free, free ebooks, freebies, horror, Patrick C. Greene

“Patrick C. Greene is a masterful story-teller.”

“PCG is from the twilight zone, and I am just lucky to be along for the ride!”

“He kind of reminds me of a young Clive Barker.”

pcg promo free april2014Exciting news today! One of my publishers, Sekhmet Press, decided to make four of my books free on Sunday and Monday, April 13 & 14 on Amazon. Don’t miss this chance to pick up some highly-rated horror, and please take the time to leave a review. Not only does it help with those insane Amazon algorithms, but I really want to know what you think. Thanks for taking the time! Hope you enjoy the terrifying ride.

PCG on Amazon

PCG on Amazon UK

PCG on Amazon Canada

PCG on Amazon Japan






Wrapped In White: Thirteen Tales of Spectres, Ghosts, and Spirits

Allison M. Dickson, Bryan W. Alaspa, James Glass, Michael G. Williams, New Release, NEWS, Patrick C. Greene, Sekhmet Press LLC, short stories, Solomon Archer PhD, Suzi M, Wrapped Anthologies, Wrapped In White

CLICK to BUY on Amazon



UK Amazon

CreateSpace PAPERBACK 

from the creators of  WRAPPED IN RED


Thirteen Tales of Spectres, Ghosts, and Spirits

(meet the authors here)

Tragedy begets terror, then circles back on itself, and a cycle is born that ripples through the worlds of the living and dead eternally, until satisfied by love, tears–or blood…

The creators of Wrapped In Red have struck again, unfurling thirteen gossamer shrouds of woe and weirdness, laying bare the faces of fear that watch and wait in the shadows of cemeteries, the corners of ancient structures, the thoughts we wish we didn’t think . Some will crawl under your skin, some will batter you senseless with limitless otherworldly power, others will walk a line as thin as the veil between us and them.

Leave the lights on for this collection–but know that no precaution will keep its tales from haunting you even into the noonday sun…




Friends of Sekhmet Press, Hobbes End Publishing, NEWS, Patrick C. Greene

horror unlimited headerVia HORROR UNLIMITED

March 10, 2014 – Asheville, North Carolina – Bestselling author Patrick C. Greene officially announced today the sale of his next novel to Hobbes End Publishing.

An action-packed vampire thriller sure to satisfy the most vicious blood-suckers!

 SynopsisCenturies after their eradication and the death of their Queen in the Great Fire of London in 1666, the Vampire population now numbers in only the hundreds. A few of the remaining survivors regrouped and a High Council was born. Now a new threat has arrived: modern day military is not only tracking members of the council, they are attempting to create their own vampire soldiers.
   Enter Olivia Irons. Ex Black Ops. Doing her best to live a normal civilian life, but it never feels right. No family, no friends, and trouble always seems to follow. When the Sanguinarian Council offers her the chance of a lifetime, the biggest risk of all seems like the only path left to choose. How will she answer The Crimson Calling?

Did You Know That…  This will be the second novel Mr. Greene has sold to Hobbes End Publishing. The relationship began… READ MORE at HORROR UNLIMITED

Coming Soon! WRAPPED IN WHITE: Thirteen Tales of Spectres, Ghosts, and Spirits

Allison M. Dickson, Bryan W. Alaspa, Ghosts, horror, James Glass, Michael G. Williams, NEWS, Patrick C. Greene, Sekhmet Press LLC, Solomon Archer PhD, Suzi M, Wrapped In White
CLICK to JOIN the Release Party on Facebook!

CLICK to JOIN the Release Party on Facebook!


from the creators of  WRAPPED IN RED


Thirteen Tales of Spectres, Ghosts, and Spirits

CLICK to view the book on Goodreads

CLICK to view the book on Goodreads

Books, Babes, and the Business: Jaime Hobbes

Allison M. Dickson, Celebrating Women in Fiction, Hobbes End Publishing, Patrick C. Greene

blog header cwifJaime Hobbes

Please tell us a little bit about yourself…

I’m a reader, mainly. Married to a writer. I work part time for a small press, Hobbes End Publishing, that my husband originally founded in 2005. I do a little bit of everything: read submissions, edit, social media, author relations, you name it. I also have an obsession with Doctor Who and binge watching TV shows on Netflix. But again, I’m primarily a reader. I also beta read for some of my author friends and write the occasional review.

