This is a very, special week at the Literary World of Tom Raimbault. This week we observe the annual triduum of Halloween. If you've been following the blog long enough, then you know that each year we celebrate throughout the days prior with horror stories that have been specially written for Halloween. Please stay with us throughout the week and celebrate. Here at the Literary World of Tom Raimbault, Halloween is the greatest holiday of the year!
Today is All Hollows’ Eve—more commonly referred to as Halloween. What makes this Halloween all the more special is the fact that it is Friday! Plenty of haunted houses will be packed with eager visitors who wish to be scared. Night clubs will be jam-packed with partiers who wish to boogie-down on the dance floor. Cemeteries and places of popular hauntings might have a few late night visitors for a real scare. And don’t forget a late night cruise down Archer Avenue in Illinois—Resurrection Mary Highway.
As for children, tonight is the greatest night next to Christmas Eve. For you see, they get to go out and trick-or-treat. I’m sure you all have common sense when it comes to safety; looking both ways when crossing the street, not accepting questionable candy, not going up to unlit houses, and remaining on stranger-danger alertness.
But here’s a little list I created for you; some pointers on maximizing fun and safety when trick-or-treating.
· If you are trick-or-treating in the dark, be sure to carry torches and candles to light your way. Additionally, fire offers a dramatic effect that lets people know you mean business!
· Parents should drive around the various neighborhoods before hand, and take note of what neighborhoods appear to be "wealthy". These residents hand out awesome candy because they have more money than most people! Be sure to trick-or-treat in these areas!
· To maximize the best use of time and receive the most candy, don't waste time walking up and down driveways and taking the sidewalks. Simply cut through the lawn and jump over landscaping if necessary.
· For maximum effect, weapon accessories should look as real as possible. If people are offended by these things, then they really shouldn't be out on Halloween night. Remember, the aim of dressing up for Halloween is to ward off evil spirits.
· Don't bother going to houses that are not lit. Either they are not home, or they are obviously very lame and wish not to celebrate Halloween. They are probably Jehovah's witnesses or radical Christians who deem this wonderful holiday as evil. And you don't want them ruining your fun.
· Plenty of sugar and caffeine is the answer to maximizing stamina while trick-or-treating. Pack soda and juices with high amounts of corn syrup. Eat plenty of candy to keep the energy up. Remember, the aim is to stay out as late as you can while trick-or-treating.
· Kids should eat a good meal before trick-or-treating. Treat them to McDonald's, White Castles or Taco Bell for dinner. White Castles is an excellent idea because it causes plenty of flatulence which kids enjoy breathing with a costume on.
· If you have older kids, they don't want you around. You see, they might want to pull pranks at different houses, or play silly Halloween games that encourage them to misbehave. This is not easy to do with Mom and Dad around. Make sure they have a cell phone so they can call you from the police station if needed.
· Kids should not accept questionable candy, or treats that appear to be homemade. You see, there are sickos in this world who poison candy, lace it with drugs, or stick pins and razorblades in it to injure children. Be sure to educate your children on this.
· While we are on the topic of sickos, be sure to inform your children that creepy pedophiles and sexual predators will be driving around Halloween night to look for children to kidnap. This is not intended to be funny. This is the sad and sickening truth, and children need to know this.
· Finally, look both ways before crossing the streets.
Today’s featured writing is a short story about ghostly orbs.
Happy Halloween! Have a great weekend! Be safe and have fun!
Poor, little, four-year-old Brittany; she was having another bothersome encounter with the mean, old man who regularly tormented her and her older brother. The wicked, old man didn't have to do much to terrify her; only stare at Brittany with his fearsome face and eyes of hatred that—perhaps—exhibited a bit of delight that he was frightening her.
Brittany trembled and cried at the sight of the old man, who stood at the entrance of the family room.
"What? What is it?" asked my sister, Lina, who just so happens to be Brittany's mother.
Brittany only ran in the opposite direction of the old man, towards the sofa, where she buried her face in the pillow to hide from him.
My sister sat down on the sofa next to her crying daughter and rubbed her back to comfort her. "Brittany, Honey, what's bothering you?"
It was then that Brittany answered, "It's the old man. He's back, again. He won't leave me alone."
"What old man?" asked my sister.
