Halloween is one of my two favorite holidays. I suppose you won’t have any trouble guessing the other one. Growing up in rural Indiana offered a unique Halloween experience most children don’t get to have now.
Every year, my father would pull out the tractor and hitch up the hay-filled wagon in preparation for the big community Halloween bash. Mom had already gathered in bushels of apples and those that hadn’t yet been made into applesauce or cider, were carefully looked over and bagged for the bobbing tank.
Weeks in advance, my brothers and I combed through the attic. Going through box after box of costumes and masks from previous years. A great costume was the key to Halloween success. Everyone enjoyed the hayride, bobbing for apples, ghost in the corner, haunted house, and trick-or-treating, but only two people could win the costume contest. And that was the very best part! Even the old farmer--that lived on the next farm beside us--tried to take home that trophy.
The morning of the party we’d get up bright and early. Our house always had many visitors and phone calls on that day. At any given moment you might walk around a corner and find Dad in deep conversation with another of the neighborhood farmers. Their voices would drop to hushed whispers the moment they spotted you. Then Dad’s eyes would sparkle as he said, “Now you kids just get along there. This ain’t none of your business.”
Discouraged, but not defeated, we’d wait for our next chance to overhear where the ‘ghosts’ and ‘ghouls’ would be hiding. Without fail, someone always screamed when the hidden farmers and their grown boys jumped out from behind the trees. And we sure didn’t want the screamers to be us!
One year, they even rigged what we thought was a dummy from a tree. He looked like an old cowboy that had been hung. He hung so low in the tree that if you reached up just a bit, you could touch his dangling feet from the wagon. I’ll tell you what, when that old cowboy started wailing and kicking his feet, we all nearly died of fright! But it was awesome.
Memories of those days gone by still bring a smile to my face. From the hot apple cider to the hayrides, bonfire, and ghost stories when the night grew late, it was an amazing time to be a child! I feel bad that my own children didn’t get to have Halloweens like that. Dad’s tractor was sold before most of them were born. But we still talk about it, and around here we try to make Halloween just as Halloweeny as we possibly can!!!
For one-thousand years, Druid prophecies foretold of a young witch destined to alter the fate of both human and immortal alike. This witch-turned-vampire would be capable of harnessing the supernatural abilities of both and, in a bloody rise to power, would rule with unwavering control. Unwillingly thrust into a world she never dreamed existed, Liz Markum is catapulted into an ancient war between rival vampire factions. She must choose between those she loves and the ever-present darkness attempting to devour her very soul. Only one question remains: Will Liz claim her birthright or surrender to the dark gift? One choice. One chance. Two destinies.
About Willow Cross
Willow Cross resides in Arkansas with her husband, two children still young enough to live at home, an enormous cat named Bitsy, and a neurotic dog named Tank. Her home has been known to host the occasional ghost and several of her friends profess to be witches. Although she dearly loves Vampires and Werewolves, they are never invited for dinner.