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Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Campfire Stories for Halloween

As a Christian, I always feel guilty that I love Halloween so much. I just do. I love zombie movies, too. And ghost stories. And horror stories that remind me just how dangerous the world can be--but from a safe and fantastic and beautiful distance.

The genre of horror has moral value. Scott Derrickson taught me this: If someone says God is dead, it may be time to show them the devil.

My daughter and I have been reading scary stories leading up to Halloween. Last night we read Madeleine L'Engle's "Poor Little Saturday." Fantastic ghost story--perfect blend of creepy cute for a young kid. (Sadly, it's not online anywhere.)

So here is my little offering to the wonders of horror:

Campfire Stories

After dinner at Shotgun's
we drive back to the grounds
wondering will the camp code prove true.
It does. Our tent is unmolested
though lonely amidst various perky groups.
Across the road in site eleven
nearest to the bathroom, middle school boys
whisper about Bloody Mary.
"She'll come out of the mirror
You'll see her behind you,” they say
”With hands dripping red—”
In the bathroom a father is making
a game out of cleaning his sons' ears
"Hold this while I clean your brother's
And we'll see whose are dirtier."
"Go deeper," says the brother,
his face against the bathroom mirror
while dad mines wax with a Q tip.
At our campfire we laugh
when I read King's Boogeyman aloud,
wondering if the site 11 boys can hear
my voice sneaking up behind them,
my words dripping red—

Loved that ending... words dripping red. However, I'll be sure to keep you away from my kids. :)
Yeah, I knew there was a reason I should retire from teaching : )
so liked the poem!

anyway,iv been looking for a copy of that short story (Poor Little Saturday)...

so sad, can't find one here in the Philippines.


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