Do you focus on a specific genre with your work?

The press publishes fiction, mainly horror, science fiction, and fantasy. As a reader, I am a genre whore who will read anything well-written and intriguing.

Name a few of your favorite books/authors you’ve read recently.

I have a mad love affair going on with the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I am currently listening to the audio books, and this is my fourth journey to the Tower. I recently read the Metatron Series by James Glass and was highly entertained.  I also adore the Bob the Zombie series by Jaime JohneseeAllison M. Dickson has quickly become one of my favorites, as well. I will read anything that woman puts out there (and have!).

Who has been the most influential female in your personal life and how have they shaped your work?

Easy. My mother and my grandmother. My mom is one of the most hard-working people I have ever met. And generous. And loving. And supportive. My grandmother was the kindest woman I have ever known. They influenced me in so many ways. To work harder, to believe in myself, to never give up. To follow my dreams.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice relating to the business what would it be?

That’s kind of tough. Growing up I never saw myself going into the publishing industry. Getting paid to read? Never even occurred to me. But I would tell my younger self to pick a different major in college! Also, I would inform her all about eBooks and to make sure to get on top of that immediately.

Do you have a current project or upcoming project you would like to tell us about?

The press has lots of projects coming up. We have a the first in a YA series coming out soon, an amazing horror novel by David Bright, and the much anticipated release of The Last Supper by Allison M. Dickson. HEP will soon announce another book release that is still in the contractual phase, but one I personally am very excited about. As for myself, I am participating in The Doctor Who project with some friends and trying to get some book reviews written.

Where can we find you?

Hobbes End Links:

My blog:

The Doctor Who Project:

About Jaime Hobbes

JH HeadshotJaime Hobbes is an avid reader and works behind the scenes at Hobbes End Publishing. As a book-lover, she was overjoyed to marry a writer. Jaime does a little bit of everything for the press, and serves as a personal assistant to her husband Vincent Hobbes. Reading is and always will be her number one obsession. She also likes to watch movies, obsess over TV shows on Netflix, plan her dream home on Pinterest, and spend time with her family. Oh, and coffee. That plays a major role in her life as well.

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New Year Specials from our friends at Hobbes End Publishing

Allison M. Dickson, Armand Rosamilia, free, free ebooks, freebies, Hobbes End Publishing, Patrick C. Greene

 Sharing some special deals from our friends at Hobbes End Publishing!

Happy-New-Year-612x268Looking back, 2013 was a pretty good year. Signed a few new authors, released a handful of books, and met some pretty amazing people along the journey. We have high hopes for 2014. We will be releasing several titles, and hoping to add some more to the list soon. We’d like to thank you all for being along on this crazy ride. And to kick off the new year, we have some great promos for you! CLICK HERE


Holiday 2013 Deals

amazon, Dark Destinies, free, free ebooks, freebies, horror, horror short, kindle, Patrick C. Greene, Sekhmet Press LLC, short stories, vampires


*** FREEBIES! ***

Four FREE Horror Shorts!
holiday promo 2013



Paperback and eBook together for ONLY $4.89! Sekhmet Press LLC is bringing you more great sales for the Holidays! Get DARK DESTINIES Paperback for 30% off AND a FREE Kindle version! Makes a great stocking stuffer and supports an indie author! Happy Holidays!



 WRAPPED IN RED: Thirteen Tales of Vampiric Horror

Kindle Version FREE when you buy the Paperback! Now through Christmas!


Spotlight On: Patrick C. Greene

anthology, Patrick C. Greene

STILL DYING 2 #zombies


patrick alley

SPOTLIGHT ON: Patrick C. Greene


What is the title of your story in Still Dying 2?

How Me And Bozy Became Dads


Quick description of it (no spoilers)

A road side inmate clean-up crew find themselves caught in the middle just as a plague takes hold of the city. Small time hoods Randall and Bozy find freedom—which just became worse than imprisonment.


Something unique about it.

Unexpectedly heartwarming? Filled with zombie loving? A brewing bromance? Yes and no to all of them. 


Your promo links.


Your short Bio.

 Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick C. Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works…

View original post 64 more words

Author Spotlight (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) – Patrick C. Greene

Patrick C. Greene, Sekhmet Press LLC, Wrapped Authors, Wrapped In Red

MASTER eBook CoverPatrick C. Greene is the author of the short story NIGHTBOUND in the

NEW Vampire Anthology





He is also the author of PROGENY, a contributor to the anthologies ENDLANDS 1 & 2, and writer of multiple short stories including TRICK, SILVER SURROGATE, FINDERS KEEPERS, and the collection DARK DESTINIES. And for his birthday Hobbes End Publishing is giving away FREE Kindle editions of PROGENY. Click the image to get your copy!birthday pcg progeny



Freedom should be better than this, Blake Zagarino thought, dabbing sweat from his neck with a bandana, as yet another bout of shrill laughter assaulted his ears from the backseat of the lot-fresh, stolen Buick. But Zagarino played it cool. DeWitt, the laughing man, raised a snub-nosed .38, childishly making shooting sounds while he mimicked the gun’s recoil. Like the .38, he was small, oily and deadly. “Blamblamblam!” DeWitt bellowed, “No! Don’t kill me!” he said in a mocking falsetto, then came a fit of giggly laughter, and finally: “Please! I got a daughter!” More laughter. “Blamblam! Daddy’s gonna be REAL late tonight, sweetheart! HeeheeheeHEEEE!” Continuing to drive the winding road between hilltop homes, Zagarino did nothing to betray the disgust he felt with his partner, confident DeWitt would grow distracted soon, as he usually did. Bonner, the boss of their criminal triumvirate, was considerably less patient. “Put that down, you idiot!” he snarled. “If you get us caught, I swear I’ll beat you dead, boy!” Bonner’s grayish brush cut glistened with sweat, which then rolled down into his stubble. Zagarino hoped he wouldn’t turn his head around too swiftly and thus sling some of the grimy sweat onto him. “Okay okay, sorry” DeWitt began, “I can’t help it! Man was that fun! I never knocked over no armored car before! And wasted the guards to boot! WHOOO!” “Shaddup,” Bonner ordered, and DeWitt looked out the window, issuing a low titter to himself. “If your girl’s info was right, we’ve got at least ten minutes before the guards are supposed to check in. We should be dug in by…” Zagarino checked his watch and calculated. “…11:30.” “Don’t you worry about MaryAnn. She wouldn’t tell me wrong. She knows better. You just better be right about this hideout,” Bonner grumbled. “Couple that owns it live in Eastern Europe,” Zagarino reiterated again, “They only come here on vacation. And who’d wanna vacation in this Godforsaken heat?” “Get used to it, Zag. Two weeks, we’ll be in Mexico.” “Now you’re talkin’ my language!” DeWitt enjoined. “Here I c-c-c-come, senoritas!” “Gotta eighty-six this car,” said Bonner. “Hope you boys are up for a hike.” Zagarino drove into one of the many small forests surrounding and separating the clusters of secluded and exclusive neighborhoods in the rural outskirts of Chicago. He drove behind a thick pine and they quickly concealed the Buick under branches and lightweight fallen pine logs, until it looked something like a teepee fort made by local kids or hobos. The forest ended at a weedy hill some sixty yards high and steep enough to be daunting to outsiders; one of the selling points pushed by its developers and realtors. There was no wind to cool the cons, who had grown used to the cool comfort of medium security. Trudging up the uneven, scrubby hill carrying four heavily-loaded canvas sacks, Zagarino wished he had exercised more in prison. But he had never cared for the company of the aggressive, steroid-addicted meatheads who hovered around the weight benches and the penitentiary’s depressing excuse for a running track. DeWitt shared his regret. “Hey, slow down!” he huffed. He had stopped entirely-and this would not be acceptable to Bonner. Though stocky and physically very tough, Bonner was in his early fifties and heading toward “pudgy” himself, but he wasn’t about to abide DeWitt’s complaints. “DeWitt, get your ass up and move it! Now!” “Wait a minute, boss. …I need a break. Heat’s killing me…all this cash must weigh a hundred tons.” “Get up, or so help me, dipshit, your corpse will fry in this heat,” Bonner warned. “Okay, okay. How much further, Zag?” DeWitt asked, as much to buy another second of rest as to know. “The house is just a few yards from the top of the hill,” Zagarino answered evenly, and started moving. From the top of the hill, there was still a good ten yards to the large, oddly plain house. The nearest neighboring homes were a good distance away and arranged so that rows of trees fairly concealed them from one another; the very wealthy apparently needed comfortable degrees of separation even from one another. But the three desperate men nonetheless hunkered low, using the high weeds of the unkempt backyard to hide behind as they dragged the moneybags around to a front door sheltered under a pair of leafy poplars. Drawing a small black case from his pocket, Zagarino kneeled and went to work on the lock with measured finesse, feeling the antsy tension coming off his partners in stinking waves. “Come on, man!” DeWitt stage whispered. “Shut it,” Bonner ordered quietly, knowing that the kind of work Zagarino did was best not rushed. After a moment, Zagarino removed his tools from the lock and rolled them up in their pouch, then stood, opened the door and took a step inside, into pure darkness. DeWitt tried to go in next, but Bonner muscled him aside, raising the sturdy flashlight he had taken off one of the dead guards. He traced its beam over the sheeted furnishings, capturing huge dust motes that seemed to swim toward them curiously. For a long moment, they silently took measure of the enormous front room, the dusty stairway that dominated the center, the many doors on either side leading to reading rooms and the like. Swinging double doors at the rear gave way to a kitchen, beside which was a plain and heavy black door that could only lead to a basement. “Made in the shade, man!” DeWitt said aloud. Bonner turned to him sharply. A mouse scurried somewhere close to the walls, drawing startled grunts from DeWitt and him. “It’s all right,” Zagarino reassured them, “Just vermin. No one’s been here in months.” Bonner dropped the money bags on the floor, and the other two followed suit. The muffled thump echoed back at them from the mahogany walls. “These curtains are thick as a woolly mastodon’s hide,” noted DeWitt. “I don’t even care what that is,” Bonner grumbled. “Open ‘em, but just a little bit, so we can see to move around in here,”. Bonner wiped sweat from his brow as he regarded the dark forms of his partners. “MaryAnn’ll be here after five.” Zagarino cleared his throat, sparking a zippo to light a three-pronged silver candelabra. “About that…” “…What?” Bonner asked sharply. “You sure we can trust her? I mean, she is selling out the company she works for. Who’s to say she wouldn’t do the same to us?” Bonner laughed. “That bitch wants money, Zagarino. Just like all of ’em. When I was in the joint, and she was sending me those letters, I knew right away that what she really wanted was a man that could give her a great big, thick…wad of dough. And that’s all.” Bonner’s face took on a discomforting, slimy grin, as he grasped his crotch. “Fine by me, ’cause she’s damn sure gonna give me my money’s worth before it’s all over. And if for one minute, I start thinkin’ she’s lookin’ to screw me in anything less than the literal sense… BAM!…just like I’d do to either one a you. Got it?” Bonner’s face looked as crazy as it was cruel in the crossfire of candlelight and muted sunshine. READ MORE.


Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick C. Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his screenplays and fiction works, often leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep viewers and readers on their toes. Literary influences range from Poe to Clive Barker to John Keel to a certain best selling Bangorian. Suspense, irony, and outrageously surreal circumstances test the characters who populate his work, taking them and the reader on a grandly bizarre journey into the furthest realms of darkness. The uneasy notion that reality itself is not only relative but indeed elastic- is the hallmark of Greene’s writing. Living in the rural periphery of Asheville North Carolina with his wife, youngest son and an ever-growing army of cats, Greene still trains in martial arts when he’s not giving birth to demons via his pen and keyboard.

Patrick’s INTERVIEW with Fiona

Name:Patrick C Greene Age: Trying not to. Where are you from? The hills of Western North Carolina. A little about yourself… My father was an acclaimed writer of a very literary style of fiction, so I decided to write about monsters and gore. After high school, I immersed myself in martial arts, filmmaking and occasional writing classes. Grew up on the streets. …Well, actually a house near a street. More of a dirt road actually. Married to a very demanding editor/publisher (Sekhmet Press). Two genius sons, one a grown entrepreneur, the other an eleven year old philosopher. Fiona: Tell us your latest news? There’s lots! My debut novel PROGENY published by Hobbes End Publishing is celebrating its one year anniversary this week. PROGENY has received great reviews so far and has maintained a solid ranking on Amazon the entire year, so I’m very grateful for that. My short story NIGHTBOUND will appear in the vampire anthology Wrapped In Red published by Sekhmet Press, which releases next week on October 29. I’m honored to be included among some very talented authors in that anthology. Twisted Fates, a multi-story horror film will be shooting under the auspices of SaintSinner Entertainment and director Amel Fugueroa in the coming months. A comedy script and a web series are also in the works. And finally – I’m polishing my latest novel THE CRIMSON CALLING, Book One of The Sanguinarian Council – an action-packed vampire trilogy. Fiona: When and why did you begin writing? I started when I was around twelve, but I put it away mostly, beyond the odd poem or song, till a few years ago. I was toiling in small roles as an actor and, taking inspiration from Sylvester Stallone, decided to try and write a script and sell it with myself as the lead. That didn’t happen–but the writing continued. Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer? It’s difficult to pinpoint. After that first screenplay, I wrote another, and then another, still thinking I was working toward bolstering my acting career. Then it just became habit. I guess I have to say in retrospect, that that first screenplay, a martial arts actioner titled The Tiger Within, was when I became a writer. Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? I had a collection of short stories under my belt, that I had written just for fun, and I received a lot of encouragement from my wife, so I started submitting them around a bit. Got some good nibbles, but my biggest coup was having Hobbes End Publishing include two of my stories in their prestigious The Endlands collections. Vince Hobbes and Jairus Reddy, the Hobbes End honchos, encouraged me to submit a novel, so I took the screenplay for PROGENY, which had just come off option, and re-worked it into a novel. So to answer, I guess it was that simple suggestion from Vincent and Jairus that got me going on the first novel. Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? I always try to experiment, whether it be writing in different tenses or perspectives, doing that hardboiled detective thing like Mickey Spillane, or a minimalist, fast moving style that echoes my screenwriting experience.  I would say my style is best described as cinematic. Fiona: How did you come up with the title? For PROGENY, there’s a theme of parental and especially paternal relationships, so the title applies to the children of the story. For NIGHTBOUND, it’s a sort of double entendre, in that the mortal characters are seeking the night to hide their activities while the vampires are of course bound to the night by nature of their aversion to the sun. THE CRIMSON CALLING, my next novel, refers to the vampire’s need to feed on blood. Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? PROGENY expresses an appreciation for my role as a father, and hopefully speaks to that of the readers as well, or just why we shouldn’t take our loved ones for granted. The Crimson Calling’s theme would be that there is always hope, even in the darkest circumstances. Fiona: How much of the book is realistic? PROGENY is very realistic up to the point of how much you believe in the bigfoot legend. THE CRIMSON CALLING has a higher fantasy quotient. Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Screenwriter Keith Strandberg, whom I consider something of a mentor, wrote “Everything goes in the hopper” meaning the least little stand-out experience can become a part of your writing. I definitely draw upon people I know, but even so most of my characters are composites. As far as experiences, they come almost entirely from imagination. Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? Bruce Lee’s Tao Of Jeet Kune Do was a tremendous influence. It’s more than a martial arts manual; Lee’s Taoist philosophy is spelled out in some excellent and passages. King’s On Writing has been a great education. Every writer should have a copy! My favorite novel is probably Clive Barker’s The Damnation Game, due to its rich characterizations and layered story. Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Strandberg, as I mentioned above, in terms of screenwriting, but Vincent Hobbes is easily the most gracious and giving writer I’ve personally had the pleasure of knowing, in addition to being just an amazingly gifted and disciplined storyteller. After finishing up THE CRIMSON CALLING, I plan to spend some time on a few short story ideas I have percolating, and I’ve contributed a short story to an upcoming collection of stories set in the zombie universe of Armand Rosamilia’s DYING DAYS series. Not sure when that will see release, but given the roster of authors involved, I expect that to be a big deal. Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. I mentioned Vince and Jairus of course, so I’ll take this opportunity to acknowledge my friend Regina, who has been a wonderful beta reader and has contributed a lot toward managing my career. Fiona: Do you see writing as a career? Definitely. I can’t see myself not doing it. Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? My latest being THE CRIMSON CALLING, I still have a minute or two to do so if need be.  But with PROGENY, I truly feel it came together quite perfectly. Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My father was a writer, so I had some exposure and encouragement early on. As a child I was kind of a late bloomer and not athletic, so I didn’t really feel capable of doing much else until I discovered martial arts and later, acting. Writing was an easy enough alternative, given the ability of paper and pen, and my father as an early teacher, Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Heeeeere you go: an excerpt from THE CRIMSON CALLING “Shake your ass feathers, Girlie.” Liv allowed a full second, then spun to give Rex a dagger-eyed glare meant to precipitate either an apology or an ass-beating. The cook stared back, an indecipherable grin at the corner of his lips. Holding the hard look, Liv dropped the rag she had been using to clean the counter and stood up straight, giving Rex plenty of opportunity to choose the apology. “Well. So much for this job,” she began, but before she could storm out or leap the counter and shatter Rex’s teeth-she hadn’t decided which yet- Dolly appeared at her side. “Rex, you butthole, you know better than to start that shit with these girls their first day.” Rex’s expression suddenly became harmlessly buffoonish. “Huh? Surely she knows I’m just trying to break the ice.”  His crooked nose might have been a souvenir from some previous ill-advised comment. “Looked to me like Liv here was about to break something of yours,” Dolly said, “she don’t know what a big teddy bear you are just yet.” Rex’s apologetic smile managed to melt the tension, and Liv remembered she was a civilian now, among other civilians. Just because she could beat his ass didn’t mean she should. Joe had certainly taught her better than that. Of course, if Joe were here, she wouldn’t be shaking her ass feathers. “Ah hell, Liv. I guess that was outta line,” he said. Liv smiled at him. “Yeah. But we’re cool now.” Rex smiled back and returned to the grill. “That’s a nice smile, Liv,” said Dolly, “bet it could bring you some pretty good tips.” Dolly’s comment made Liv aware that she was still being aloof, very much caught up in memories and protocol. The tips didn’t matter so much. Fitting –or rather disappearing- into mainstream society did matter. And it was taking time. On her way to refill the tea pitcher, Liv tried her smile on an elderly couple sharing a slice of pie, and was pleased to see it easily returned. Liv’s heart first warmed then ached as she considered the couple. There may have been a time she’d believed in love like that. Believed such a thing could last. She thought of Tony, her first, and how she had naively believed he would be by her side forever. She remembered how happy the pregnancy had made her, however unplanned and unacceptable it may have been. She thought of Joe, and how he accepted her. She thought of how tough he was mentally and physically, how secure he had made her feel, and how he had driven her to become something more than even her boldest aspirations. That was when the robbers made their entrance, and Liv recognized the familiar caress; invisible tendrils of trouble that followed her everywhere. Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Clive Barker, because of his incredibly vivid and lyrical prose. He’s a painter as well, and his writing seems to reflect that in some indefinable way; in word compositions that have a sweeping effect, like broad, even angry brush strokes at times. read more of the interview HERE.

