Halloween Night

Let all the ghouls out,
watch vampires walk with clout,
hear ghosts boo their boos,
snarling pirates with temporary tattoos.
On this night, you can be
something funny or something scary.
You can try on someone else for size,
go hidden within their guise,
and for this, you get many a prize.
‘Cause it’s also a night for treats,
and, boy, do we love the sweets–
all the way from our heads to our feets!
Say the words, you’ll get the candy.
As deals go, it’s mighty dandy.
From candy bars to licorice,
from nougat to caramelish,
from gummy worms to lollipop,
from chocolate to lemon drop,
may the candy never stop!!

Free Ebook for the Spooky Season

Front cover of Don't Lose Your Head. A suit and tie without a head above it, and a background of black drips on a gray wall.

With Halloween around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to offer my ghost-story novella for free. The ebook of Don’t Lose Your Head won’t cost you a dime — or a trade of some candy that you’ve bought to hand out to trick-or-treaters. (Although I wouldn’t say no to a Kit Kat or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.)

The ebook is available at Amazon. It’ll be free through Tuesday, November 2.

Here’s a little about the book:

When you leave for a trip, who knows you’re gone from your house? Family and friends, sure. Neighbors, perhaps.

So does the chauffeur who drove you to the airport. Alan Burris takes advantage of working for a car service to know when clients will be away from their houses for several nights. Some houses are easier, since they don’t have a security system — and these houses are on his list for a night visit to steal valuables.

The Resnick house has been on Alan’s list for a while, and now it will be empty for a few nights, since Mr. and Mrs. Resnick are spending a long weekend in Chicago.

But is the house really empty? Alan’s about to find out what it’s like to not be alone in the house, his car, his apartment, and his head. And with another person hanging around, to what length will Alan go to get rid of them?

If you’d like to tip-toe into the metaphorical tulips of this story, an excerpt of the first chapter is here.

Poe Smoking

Poe sucked from the pipe
held his breath
slowly released the dope’s
smoke phantasms
curled slithered about his head,
these kind nepenthes
“Step back from the pit
and dream of riding
a gondola with her.
An angel poles the way
and softly sings
while you float forever.”

Got a Light?

“Here comes a group,” Bob whispered. “Summer’s almost as good as Halloween. Warm nights, no school.”

Todd nodded. “Love it. They’ve brought a goat, too. Some sort of sacrifice, I suppose.”

“Let’s wait a little. Remember, it’s my turn to ask.”

Bob and Todd stayed hidden behind gravestones. The four teenagers set up a circle of candles nearby, the goat watching curiously.

Bob gave a thumbs up, and the two of them stood.

“Hey,” Bob called out. “You got a light?” Two of his bony fingers touched his teeth as if he held a cigarette.

The teenagers stared wide-eyed at the skeletons, then ran off screaming as the skeletons watched them and laughed. The goat bleated curiously.

When You Live Inside a Pumpkin

When you live inside a pumpkin, the sudden arrival of a knife’s point comes as a complete shock–which quickly turns into fear as the point and blade come at you in a stabbing assault, so you huddle as close as possible to the interior wall until the knife goes away, the lid’s removed, and the sudden arrival of sunlight blinds my large eyes, penetrating my thin eyelids. Then the spoon plummets into the cavity, scoops out the pumpkin’s guts and seeds, only to be replaced by the knife continuing its attack, from the side this time, creating windows that allow more light to rush in and expose me even more–but thankfully not enough for the owner of the hand that’s bringing shock and awe down upon my formerly dark home to notice me. Once the knife leaves and does not come back for quite a while, my heart finally calms, and I get to see the world outside: the sky and trees and cars and people walking dogs. Then, in the evening, there’s even candlelight I can read by. It’s been stressful, but all in all a nice change.