October is coming, and you’re invited.

PhotoFunia-1441593908Just say it. Let it clunk about in the back of your throat: October. It’s the coolest name for a month, and the coolest month by far. The earth itself (the top half, anyway) is literally cooling down, the air getting damp. Spiders are spinning webs, skeleton hands clawing their way through moist earth towards the night. Coffins creaking open, full moons shining, wolves howling. Good times.

Yes, Halloween is coming. Spookiness will soon be afoot. And I for one cannot wait.

The month of October will be a month of Halloweeny fun here on Waltbox. I love a good horror story now and again. Not too often, mind you. because I scare too easily and I’m slow to recover – which may be why the genre doesn’t run too terribly deep in my writerly bones. But by way of celebrating the season I will be trotting out a few pieces from the archives, and a few new ones that are stewing in the cauldron as well. We will revel in the dark, with ghosts and killers and the undead. It will be a hoot.

And you are invited!

To read of course, yes, but also to share, if you’d like. If you sense that someone, or something, is watching you, standing behind you in the dark, reaching out to lay a claw on your shoulder while you fumble for the light, and if you want to turn it into a Halloweenish piece that’s roughly 500 to 1000 words, you can either post it in the comments below or email it via the contact thingy. If it strikes a chord I may post it as a guest post (with your permission, of course).

Just one thing to remember: we here at Waltbox (and by we I mean I, you know, the royal we) are not into gore for gore’s sake. A bloodbath is not scary, just unpleasant and tragic. What’s really scary is the unknown. The unexplained. The supernatural. But of course Halloween doesn’t have to be horrifying either. It can be silly and weird, too. You’ll see.

I can’t wait!

53 thoughts on “October is coming, and you’re invited.

  1. Loved the little speech about October ! I recently watched Jaws, so I’m all into the unknown scary thing right now ! I might try to write something out, maybe, maybe not… Mystery, mystery 😉

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      • I just wrote something finally, but I don’t know if it’ll fit, it’s a bit… I don’t know, it’s kind of creepy, mostly weird but not really, because it’s not a ghost story, it has gothic elements I guess, but it is more on the making-the-reader-uncomfortable side, that’s the only thing I could say to describe it ! Plus it’s heavily inspired by a novel (Adam Bede, George Eliot, a really great book) I’m studying in class so… I don’t know how to feel about it ! Anyway I wrote it so I might give it a go, who knows ?

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      • Only you knows. Is it mildly Halloweeny at least? This post is not too terribly Halloweeny, it’s only mildly Halloweeny, in that there is something about a ghost in it. That’s good enough for me.

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  2. Oh, you make me look forward to Autumn – which I need because the days are shortening her and filling me with a depression big enough to fill a dozen large, seasonal, orange, vegetables of the squash variety. I may even have a stab at your spooky challenge – love a clammy hand on the shoulder!
    Been reading The Woman in Black too … but only during the day

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  3. I wrote something, but it’s pretty dark. Not exactly a whimsical, Halloweeny tale. Maybe I’ll put it on here, or maybe I’ll write something fun. We’ll see. Fun seems more appropriate for this project. Or chilling. Or both. The one I wrote is none of those, it’s just dark.

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  4. The Weary Traveler

    In the dead of winter, two barren trees with gnarled thin branches, lifeless, stand apart, alone on a flat frozen grave–a grave of despair and loneliness, infinitely vast, stretching beyond where cold blue sky meets icy dirt. The open space is heavy with hopelessness and beckons a wayward traveler. He walks closer, drawn by the comfort of death. He feels the wet wind blow through his bones. Under a lonely tree he sits, legs curled, one beneath the other to warm his cold feet. He tucks his arms and curls his body in a feeble attempt to cradle his empty heart. His dead beating heart. He seeks rest beneath the frozen tree, his nameless gravestone. He is cold. He is tired. He writhes in pain. Something dark approaches, draped black as night, with a shadowed face as pale as powder, with eyes of onyx. It extends a sympathetic hand with fingers as gnarled as the branches above; a hand that lends consolation, rest. The weary traveler submits. His heart stops; he is shocked by pain beyond pain, despair beyond despair. He is led from his chosen grave. His frozen feet numb, he floats behind the shadowy figure, nonexistent; he is led far from his gravestone to an icy hole in the ground. He is planted upright, his numb feet buried in the infertile soil. His skin is pierced by misery that grows inside him and extends outward against the stinging wet wind like twisted branches of stone. He remains, lost and forgotten amid the open space of hopelessness. Frozen in sorrow and unrest in a landscape of eternal lucid death. A traveler approaches and sits at his feet, back to his trunk, tucked and curled in a feeble attempt to comfort himself; a companion of heartache in the desolate land. A familiar dark figure approaches, lends a sympathetic hand, and leads the weary traveler out of sight.

