October Dreams

Porter loved October! He was born in October and most of the good things that had happened to him began with the Halloween month! He and Chet had become good friends in

the first grade and the memories of those halcyon days still warmed his heart. He recalled when Mrs. K. had taken all of the first grade class on a hayride and they had admired the girls…although they did not quite know why… The hayride was bumpy and the air was chilly…but they were excited about the Haunted House that they were on their way to visit. Chet and Porter spent their waking hours thinking about Frankenstein and Dracula and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. On Friday nights and again on Sunday afternoon they spent many scary and joyful hours at the Orpheum Theatre in their little Southern Illinois town of Eldorado, Illinois. Usually, during October, there were multiple horror shows to enjoy. Every year the English theatre company, Castle Productions, spun out another Dracula movie with the famous British actor, Christopher Lee. Now, Christoper Lee’s portrayal of Dracula was quite a bit more explicit than the original classic with Bella Lugosi’s rendition of the undead vampire. There was an abundance of blood, in Technicolor, and the female victims were a bit more risqué than the 1930’s masterpiece! Porter was reflecting on Dracula…as the hayride arrived at the haunted house…

The Haunted House was a Victorian home outside of Raleigh, Illinois. It had a red candle in each of it’s 13 windows. Chet mentioned that the number 13 was significant in the study of Numerology… Parker, a classmate that Porter had a crush on…clenched his hand and asked if she could go through the Haunted House with he and Chet. Porter said, absolutely, and Chet flashed a sly and knowing grin. Porter had idolized Parker since the 1st day of first grade! It was time to slide off of the hay bales and pick the straw out of your trousers. There was an inviting bonfire behind the Haunted House an there was not a star in the October sky! As Parker clenched Porter’s hand…Chet followed dutifully behind. The smoky odor of the burning wood from the bonfire…filled the chilly air. The intrepid three entered the front door of the spooky dwelling…not knowing what to expect. Before them, on the newel post of the circular staircase was a bodiless head that spoke to them. The head spoke clearly and with distinction. The head had an orange face and orange hair and looked, at first glance like a pumpkin, and the utterance that issued from it’s mouth was bone chilling. The pumpkin head said, ‘Beware of death due to fright…or at least as good scare if you choose to enter this house!’ And, then, it uttered the words, ‘Prepare to be frighted as you have never been frightened before…’ Parker squeezed Porter’s hand until it ached…but it was a good ache! Chet said, ‘He is here,’ but Porter and Parker did not know who Chet was speaking of?

Doc Irvin, the hayride driver, was waiting in the driveway. He had given the horses some sugar cubes and brushed them down and he was relaxing and the pullers of the wagon…as well. Doc noted that the children should enjoy the Haunted House as he had gone through it with his grandchildren last year and they all, including him, were scared to death! He noted that the reality of the exhibits was phenomenal. He went on to say that at one point he had forgotten where he was and who he was with and it seemed like that he was in the future…but, a dystopian one… Doc Irvin told Doc Drysdale, as all the bus drivers were noted as ‘Doc’, that his visit was somewhat an out of body experience where he wondered if he had entered the television show, The Twilight Zone… He went on the say that soon after the pumpkin head had spoken to the group he had become dizzy and disoriented. He saw himself a very old man and sadness surrounding him. Americans were fighting each other and killing each other in the name of christianity and expelling undesirable citizens because of the color of their skin or their religion or their political affiliation. He concluded by saying that he knew that he should not have had those two vodka tonics before he took his grandkids to the Haunted House…but that he enjoyed a couple of tonics every day…an he thought that no harm would be done…

When Parker and Porter and Chet emerged from the Haunted House…Parker said that she did not want to talk of what she had seen in the ancient dwelling…Porter mentoned that he thought at one point that he had fainted…and Chet said that he had witnessed Armageddon…and then it was time for roasted hot dogs and smores…

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