It’s Halloween and I couldn’t let my favorite holiday go by without a post. Nothing eerie, nothing scary, just a little odd.
Think about this.
Chester Hendricks was not a superstitious man by any standard definition of the word. He wasn’t scared of black cats and he cared nothing about breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder. He considered himself firmly rooted in reality, assured that whatever happened could be explained with science. He brought that understanding to every part of his life and all his relationships. But it wasn’t easy; his surety of the preeminence of reason often put him at odds with his daughter and her husband, both evangelical Christians. Worse, it threatened his relationship with his granddaughter whom he loved as much as life itself.
It was his granddaughter he was thinking of that cold Halloween evening when he pulled into the driveway in Stammerfield. As he stepped out of his car his left hand pulled his coat tight around him in a vain attempt to escape the bone chilling wind that carried waves of sleet from an early nor’easter. His right hand clutched a black leather valise. He carefully made his way to the front door and knocked twice. It opened quickly, as if to do so might admit only him and not the terrible storm.
“My God, Dad, why are you out on a night like this?” asked his daughter.
“You know damned well.” His voice was rough, strained, forced, betraying obligation rather than desire.
“Bill is at church. The Fall Celebration is tonight.”
“Good, the less he knows the better.”
He pushed his way past her and towards the stairs that led to Trisha’s room. She tried to stop him, tried to keep him from doing what he had to do, what he had no choice but to do. His steps resounded in the stairwell, quickening as he approached the topmost landing. He thrust his right hand into the valise and without trying the door, forced his way through it. Trisha screamed a heart-wrenching little girl scream to ward off her attacker, but with a single fluid practiced motion he removed his hand from the valise, grabbed his terrified granddaughter and…
What was in the valise?
Why did Hendricks come on Halloween?
Why did he force his way into Trisha’s room?
And what about that title ― “Sock Monkey, Crucified”?
How would you explain it? Where would you take this story? Should I tell you what happens next?
Let me know.
And have a wonderful Halloween!