Bats

The fluttering sound of their wings

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Vampire Bat

Go by in the night with other things

Flying past you in the sky

A streak of black in the blink of an eye

Bats only come out at night

And they dance in a gossamer flight

Their wings are light but strong

Sometimes their night flights are long

The bat swoops down to catch its meal

And it turn it makes you squeal

It comes so near

Do you want to hear?

Watch, listen and learn

Bat Sounds

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Something To Inspire: Knitting

So, we may be running a bit low on material this year for one reason or twenty…we don’t want to leave you hanging….

Here are some Halloween knitting patterns to keep you in the mood.

Patterns listed are FREE from their respective designers.

 

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boo-pullover

A spooky sweater

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mini-pumpkins-3

Knit a mini pumpkin patch.

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/halloween-cat-dishcloth

Knit your Halloween cat in any color.

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/halloween-mystery-knit

A hat

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/halloween-coffee-cup-cozy

A cup cozy

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bat-knitting-pattern

Bats

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-halloween-beanies

Ghostly hats

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bad-juju

A Doll

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skull-hat-2

Speaking of skulls…

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/witchs-hat

Everyone can use a witch’s hat, right?

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/candy-corn-hat

Candy corn hat.

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skull-and-crossbones-lace

A lovely delicate shawl.

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gruesome-knitted-eyeballs

There’s always time for eyeballs.

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skeletoque

A hat

 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vitreous-humor-scarf

And a scarf

 

 

Please note, I just randomly grabbed some patterns to throw up here.  There are TONS more on ravelry–just search for “Halloween” and explore.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

Scarecrow

Each year, in October, people would drive for miles around to get to the Johnston’s Pumpkin Farm to pick out the perfect specimen for their family’s jack o-lantern. There were some who drove several counties to get there. The pumpkins were always so big and well formed that for many families, going to the Johnston’s was a several generation long tradition. The Johnston family had been running their pumpkin patch for close to 200 years, and no matter what was going on in the rest of the country economically, they always did fine. Their neighbors often wondered how they always seemed to break a profit.

They had seen many families come and go over the years, as agriculture had always been tough. It seemed to be one of the areas which had always taken a hard and early hit when things got tough. Many had even asked them what their secret was as their own farms had fallen on hard times and they tried to hang on to the last vestiges of hope until they had to face the reality that they were going to have to give up. As much as the Johnstons had liked some of their neighbors, they knew that they couldn’t tell their secret and had to watch as they had to sell the homes that had been in their families for sometimes a hundred years or more.  They couldn’t even tell some of their best friends what was going on because the consequences were too great…in more ways than one.

October 1st had arrived and the whole family was working hard to get things ready for the onslaught of people which would be arriving over the following weeks. The pumpkins had been getting bigger over the last month, and this year, some of them had grown to epic proportions. Then again, they had asked for a reprieve from the rules last year, so it was to be expected. They placed their ads in the newspapers for three counties, and put their hand painted sign out by the main road. This was all of the advertising that they had ever needed to do to draw in the crowds. On the evening of October 1st, the people had already started to turn up, which was even earlier than the previous two years. It had started to get busy within the first week of the month, but this year was different.

After the crowd had cleared out for the night, Mr. Johnston walked to the middle of the pumpkin patch and untied the strings which were holding the scarecrow up on the pole. As soon as the last string had been untied, the scarecrow slowly slid down to the ground. After a few moments of lying flat against the earth, it slowly sat up and looked around the field before making eye contact with Mr. Johnston. He could feel that it wasn’t happy to see an empty field, so he explained, “Sorry, this year the people came earlier than they have ever done before so there wasn’t time to set you free. They’ll be back tomorrow.”

In a raspy voice, the scarecrow replied, “Well, this year, I’ll be taking two.”

This filled Mr. Johnston with dread, but he knew that it had to be done if the farm were to survive. Sure, he felt bad about all of the lives which had been taken over the years and that there would likely be a price to pay at the end of his days, but there was nothing that he wanted to do with his life other than pumpkin farming. So, he knew that he would let this happen and even though it could never be made up for, he would do his best to make up for it a little by giving back to the community in as many ways as he could. Each year he donated to as many charities as he could and volunteered in any efforts being made to enhance the lives of his neighbors. So, he simply nodded at the scarecrow and wandered back to the house.