Halloween Flash Fiction for FREE

Flash Fiction, free, horror, Patrick C. Greene, Sekhmet Press LLC

BACK TO THE SHADOWS by Patrick C. Greene

horror shadows2At six twenty-two p.m., Pooky yelped and leapt at the door, even before the doorbell rang.

Rising from her rocker and her scrapbook project, Mrs. Edith Tucker shushed the Pomeranian. Answering the door for the first gaggle of trick or treaters, she expressed suitable delight at the pirate, the football player, the home-made mummy, and the two identical suburban princesses from some reality program that she had never watched.  Pooky seemed satisfied, for the nonce, that there was no threat, and pranced back to his post at the foot of the old armchair.

“Oh, you’re all so precious!”

Beyond their masks and face paint, the children expressed grateful surprise at receiving the full-sized candy bars, the little baggies of popcorn tied with orange and black ribbon, andthe caramel apples with which Mrs. Tucker weighed down their bags.

“What have I gotten myself into!” Mrs. Tucker-then known as Edith Urquhart- chuckled, as her date Edison, dressed cumbersomely in a furry Big Bad Wolf costume to her Red Riding Hood, practically dragged her into the Halloween party at his frat house. She’d never seen him so excited, and it occurred to her this might be the other shoe dropping; Edison’s kind and thoughtful façade giving way to a debaucherous weekend persona who engaged in typical college boy antics when a reasonable excuse presented itself.

