From now until Halloween night, I’ll be handing the reigns of this blog over to some special guests, masters of the dark fiction genre, who will share with you their thoughts, experiences, and memories of the witching season, and/or whatever takes their fancy.
And who better to kick off the series than Al Sarrantonio, arguably one of the finest proponents of the short story form, a self-confessed lover of all things Halloween, and author of such seasonally appropriate fare as Horrorween, Hallows Eve, Hornets & Others, Orangefield, Halloweenland, and Halloween & Other Seasons. Al also edited the seminal anthology 999: New Stories of Horror & Suspense, and most recently, Halloween: New Poems, and Portents (also the inaugural title of his new small press publishing company, Flying Fox Press).
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Pumpkin shortage, my butt.
My local paper, which makes a pretty fine kitty litter liner, proclaimed a pumpkin shortage this year. As with most media these days, it was a half story. Turned out that any local growers who had pumpkins planted in low lying areas got flooded out after the hurricane that came washing through here last month — but, it also turns out, a lot of them also had fields planted on highlands, and were fine.
So our local supplier had plenty of pumpkins, and kept getting more, with overstock from Massachusetts filling in the short falls. And at a good, non-inflated price.
Bottom line (and here I get whimsical): Orangefield (my mythical upstate New York town, the self-proclaimed Pumpkin Capital of the World), has plenty of pumpkins for its annual Halloween festival, and for Samhain, the Celtic Lord of the Dead, to walk amongst while he does his dirty business.
All’s right with the world!
— Al Sarrantonio