I needed some money to take my girl out on our first date. Susie and I were just starting our freshmen year at high school. We snuck our first kiss last week by the ice cream parlor outside of my father’s barber shop. Dad told me I could sweep up the store for some change. Our plans were too big; we would need a lot of cash.
We wanted to spend Halloween night together. You know, be together like all the way. We were ready for whatever life could give us. We were in love.
Mrs. Johnson lived right down the street from us. She had called my house and told my day to have us stop by. She wanted to see us together to see if she could help us. We had made signs for work all over town. Susie insisted on adding her name so we would do everything together. Just like our first night.
It was a Thursday, Halloween was two days away. School was out for some parent teacher thing. We took Mrs. Johnson up on her offer to come by. We made plans to be there by five but we were late. Like always because Susie had to paint her nails for the fourth time today.
We arrived about a quarter after Mrs. Johnson’s helper Glades answered the door.
“Good afternoon Mr. Collin Ms. Susie, the two of you enjoying this late summer warmth?”
“Yes mam, we sure are, is Mrs. Johnson here?” I ask using my polite voice.
“Why yes dear, she is in the living room. Off to your left right over there” Glades turning slightly she was pointing beyond the giant beams that seemed to hold the inside up.
The floors were marble or tile of some sort, they shined bright. The house looked old on the outside but new on the inside. We walked straight ahead then turned to the large u shaped opening. We saw Mrs. Johnson crocheting something. She was always crocheting, outside or in. She had fed me cookies one time so I knew what her home was like. She looked up and gazed past her glasses, smiling.
“Come on in here and have a seat, I have been aching for a good conversation with you two.”
We followed her instructions and sat on the couch across from hers. Mrs. Johnson began.
“You two been growing up like wild fruit on the tree. Once a bee pollinates the flowers then the fruit comes and takes a bit of time to ripen.”
My gaze was fixed on the home made biscuits. Mrs. Johnson never missed a thing.
“You may help yourself to the biscuits and tea. I wanted to talk to you both. I sensed you got a big plan going on in those minds of yours. Oh, don’t look so troubled by me saying I can sense things. My mother had the gift, I do to. We Johnson’s go back a thousand years with the sense. We use it to help those we like and some we don’t. You know young fever is strong when you’re coming up. And you know there is a time for giving yourself to another. But you two are thinking of sharing a hollowed night together. And I want to tell you a story about this night.”
“Mrs. Johnson I don’t mean to be rude. But what do you think we are going to do? And why would any thing we do be a concern of yours? She sounded so grown up.
Mrs. Johnson pursed her lips and squeezed her hands together tightly. Her face flashed red. Her vocal tone deepened, sort of like when my dad gives me one of his lectures about life.
“Well dear, you two are thinking about sharing your most secret desires on Halloween night aren’t you?”
Mrs. Johnson fired back with an intense glare over her glasses. I felt strange inside like I had stolen something. Susie and I looked at each other; we took up cups and poured some tea. I nervously asked.
“Would you like a cup to?”
“No dear that is all right, but Thank you for asking.”
Mrs. Johnson lay the crocheting down. She placed her hands back together. She took a long deep breath and then began.
“Look, you kids have to be told about hallowed night, about hallowed witches’ night. You cannot just give yourselves to each other without knowing. Halloween as we call it is a sacred night. The night itself has been celebrated by mine and others for years. This night goes back even farther than I can say for sure, maybe over five thousand years or more.
My grandmother use to tell us about Witches Hallowed night. Never were we to be out after dark and we were never ever to kiss someone on this night. The power of the night is filled with darkness. Nothing good can come from a hallowed night. Many a soul has been lost on this dark night.”
Mrs. Johnson paused; her hands were reddened from rubbing them back and forth. She moved forward on the couch appearing larger somehow. My mouth was now filled up with fresh biscuit. I lifted my cup to try and choke down some tea. I could feel my self-getting nervous, real nervous like when your best friend scares the day lights out of you.
