Monday, October 31, 2011

Does No One Else Hear This?

Does No One Else Hear This?

I heard it again last night.
In those grey gauze moments just before sleep, a distant sound. Or was it just outside my bolted window? A laugh? Or a cackle? I couldn’t be sure. Listening, listening, till the beat of my heart hurt my head. I pulled the covers up over my eyes and lay still as sleep, thinking.
Does no one else hear this?
All week long, just around midnight, strange sounds. Echoes of half forgotten conversations, snippets of laughter from those long disappeared into the mist. Rustlings. Murmurings. A whirling susurrus scratching at the garden gate. From deep in the trees, sounds of feather-soled footfalls cracking old leaves, inching closer and closer, ever nearer, to my door.
As each orange afternoon hands over the day to the night, a long finger of ice traces my spine.
I see faces in the candle flame - hear incantations in the trees.
I jump at the tea kettle’s whistle.
November will come, I tell myself. It will weave the now threadbare veil tightly and these visitors will vanish to mist. No longer will the will-o-the-wisp follow me, footstep by footstep, down the darkened hallway, its light casting unspeakable shadows upon the wall. This robed coven will fly from my rooftop, its shadow melting back to a flock of black crows.
I will open my window at midnight and all will be quiet.
No more will I catch the bleached discordant notes drifting out from the midst of the trees. No longer will I glimpse the swirl of an embroidered hem waltzing underneath the old oaks.
But for now, I wait.
With twisty hands and tapping foot, I sit.
I strain my ears for the step on the walk, for the knock on the door that I know will come.
I wait.
And I listen.
For Halloween.


  1. Beautifully (and scarily) written Pamela...I'm so glad it's morning as I read this, I don't think I would have slept a wink if I had read it at midnight!
    That being said, there *has* been a lot of crispy cackling in and around my house lately...but in a fun way, thank goodness!
    xo J~

  2. oh I hear it too! as does my daughter... we so love these magical days :-) x

  3. You contiually amaze me with the beauty of your writings.

    Is it just me, or is that child seriously scary?? Makes me shudder!

  4. Oooooo -- most spooky and lovely posting! Best read by the glow of firelight, candlelight and a single lamplight! Serve with a mug of deep, rich Assam tea and a slice of dark and gingery pumpkin cake. Add pajamas, robe and slippers. Tee-hee!

    Happy Halloween from Lot 13 on Cemetery Hill! (yes! that IS our true address LOL!)

  5. Beautiful post, but I am never disappointed at Edward's, always something to feed the Spirit. This is the season of memories so I think of the veil between the worlds and those behind it now more often than usual.

  6. Magical!
    And a very nice picture ...
    Thank you.

  7. we're late to the anniversary congrats. What a lovely, perfect story & family portrait. Much love from our gang. xoxo Susan & Miss D

  8. Somehow, Autumn brings a mystical and eerie note. I don't know what it is....the leaves falling, the nights drawing in or the smell of bonfires but, something is afoot.
    I love it !! XXXX

  9. Wonderfully Spooky, Pamela! On nights such as these I am never too grateful for my canine companions!

  10. Yes, one of the "thin times" when earth, heaven and more access one another. Lovely post - great photo.

  11. Hello Pamela

    The wind is whistling down the chimney as I read this, a distant dog barks. The wind is rustling the palm fronds. A candle flickers and is casting long shadows on the wall. There is a shadow on the balcony...this is unbearable and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH I am calling "999 or is it 911"...where am I? Europe or America.

  12. Shivers in the dark of the deep imagination! Hooo-hooo!
    "It was on this day in 1938 that a cylindrical Martian spaceship landed in Grover's Mill, New Jersey, and began incinerating onlookers with an alien heat ray, an event that was covered by the Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations, and that caused widespread alarm and mass hysteria. News of the attack interrupted a program of live dance music, the reports growing more frequent and ominous as the hour wore on, until the New Jersey state militia had been obliterated and three Martian tripod battle machines began ravaging the landscape.

    Of course, the broadcast was a hoax, a cleverly crafted Halloween prank composed of simulated on-the-spot news bulletins based on the H.G. Wells novel, The War of the Worlds. The broadcast had been prefaced with the announcement that what would follow was a dramatic presentation by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air, but many listeners missed the introduction and panic ensued. People in New Jersey fled the area convinced they could smell poison gas and see fiery flashes from the tripods in the distance.

    It has been estimated that of the 6 million people who heard the original broadcast, more than 1.5 million believed it to be true and more than a million others were genuinely terrified, and contemporary accounts tell of police stations swamped with calls. Within a month there were more than 12,000 newspaper articles on the broadcast and its impact, and as far away as Germany Adolf Hitler is said to have cited it as "evidence of the decadence and corrupt condition of democracy." Many listeners sued the network for mental anguish, claims that were all denied save one for a pair of size nine black shoes, by a man from Massachusetts who complained he'd had to spend what he'd saved for new shoes to escape the invading Martians. Welles insisted that that claim be reimbursed.

    Welles and the Mercury Theatre were censured, but the broadcast secured Welles an instant, notorious fame. In 1988, Grover's Mills, New Jersey, celebrated its hour of fame by installing a Martian Landing Site monument near Grover's Mill Pond, not far from the remains of a water tower shot to pieces by its frightened residents 50 years before."

  13. On nights like this, with thoughts like that, I'll bet you are very pleased to have those two furry animals around to keep you company!

  14. Hello Pamela

    You need to write a book! Love the picture and~~~
    Happy Halloween

    Tracy :)

  15. How wonderful are all of your postings.
    Love you

  16. Oh...I would love to be there!! I can just imagine having the time of your life on Halloween with all those bright eyed little ones knocking on your door. Have fun!!

    Jeanne xx

  17. Great post!

    Word of the day: susurrus
    Had to look it up...

  18. Hello Pamela:

    How beautifully you develop a sense of intrigue, a sense of anticipation and a sense of magic in these carefully chosen words.

    And is it, we wonder, to be trick or treat?

  19. "Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; - 'Tis the wind and nothing more!'"

    Isn't October perfect for deliciously frightening tales????

    Wonderful post!!

  20. Stunning! And so enchanting!
    Have a great weekend
    Jamie Herzlinger

  21. I can't wait for Halloween - brings out the child in all of us!

  22. Yes, I hear those things and once had the thought that maybe I was schizophrenic. At the point of sleep one night, I heard a full men's choir singing. We were living in an old church house that had been moved to our location. Never heard of a susurrus before. I'll have to go look that up. Loved the post.

  23. Oooooh I liked this very much :)
    Happy Halloween ~

  24. Your words are always so hard to follow Pamela, so I will bid you and Edward a Happy Halloween.

  25. Hi Pamela
    What fun you must have weaving your tales of intrigue.. I wish Halloween was more popular here.. although we don't have your snow storms to add to the mystery..

    Have a great week.. and thanks for popping in.. ciao xxx Julie

  26. Always a strange and magical time of year!

  27. You just gave me shivers! Beautifully written and scary thought!

    I love this spooky holiday, its my favorite!


  28. Pamela, this was so deliciously scary!


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