Later, she would admonish herself, upon witnessing Edison and his pals greeting each trick-or-treater with such enthusiasm and joy they inevitably left with grins evident beyond even the most concealing mask. There would be jump-scares from the bushes and behind furniture, but judiciously telegraphed so that no one was ever truly traumatized. The beer was left in the refrigerator; Edison and company were too busy handing out ridiculous amounts of candy.

Leaving a designated brother behind, Edison had led the others, Edith included, on a mission along the outskirts of the campus to collect change for the local orphanage.

She fell in love for the first and only time on that Halloween night, and never fell out.

Mrs. Tucker watched as the kids shuffled off, feeling personally responsible for them till they reached the safety of the minivan waiting at the end of the drive.  She waved at the pretty young mother at the wheel.  As the van pulled away, Mrs. Tucker stood and listened to the sounds of the autumn evening.  The drone of a truck faded on the distant highway and Mrs. Tucker heard the rustling of orange and red leaves, taking in the smell of fresh decay carried on the breeze.

As this sound faded, Mrs. Tucker detected an odd new sound from the border of hedges to her right.

At the edge of the yard by the road, the hedges shook slightly, long after the breeze had passed.  A cat?  Or Halloween tricksters, perhaps.

Mrs. Tucker cleared her throat with just the proper timbre to show she was aware of…whatever it was.  Still, she couldn’t help but smile a bit.  In over thirty-five years living in Westbrook, she’d never heard of any truly troubling incidents out of the neighborhood’s reasonably well-heeled children.

Mrs. Tucker pulled her shawl tight and stepped inside, back to her scrapbooks.

By seven thirty-seven, several trick-or-treaters had come and gone.  Pooky had settled into a routine of scampering to the door, huffing at each new band of invaders, then returning to the chair, perhaps expecting the return of his master, even after these three long years.

Outside, as dark drifted down like a cold blanket, the streets bustled with activity; tricks, treats, laughter and squeals of faux fright.  Standing at the door for a moment, as had become her habit after each band of Halloweeners, Mrs. Tucker felt a small yearning for the revelers to come closer, to run excitedly to the Tucker house as they had when Edison was alive.  How he had delighted the kids with lively off-the-cuff spook stories, personalized for each group.

Since Edison had passed, the Tucker house had become less popular with each Halloween.  Mrs. Tucker had tried to keep the enthusiasm alive by stocking the best treats in the neighborhood.

Rustling again, in the hedges?

Pooky issued a nervous, plaintive growl.

Mrs. Tucker listened, peering past the still-thin veil of night.

At seven fifty-three, Mrs. Tucker opened the door to find a supremely cute four-year-old boy in a Frankenstein costume, chaperoned by his twelve-year-old sister who was half-heartedly made up in some sort of –what do they call it?  Runt rock?  Punk, that was it.  A punk rocker, with green hair spiked up in the middle, and a vinyl dog collar.  Or maybe it wasn’t a costume.

“Hello, you sweet little monster!”  Mrs. Tucker gushed, rubbing the boy’s head.  His sister offered a sweeter smile than Mrs. Tucker expected, considering the girl’s disaffected affectation.

Pooky remained quiet, offering only a perplexed look.

The boy only had eyes for the candy, while his sister shot a quick, nervous glance toward the bushes.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?”

“I just thought I heard something when we walked up.”

Mrs. Tucker stared hard at the line of hedges now drenched in darkness.

“Maybe it’s just somebody playing a trick.”  The little girl grabbed her brother’s hand and rushed him away, cutting through the yard in the opposite direction from the hedges. Suddenly, Mrs. Tucker felt very alone and very vulnerable.  She turned toward Edison’s chair, knowing he wouldn’t be there, just like any of the several dozen times a day she did the same.

Pooky had retreated to the kitchen doorway, staring first at Mrs. Tucker, then into the dark.  When the front door was closed, he lay his head down upon his tiny paws and essayed a plaintive whine.

Mrs. Tucker sat in her rocker till 8:40.  She had planned to re-organize her scrapbooks tonight, perhaps hoping someone would ask her about the project, at which point she could show off her work, talk about her family, and have some company, if only for a precious few minutes.

Looking up, she found Pooky at her feet, staring.

“Are you hungry?”