The following night, people started coming to the farm in the early evening after work. He could see the scarecrow peering up over the weeds at the edge of the parking area. He knew what would happen. As with every other year that the scarecrow hunted, it would pick out the person that it wanted and wait until the coast was clear to flatten a tire or do something else with that person’s car so that they’d be delayed in leaving. With this being the case, it was usually among the last of the people to show up that the scarecrow would select, and it was usually someone who was alone. Sometimes this required some patience because not many people came without their kids, but at least a few people each year were in too much of a hurry to go home and pick up their kids before coming out. These were the ones that the scarecrow usually harvested for itself.

On the night of October 2nd, oddly enough, there was a lone man who pulled in to the pumpkin patch about 15 minutes before closing time. Mr. Johnston knew that this would be the man’s last night on earth. Once he saw who it was though, he felt a little better about it. This guy drank like a fish and cheated on his wife all the time. If he were a betting man, he would have put down money that the guy was only here to try to convince his wife that he was a good guy. Even though he shouldn’t have, Mr. Johnston snorted at the thought. He led the guy out into the far end of the patch so that the scarecrow would have enough time to mess with his car, even though he didn’t typically help it to do its bidding, he wanted to make an exception this time. As they got about thirty yards away from the parking area, they heard the weeds rustling. When asked what it was, Mr. Johnston told him that it was just a deer. “We have a deer that’s been hanging around this year. As long as she leaves the vines alone, I don’t mind her being here.” That seemed to be good enough.

The man picked out his pumpkin. Mr. Johnston cut it off the vine for him, took his money, and excused himself. “Sorry to take your money and run, but I have to go start the end of the night stuff. Thanks for stopping by.”

The man turned in the other direction and made his way back to the parking area with his enormous pumpkin. With the way he was walking, Mr. Johnston thought that he’d probably stopped by the bar before coming over. He shrugged and made his way back to the house, telling his wife to turn the TV up. This was their signal to make sure that the kids didn’t hear any screams if things got out of hand. So, Mrs. Johnston turned the TV up and they put in one of the kids’ favorite movies.

As the man approached his car, the scarecrow watched. It had decided to wait for the auto club driver to show up and take both of them at the same time. It might even be fun, because it had been years since it had decided to challenge itself with a possible chase and fight. After about 45 minutes, the scarecrow watched the tow truck pull in behind the man’s car. It slowly crept out of the weeds and waited for the two men to lean over to look at the flat tire. As soon as they were bent over with their backs turned, it came up behind them with a knife in each hand. Mr. Johnston didn’t actually provide the scarecrow with knives, he just “forgot” to take in the ones he used to cut the pumpkins off the vines. He slowly reached around each man and with a quick motion, slit their throats. Even though the challenge would have been fun, the scarecrow knew that its quota had been met, and that there would be no more hunting this year.

It dragged them out into the field quickly, letting the blood seep into the soil. As the scarecrow feasted, the pumpkin vines sprang to life, dipping their leaves into the blood. The field filled with the almost deafening sound of leaves rattling. Even over the noise of the TV, some of the sound still made its way into the Johnston’s living room. The kids looked at their father with questioning faces and he told them that the wind had been picking up before he had come back into the house. Luckily, they were still small enough to believe him without asking any questions. That was among the worst things in the Johnston family…having to explain to the children the way things worked for when it was their turn to take over the farm.

After the scarecrow had devoured the last traces of the two men, it climbed back up the pole and waited for Mr. Johnston to come back down and refasten the ropes after the kids had fallen asleep. At least for another year, the scarecrow was appeased and the success of the pumpkin patch was guaranteed.

 

 

The Werewolf

My legs were on fire. My back ached and my hips were being twisted out of the sockets. I was starting to change. Every month this happened, every full moon. I was a werewolf. I don’t remember when it first happened to me. You would think that I would remember something so painful. My shoulders were getting tight and the bones in my arms were growing longer. The total transformation wouldn’t take long now. Another hour or so and I would begin to howl at the moon. Then I would hunt.   halloween werewolf

The hair was starting to grow and all of my clothes were gone but it didn’t matter now. I could feel my teeth growing into fangs and my nails grew into thick sharp claws. The transformation was complete.

The moon glowed brightly through the thick forest canopy and I started a slow moaning howl. I could hear the animals panic and their hurried movement as they attempted to hide from me. The fast moving pace was only making me more driven to find them and tear them apart with my fangs. I started a slow lope through the thick foliage. When I got to a clearing I stopped and began to howl. I bared my fangs and growled in a deep-chested cry. I sniffed the air and all at once I could sense a big buck quaking in fear. I started moving slowly in that direction and when I got close enough, I pounced on the buck and sunk my fangs into his neck draining his blood before I tore him to shreds and left nothing but a few pieces of his fur and a bone or two on the forest floor.

