The clutter of autumn leaves
crunch beneath my feet
as I walk through this tiny wood
The sun is setting so slow
and the sky is red like a pool of blood
The wind is rising
carrying secret spices from Egypt
and whispering promises in my ears
I have heard stories
old, old stories
of a faceless woman in white
who screams at travelers who pass near
I see no ethereal woman
I hear no wordless shrieks
I keep walking
I keep crunching dry leaves
Elsewhere, crowds are entering high school stadiums
buying popcorn and pickles
as they huddle closer in the chill
I have only myself
just myself and the house
which has appeared at
the top of the next hill
It looks like a bad horror movie cliché
all cobwebs and creaking shutters and shadow
I have heard stories
of glowing eyes in dark closets
of unclean laughter in the attic
of black magic rites
I have heard old stories
of men driven mad overnight
of vanishings
of chuckling fog and black birds
I step into this living Halloween decoration
close the door
and wait for the night
I have heard all the old stories
Why else would I be here?

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