CALLING ALL SCARDY-CATS!
This is for all the screamers, all the stare-into-the-dark-and-shiver believers…For the kids who lie squarely in the center of their beds, hands clutching stuffed things while dreaming of dreads…
For the ones devoted to their nightlights, and the ones who must battle the dark…For the mothers and fathers who lose sleep-hours calming the racing of little hearts…
This is for the Halloween-Lovers, the ones who get kicks outta scares…This is for the smart kids, the Are You Afraid Of The Dark kids, who’d run out the door, rather than up the stairs…
This is for everyone, this place welcomes all, if you stay for a while, you’ll see…There are things you’ll see here you won’t find anywhere…
Welcome to Peculiar, Missouri.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!
~H. D. GORDON
CHAPTER ONE OF SANTA’S LITTLE HELPER…
The town of Peculiar, Missouri sleeps. The windows of the homes are dark, like the night pressing up against their panes. A silence hangs in the air, the kind of silence that only hangs in the air around small towns such as this. From above, every celestial body can be seen, a black sheet sprinkled with the sugar of the universe. Large expanses of land stretch out in all directions. Cattle and crops and rolling hills make up the landscape, soon to be harvested for consumption upon ripening.
Beneath their feet, in the bowels of the earth, tucked away like the bodies of the deceased, something else waits. This something never sleeps, but is intimately familiar with the power of slumber. During slumber, the minds of the people are ruled by the subconscious, where all things that were, are, and ever will be are thought up and brought into existence.
The thing that waits also knows the most powerful of these creation thoughts are born within the subconscious minds of children. For children are special. Small children have yet to completely separate the conscious mind from the subconscious, and this makes them the greatest creators of all. No boundaries or impossibilities, only blank canvases and a stock of endless tools with which to fill these voids. This also makes them the most vulnerable, for wherever there is power, there is something waiting in the folds of time to consume that power and have it for itself.
As soon as it is ready to be harvested. First, they must be cultivated, tested, to see which will yield the sweetest, most powerful fruit.
Now, the night grows cold, and in the silent homes the people shift and pull bed covers up over their shoulders. It is as though a collective shudder has passed over the town, one that will go unquestioned and forgotten come morning. The shudder is not born of a gust of wind, or a draft seeping through the cracks of seemingly solid structures, but of a spike in the subconscious, where only possibilities exist. This is the place where red flags that should not go ignored, but inevitably will be, are raised. The thing that waits is making its selections, picking the best and brightest out for harvest. For it has been too long, and it is hungry.
But first, cultivation. Seeds to be planted and grown until they can fill a cosmic stomach. It will not take long. The soil of a child’s mind is rich and ready for these particular seeds. It is here where nightmares are born.
H. D. Gordon is the bestselling author of THE ALEXA MONTGOMERY SAGA, THE JOE KNOWE SERIES, and THE SURAH STORMSONG NOVELS. She is a lifelong reader and writer, a true lover of words. When she is not reading and writing, she is busy raising her two daughters and keeping the world’s zombie population under control.
Thanks for stopping by and sitting on our porch awhile H.D.!