Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pat's Halloween Fallout

Hi guys! Dropping by to leave you a scary tale.

I was eleven and thought I had the world by the tail. I'd been bitten by a copperhead snake and it didn't kill me. I'd been stabbed in the back by my best friend-literally; he'd grabbed the circle drawing compass from my desk and planted the spike end of it in my back. I bled but I did not die. So, on this particular Halloween night, I had no qualms about walking alone back to my home after trick or treating until well after dark.
I lived on the east side of town, across the tracks from the town proper. Only a few houses there, but nice ones that a few families occupied. To get there, I had to cross those tracks and walk past the burned out remains of the old shoe factory. There was only a single streetlight, the kind that has a fluted disc reflector with a solitary incandescent light hanging from it. Which meant, bright streaks of illumination radiated out like the spokes of a wheel, with darkpatches between them. Eerie light under any circumstances; bizarre on a moonless Halloween night.
I rounded the curve, glancing across the street to the shadowy hulk of what had once bee the prime source of income for our townspeople. I picked up the pace, always uneasy when I walked this way at night. Especially so, tonight. I'd got just past the end of the old building when I heard a sound. I thought it was a sound though there were no cars, no people out and around; nothing that could have made that rapping noise.
I stopped in my tracks and listened. Dead silence. Just as I resumed my pace, I heard it again, louder this time. Rap, rap, rap, it went. The sound had come from the ruins, no doubt about that. My pounding heart told me to pick up my feet and run, to get the heck out of there. I was only two blocks from home. My head, always into searching out the unknown, told me to go into the ruins and find whatever had made that noise.
You ever go to a movie and want to scream no when the heroine opens the fateful door she should have left alone? Well, the classic fight or flight dilemma was upon me. I've always been a fighter so that was a no-brainer for brave, though, give-'em-hell-Harry me. Oh, yeah. This took place in Missouri and Harry Truman was president. My hero.
I looked both ways and saw nobody walking, driving, or breathing.The air was dead calm and the ruins drenched in black nothingness as I approached the outer wall, made of prewar cinder blocks. I'd visited the factory once when our school class toured it, so I had an idea of where the interior walls had been before the fateful fire, ironically on the very day Pearl Harbor was attacked. I remember standing by my uncle's car, listening on the crackling radio as the announcer described the horror in Hawaii while I watched the factory go up in flames.
Oops! There it was again; rap, rap, rap. Then nothing. Dead silence. I'd pulled up short a scant ten feet from the remains of a doorway. Should I go on? What if's began bombarding my brain as I pondered whether to hoof it out of there. Then, rap, rap, rap. I had to find out what it was. Years had gone by and nobody had raised a hand to clean up the factory's skeleton.
I stepped slowly but deliberately through the door and tried to see what was inside. As my eyes adjusted to the blackness, I could make out some details of what had been there before it burned. Melted remains of what had been fabrication tables stood in stark rows, littered with the scant remains of the roof that had fallen in after the supporting beams had weakened.
Rap, rap, rap! Louder now, and definitely inside the ruins. My heart raced as I approached the concrete steps that had led to the now non-existent offices. Those had overlooked the work area so the supervisors could keep a close eye on the workers as the assembled, sewed, and fabricated many thousands of boots for the Army, work shoes for the miners in the area, and some pretty fancy dress shoes for those who could afford them. I remember how my mom and dad had scrimped to buy just one pair of the fancy output from this hell-hole of a factory.
I shook off my fright and started for the stairs again. My eyes had gotten used to the dark and I could see enough details to avoid tripping on the chunks of concrete and twisted half-melted rails that littered the floor. I was almost to the first step when it came again, really loud this time. Rap! Rap! Rap! From the top of the steps it echoed off the stark broken walls, deafening me.
One last chance to do the sane thing and get the hell out of there! Before I could turn tail and flee, it came again. RAP! RAP! RAP! I let out a blood curdling scream and shot up the remaining eight steps.
And got the shock of my life!
What did I see, lying there on the blackened office floor? Wait for it-drum roll, please!
Three sheets of rapping paper...