Brittany pointed in the direction towards the entrance of the family room. "That man over there." Then she hid her face back in the pillow. But she wouldn't dare look at the old man while pointing her finger; for he would only return a face that would guarantee punishment some time later.
"Honey, I don't see a man standing over there. Are you just seeing spookies, again? Spookies are all in your head. They're not real."
"I see him!" declared Brittany's older brother, Nicholas; a nine-year-old boy who should certainly be past the age of imagining things. But unlike his younger sister, Nicholas is a bit bolder and actually approached the old man who returned a face of warning. "He's right there!" Nicholas shouted while pointing. "You bad man! Get out here!"
"Nicholas, stop it!" shouted my sister.
"You don't see him?" asked Nicholas.
"No!" she snapped. "And I wish you would stop encouraging your sister."
That's when Nicholas sat down on the sofa, next to his mother and little sister. It was time for the boy to have a talk with Mother. "Okay, do you remember when I was little and I was out in the swimming pool on my raft, and I fell under the water?"
"Yes..." answered Mother.
"Do you remember you had to jump in the pool and rescue me because for some reason I couldn't get up?"
"Yes, of course." affirmed Mother. "That was very scary."
"Well the reason I couldn't get up was because the old man walked around the pool and reached over to my raft. The he tipped the raft over and I fell under the water. And that's not all he did. He actually held me under the water and wouldn't let me up. He wanted to drown me."
Mother sighed and was growing increasingly frightened of these strange accounts of the old man. "Are you sure?" she asked. "Nicholas, are you lying?"
"No! I tried to tell you and Dad when it happened. But no one would listen to me. You just told me that no one was holding me under the water."
This was the account my sister gave me on the telephone one Thursday evening. She phoned me shortly after the incident of the old man tormenting my little niece which was followed by my nephew's report of being held under water by him some years ago. My brother-in-law works the night shift which means that my sister was alone with two children who swore there to be a mean, old man in the entryway of the family room. I suppose the moment might have been somewhat spooky, and she needed someone to talk to.
"Hmmm... That's very strange.” I answered as she concluded her report. “Do you suppose there might be a ghost in the house?"
"Oh, don't say that!" my sister begged me. "Mark doesn't come home from work for a few more hours which means I'll be alone until then."
"Well I'm just suggesting that a ghost is something to consider. And if you have one, you need to do what is necessary to get rid of it." Then I came up with a solution. "Do you have a camera nearby?"
"A camera?" she asked. "I have one on my phone. Why?"
"Well, sometimes paranormal investigators have success with photographing rooms where there is supposedly ghostly activity. When looking at the picture, mysterious things can be seen that might suggest the presence of a ghost. Why don't you try doing that, now?"
"Okay, hold on..." She was using the very phone that she spoke to me on to take her photo. There was the sound of my sister clicking open the camera app, and then taking the photo. "There... let's see..." I could hear my sister say. Then she resumed talking into the phone. "I'm looking at the picture, but can't see anything.
"Well maybe the ghost is gone." I suggested. "Ask the kids if they can still see the old man."
I could hear my sister calling out to my nephew and niece. "Nicholas? Brittany? Is the old man still there?”
"No!" they answered. "It looks like he went away for now." explained Nicholas.
"Well, at least you don't have to worry about the ghost while you're home alone." I said to my sister. "Tell you what; the next time the kids complain about seeing the old man, hurry up and take a picture in the area where they see it."
It was Saturday evening, two nights after my sister telephoned me to report the strange accounts of the mean, old man. My mother joined my sister and her husbnad for an evening out at the opera. Arrangements were made for the fifteen-year-old girl who lives next door from my sister to watch the children while the adults were out.
At some point in the evening, little Brittany was in her bedroom and sorting through some of her toys which were carefully placed in a bucket, soon to be carried out to the family room to play with. That's when the mean, old man quietly entered her room and sneaked up behind her.
Initially, Brittany was oblivious of the ugliness that stood behind her. But it didn't take long for the strange, spooky feeling to envelop Brittany which was soon accompanied by the strange sensation in her eyes that felt as-if another person could look through them. Then there was the chill in the air. Yes; the mean, old man was somewhere in the room.
Brittany looked behind her and was terribly startled to see him. His feet were just inches away from her. He cocked one foot back and gave her a swift kick to her leg while casting a mean face at her.
"Ouch!" yelled Brittany, and then quickly crawled over to the wall where she cowered. She started to cry because the kick hurt her.
