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Daily Archives: October 31, 2017

Short Story for Halloween – The Scariest Halloween Ever – Promote Yourself

 sweets
 

The town had made a mistake. A HUGE mistake! When it was brought up a few months ago at the town meeting the whole committee agreed unanimously. How could they have been so wrong? How could it have went this far?

The streets were a war zone. The sidewalks were lined with debris and the destruction just continued. No one seemed to know what to do. No one had any idea how to stop it or even slow it down. Should they call the National Guard? It had been suggested but that seemed like an extreme reaction. Maybe it was time for an extreme reaction?

The police officers just stood back and watched. This was something they were not prepared for and no one had ever trained them on how to handle. The ideas were all there but no one wanted to act on them so on the destruction went. Riot gear, tear gas, beanbag guns and tazers were all at there disposal yet not one of these items was put to use.

Suddenly a young man emerged from the chaos and approached the line of officers.

“I have a way to stop this. I need to speak with the mayor.”

The officers looked at one another each waiting for the other to make a decision.

“Just tell me where to find him. I’m not out to hurt anyone. I want all this to stop as much as you do but that won’t happen until I get to speak with someone who has a little authority.”

Finally one of the officers spoke up. “I’ll take him.”

“You sure it’s a good idea.” Another asked.

“No but it’s the first time anyone has offered any idea and I’m not losing the chance to stop this.”

The officer led the young man into the court house. Mayor Thomas and his staff were inside discussing their options when the two entered.

“This man says he has a way to stop this sir.”

“Well by all means let’s hear it. No one here has come up with anything yet.” as Mayor Thomas spoke you could hear the fear and frustration in his voice.

“Mr. Mayor. We need to have …..” the young man continued for only a minute with his plan.

It was so simple yet brilliant. The Mayor stood up from his seat yelling “Well you heard him. Let’s get on this ASAP and turn this thing around. I want that truck here yesterday.”

He looked back at the young man. “Son, if this works you got a hero’s celebration coming to you and a key to the city.”

“Only if the key is made of chocolate sir.” The young man said grinning.

It wasn’t long before a large dump truck was barreling through the streets headed toward the center of town. The driver was warned the trip might be hazardous and he needed to be on watch for anything. Just get to the courthouse as quick as you can without hurting anyone he was told. Why he was here and hauling this cargo he might not understand, but he was determined to do his job especially with the bonus this one was going to get him.

The closer he came to his destination the more uncomfortable he felt. It was unbelievable, unimaginable and just downright shocking. Streetlights were torn down, mailboxes had been tipped over and destroyed and the windows in nearly every car, home, and business were busted. “What had happened here, what was still happening here and what am I doing here?” he couldn’t help but think to himself.

He pulled onto Main Street and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Right in front of him the chaos was happening and the culprits could be seen. Was it even possible and if so why? Why would they all go crazy at the same time and start tearing apart a town? Suddenly the cargo made sense and he knew he needed to get it in place quickly.

He pulled around and backed up to the sidewalk as close as he could get without hitting or hurting anything. He didn’t feel safe getting out of the truck but he had no choice. It had to be done. As he was selecting the lever to dump his cargo he overheard a young man hollering above the noise.

“Everyone, it’s here. Come on and take what you want. It’s time to fill your bags and go home. Halloween is over.”

The cargo slid from the truck landing onto the sidewalk. Bags of candy bars, lollipops, bubble gum and gummy bears steadily flowed from the truck bed piling into a mountain then very quickly began to vanish. The kids all gathered around scooping up candy and laughing happily. It was over. It was finally over.

The next day Mayor Thomas honored the young man at a press conference. He spoke a bit about the mistakes made and the cleanup that was needed. He asked for the parents to have lenience on those involved. He apologized and vowed that during his tenure “Candy free” Halloween would never again be attempted, no matter how overweight the children became.

Short Story by The Notorious JED and originally posted at www.jedsplayhouse.com 

Halloween Poetry: the best Dark, Eerie, Haunting and Scary poems …

Some of the best poems of all time are dark, eerie, haunting, scary poemsthe perfect poems for Halloween! Here you will find the great medieval ballad about madness, “Tom O’Bedlam,” Alfred Noyes’s bleakly romantic ghost story “The Highwayman,” Ernest Dowson’s haunting “A Last Word,” Walter De La Mare’s enigmatic “The Listeners,” and a terrifying poem about the specter of hell terrorizing Christian children, Robert Frost’s magnificent “Directive.” I chose the first two poems to complement the ghoulish picture above. (In fact, I wrote the first poem specifically to go with the picture.) The poems that follow include some of the very best dark, haunting poems in the English language, by masters of horror and the supernatural like William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, John Keats and Edward Arlington Robinson.