What did you expect, the devil? a vampire flapping his wings? Dancing skeletons of the un-dead? Come on, now. We all know none of those things exist. Don't we? He He He...
Happy chilling Halloween!
Pat Dale

Greetings from Colorado!
Hi. It looks like you guys are getting ready to have a lot of fun on Halloween. I'd like to do that too, but my dad's in trouble with the law and I'm staying with my Aunt Sue while he tries to get out of jail. Oh yeah, Pat Dale said I should introduce myself. I'm Sherry, Sherry Morrison, and I'm nine. Dan Morrison's my dad and I'm kind of the reason why he's in jail now.
What? You want to know why I said that?
It's all kind of mixed up, but it started when I got sick. Daddy took me to the hospital in Fort Collins and that's where he met my nurse. Her name is Ana Henry and we got to be great friends. Especially after she saved my life in the mountain pond when I got caught in that beaver dam. I was trying to rescue her dog Molly. Ana's really nice.
Well, I thought she was nice. I liked her a lot but then she found that blood on the convertible and passed out. Next thing I knew, Sheriff Clayton arrested daddy and I got stuck at home with some woman deputy until Aunt Sue could come from Nebraska to take care of me.
We had some pretty spooky stuff happening too. My older friend Dixie just about died from what her devilish boyfriend did to her-right there in Ana's house. But Molly tried to help save her. She's some dog. Molly, I mean.
I don't think I'll have any fun at Halloween or maybe Christmas either this year, unless something happens to prove my daddy is innocent. If you want to know more, you can read about me in SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY. MuseItUp Publishing will release it APRIL 1, 2011

Howdy from Nebraska!

Pat asked me to drop by and tell you about my DANCE WITH THE DEVIL. Talk about a dandy two-step! Me and my extended family just went through enough Halloween-type trickery to last a lifetime.
My name's Buddy; Buddy Wilson. I used to be a teacher, before I beat the living daylights out of the school board president. That kind of took care of my career as a teacher, but it was worth it. I'd tell you why I was justified doing it but it's too complicated for the space I have here. You'll just have to pick up the book and read it when it comes out.
That's not the real satanic stuff, though. That happened later. A few of the high school boys who'd been in my math classes started fooling around with an old book one of them had found. It talked about satanic worship and gave formulas for putting spells on people, ritual sacrifice, and stuff like that.
When they let the devil out of that bag, all hell broke loose in northern Nebraska. By the time the dust settled, some folks were dead, others maimed (including me), and the rest had had the bejeebers scared out of them.
But there's a special spirit in the foks who live up here and love bloomed right in the middle of all that chaos. DANCE WITH THE DEVIL will be released by MuseItUp Publishing next JULY 1st. You ought to mark that on your calendar and get yourself a copy when it comes out. Read about Robin Blaik and Winnie Morley, and their own personal love/hate relationship. I guarantee you won't be bored with my story. Well, gotta get back to the store where I work now. I have to put out the Halloween decorations for our customers. See ya!

Well, that's it from autumny colorful mid-Missouri on this fine October day. Cheers all,
Pat Dale


Roseanne Dowell said...

LOL Pat, that was some tale. You built up quite a suspense, had me on the edge of my seat. Now, don't get me wrong, I had a feeling it wasn't going to be anything human or evil, but I expected something live. Cat, rat, dog, not sure what. Your books sound great, by the way. Going to put them on my reading list.

L. K. Below/Lindsay Below said...

Nice post, Pat! Loved the tale and thanks for introducing us to your character. :)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this Pat.:-) Great spooky tale.

Karen McGrath said...

Now, Pat, that was just the best. LOLOL! Wrapping paper... love it!

Lin said...

You must be a writer cause you sure know how to spin a tale and keep your readers riveted. Loved your posts, every single one and am looking forward to learning more when I do your cover blog later on.

You musta made Bonella take a rest by talking about yourself before she could get her bone-dust ruffled. Excellent plan. Wish I'da thought of it. I have a feeling though, if Bonella is taking a break one of her "friends" is going to materialize any second, so you'd better run Pat, slip beneath that wrapping paper and hope those ghouls don't see any shaking going on.