Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

WEP: A Halloween Love Story

"Hunter's Moon" (Wikipedia)

Ready for Halloween? Here's a short story to get you thinking about . . . 

“Irreconcilable Differences”

   A deep yellow moon tinged with orange hung low in the darkening sky.
   “That’s a Hunter’s Moon,” said George, his voice low and soothing as he drove the car home. “Pretty amazing, don’t you think?”
   “Yeah, dad,” said Chris. “I guess.”
   George was quiet.
   “OK,” said Chris. “Why’s it called a Hunter’s Moon?”
   George smiled, even if Chris, sitting in the back seat, couldn’t see him. How can I explain everything to a ten-year-old who doesn’t know what life is truly like? “You know things change all the time, right?”
   “Right, I know.” Chris sighed. “Like you and Mom.”
   “Maybe. But people change just like that moon. In fact, that moon brings change. The Hunter's Moon always comes in October. It means winter’s coming. Time to prepare for cold nights ahead. At least in the old days, that meant hunting.” He shrugged. “Now we have supermarkets.”
   “Guess it still means change. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.” Chris kicked his foot against the back of the seat. “I don’t understand why we can’t be together as a family, like we used to.”
   “We’ve talked about this.” George paused. It didn’t feel like he understood either. “I think maybe we’ve got something called ‘irreconcilable differences.’ Your mom and me, we’re both different, and we’re not quite sure how to go back to how things were. Just know I’ll take you to visit your mom whenever you want. She loves you, and I love you. We’ll make this work.”
   Chris sighed.  
   George stared up at the yellow moon. “We’ll manage. And someday you’ll understand this all a little better. We have good things to look forward to. Like Hunter Moons and Halloween. You like Halloween, don’t you?”
   “Yeah, I do.”
   “You decided what costume you’re going to wear this year?”
   “I’m gonna be a vampire. That way I can tear and slash and roar and eat all the candy I want.”
   “A vampire? Don’t you think that’s a little close to home?” George glanced in the rearview mirror to check on Chris. “You know you’re named Christian for a reason.”
   Chris wrinkled his nose and lifted his lips in a snarl. His incisors lengthened, and he hissed. “I don’t care anymore. What’s the point.”
   “The point is nobody knows but you and me. Not your mother. Not your friends. No one.” George couldn’t help the growl that emerged.
   “But maybe if Mom knew, she would stay with us.”
   “Nope. Not happening.” George pulled past the iron gates that surrounded his Gothic mansion. “She doesn’t know. She can’t know.” He stopped the car just outside the garage and turned to look at his son. “And she will never know, right?” His eyes glazed iridescent green as he stared at his son.
   “Right, Dad. I won’t tell her.” Chris glared. “Not yet.”
   “Come on, grumpus. You’re cranky tonight. Let’s get you inside and have a little something to eat before bed. Some things you can’t change. But we still have tomorrow. It will get better. I promise.”
   After a cup of hot apple cider, Chris calmed down, ready for quiet time on his iPad before bed.
   George walked out into the back yard, tired but pleased that he’d talked to Chris. What would happen when Chris was older? How would he fit in? Hell, how will I fit in now that Gwen is gone. George looked up at the moon that still hung in the sky.
   A shadow of a broom seemed to skitter past the full moon and then another. Now they come, he muttered. Right when I think nothing could be worse. Gwen must have sent them to plague me. Well, at least she was not quite the ordinary housewife she had always pretended to be.
   The shadows flitted away as Gwen materialized in front of him. “What do you think?” she squealed. “That you’re the only one having fun?” She paused. “Is Chris still upset?”
   “You don’t need to ask. He’s angry too.” George shrugged. “He’s aware our family is, well, different.”
   Her cat eyes glinted, and she tapped one finger on his shoulder. “I know we’re different, and I know Chris is different too.”
   “He told you?”
   “He didn’t have to tell me.”
   George sighed. “I’m sorry we have irreconcilable differences.”
   “You sure they’re irreconcilable?” She sketched a link between the two of them, another shadow.
   “Maybe not.” George couldn’t help the grin forming on his face or the warm night push of his blood. He stilled. Yes, he loved her. Even if she was a witch. “He’ll be a teen in such a short time. He’ll need both of us.” George leaned close to smell her sweet mix of violet and lavender. “You know I love you.” He paused. “No more secrets. Are you willing to try again?”
   Gwen flung her arms around him. “Yes, I’m willing. Besides, that’s the Hunter Moon, a time of endings and beginnings. This is our beginning. Always and forever.”

How did this 874-word story get started? The short answer is -- just for fun. Write...Edit...Publish's October Challenge was to write a story with somewhat of a Halloween slant, maybe even horror. Somehow George, Gwen, and Chris -- and the idea of family, even an unusual family -- came to mind. 

I hope you enjoyed reading my short story (any feedback is welcome), and that you will explore other such tales on WEP's website

Thank YOU for visiting. Have an amazing Halloween!




16 comments:

  1. Great job! Families do come in many varieties - hope they figure it all out!

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  2. Awwww. What a sweet story. Who knew a vampire story could be filled with love?

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  3. Poor Chris. Being a regular teenager is challenging enough. Being a teenage vampire must be pure agony. Most of the time...

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  4. Sweet, a great Halloween treat. I agree with Olga, teen-age years will be rough.
    Happy Halloween, Beth.

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  5. This is truly lovely. Hooray for families prepared to work together.

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  6. I loved this, Beth. What a great story idea, beautifully told. Glad the irreconcilable differences weren't so irreconcilable in the end. Chris just wants his family back and looks like he's going to get it. Very heart-warming.

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  7. This was just delightful! Glad they figured out how to make things work. Family is all about reconciling the irreconcilable.

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  8. It WAS a story of love and hope, with a delightful and unexpected twist. Loved it!

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  9. Hi,
    I didn't expect this. It is a sweet love story of an odd family getting it together. Very positive and I enjoyed it, immensely.
    Shalom aleichem

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  10. Anonymous12:54 PM

    Cute story. Loved the family.

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  11. Anonymous4:29 AM

    Very moving story Beth. Happy Autumn writing. Susan Rouchard

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  12. Chris certainly comes from a unique family! Being his age is already hard enough without having to hide the fact that you're a vampire. I hope everything works out for them.

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  13. Hi Miss Beth

    I love your story. Well-written. Cool descriptions, lots of emotions and unexpected love. For sure an unusual family. Terrific take on the prompt.

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  14. Hi Beth - what a fun storyline ... so pleased they got together and will obviously stay together - clever and thank you - cheers Hilary

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  15. Awww, such a cute ending.
    Though I like the idea of a vampire drinking Apple Cider & playing with an iPad.

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