Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24: When I was 8 . . .

When I was 8, I saw a witch
sitting atop the window
in my bedroom. It was dark so
I wasn't sure she was there,
casting a spell, her gnarled fingers
curled to grab my dreams.

We carved pumpkins that October
with the large butcher knives
that slipped when you least
expected it.

I was a ghost then,
trick and treating up the lane,
filling my pillowcase with treats,
candy corn my favorite.
Our friends, three little boys,
changed costumes and went another round
and another. Three times.
Not a lucky number.
That was the year their father died.
That was the year
I became a ghost.

Halloween Witch (Daily Record and Mail UK)
Today's prompt from Octpowrimo asks us to go back in time to when we were 8 years old.  Sometimes I think it will take my whole life to heal from what happened when I was 8 and 9 and 10. So I give you this Halloween story instead.

In looking for an image (Google search) of a child in a witch costume, I was stunned by the difference between advertising in the west (happy kids in outlandish costumes) and the reality that children accused of witchcraft face everywhere in the world and especially in Africa. Even though we all must face our own inner demons, if we are tenacious, we can overcome them. Not everyone can.

To read what others have written for today's prompt from OctPoWriMo, go here.
To read about witchcraft around the world, go to Wikipedia's fascinating and troubling article.