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Old 09-18-2012, 06:24 AM   #3
The Road Warrior
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: United Kingdom
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Default Re: Halloween Hellraisers Writing Exercise


An eager entrant, Toby, who didn't wish to be identified by his real name gave us this, in his own words, about the ghosts of Halloween-past.

Shorter anecdotes will do but over now it's over to Toby who wrote this little snippet for us, I've edited it lightly for any glaring typos as it was quite a rough draft without ruining the feel of the piece, I can't wait, here goes:-


"My Hallo-ween... Anyhow!"

an Original Story by Toby

"... well feeling kind of basic today, so I'll just lay out my Hallo-ween story here, we, that's my gang, around eight of us used to get ready for Hallo-ween night a few days before, when we bought the swede. You see over here in England, we do have pumpkins but they're too heavy to carry around and stuff and you don't see many of them and there's only like only two in any grocery shop if that, but the swedes, well, they're in a large box and it's fun to pick one out, and pumpkins, okay they're great too but they were rea-lly expensive to buy but those swedes, well swedes come with all sorts of shapes and little notches so you find a face and one that looks like you can carve it easily without it being too small, so we just carved out this swede and made some holes and threaded some string through each side and hey, a devil-face appeared! We'd carved him into life. We'd slice off the head, just a centimeter, not much more, a piece to keep on top to keep the wind out, put a candle inside and light it, and carry it around the streets, swingin'. You could use a narrow nail or two to pin down the top if you wanted. It stayed on without though okay.

"Some kid would always have a box of matches, loads of matches was essential because the candle would always go out and we had to keep lighting it, all the time, we'd stop on the pavement and re-light old swedey, that was part of the fun and seeing the flames glow through the eyes and all. Then we'd kind of go house to house and along that windy dark road up by Caulfield Crescent, and ring the bells or knock doors and ask some old man in dirty pyjamas or a harrassed woman in a solemn way "trick or treat" but we never wanted a trick and we didn't ever have one anyway, oh and one night, my mate B- dared us all to go round the back of the church and walk into the black, a half-circle and come back into the light, but this was an old churchyard, and full of graves and ghosts and who knows what else, and another thing, it was windy that night, this was the best Hallo-ween we'd ever had, Hallo-ween anyhow is scary round that church, but the wind was really up, and the swede just blew around and it's eyes burned, the fire coming out of the sockets.

"When we'd walked all round the village we'd head to the fish and chip shop, counting out the pennies and silver, separating them from the sweets, sweets were bad, we liked hard cash, because if we'd got enough, the tradition was, spend it all on a hot bag of fish and chips, sometimes when we didn't have enough, we'd throw in our own money, usually just for the chips and then eat them over on the churchyard wall. It was cold and foggy by then anyhow.

Then came the end of the night and the swede was now black and we'd probably have two candles burning inside, fiery-orange flame in both his eyes, and when the wind blew strong and the eyes flamed even more and when he really burned it was like a devil and it roared too, but later in the evening, around 10pm we'd all break up and go home, but two of us would go back to my house and we'd then burn the swede, another tradition I guess, stuffing newspaper inside him and in the wind with the swede on the lawn or somewhere in the dark at the back of the garden in the high winds we'd watch him flame and roar-up and burn like a fire-demon; sometimes the flames would hop out of the top, under the capping, and that was great, "burn!" we'd hiss at him and think we'd conjured up evil or was warding it off anyhow.... or sending him back to wherever it was we'd summoned him from, maybe.

"The swede would smell, it really really whiffed, bad as burnt swede does, never eaten swede 'til this day, reminds me of Hallo-ween, and that's what swede is for, Hallo-ween, always remember the smells of that great night anyhow. And in the morning there would be just this blackened old swede, ha ha, with half the side of his head caved in, reeking of rotting swede, but the eyes and the zig-zag mouth would still be there. One kid always had a big pumpkin, down our street, but it sat on his step all nght like in that film. We saw it and was carved out good, welcoming us home, but ours was better, I reckon. The village was getting dark by then and the small lamps had come on, winking down the streets in the cold air.

"Hallo-ween was over for another year. All the kids do now is come around in cheap plastic hats and garb, and their mothers who are often pushing prams, as they're all very young, wait for them at the bottom of our drive whilst the tots ring the bell, and we give 'em sweets and say "oh...great costume" and then the whole caravan moves on. It's gone all very commercial like that in the last 10 years or so I reckon, well, that's my story anyhow? I'm climbing back into bed, may get up around the time of that Hallo'ween writing exercise that Road Warrior is running around here, may even enter it.

"Til then, I'll probably sleep a lot and watch horror movies at night. Hope Hallo-ween is windy this year, keeps the kids off the streets. They don't ring the bell so much then!"

Thanks Toby,
very nice indeed, great title, I liked the pendulous swede, and later on in that whole "zig-zag" mouth detail you've got going right there, really effective and "visual", felt like I was really there, seeing it, smelling it too-

just one question, do you know anybody by the name of Holden by any chance?



Oh nothing, just a thought?

Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

Last edited by The Road Warrior : 10-08-2012 at 05:00 AM. Reason: cleaning up some of Toby's typos, without hopefully disrupting what he has written
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