A Quilted Halloween Story
|It was a dark and stormy night. smiled to herself as she thought of the cliché and hugged Joseph's Coat a little tighter around her. It was an old purple coat he had found abandoned in a trash can earlier this winter and had given to her along with a red hat. She thought the coat was a dandy, for she had spent her pension on brandy and summer gloves. The red hat didn’t go and didn’t suit her but she wore it anyway.|
|Lowering her head against the bitter wind, the old woman continued trudging down the street, running her stick along the graveyard’s rail fence to keep her balance. She imagined herself a ice cutter ship, plowing through the storm at sea to open an access route in the deadly ice.|
|She kicked a
Mason Jar. The noise startled her and she looked up, fearful that she might be lost. Pasted to a nearby pole was a
carnival poster from the summer past. She closed her eyes for a moment, the memory of warm
summer winds in her thoughts. She remembered walking to the carnival in Salem,
the sun warming the woven ribbons in her hair, calliope playing, her next door neighbor Mollie at her side. Such happy times! So different from the sobriety of her youth. Mollie was gone now, having taken the road to Tennessee to live in the delectable mountains with her family.
was envious of Mollie’s choice for she herself had no family.
opened her eyes, looked around and was forced to walk around a box of
- Dresden plates, they looked like. There were matching
cups and saucers, too. She reached down and picked one up, after removing a discarded
apple core. "True blue pottery" , she read. A howling black cat ran by and, without thinking,
hurled the shard at the cat. As it scampered through the light, she saw it was only a calico cat, chasing a mouse.
|It was All Hallows Eve, and
was anxious to get inside before midnight. Faces looked at her from
garret windows and attic windows. Ghosts gibbered at her from all sides. Jack-o-Lanterns leered at her. Her heart thumped and she set a drunkards path as she darted from bush to tree, compelled to get out of the way as something large rushed past her.
She tripped and fell on a toad in a puddle. Confused, she picked it up and discovered it was made of cement. She wondered - what was the beast that had rushed past her? Was it even real, or had her imagination conjured up yet another mystery? She was so tired! She sat on the pavement and rested a bit.
|Examining the tracks it had left, she thought maybe they had been made by a bears paw. Was it a bear she saw?
maple leaf out of another impression and examined it. Could they be goose tracks? Looking up, she smiled as she saw the
Scottie dog, just scampering around the corner. That was it. She was comforted to see a flock of birds in the air, preparing to land. They seemed to be the wild geese which been here before. The returning birds were a sign of safety.
|She struggled to her feet, and setting her course by the
Big Dipper, she tottered off towards a crooked path. She came to the
roads and shook her head to clear her thoughts. Where should she go? To the right was the barristers block, so named because of all the lawyers that lived there. Straight ahead was Union Square, the
courthouse steps just barely visible behind the little
red schoolhouse. To the left was Patience Corner, an aptly named community where her
Grandma used to live. It had been her favorite block as a child.
|’s mind traveled back in time again, as she remembered her grandmothers flower garden. Her grandmother was a farmers daughter, a housewife, and her garden bloomed from May to December. The garden maze was her grandmothers pride and joy. As a child, it was 's job to take the basket and fill it with corn and beans. She would gather eggs from the hen and chickens barn, too. ’s grandmother believed in economy and was very thrifty.|
|A comet streaked by and illuminated the stepping stones that made it possible for her to navigate the railroad crossing safely. That settled the question. She was homeward bound. Humming gaily, she twirled on her tip toes and crossed the rocky road.|
made her way to the
Log Cabin that was once her grandmothers home. She saw a
golden glow in the distance, over the
hill and valley. What was that in the window? Through the light and shadow of the forest path and stiles, she thought she could see the glow of a jewel box. Could this be for her? She ran to the house. A gingerbread man who was adjusting his bow tie opened the door, his contrary wife in the background.
|"Welcome, welcome!" he cried. "You have come just in time! We are about to go on a trip around the world and we need someone to watch our treasure!" He thrust a treasure box in her hands, picked up a
nosegay and began a square dance.
thought this was very odd behavior indeed, but her attention was distracted by a
puss in the
corner. Before she could say
the box, the man and his wife had twirled out the door, looking for all the world like spinning tops.
sat heavily in a chair and opened her prize. Inside was a cracker box,
baby blocks, a jar of baby food and a
toy fish. "That’s odd", she thought. "I wonder what these are for?" Just then, a baby crawled in to the room and started to cry. "It’s going to be a very long winter", she sighed. Then she brightened. It seemed she had a family after all.
Use these blocks to make the quilt to the left.
If you have read this far, you deserve a Halloween Crown!
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
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