Delighted; the mean, old man walked over to her and kicked her again.
"Stop!" yelled Brittany "That hurts!" She cried some more.
The mean, old man silently laughed as-if his mouth had a mute button. This muted effect made it necessary for him exaggerate behavior such as laughing. As the little girl cowered and cried against the wall, he spat at her to show even further disrespect.
"Brittany?" called out the babysitter while dashing up the stairs and towards the bedroom. "Are you okay? Why are you crying?" Now at the entryway, she could see little Brittany cowered against the wall and protecting herself from something unseen. "Brittany, are you alright?"
"It's the mean, old man." answered Brittany. "He keeps kicking me, and he won't go away."
The babysitter rushed over to the cowering child to see what was wrong. By now, Nicholas was at the entryway of the room and could see the problem.
"Yup! Uh-huh! He's in here!" affirmed Nicholas. Nicholas approached the old man and shouted, "You get out of here! And you leave my sister alone!"
That's when the mean, old man slapped the babysitter on the ass.
"Nicholas!" the babysitter shouted. "Stop that!"
"But that wasn't me!" argued Nicholas. "It was him."
"Alright... you kids are very strange." declared the babysitter while scooping up little Brittany and carrying her out of the room. Nicholas led and was the first out of the room.
Just to make sure that his presence was known; the mean, old man gave the babysitter another slap to her behind.
Now frightened and convinced of a mysterious presence in the home, she screamed and ran out into the hallway. Of course the babysitter didn't say one word about the evening’s strangeness. How could one report such an incident to parents who ask, "How did everything go?" Should she have answered, "Well... everything was fine until that imaginary man slapped my behind."? Instead, she reported that all was well. I suppose she promised herself to never babysit in that house, again.
It was late in the evening, and my mother was too tired to drive home. She opted to spend the night at my sister's place, and sleep on the family room sofa. At some point in the night, she woke up and felt an extreme chill in the air. Cold, my mother wrapped herself tighter in the blankets. And then she began to feel a peculiar sensation of fear. It was something she believed she could have pulled herself out of by standing up and going into the kitchen for a drink of water—wake up a bit before going back to sleep. But sitting up was impossible due to an alarming sensation of paralysis. She described it as-if someone held her down on the sofa.
Then my mother saw something that would certainly terrify anyone. As she described it; a brilliant, glowing orb started floating in her direction from the kitchen. It glided into the family room until reaching the sofa where it hovered over my mother. Along with feeling held down on the sofa, my poor mother had a difficult time breathing. This made it impossible to try and call out for help. The orb slowly descended—closer and closer to my petrified mother.
The entire family was awoken from the dead of night with the sound of my mother who finally let out a scream. "No! No! Please! Go away! For the love of God, please go away! Help me!" By the time everyone reached the family room, my mother was cowering in the corner by the television.
"I bet it was the old man!" suggested my nephew, Nicholas, upon my mother finally calming down and explaining what happened.
"Nicholas, stop it!" warned my sister. "Your grandmother was probably just having a bad dream."
"What old man?" asked my mother.
"Oh, the kids just have an overactive imagination..."
The following morning—Sunday—my mother had breakfast with the family and left. After she left, it was one of those lazy Sunday mornings in which everyone sits around, watches TV or—in the case of children—play with toys.
Brittany was playing with her dollhouse. But after an hour or so; my sister noticed that she would set up all of her toys in an area, play for a few seconds, then quickly pack up and move to a different area of the house.
"Brittany, what are you doing?" my sister finally asked.
"The mean, old man keeps bothering."
"Bothering you? What's he doing?"
"He keeps coming up to me and kicking me. He wants me to leave."
"He kicks you?"
"Yeah... uh-uh... see, like last night. Look what he did to me." Brittany pulled her dress up just high enough to show a nasty bruise on her thigh."
My sister gasped. "The mean, old man did this to you?"
Initially, my sister wasn't buying it. Someone kicked her little daughter, and she would definitely get to the bottom of it. "Nicholas!" she called out.
"Get in here!"
My nephew cautiously entered the room. "What?"
"Did you do this to Brittany?" my sister asked.
"Are you sure it wasn't Nicholas?" my sister further probed while speaking to Brittany.
"No, it was the mean, old man." she answered.
"There he is!" exclaimed Nicholas while pointing.