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    • Read this on my phone first thing when I woke up this morning, still half asleep. Not the best mindset to approach this one. Just finished reading it again now that I’m upright and have coffee ~ love it, the idea, the scene. With your permission, I will post it as a guest post in October, with your (screen)name attached and a link back to your site.

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  5. Pingback: A ribbon of darkness all the way | Pinklightsabre's Blog

  6. Well I am incredibly excited for the spookfest, I am an avid fan of spooky scary skeletons (barring the ones in my closet, of course of course) and will most likely consider this short story proposal (or poem, as that is what my blog consists of).
    Oh, the fun to be had!

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  7. Now that sounds interesting… both the archive pieces and the offer of submitting something. I will avoid the gore, but not the more bent components of my disposition. I can’t believe I just said that.

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  8. Sounds fun. There is always someone behind me, of course, a wraith-like wisp of brightened mist in the deepest dark. It’s my ex-wife, and she calls to me again, and yet again: “Give me back my Beatles White Album” and I run and hide.

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  9. Pingback: Moving In With Ghosts | waltbox

      • Hello Walt.
        There are 1691 words. If it’s too long, please don’t worry. I enjoyed writing it, so thanks for the idea as I’ve never thought to write a Halloween piece before..
        It’s actually based on a poem about a recurring nightmare I have.
        I now just need to paint a picture, write a song and build a 3D model from bits of wind-blown detritus about it then I’ve covered most conventional art forms for one theme – (I’m kidding :0) Hahaha! ).
        If you would like to read it (no pressure, I know you get asked to read a lot of stuff) then I could send it to you for a quick gander – see what you think. I’d be more than happy with just a critique.
        If it’s not suitable, no problem at all.
        Kate

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  10. Pingback: The Weary Traveler | waltbox

      • Don’t Look
        By Adam Dixon

        I can’t turn on the light. I just can’t. I simply cannot risk seeing it again. Everyone knows that they can’t get you if you don’t see them. I’ll wash my hands in the dark, that way I won’t have to look. She’s taken down the bin liner I taped over it this afternoon; next time I’ll use nails. She doesn’t understand, but how can she? I mean, why should a grown man have such an irrational, crippling fear? It doesn’t make sense. She hasn’t seen it, but I have. I know it’s there.
        I step into the bathroom slowly, my bare feet losing warmth to the cold tiles. Three steps and I’m at the toilet. My business is shortly concluded, I flush and move towards the sink. My eyes are lowered. I know she’s taken it down, and I hate her for it. It is my only protection. I turn on the taps with shaking hands, the thrill of dread running up my spine. I keep my head down, concentrating. I’ve nearly caught myself looking a few time before, almost seeing something in the corner of my eye… I will not look up! Warm water and lavender-scented suds calm me somewhat, but my shoulder-blades itch. I know it is there. But I won’t look up. I won’t…
        A cat screeches into the twilight on the street somewhere. Startled, I look up.
        It’s there! I’ve looked into the mirror and I can see it behind me! My wide eyes are pale moons in the glass, and over my shoulder stands the shadowy figure of my nightmares. It is tall and its eyes are a match for mine. Its grin is rictus, its outstretched hand a claw. I open my mouth to scream, to wake her up. She’s only across the hallway! But it’s too late. The claw pierces my shoulder and the darkness swallows me.

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      • Hahaha no – you’re not alone.
        I made the mistake when I was a teenager of trying an old myth out.
        It was that if you looked into a mirror in a darkened room at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve (Summer Equinox) you would see a reflection of your future spouse!
        As you can imagine, darkness, teenage imagination and superstition mixed together – scared the bejesus out of myself!
        I’ve never been able to look in a mirror in a dark room since, gives me the ‘willies’. :0)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can imagine! That’s the kind of thing that would stick with you! I still can’t look at stone crypts without shivering thanks to someone telling me a tale about a pirate being buried alive in one…

        Liked by 1 person

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