The Witching Hour – Short Story Excerpt

I watched the dense thicket of clouds slide over the giant luminous cookie in the sky. A pitch-black darkness descended over the neighborhood, and there was not a single streetlamp to mar it.

It appeared that All Saints Eve was going to live up to its reputation after all. I glanced at my companion. I could tell she was thinking the same.

“Should we start? The time looks right,” Myra said.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I smiled at my long-time friend and neighbor.

She adjusted her lace-up corset and handed me her long and tattered train before gingerly stepping out of the alley that had been our hideout ever since the beginning of our ritual. Once again, I had to pause to admire her elaborate costume. She was pleased with it, especially since she had put it together herself. The delicate tea-stained ivory lace and tulle dress accented with droopy brown roses gave her a wispy and forlorn look. The many years of our adventures had supplied a precious aura of authenticity to the dress, as it had been tripped on and ripped several times.

Slowly, we made our way through the familiar streets we fondly called our haunt. They had watched us grow from carefree children into not very responsible young adults. We had roamed these alleys innumerable times, even in our dreams. Being here made us feel at home.

For a moment, I stood still and closed my eyes. The night air was flavored with moist earth and pumpkin spice crumble. I gulped it down hungrily.

Tonight, as always, silence was the key, broken only by the rustle of the rotting leaves that swept the sidewalk.

We listened, mesmerized. Five long years had gone by, but to me, it seemed like yesterday.

Read more of this story in my upcoming book ‘Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree’ a collection of poems and short stories– Out Soon! Stay tuned!