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I have always loved Halloween.

There are the visuals: monster movies, baskets of brightly colored candy bars, costumes that amaze, confuse, and seduce, a full moon that shines like a spotlight upon tiny towns with gothic spires and picket fences, scarecrows and jack-o-lanterns.

Picture

Not to mention the auditory sensations: brittle leaves rustling along concrete sidewalks, children laughing, werewolves howling off in the distance, Janet Leigh screaming as the music crescendos, the pounding of your heart as the branch outside your window scrapes against the glass.

It’s tactile, too: cold air against the back of your neck, the weight of a witch’s green¬†hooked-nose mask, the pillowcase held tightly with tiny hands, the unexpected grasp of a skeletal hand.

Skeletal_hand

Oh, and don’t forget the tastes: candy that covers your mouth in caramel and chocolate and sticky goodness, punch that’s been spiked by someone you’re fairly certain wasn’t invited to the party, every incarnation of pumpkin imaginable.

And finally, the smells: woodsmoke pouring from chimneys, freshly baked cookies, fake blood and cigarette smoke from the zombie down the street, pumpkin flesh cooking against the flame of its internal candle, crisp and cold midnight air that smells like a sweet apple and cedar trees.

Full_moon

There are so many sensations associated with this holiday, so many memories tangled up within its offerings.

It’s a day of weirdness, of crazy happenings, of ghosts and ghouls and goblins, of a mixture of costumes that allow people to be whoever they want to be, if only for one night.

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Putting aside her commitment to the National Ninja Association, this young, bright and talented author has finally come out of hiding. She currently exhausts her brain capacity working for government, but spends many afternoons dreaming up new ideas for her incredibly blasphemous novel, The Absolutely, Positively, True Adventures of a Religious Prophet, while keeping her typing fingers limber. She can be reached here on the comment board or over at her blog, The Unbelievable Adventures of Claire Elizabeth Rogers.

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