Ahhh... The days are cooler, the nights earlier. The earth is preparing for it's winters sleep. Fall colors are popping up everywhere. The few leaves that are left are brown, orange, red, and gold. Pumpkins and other gourds are in a plethora of shapes and colors. Plasitc rap ghosts are swinging from the trees and witches can be found around every corner. Black cats are given an especially wide berth these days...just in case. And children are in the stores begging for the latest superhero costume.
This is, no doubt, my favorite time of year. And NOT just because I am a witch. But it does make it extra special ;) Halloween has always been the big holiday for me. I deck out the porch and yard. I dress up in costume. And I, by the Gods, give out the good stuff to trick or treaters. There is no generic tootsie rolls or dum dum suckers at my house. (Unless of course you include that time that the town next door had there trick or treat on a different night and I had to break out the kids parade candy bags for the unexpected numbers that showed up at my door!) That does not happen anymore.
My sole goal in life is to be remembered in fifty years as the great place to go trick or treating. I can picture it now...on a halloween night fifty years in the future. A grandpa is getting ready to take his 5year old grandchild trick or treating. As they walk out of the back of the house and down the driveway he starts reminicing...
"When I was a kid everyone went to this one house down on Johnson street.... The house was small...and old....The porch roof was nothing but studs and there was a board or two missing from the porch wall. You could see and hear the flashing and booming from the thunder and lightening machine before you got close. Sometimes halloween music would be blasting and sometimes it was creepy sounds and screams."
"Was it haunted poppy?"
"I thought so when I was little Evie... the lady that lived there was a witch! She had a black cat and she ALWAYS dressed up as a witch. She even had a real witches broom propped in the corner."
"Did she fly on it poppy?"
"oh...I don't think so. She had a black jeep in her driveway. I think she used that to get around."
Evies eyes were big and round as full moons. "What else was there poppy? Did she have monsters?"
"Well, I remember an old black fence. It surrounded the graveyard that would appear in her front yard. There were skeletons in the graveyard and a zombie or two."
"A real zombie poppy?"
"No, that was right about the time the first zombies started appearing in big cities. But there were no zombies in that little town. Do you want to hear this story or not?" Evie shook her head up and down so fast that her witches hat fell off. Poppy dusted it off and set it to rights on her head.
"Everyone went to the witches house at halloween. She gave out really good candy. Not that cheap stuff. AND, you usually got more than one thing. A candy bar, a sucker, and chocolate eyeballs. Sometimes bubble gum eyeballs. And you always came away with some king of toy too. A spider ring or halloween pencil. Vampire fangs or an eyeball ping pong ball. But it wasn't the candy that brought everyone there. It was the experience..."
"Whats a sperience poppy?"
Poppy grinned at her. "A sperience Evie is what you get when you see something new, or learn something new. Tonight, me and you are going to have a experience."
Evie looked puzzled.. she shook herself, "Tell me more poppy."
"Ok, the town I grew up in Evie was a very small town. Not like here. Everyone knew everyone else. And everyone knew that the lady that lived in that house was a witch. But she was a nice witch and no one was scared of her. She had kids and dogs and cats. She even had a rat once."
"Ewww. A real rat?"
Poppy laughed. "Yep, a real rat. Its name was Lilliput. Anyway, we always walked to the houses in town to trick or treat. Just like we are doing now. When you got about a block away you could see the flashing of lightening and you could see fog drifting low to the ground. Music would be playing and the witch would be up on her porch giving out candy."
"The graveyard was usually the first thing you saw. Gravestones and skeletons. Caskets and a ghost that floated back and forth through the graveyard. There was a giant grim reaper that had glowing red eyes. You had to walk under his outstretched arm to get to the candy. And there were big eyeball lights that glowed different colors too. One year there was a gorilla that jumped out at you and once there was a boy dressed in a skeleton costume that would step out from behind a bush and scare you."
Poppy smiled, his eyes were miles away as he remembered. "When you got to the porch there were a whole lot more things to look at. Pictures that would change and look like monsters. Gargoyles and skulls that would talk to you. Glowing lights and flying bats."
"Every year something new was added. There was almost always a line to get up to the porch. Sometimes her kids would be there passing out candy and dressed up in costumes too. But I got the feeling that the witch wasn't really dressed up in a costume. I think that was the one night that she dressed up the way she really wanted to. She always looked plum comfortable in her black flowy dresses. Did I tell you she even had a real witches cauldron?"
"A real one!"
"Yessiree. A real one. And she never turned anyone away for candy either. If you showed up at her house, you got candy. Didn't matter if you were 4, 14, or 44. No matter the age, everyone came out of there with candy and an experience."
"Whatever happened to her poppy? Well...she got old, it got harder and harder for her to put up all that stuff. But her kids kept it up. As a matter of fact we are at one of her kids houses now."
Evie looked up, a giant graveyard had appeared in the yard. "Poppy", Evie looked around. "This is your house!"
Poppy grinned. "Yep it is."
"Who was the witch poppy?"
"Well, the witch was my mommy. That would make her your great grandma."
" Gee Gee isn't a witch poppy. She's a nice old lady!"
Evie heard a cackle from the porch. She ran to it, "GeeGee!"
"Theres my little witchling. You going to go trick or treating tonight Evie"
"Poppy is taking me."
"What are the agick words?"
"Trick or treat!" Evie held out her bag.
GeeGee placed candy and cookies in the bag. She handed Evie a small black and orange flashlight.
"Whats this for GeeGee?" That my dear is a special light. It will scare off ghosts if you get afraid."
"Go have fun dear."
"We will mom. Don't scare to many trick or treaters mom."
"Me?" GeeGee laughed. "I'll try not to."
Poppy and Evie walked down the street. They could still hear GeeGee chuckling.
"Why do we only get to see GeeGee once a year poppy?"
"Well Evie, this is the only time of year that the veil between the worlds is thin enough for her to get through."
Evie laughed. "GeeGee is a witch!"
Poppy laughed too, "yep, and guess what?"
"So are you!"