It makes perfect sense that Halloween should come at the end of October, the month when our gardens die and the birds flee. When we shiver in our last breath of sunlit air before scurrying into our caves to watch football and dream of Christmas. What better time to celebrate all that is scary than the birth month of skeleton trees that will rattle our windowpanes in the dark of January?
And who celebrates this eeriest of months better than Ray Bradbury?
In particular, no book captures the mood and spirit of Halloween better than Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, a tale of two boys caught by the mysteries of Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show. It’s a story of choices, of the pull of darkness against the light. Of the dangers of always looking ahead…or always looking back.
This is not an action book. You don’t turn the page to see what happens next. You turn the page to soak it in, to live the eerie October days of another time, when boys ran free at night and the only monsters were of the supernatural kind. You turn the page to see Jim Nightshade teeter on the edge and to teeter along with him, the tingle of danger dancing along your spine.
And so, in celebration of the October country, where dark things dwell in shadows, I offer you, dear Reader, a trade. Share a Halloween memory with me via a comment on this post. If your story is too long, then post it at your own blog and copy the link to a comment here. Or, lacking a blog, you can e-mail your story to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll include it in a future post (if you wish).
In return, I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a brand new copy of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. If I receive more than 10 stories, I’ll give away two copies*, in honor of the new All Hallow’s Read tradition. I’ll announce the winner(s) on Monday, October 24, 2011.
*I couldn’t find an e-book version, so winners will have to give me an address.