Thin Kin
by Michael R. Burch

Skeleton!
Tell us what you lack …
the ability to love,
your flesh so slack?

Will we frighten you,
equally pale & unsound …
when we also haunt
the unhallowed ground?

The Skeleton’s Defense of Carnality
by Jack Foley

Truly I have lost weight, I have lost weight,
grown lean in love’s defense,
in love’s defense grown grave.
It was concupiscence that brought me to the state:
all bone and a bit of skin
to keep the bone within.
Flesh is no heavy burden for one possessed of little
and accustomed to its loss.
I lean to love, which leaves me lean, till lean turn into lack.
A wanton bone, I sing my song
and travel where the bone is blown
and extricate true love from lust
as any man of wisdom must.
Then wherefore should I rage
against this pilgrimage
from gravel unto gravel?
Circuitous I travel
from love to lack / and lack to lack,
from lean to lack
and back.

A Last Word
by Ernest Dowson

Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o’er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where’s rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.

Ulalume [an excerpt]
by Edgar Allan Poe

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir …

Ghost
by Michael R. Burch

White in the shadows
I see your face,
unbidden. Go, tell

Love it is commonplace;
tell Regret it is not so rare.

Our love is not here
though you smile,
full of sedulous grace.

Lost in darkness, I fear
the past is our resting place.

Luke Havergal
by Edward Arlington Robinson

Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The leaves will whisper there of her, and some,
Like flying words, will strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you listen, she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that’s in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies—
In eastern skies.

Out of a grave I come to tell you this,
Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,
Bitter, but one that faith may never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this—
To tell you this.

There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall,
Go, for the winds are tearing them away,—
Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

Sea Fevers
by Agnes Wathall

No ancient mariner I,
  Hawker of public crosses,
Snaring the passersby
  With my necklace of albatrosses.

I blink no glittering eye
  Between tufts of gray sea mosses
Nor in the high road ply
  My trade of guilts and glosses.

But a dark and inward sky
   Tracks the flotsam of my losses.
No more becalmed to lie,
  The skeleton ship tosses.

The Listeners
by Walter De La Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare

Three witches, casting a spell …

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

YOUR FAVOURITE POEM  WHAT’S YOUR’S

WHY NOT SEND YOUR POETRY IN AND CELEBRATE  HALLOWEEN

Scary Mary’s Back

Gathering around the witches cauldron
The ugliest group ever seen
Mary uttering nasty vile spells
Then she let out a blood-curdling scream

The leader of the nasty coven
Was the witch named Scary Mary?
Her face was full of warts
With a moustache and beard all hairy

They danced around the cauldron
Throwing toads and spiders into the brew
Mary was supposed to be experienced
But alas she had not a clue

Her cat Boris was watching
With a smile across his face
To see the witches leaving
At a fast and furious pace

One thing they had forgotten
As they were flying around the floor
They were so high on the brew
They forgot to open the door

Boris by now was in pieces
As they all crashed together in a heap
He was rolling around laughing
As the witches struggled to their feet

Scary Mary was now quite vexed
As she tried to kick start her broom
Boris now was crossing his legs
And was quickly leaving the room

Scary Mary by now was quite dizzy
As she staggered she bumped her head
The last time Boris saw her
She was casting spells in her bed

Malcolm Bradshaw

Scary Mary and Johnny By MALCOLM Bradshaw

WHO’S KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR THIS HALLOWEEN

LOOK OUT SCARY MARYS ABOUT WHO DARES TRY MARYS RECIPES ON THIS HALLOWEEN NIGHT?

TRY ONE IF YOU DARE

  • Cinder toffee

This recipe is classed as easy

Prep time:
20 min, plus setting
Cook time:
25 min

My favourite recipe for glossy toffee – perfect for passing around at Halloween and Bonfire Night parties

Ingredients


 Method
1. Line a 15cm square tin with greaseproof or parchment paper.2. Put the syrup, sugar, butter and water into a large heavy-bottomed pan set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, before turning up the heat and bringing to the boil.3. Cook, without stirring until a teaspoon of the hot toffee mixture becomes a hard ball when dropped into a jug of cold water. If you have a sugar thermometer, it should register 138C. Remove the pan from the heat.4. Add the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to the pan – take care as the toffee mixture will bubble up and rise in the pan. Pour immediately into the lined tin and leave on one side.5. After about 15- 20 minutes, when the mixture has begun to set, score the toffee in square shapes, using a sharp
Bangers and mash