“How did you know we were gonna do something? And why not on Halloween, it is all for fun and games, you know trick or treat and candy. Our school is having a dance; my folks give out tons of candy. Dad fixes up the garage and yard with scary stuff. But it’s just for fun. Nothing bad ever happens and how do you know all this any ways.” I was practically spitting out my food while talking.
Susie had her hand on my thigh her grip was tight now. I could tell she was afraid.
Mrs. Johnson took up a cup she took a sip of tea. She placed the cup back down so lightly. Then she practically jumped up. We both leaned back startled. She walked over to the large book shelf and grabbed an old black book with gold letters. She laid the book on the end of the table.
“This is a witch’s guide book to the undead and unknown. My mother her mother were witches of the hollowed. They brought me into the realm when I was about six. I use to think of the magic as fun. But then I saw what magic could really do to a person. They used spells to make those they didn’t like sick. Some even died. I knew this book was evil. And I knew I needed to learn the gift of the power or I would perish. Nothing I am going to tell you leaves this house is this understood? You can never tell anyone not even your parents, are we in agreement?
We looked at each other and both replied.
“Yea, sure we understand, nothing shared.”
Mrs. Johnson got up rang a tiny bell. Glades appeared and together they drew the heavy drapes to darken the room. They lit candles the room became light again but with a different energy. Mrs. Johnson sat back down; she leaned in close towards us.
“This is really about you two, lovers wanting to be together on hallowed night. If you cross the path so many others have crossed you will not only lose your soul but your lover as well. Susie, you come from our blood line you are a kin to us. So you can walk where he cannot. But there ends all your powers. You are a walker for the hallowed witches and nothing more. Collin if you touch her on hallowed night you will lose her forever. The story goes two lovers broke from their families on Halloween. They climbed up to the tallest hill overlooking the valley here. Their passions were built by fires from hell. The love they carried was turned to lust. They rolled round and round heated. They were kissing and touching. Doing things young folks ought not to do. As the boy looked up he saw an old man staring at them. The old man’s eyes glowing red like fire. The young lovers frantically grabbed for their clothes but three women stood next to the man holding them.
The man had a long crooked stick he pointed at them and said.
“Dam ye soul from her to hell, she cast her spell to make you swell and moan. Shake you do now before me and three shall be four. Take her soul to take your heart and be your mind gone from you now and forever.”
As the man shook the crocked stick the boy fell back to the ground moaning and crying while the girl was fixed into a state of unknown. When the parents found them the next morning, the girl could not speak for days. The boy had no eyes. They were burnt from his head. He moaned and whimpered like a hurt animal never to speak again. I show you this book and tell you this story because those two were just like you. They fell in love and planned to be forever, but forever ended on Halloween night. This is the night of the witches. They come for the souls of those who lust. You’re too young to know for sure about true love yet. And this is the lesson I tell. If you share this night terrible things will fall onto you both. Go now, leave my house and run home. Don’t think any more on this, but beware – share this night of Halloween and you remember you have been warned. Run home now I said.”
Mrs. Johnson moved to the curtains and jerked them open day light was fading fast. We both jumped up thanking our host. Glades held the front door open. I took Susie’s hand and we ran to the end of the block. We began laughing about the ole woman’s story. We were hugging when a black truck pulled up to the stop sign. I looked over to see an old man with black hair. He pulled his sun glasses down. Those fire red eyes appeared, I pulled Susie away. She turned just in time to catch him and his stare as he drove away.
“You know, I have got a lot of homework this weekend. I will see you Monday at school. “I said trying to hide my fear.
Yea, if she was right we better just save ourselves for another day we have a lifetime. I love you.” Susie said.
Susie gave me a kiss and we parted ways.
Later that week I heard my dad on the phone.
“Thanks Mrs. Johnson it worked like a charm. I hope the kids will wait just a little bit longer. My dad would have loved hearing you tell that story again, like your mom did with me and Molly. It sure helped us to wait. Hope you had a Happy Halloween. And tell your son thanks again, his eyes make the story so real just like his grandfather’s did with us.”