Mrs. Tucker knew Pooky wasn’t hungry.  His bowl was nearly full.

No trick-or-treaters since the little Frankenstien and his sister.  Tonight, Halloween was happening somewhere else.  Anywhere but the house of a doddering old woman, whose far more entertaining husband had long since-

Pooky suddenly barked his shrill, rarely-heard woof.  Mrs. Tucker jumped with a start at Pooky’s outburst, tossing paper mementoes into the air in a confetti of panic.

“Quiet, Pooky!”

But Mrs. Tucker did not further admonish Pooky, glad to have the silence filled, even as her little companion snarled and scratched at the door.

Mrs. Tucker approached the door, listening intently for whatever had upset Pooky, too afraid of silence to shush the little dog.  Her curiosity betrayed her fear, firing synapses to open the door.

Pooky quickly backed away from the doorway, growling.

As Mrs. Tucker swiped at the light switch, she realized that it had been left on to encourage trick-or-treaters hours ago.

Pooky stayed behind Mrs. Tucker, quieting long enough to sniff the air.  He didn’t like what he smelled.

Mrs. Tucker took a step back from the door, ready to slam it should, heaven forbid, an intruder attempt to rush in.

There was movement at the bottom of the hedges, very close to the house.  And a slick darkness on the grass.

The movement stopped.  Was something waiting?

Mrs. Tucker eased the door shut fighting back the urge to call out for Edison.  She looked around for Pooky, and found herself oddly lonesome in the dog’s sudden absence.


Surely Pooky had merely gone to a safe dark place, perhaps under the bed or behind the commode.  Mrs. Tucker made a quick check of these and other tiny sanctuaries, though her knees and hips protested violently.  She found only wavy little hairs, not their source.

She called and called, refusing to entertain the notion that Pooky might have slipped past her before she closed the door.  Even so, Pooky would have barked and scratched in short order.

Unless—-but no; Mrs. Tucker wouldn’t entertain an “unless” even for a second.

“There’s something outside my house.  In the bushes.  And I can’t find my dog.”

Mrs. Tucker rolled her eyes at herself.  How that must sound to the jaded ears of a police dispatcher on Halloween night.

“Has anyone threatened you ma’am?’


“Has your property been damaged?”

“My dog, Pooky, he’s…I can’t seem to find him…”

“We’re very busy tonight, ma’am.  We’ll send a car by as soon as one is free.”


At precisely ten o’clock, Mrs. Tucker hung up in resignation, and stepped into the living room.  She called out for Pooky, and made kissy noises.  She had not seen Pooky go out.  But Pooky was gone.

The front door, even with its dead bolt and chain latch, was little more than a thin veil.  Mrs. Tucker went to it, opened it.

From somewhere, several blocks over, came delighted laughter.  Children and their parents and those in between who loved Halloween not for the candy or the pleasure of seeing cute little costumed creatures, but for the dark freedom it offered, these revelers carried on with the abandon that Mrs. Tucker had always only allowed herself to observe.  Edison, with his eternally adolescent humor, had always brought it much closer, close enough really, for this lifetime.

But here on Tulip Street, where mostly old folks lived, the porch lights were already dark, and the indoor lights were reduced to just a television here or a nightlight there.  The children in the neighborhood itself were all very respectful of their elders, God bless them.

The wind rattled the leaves.  Something else rattled the shrubs.


Mrs. Tucker’s voice was barely audible even to her.  Whatever was out there, taking its sweet time getting to the house, was smart.  And dark.  And inevitable.

Maybe this thing would take her to Edison, and ease the pain that would not subside since she’d lost him.  Perhaps it was Edison, playing a final Halloween prank before claiming her once more, for the world beyond.  Pooky, she thought, might have already been claimed, and now she had only to allow the circle to close.

Mrs. Tucker turned from the door, leaving it open.  She pulled her shawl around her as October rushed in, and moved her rocking chair near the door.  After a moment, she decided to turn it so that she would face away.

Ready or not, she thought it might be best not to see her transporter, her emissary back to the shadows, even if it was Edison.

At ten forty four, a tear rolled into the wrinkled corners of Mrs. Tucker’s smile, as she sensed something quieter than silence slipping in through the open door.  She placed a photo of Pooky from his puppy days on the last page of the scrapbook, and eased it shut for the final time.



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