Usually my first kill would appease me, so I didn’t understand why this didn’t happen. I was just as determined for that taste of blood, the thrill of the kill was even more important now than before. I sat down on my haunches to rest and think. Then it hit me. I started to get excited now. I had never killed one of them before. The animals had always satisfied me. I started off running, tearing through the overgrowth of weeds and small trees like they were nothing. Leaving a trail of destruction behind me.

Then I saw lights and I came to an abrupt halt. I watched for a while from the edge of the forest. There was a small house that was separate from the others. This is the one that I wanted, so I waited. I noticed movement in the window and then the back door opened. A man stepped onto the porch with a bag of trash. He walked down the steps and out to the trash can by the curb. I lunged at him and before he knew what was happening I sunk my fangs into his neck and took him into the forest.

I drained his blood and the excitement that filled me was more than I could have anticipated. I could hear myself making little growls of pleasure in my throat as I tore him apart. There was nothing left of him when I got done. With a smile on my face, I started a full, long howl. Then another and another.

I had never felt so complete. I heard a noise and turned toward the house. I saw a woman on the porch and heard her calling a name. It must have been the name of the man that I had just killed. I felt nothing. No remorse, no guilty conscience, just fulfillment.

It was time to leave. I would be turning back soon and I wanted to be close to home when the change happened. I had places to hide when I made the transfer. The transformation went quickly and before I left my hiding place I sat on a boulder in the cave. It had been an exciting evening.

After my rest, I walked slowly toward my house savoring the evening. Now at least I knew what I was going after when my monthly transformation came during the full moon. And you know what? I was fine with that. There were too many people anyway.

The Break-Up

How do you get rid of a vampire?

Geez. Things were so much simpler when I just dated my own kind. Now I have this issue on my hands.

Nigel is a nice guy, as vampires go. He treats me well. We go out, a lot. We have so much fun. Spending the night with him … well … let’s just say that never gets old, shall we, and leave it at that…but after seven years, what do we actually have in common?

Not a whole heck of a lot.

He’s a vampire. I’m…uhm…not. Ok. Ok. I’m an amorphic, is what we are called. I guess you might say a shifter? But I don’t think they are the same thing when you get down to it. I am not a werewolf or a weretiger. I don’t … shift. I am myself, but I am able to take on other likenesses, other forms. I don’t … shift. I just … become…become Other.

The problem is, Nigel is head over heels. He has been talking about marriage…marriage…a vampire. Look, I am all out for fun, as much as the next chick, but marrying a vampire? Doesn’t that sort of imply there that you have to become a vampire as well? He says no, but the way he said it told me that he was lying … that was all I needed to hear. I cannot become a vampire. I am, uhm, immune to whatever it is that makes a vampire a vampire. Otherwise, I’d have been a vampire a long long time before I met Nigel. Let’s not go there right now. It’s a long story…and it’s totally off course for right now.

So, how do you let down a vampire? How do you break up with a vampire?

I have told him I wanted to see other people. I told him we were getting too serious too fast. I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. I told him once that I was on fire and the funeral would be next week. Nothing. He is a vamp with an answer for everything.

He is absolutely fine with me seeing other people. As long as he sees them with me too—so he can sample them…just to make sure they are good enough to be with me.

He apologized for moving too fast. He claims it’s a vampire thing. (REALLY!) He promised to take things much slower. Then offered to whisk me away for two weeks to the Island. I said no. He said he’d find somewhere I’d like better and we’d go. He has since offered a mountain trip, a trip to Bali, a trip to Tibet, and a trip to the Bahamas. I keep saying no. Not no thank you…just no.

He totally ignored the whole I do not want to see you anymore thing.  I mean, utterly.  It was as if I had not spoken at all.

As for the funeral, he sent flowers. He said he thought I had said my grandmother died. Oh, yeah, that woman hasn’t walked this planet in a thousand years…a fact I have mentioned once or twice…so…yeah…

I don’t have many other options.

I took off last month, hoping to be able to just vanish. With my nature, it shouldn’t have been all that hard. Ten days later, there he was. He showed up out of nowhere. He said he’d gotten a whim and followed it. Turns out he had private detectives on me … for a long time…now…the ones I know about, the ones I found, they don’t exist anymore.

Last week, I slipped out of a party he took me to and simply didn’t go anywhere. I stayed out in the park on the other side of town, hanging out as a tree, and he came and sat underneath me and talked and talked. Eventually, I actually listened. Apparently, somehow, he had known it was me all along.

