[ Roughly based on a dream I had regarding Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. ]

 

Tom remembers Egyptian sands and Notre Dame shadows. He remembers ducking great Samhain’s scythe and dodging the yellowed phalanges of grasping skeletons entombed in a Mexican catacomb. Sometimes he wakes at night to rain drumming on the window and wonders to what frozen gargoyle the water gives temporary voice. Oh, the others may not speak of that night, they may claim it was mere dreaming, but good Tom Skelton knows the truth deep in his heart. Tom remembers the House, so impossibly old, and the Tree, so impossibly tall, and the thousand times a thousand lit carved pumpkins dangling from its branches, so impossible. But most of all Tom remembers the sliver of sugar candy skull ground between his teeth and the sweet taste of death defied once but promised to come again in some far burned candle end year of his life. Tom has explored the Ravine a hundred chill autumn afternoons since that night but the House is gone, the Tree is disappeared, the grinning jack-o-lanterns are forever vanished. Yet Tom remembers. Tom Skelton, wearer of the bones, braver of the catacombs, will always remember.

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