The flutter of bat wings, the “click-click-click” of a rat’s nails across a cold, stone floor, the cackles of old women, the howls of men turned wolf… Halloween has arrived once again on a stilted heartbeat and a lost prayer. As dusk awaits us in the long cruel shadows of fall, shall we gather while it’s still light and talk of fright?

It may surprise you that while I walk through life with panic forever holding my hand in its cruel, cold grasp, the fear borne on All Hallow’s Eve is a welcomed companion, a kindred spirit to share my oft-twisted and darkened path.

On Halloween the whole world shakes and trembles, terrified of unknowns behind near corners. I know this fear. I wake with it every dawn. But on October 31st alone do my imaginary demons don masks and costumes seen by all. Oh, I know that these monsters, ghouls and goblins that fill the leaf covered streets are nothing more than folly. I know that they are nothing more but games that sane people play to have a taste of forbidden insanity.

Is it so wrong, so surprising then that we who gorge ourselves every day on bittersweet dementia, enjoy watching novices swing in our playgrounds of bedlam one night a year, nibbling at our curses like candy?

Tomorrow the gate will be shut, the swings filled once again with only familiar broken souls.

Tonight then let us welcome new blood, let them feed off our fear… for tomorrow the masks will be put away and the demons will be for our eyes alone to see.

Happy Halloween.