So, tonight is my last time trying to reason with him.

We have a date to meet at my place in an hour or two. Whenever he finishes up whatever business he has. You know, the stuff as a non-vampire I am not privy to. Fine. Whatever.

Tonight, I have lots of good wine. All of it well-seasoned with herbs to intoxicate. Outright poisons he has told me he can always suss out. He has never worried about my herbal teas or tinctures though. Those are natural, he says. He also says they can’t hurt him. I think I will have to play Stevie Nicks singing Belladonna tonight during our alone time…just to prove a point…

I have the chains at the ready. He is always up for a good time…and a little bondage has always perked him right up. I wonder how long I will have to keep him alive. I do want to try to reason with him. I don’t think I will be able to get through. That’s why I have the sword at the ready. That’s why I have titanium shackles…and a full body set, not just wrists and ankles.

I wish it didn’t have to come to this, but I just don’t see any other way to break up with the guy.

Oh well.

Lesson learned, right?

A Boy And His Sister

Three men stood before me, hats in hands. Not a one of them wanted to meet my eyes.

‘Tommy run off again.’ said the one.

‘He took the baby with him this time.’ agreed the other.

I shook my head. I knew Tommy and his family all too well. I had delivered his sister into this world with my own hands. I was god-mother to both the girl and to Tommy. I knew their father had hands of steel and he liked to use them, on his mates, on his wife, on his kids, on anyone handy when he was in the mood. Tommy regularly ran off. For him to take his sister meant very bad things. I said a quick prayer for his mother, who wouldn’t leave that house to save her own life, but would surely send the boy running off with his baby sister if she thought the moment warranted it.

I eyeballed the three before me. Neighbors of the family. They knew what went on in that house. Walls thin as cloth they were. Everyone knew everyone’s business. We might be a community that kept to itself, but we took care of our own and we kept our neighbors’s secrets. We kept them until they couldn’t be kept any longer.

Here was one that could not be kept anymore.

‘Fine.’ I got up, dusted the seat of my pants and walked into the house.

I changed my shirt, grabbed my whip and my gun and set out. I took Fireball with me. That horse was as steady and silent as could be. I sat quietly atop her, giving her her head and letting her lead the way. I closed my eyes, muttering a prayer under my breath, waiting for the Universe to send me some sign as to where to go, as to what I needed to do.

I sighed, releasing all my pent-up frustration. Breathe in peace. Release the angst and ire. Slowly calming myself, settling into the rhythm of the horse’s stride. The calm overtook me, replacing my usual turmoil. I felt steadier, more solid.

I knew where we were going. The idea of what I had to do once I got there hid in the back of my mind, teasing me. I heard wings buzzing and not much more. I didn’t like that so much, but I had a job to do. I could not shirk it.

‘Out to Morehead.’ The mare did not deviate from her course. She had us nearly there. She knew long before I did. Typical.

I had an idea the men would try to follow. I had another idea the boy’s father would be out there before too long as well. Neither scene fit into the plan falling in place in my head, so I sent out a plea to the Universe to keep them all at bay. I also asked if the mother could come, if she would please. Her help I might need, even in her frail state.

Sure enough, out at Morehead there was that little pond that Martin had put in so he could stock it with all his fish he liked to catch. He often went out, day or night, pole in hand, whistling a tune under his breath, to sit for hours. Whether he brought fish home or not was irrelevant. The important part to him was just the sitting.

Tommy sat at the edge of that pond, tears dripping down his face, in sore need of a snot-rag to wipe his nose.

He pointed into the water. ‘They took her in there.’

‘They?’

He nodded and that’s all I got from him then.

I slid off my horse and took her a good bit away to tie her, loosely, to a tree branch. Intuition said keep her away from the main thoroughfare for this next bit.

I gave my gun to Tom and told him to use it should anyone come.

‘Where are you going?’

I jerked my head towards the water. ‘I have to go get her.’

‘Get her’ He shook his head, trying to clear it. ‘She’s alive?’

I shrugged, aiming for nonchalant. ‘They above tell me it is so, so it must be.’

He nodded, clinging to that rifle as if it were a life jacket.

I walked a good piece away from him as well. I stood at the place where the earth gave way to the water. I stared out into the shadowy waves. I listened to the frogs calling. I listened to the insects flitting this way and that. I heard birds call overhead.

