Halloween Short Story: Mysteries from the Past

“Tonight’s gonna be a wild one,” Jessica said from the top of my cubicle. “The full moon makes everyone a bit looney and it’s Halloween. Spooky, eh?” 

I shrugged my shoulders. Jessica was the superstitious kind of person. She read horoscopes, dabbled in palm reading, and believed in bad luck often burdening office conversations with it. I was skeptical. Truthfully, I thought she had a screw loose or something. “Another day like the rest,” I replied whilst collecting my things to my flat on the other side of town. From there, I took a cab to the subway station and then hopped on a train where I’d walk through Hathaway Park to reach my flat. It was a daunting commute. Perhaps one day I could afford a car. 

After exiting the station, I entered Hathway Park on the final stretch home. There were ravens perched with bloodied eyes to welcome me. I averted my eyes elsewhere but then I heard a cough to my side. I fictitiously began sorting through the bushes– a few homeless men were attempting to keep warm from the October chills. It’s nothing. I told myself. But the lamppost above flickered like a dying firefly. The bulb must be going out. Then I saw a pair of crimson eyes staring at me through the dark. A cat. The park was ladened with them. No surprise. 

My eyes darted upwards, cursing. The moon was full just like Jessica cleverly prophesied. A coincidence merely. These sorts of things do go hand in hand. I wouldn’t allow superstition to play tricks on me. Halloween was a joke after all. 

I proceeded by the moon’s courtesy, but then I heard a wailing noise echoing from the otherside of the park. It caught me off guard and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up in alertness. 

HELP!” they screamed. 

I started in a jog and broke off into a run. I didn’t know if my legs were leading me to the safety of my flat or straight into the mouth of danger. I found myself deeper into the timber than I’d wanted, surrounded by mindlessness. That’s when I saw it. A woman knelt over, floating above the sticks. I could only faintly see her. She was sobbing over the body of a man.

“What’s happened?” I asked anxiously, taking no note of the abnormality.  

“He’s dead,” she whimpered tearfully. “It was an accident– an accident I swear. I didn’t mean for it to happen.”

My eyes welled up uncontrollably. I was shocked. Paralized. I knew who he was.  

“Please, don’t tell anyone. It would ruin my life. I’m only a child.” 

I was gazing into a mirror. A lost memory from my past. She was me ten years ago. I’d forgotten entirely about it. My mind had purged it from my brain. But here I was. Hathaway Park had twisted into the depths of my darkest nightmare. I wondered if I could make it out alive. One more time… 

Should I ditch my writing goals for 2020?

Welcome to 2020 said no one this year!

The start of a new year usually comes with new goals or expectations for what you’d like to accomplish. As a novel writing junkie, my goals were to finish TWO of my works in progress. One of which being, FORSAKEN. A fantasy novel that I’ve been scribbling away for the last five years, only to redraft the entire thing! Another project being HERE AND THERE, a collection of short stories and flash fictions that I’ve labored off and on for a couple years (which is closer to be finished than yesterday!).

Needless to say, as we reach the crest of the year and time has withered away before our eyes, I can say with all honesty, I’ve completed neither of these projects. That’s not to say, however, that I haven’t made strides forward on both, it’s just not progress that meets my OVERLY LARGE EXPECTATIONS nor my established goals.

So In process of reflecting over the last few months, I’ve ditched my 2020 goals entirely and I think you should too. We’re under abnormal circumstances, meaning that things should be handled differently.

What does this all mean?

Goals are detrimental to actually completing tasks, at least I think so. If the goal is too big, then I like to break it down into even smaller chucks so I feel like the train is constantly moving down the tracks (even if it’s at a slow and steady pace). When we focus on the big picture, we tend to discourage ourselves from finishing.

With that all in mind, this year has affected each of us in different ways– negatively and positively. But I’m here to say : Throw away your 2020 goals and leave them in your rear view mirror!

Where do we go from here?

The saying, “keeping looking forward because the past has already happened” should be the mantra you’re living right now. Even if you write ten words a day, that’s still ten words more than yesterday. Being anxious about self appointed deadlines is worthless. You should value the progress forward a lot more than the end destination. 2020 goals are so outdated! Enjoy, live life, and happily write when you want!

Cheers,

Alexander // the Tea Cup Writer