up.
“Come on in my ducky.”
Such welcoming words, yet I’d felt as I always did, as though being lured – spiders and flies came to mind. My reluctant feet took me into her parlour. Unseen eyes watched me walk behind her, fighting the urge to look over my shoulder at the ever receding front door and freedom.
“Sit down ducky, I’ll get you a slice of apple pie. It’s so nice of you to come and visit an old lady when I’m sure you’ve got friends to go out with.”
Right there! Such a sweet old lady, if you could ignore the underlying feeling of her not being quite alone. I always felt as though I were talking to an audience of many rather than just the one when I spoke to her.
“What did you say dear?”
I hadn’t uttered a word. It must have been one of the multitude of voices in her head.
“Oh I thought you’d said you were going to have a good night tonight.”
I wish! It must have been some mischievous poltergeist taking advantage of the date and heading out on the rampage.
Fingers of unease had tickled their way up my spine at that point, and I’d had to consciously force my bum to remain on the seat once my fight or flight reflex had kicked in big time. The apple pie had arrived, accompanied by a glass of juice; both of which struggled to pass my throat due to the jangling nerves fluttering somewhere around there.
I noticed that no-one knocked on Old Mrs Hibbert’s door saying trick or treat; probably too afraid of one of her invisible companions performing some supernatural trick on them!
I asked the polite questions my mother would have wanted me to ask: ‘How are you? Do you want anything getting? Are you keeping warm enough?’ then made what I hoped wasn’t too fast an exit.
It had felt so good to escape into the chill October night. My nerves were still twitching but I remember noticing how clear the sky was and how many stars were out when, WHAM!
A vampire leapt out at me from a garden path and my nerves, which were as taut as violin strings, could take no more. I leapt in the air with a shriek, only to be swallowed up by his flowing cloak.
My eyes were fixed on the glowing fangs with the rivers of blood running down the chin from them, but the eyes that fixed on me were filled with mirth, as Ben Jeffries’ plastic teeth fell out when they connected with my neck. Instead of slowing down when I realised who Dracula was, my heart rate accelerated even more, and the bones in my legs became pulp. From that moment on the evening took an upward turn. Wrapped in Ben’s cloak, with him still in it you understand, I was euphoric. Tomorrow night we’re going to the cinema. Can’t wait.