Wind whipped leaves chase down city streets, following memories as night shadows grow longer, reaching out into the past to grasp the sense of youth, hold it close for a breath before it is snatched up in a gust and carried back into the growing shadows – forgotten in adulthood – tasted rarely, if at all.
As the season rounds once again to harvest time, the nights grow colder and the days shorter; the hint of iciness is again in the air. These times we welcome each year with a mixture of sadness at the loss of warmth and summer’s pace, and a youthful anticipation of the special things to come.
Embracing not only the rioting colors, rustle and rattle of falling leaves and the deep fragrance of damp earth returning to hibernation – those are plain and expected and a shared reality to us all – what we secretly anticipate is the treasure we keep hidden in our sensory vaults – those memories that have accumulated since our first wide-eyed realization of this amazing time, when imagination is king and parents join in being children for one special night.
This tacit sharing is of a genetic memory, an accepted freeing of inhibitions, an open acknowledgement of ancient understanding. This season offers a welcome suspension of disbelief for a brief period when we can give vent to the guilty pleasures normally left in childhood; and embrace that childhood once again, with shameless joy.
Hallowe’en is a magic time of year. when the willing among us give over wholly to abandon; and if spirits lurk, they lurk politely, on the edges, until the child in us is sated. Then they will come and claim the night. Then, the ancient entities, the race of fair folk, the lords of light, entertain themselves entirely.
Such is Hallowe’en for the believers, those who refuse to relinquish their imaginations and subsume themselves to the mundane. And it is from those of that ilk that your Hallowe’en Treats come again this year. You are in for a chillingly exciting read.
Writer's Cramp began its life as a fiction magazine back in the Fall of 1999, when its editor asked a few writers to contribute to what he saw as a special, inaugural offering. Those authors asked to send in their work were well known to the editor as specialists in terror, horror, mythology, the history of occult study and a deep love for the genre. That first issue marked the tone for each subsequent Hallowe'en Issue of Writer's Cramp and over the past seven years those same contributors, as well as a growing core of other, dedicated lovers of the craft, save their best for Hallowe'en.
In this, our Seventh Annual Hallowe'en Issue, we proudly present our bag of delightfully devilish treats.
Take a new look at the insanity that feeds The Tell Tale Heart, but from Robert Liberty's slyly twisted and chillingly hilarious perspective.
Then flip over to one of those annoying "True Haunting" shows popping up on every, normal, television in every living room, Most Haunted, a different slice of reality TV, by Derek P. Gilbert.
One of the joys of editing Writer's Cramp is rising to the challenge of its contributors. Always fun to write, never less than hilarious in its results, and more often than not, irreverent to a fault, the writers, in this extended circle, always dare one another to better past efforts. And they can never be accused of mundane choices! Again we have been dared to create television shows, fully flavored by the season, and proudly broadcast by Channel 666, Hellevision - your All Cthulu Station.
We dare you to read Hell's Kitchen, delightfully written by Ann Huseman; The Hex Files and Hell Mary, devilishly devised by Sharon K. Gilbert; and You Bet Your Life, brought to you through Groucho Marx, by Robert Liberty.
There's not only the new collection for your enjoyment and edification, but we've included a chronology of the best stories and poetry from our rich past. You are in for a true Hallowe'en Treat.
As always, but especially at this time of year ... enjoy.