Monday, September 24, 2012


Welcome to Autumn!

Shirley, a very dear friend, often remarked that autumn was her favorite time of the year. It was perfect for bike rides, a seasonal speedbump between hot Summer and bitter Winter.

I’m rather fond of Autumn myself. When I think of Autumn, I think of crisp mornings, trees ablaze with fire-colored leaves, the scent of woodsmoke on the air. I also happily associate the season with children trudging back to school, quiet Friday afternoon matinees at the films, and the slow buildup of holiday stress in other people.

Of course, there is Halloween. However, I never think of Halloween as a ‘stressful’ holiday. It’s always been fun to me. Every year I look forward to Halloween, even if I don’t do anything for it other than hand out candy.

Yes, Autumn is here and we’re past the equinox so we’re losing light. The days grow shorter, the nights grow longer and the impulse to write darker stories grows stronger.

I’m not a huge horror fan, but at this time of year, I find myself thinking of murder and mayhem. This time of the year, it seems natural to think about serial killers and ghosts.

Sadly, I am utter rubbish at writing horror stories. Thankfully, I am very much aware of this fault and so do not indulge the impulse very often.

The closest I’ve come lately has been the short story posted here, Anathemass. However, the impulse remains, even if I don’t give in to it. Standing in the checkout line at Wal-Mart the other night, I looked at the folks around me and thought, What if one of these people was a serial killer? (Granted, these were Wal-Mart shoppers, so it was easy to picture one of them going berserk.) That was all it took, that single thought, and my brain was off and racing.

I don’t know if I’ll write the story that thought inspired. Honestly, I don’t think I could do it justice. However, it’s there, tucked away in the pink folds of my brain. Lurking. Waiting.

Autumn. A season of lengthening shadows and dying lights, when the monsters inside ourselves start to rouse and rise.

Maybe, just maybe, you should give in to those dark impulses. Perhaps, when your monsters and maniacs hammer at the door, you should invite them in for a cup of mulled apple cider. Sit with them. Listen to what they have to say.

Just make sure, ladies and gentlemen, that afterwards, you can send them home.

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