I did what I do. I started to sing. The old words. The ones that fell over me in dreams. I shut my eyes, afraid of what would come, and I sang. I started out quiet, but as the power within me grew, I sang louder. As the power gathered outside and around me, I danced along with the song. I tranced out. This for me is a good thing because when times like these hit, I don’t always enjoy the process.

This time, it was bees.

I’m allergic to bees. I’m terrified of bees.

Hives of bees surrounded me. I felt naked in my jeans and old flannel. They enveloped me. Their furry little bodies smelled of dust and faded flowers. I fought hard not to cough, not to sneeze. I stopped singing with my voice, allowing the melody to flow mentally so I could keep my mouth closed. They twisted through my hair. They prodded my ears. They nestled between my fingers.

A voice beckoned. ‘Go.’ The soft motherly voice I knew so well from these issues in the past. She always took great care of me, so despite my anxiety, I moved forward as cautiously and as calmly as I could.

I didn’t realize I was in the water until the cold wet hit my hips. I had been so worried about the bees, about not scaring them and not hurting them, I didn’t recognize what I was doing. The bees, however, knew and seemed to be fine with these events. Again, I heard her voice urging me to move on, go deeper. The bees never let go of me. They formed some sort of protective layer around me…and soon a layer around us.

I could not see a thing had I chanced it enough to open my physical eyes underwater, so I asked for help in that department. My inner eye opened and the path grew clear.

I finagled my way through underwater brush, trees that Martin had cut and thrown in when the pond was new to ensure the fish had good places to hide and thrive, muck and mud. In what I took to be the center of the pond, the little girl, not quite a year old yet, lay curled up in a golden bubble. The girl slept easily, a smile curling her lips. Her little cheeks were red by nature. In her hands, she clung to a small knitted bunny rabbit that I had made her before she had deigned to arrive in this world. It was her favorite toy.

I thought I was going to choke. I had to save this little girl. I didn’t understand the threat here. I didn’t know what was required of me. I swam with a bee cocoon around me. What could I do? I started to panic.

Then, the Mother spoke in my ear. I relaxed enough to work, but not clearly understanding. I raised my hands and allowed Her light to burn through my palms, clearing away whatever darkness had crept between that girl and me. I felt the bees melt off of me, and I prayed for their safety and their lives as I slid nearer the child. I knelt and picked her up, cradling her to my chest. She giggled in her sleep, adjusting her body to ride more comfortably. What was comfortable for her was not necessarily all that great for me, but whatever it took to save us both and get us back on dry land, that would work for me.

I returned the same way I had come down, rising out of the waters, cuddling the dear thing. I didn’t notice the bees were still around me, as in still on me, and on her. The closer we were to land, the more the bees distanced themselves from us. By the time I stood back on green grass, the last of them returned to the swarm. They did not immediately fly away but seemed happy to retain their formation and wait for..whatever was coming.

Tom stood rigid and furious, rifle cocked back and ready to fire. He faced off with his father, who was screaming red in the face and held a club in one hand. The three men who’d come to me stood in a loose semi-circle behind them. All but Tommy watched me surface from below the pond. All three of them saw me carry the child up with me.

The father fell to his knees, grabbing his hair as if to tear it out, bellowing like some demon.

I stomped over, and kicked him in the knee. Hard.

‘Shut up!’ I spat at him. ‘You’ll wake the babe!’

I stormed off to stand behind Tommy. You might expect a boy of eleven in fear for his and his sister’s lives from their own father to be scared spitless and shaking in his boots. Not my Tom. He had endured hell with that man. He had watched his mother take beatings, his dog take beatings. Even the horses were regularly cuffed and smacked. Tom stood sure and he stood ready. Not a man there thought the boy unwilling nor unable to put a bullet through any of their heads. And none there could blame him a bit either.

Just then, Lisbeth, the mother, came screaming over the hill on foot. Her hair wild and her skirt hiked up. Her chronic illness made it dear for her to walk, much less run…yet here she came, at top speed.

She darn near tackled Tom and me, bellowing back at her husband non-stop the whole time. She snatched the baby from my arms, listening for breath, listening for heartbeat. She kissed me on the cheeks and on the lips, still snarling breathlessly at her husband.

He at least had the sense to bow his head and take every bit of the abuse. He knew he was caught. He knew he had earned it.

One of the three of his cronies pulled him up to his feet and produced handcuffs. They cuffed his hands behind his back and lead him away.

Tom held the baby as I helped his mother up onto Fireball. Tom handed up the baby. I shoved him up behind his mom. He clung to her for dear life. I led Fireball down the path towards home. We were halfway there when the baby woke up.

At least they were all safe now.