The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: Halloween 2019

Halloween Contest Winner: Various Ways of Looking at Halloween by Nancy Slavin

“Stay with us, stay with us,” the swarm of ghouls yelled at me just after dawn on Halloween morning. 

Witches had snatched my three-hour-old baby, taking her so I could not see her. Her cries from being torn away from my breast tore through me, but the ghouls told my husband, who now held our newborn child, to get the hell out of the room. 

The doctor who’d cut me open just a few hours before to birth our baby, now pressed with the heels of both hands on my newly stapled belly, which was bleeding out. A gush of blood, blood pressure dropping to thirty over forty. When the numbers match up, the body is dead. 

The rest of the goblins, I remember, discussed a machine, some machine they wanted to arrive to help me survive. The nurse was a minute away, they said. The drug she would give me would cause bloating, and they had to give me someone else’s blood. “I’m just tired,” I complained. I did not know I was dying. When she arrived, she wore a Nurse Ratchet costume, with a tight white tunic, bright white leggings and a small blue-and-white striped paper hat bobby-pinned in her coiffed blond hair.

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Halloween Finalist: Poetry by Christina McDermott

Elegy and Praise Hymn 

If ever I dream

of the crooked trees 

with green around the trunks,

dripping water from their twigs,

 

believe me, 

I’ve found the spot 

for my burial. 

 

It’s quiet in October 

on the narrow street 

in the suburbs

 

with leaves resting under 

10-year-old cars.

 

I go running at four,

and travel through dusk air

down these empty streets

lined with swollen branches 

of arthritic trees –  

 

dry as they wait for the moon.

Dry and there is water in my breath only.

Dry so the leaves crunch

as my feet hit pavement 

 

until I reach the dead 

end by the woods

where the sun is dimmed, and

the trees hold water.

 

October Holy – 

darkness surrounding orange – lit 

windows of houses 

and thickets of woods with secrets 

about otherworlds 

absurd and beautiful.

 


Christina McDermott is a writer and linguist who enjoys exploring the connection between speech sounds and the rhythm of poetry. Her work has appeared in Levee Magazine and October Hill Press. She also runs a poetry blog: https://pocketmappoetryblog.wordpress.com/

Halloween Finalist: “Hallowe’en, 1933” by Tylor James

Gordo, Alabama, USA. 

October 31st, 1933.

Charlie Wannemaker and Eddie Brackett spent the afternoon making the exemplary scarecrow. First they’d dragged the ragged old scarecrow off its stake down on ol’ Henderson’s corn field. They folded its straw-filled limbs up nice and tight and toted him in a red wagon all the way to Charlie’s barn. Henderson’s scarecrow was okay, but it wouldn’t do for the great stunt they had in mind for the night. Not without a touch of restoration.

“If we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it right,” Charlie instructed. Continue reading

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