Brittany turned towards the direction of where her brother was pointing, and then quickly looked away while covering her face. She began to cry.
"You see him?" my sister asked.
"Yup!" affirmed Nicholas. "He's right there, and he's making mean faces at me and Brittany.
Just then, my brother-in-law entered the room. "What's going on in here?"
"It's the ghost." answered my sister. "The kids say he's right over there and making mean faces. And look what he supposedly did to Brittany." She lifted my niece's dress up high enough to show the bruise to her husband.
My brother-in-law sighed. "Well, let's try the camera." He pulled the phone out of his pocket, and confirmed from Nicholas that the mean, old man was standing "over there". Then he snapped the picture—actually, a few of them.
The photos were uploaded to the family notebook computer. But before any of them could be opened, the computer suddenly locked up.
"What the...? Oh, come on! Why is this happening?" shouted my brother-in-law. It's one of the most frustrating occurrences that can happen to anyone; you are eager to view some document or look up some information, and the computer suddenly freezes. There are no buttons that can be pressed; the mouse doesn't work; and even control-alt-delete is useless. The machine is suspended in time with 100% of CPU resource being used.
The family huddled over the notebook and stared at it in an equally suspended state as the computer. It was just the opportunity that the mean, old man needed—everyone was in a catatonic state. Then, as the computer started to unfreeze, the face the old man burned through the LCD screen.
Everyone jumped back and screamed out of fright. It was a clear manifestation of a nearby ghost.
Poor, little Brittany cried and buried her face in her mother.
Nicholas exclaimed, "It's the old man!"
Ten minutes passed as the family settled down and mustered enough courage to try and open the pictures on the computer. When they were finally opened, each photo clearly contained an undeniable orb that hovered some six feet above ground. My brother-in-law was able to zoom in on the orb which revealed the makings of a face... the face of a mean, old man.
My sister immediately telephoned me with the finding. But, unfortunately, I was out and the battery of my cell phone went dead. It wasn't until later in the afternoon with my phone fully charged that I received her voicemail.
I called my sister and she immediately rattled off the excitement that had been occurring in her home for the past 24 hours. But then the connection began to fade in and out.
"Can you hear me...? Hello...? I can't hear anything but static... I'm going to call you back..." my sister said before hanging up.
Moments later, my phone rang. It was my sister with a much, better connection. It enabled her to report the details, along with texting me one of the photos of the orb which contained the face of the mean, old man.
"Oh, wow!" I exclaimed upon seeing it.
"Isn't it incredible?" my sister added.
Suddenly I had the peculiar feeling of a presence listening, attentively, to what my sister and I were discussing. "Is someone on the other line with you?" I asked my sister.
"No, I'm on my cell."
I tried to ignore the mysterious presence, but it remained somewhere on the telephone while continuing to stalk over the wireless medium... looking for a way in... seeking a weakness to infect with its poltergeist activity.
About a week passed, and I would occasionally sense the mysterious presence in my home. At first I tried to write it off as some residual feeling brought on by the telephone call from my sister. Her report of the events suggested there to be a considerable amount of trauma in her home. Surely it had carried over to me and possibly caused me some stress. It was the only explanation that I had.
But as time goes on, I continue to feel it. And I suppose in a means to sort through what is happening, I have turned to writing this very document. It is now a few minutes before midnight, and I've chosen this time to write as it enables me to be alone and think freely. It might be similar to what you, the reader, is doing—finding a time and place to be alone so you can read my account, undisturbed.
I can tell you, however, that it is not easy writing about all of this. I now realize that the ghost in my sister's house had traveled along the connection of that telephone call and infected my mind, only to lay dormant as a seed waiting to hatch. As I continue to type I can feel a strange feeling around my eyes, almost as-if someone or something else can see through them. And I cannot deny a peculiar, floating sensation, like I can be lifted out of my chair.
The ghost now observes in delight the words being typed. For you see; the ghost utilizes a viral effect, not only traveling along the medium of a telephone call, but traveling along the words of a story so that an unfortunate reader is infected. Perhaps you now notice a strange presence around you, or peculiar feelings signaling the dawn of paranormal activity in your home or office. Yes, the story is now about you: the reader!
But it's too late! The ghost has manifested itself in your physical place and has already spread itself. You can probably feel it standing over you, moving close to your face and seeking ways to spread its presence through the new medium, you.