I have decided the time was right for another of my very infrequent installment of Mysterious Monday. This is a special Halloween edition. Each of the following short story seeds has overtones of Halloween and of fall. I hope you find these seeds suitably creepy and diverse enough for you to weave your own macabre tales. This is my favorite time of year.
🎃 Sitting on her front porch, Virginia Kincade watches the happenings on Maple Drive like she does every day. She can’t recall anything exciting ever happens on Maple Drive—that was until today. At precisely ten minutes past two, a well-dressed man approached her porch, she doesn’t recall where came from. He deliberately pulls a pistol from under his jacket and before she can protest, shoots her point-blank in the forehead. Leaving her slumped in her chair, he leaves a business card in her lap. What did Virginia Kincade witness on Maple Drive that she couldn’t recall? Who is the mysterious man that killed her? How is he connected to earlier events?
🎃 Halloween night, 1981, a 10-year-old Kevin Beagle disappeared and has not been seen since. He was trick-or-treating with other neighborhood children and seemingly disappeared without a trace; none of the other children recall Kevin not being with them until they returned to Kevin’s house. Fast forward to Halloween night, 2019, a 10-year-old Kevin Beagle, dressed as a zombie, joins a group a neighborhood children as they trick-or-treat. What happened to Kevin Beagle in 1981? Is it possible this is really Kevin Beagle 38 years later? If it is, why hasn’t he aged?
🎃 On the edge of a small frontier village, lives Widow Morrison. Shunned for her natural remedies and for being a recluse. She tends her small garden dutifully like all the other villagers, but for two seasons now her bounty has been more plentiful than anyone else’s. Her plants are larger, healthier, and the bounty doesn’t seem to end. Confronted by the elders, she is unwilling to tell how it is she is able to grow and produce such a harvest. She branded a witch and accused of being in league with the Devil. How does Widow Morrison grow such crops? Is she in league with the Devil or some other entity?
🎃 Age is but a number or is it? Edward Davenport has lived a long life, longer than most can honestly recall. Born at the apex of the total lunar eclipse, 13 Aug 1859, Edward has stood witness to the rise and fall of social trends, vicious wars, and the life and death of his family. Despite his advanced years, Edward perpetually appears to be in his 60s and no one seems to be the wiser. Every fall Edward becomes agitated, specifically around what we call Halloween in the modern sense. What it is about Halloween that makes Edward agitated? What is the secret to his unnatural longevity? Are these two things somehow connected?
🎃 Paintings are meant to evoke an emotional response. This response can be anything from euphoria to dread and everything in between. Auguste Rosenberg recently acquired a unique painting from a new auction house. The painting is of a woman and child in a loving embrace, in life-like detail. Three days after the painting arrived it was proudly hung in a place of prominence in his home. That night while passing the painting on his way to bed, he got the sense that the paintings subjects’ eyes followed him. Not a superstitious man, he chalked it up to the way the artist composed the figures, nothing more. The sense that the painting was more than it appears, began to take hold in his subconscious. Does that painting hold the spirits of the figures? Who owns that auction house where it was purchased? What happens to Auguste Rosenberg in the coming weeks?
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