This recipe is classed as easy

Prep time:
10 min
Cook time:
30 min
Serves:
4

Rich onion gravy transforms this family favourite into a meal fit for a king fro

Ingredients

For the onion gravy

For the mash

  • 1 kg flourypotatoes, King Edwards or Maris Piper are good
  • 100 ml milk
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 grate ofnutmeg
  • salt and freshly groundblack pepper

For the sausages


Method

1. First make the gravy. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan and soften the onions and thyme over a very gentle heat. It’s best to cook them, without colouring, for about 10-15 minutes. Give the onions a good stir now and again.

2. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and continue frying the onions until they turn a deep russet brown. Add the wine and bubble until it has almost evaporated. Pour in the stock and add the bay leaf. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes, until thickened. Leave on one side.

4. Heat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Put the sausages in a small roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for about 20 minutes, until golden. Turn once or twice while in the oven.

5. While the sauce and sausages are cooking, start with the mash. Peel, half (or quarter) the potatoes and transfer to a deep saucepan filled with lightly salted water. Boil until the potatoes are tender.

6. Drain in a colander and return to the pan. Shake the potatoes over a very low heat for a few seconds until they have dried out. Crush with a potato masher or you could use a potato ricer.

7. Heat the milk with the butter, nutmeg and seasoning and gradually add most of it into the potatoes, beating well between each addition. An electric whisk is good for this. Check the consistency by adding more hot milk if needed. If you’re planning on keeping the potatoes warm, pour a thin layer of hot milk mixture over the surface and cover with a lid.

8. Warm the sauce and serve with the sausages and mash.

Toffee apples
This recipe is classed as intermediate

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
20 min
Serves:
6

Taste nostalgic childhood memories with Roopa Gulati’s traditional toffee-coated apple

Ingredients

For the toffee coating

  • 225 g demerara sugar
  • 110 ml water
  • 0.5 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 25 g butter

For the apples

  • 6 apples
  • 6 wooden skewers, for holding the apples – ice lolly sticks will do

Method

1. Dissolve the sugar in the water over a moderate heat. When it has dissolved, stir in the vinegar, syrup and butter. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until it reaches hard-crack stage (138C) or hardens into a ball when dropped in a jug of cold water. This should take around 10 minutes boiling time.

2. While the syrup is cooking, pierce each apple with a wooden stick. Once the toffee is ready, dip each apple into the hot toffee, turning it around in the syrup so that each one is fully coated.

3. Leave to harden on a lightly oiled tray before serving. If you’re planning to keep them for a day or two, wrap the apples in cellophan

Scary Mary says don’t forget mum and dad on Bonfire night
 

Hot mulled cider punchIngredients

  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 2 litres cider
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp  wholecloves
  • 1 pinches nutmeg
  • 2 oranges, peel only, cut into segments
  • 6 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 50  g  blanched flakedalmonds,   lightly toasted

Method

1. Combine the sugar and salt, and add to the cider in a large saucepan.

2. Tie the spices in cheesecloth and add to the cider. Slowly bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Remove the spices and add the orange peel, cinnamon stick and toasted almonds before serving in a punch bowls

Chilli con carne

This recipe is classed as easy

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
1 hr 30 min
Serves:
6

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions
  • 700 g lean stewing beef, fat removed and cut into 1-2cm cubes
  • 5 clovesgarlic, crushed
  • 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers,  sliced
  • 3   green or redchillies,   chopped, seeds left in if you like your chillies fiery
  • 2 tsp  groundcumin
  • 1 tinned redkidney beans, 400g
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

To serve


Method

Heat the olive oil in a casserole,or saucepan and fry the meat until it changes colour – about 5-7 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and stir for a minute or so before tipping in the tinned tomatoes,chopped chillies, peppers, and a good pinch of salt.

Cover the pan and simmer for about an hour, until the meat is tender and the liquid reduced to a thick sauce. If it gets too dry during cooking, pour in a little more water.

Add the cumin, kidney beans (and a little of the bean liquid,if you like)and the brown sugar. Simmer for a further 10 mins before serving with rice, a spoonful of sour cream, grated cheddar cheese and and coriander leaves as a garnish.  For added spicy kick, serve this dish with hot chilli sauce.

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