Halloween! I see the shops are awash with pumpkins even as one newspaper reported on there being a huge shortage. Weird how rubbish like that takes a hold. In my early days writing these stories I wrote a story which was meant to be the starter for a competition but the organiser never actually got around to doing the organising. Shame really. So as the leaves fall, the Jack O’ Lanterns glow and children get yet more sweeties with which to stuff their faces an extract from that story. It is entitled All Hallows’ Evening and may be found in the Library. It is Halloween and Sir John has invited a young teacher to supper. The events of the evening change them both.
“It was a cold clear night with the leaves littering the roads sounding crisp and frosty as I walked on them and I was glad to get into the warmth of his house. He was using a little parlour that night: there was a warm fire burning in the hearth and the light shone on ornaments and pictures making them all look cheerful. He already had some music playing and a lovely supper spread out on a small table in one corner. Even the corners tucked away from the light seemed friendly and full of promise. He gave me a glass of sherry and I sat down near the fire while he sat opposite.
I took one small sip of the sherry and a ripple ran across my sight; for a moment everything was distorted and I heard mischievous and malicious laughter away in the distance. When my sight cleared the room was oddly different although everything was the same: the colours seemed harsher and the light from the fire frightening not friendly; dark corners held fearful promise; and the supper table looked somehow unwholesome. Sir John himself seemed different: he looked more assertive and confident. He was looking at me in a controlling and manipulative manner almost one of cruelty.”