by Sarah Earlene Shere, Hosanna Heralds, ©2022

(Oct. 15, 2022) — Introduction:

Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a child. My family always kept it clean and fun. I also appreciated a good spooky story, filled with beauty and mystery, not blood and gore. I’d like to take back a holiday (that many have given to the evils of this world) and reintroduce it to you with beauty, mystery and enchantment.

Over the next few flash fiction entries, I will be presenting a Victorian Halloween-style story. This is going to be different, as this is going to be more of a serial; every flash fiction story will be connecting together for a bigger story. So don’t miss one of these entries, with the final being posted on Halloween!

For more Victorian spooky stories (including one of my own, “The Hand Mirror”) check out Whitstead Harvestide on Amazon and other major book sellers.

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

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Part 1

The dying leaves crunched beneath my heavy shoes. I stopped and looked back when I heard a gentle rustling of long skirts. No one was there. I could see nothing around me but the dense cluster of dark brown trees, still laden down with red and orange leaves, that refused to fall till the heavier winds of autumn would arrive. Keeping aware of my surroundings, I reached down and patted my English Setter, who kept close by my side, and I whispered, “Steady, Agnes. Good girl.”

It had been such a lovely day; the crisp chill in the air promised the evening to be likewise. Pulling the collar of my coat up around my neck, I made my way home. I tried to ignore the feeling that I was being watched and followed. Soon the imposing structure of my Queen-Anne-style house came into view. Agnes ran ahead of me and up onto the porch. She knew better than to scratch on the door, but her whimpers and anxious stepping between me and the door told me it was dinner time, and she was ready.

Suddenly, a twig snapped behind me. I turned sharply, my nerves on edge more than I had realized. There, not many yards behind me, stood a figure of a woman, dressed all in black. The long black curls of her bowed head hung around her shoulders and cascaded down her back. Slowly, she lifted her head. Her large dark eyes were a stark contrast to her pale complexion. A chill ran up and down my spine when our eyes met. She began to stretch out a white hand toward me as an icy breeze whistled through the trees. It picked up a layer of fallen leaves and began to swirl them behind her, sending her curls and skirts flying about.

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