Mark sat in the breakfast nook, his steaming cup of coffee untouched, staring out at the myriad of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins that adorned his front yard. The day after Halloween was always a difficult time for him, and this year, with his wife having passed on just one week prior, he felt more alone than it seemed right or allowable for a person to feel. Halloween was always their most special time together. No matter what was going on in their lives or in the world around them, they always had their beloved season and their sacred day. They always had Halloween, just like they had each other.
But not anymore.
Judith was gone and she wasn’t coming back, no matter how hard Mark hoped that she would. So, accepting this fact, he’d endeavored to reach her. He tried all the spells that he could find, went to the local medium, and did everything he could to break through, to make contact somehow, but nothing worked. Even on All Hallow’s Eve, the holiest of all days, when the veil between the living and the dead is thread-bare thin, still…nothing.
Mark let out a deep, mournful sigh, then picked his coffee up and sipped it slowly, his eyes still on the yard, his mind churning. Since he’d been unable to contact Judith in the spirit realm, Mark retreated to his first intention: resurrection.
There has to be a way to bring her back, he mused, there must! And I’m going to find out and my Judith and I will be together again!
Mark savored his coffee. Midnight Syndicate played softly on the nearby stereo. Then, he stood and walked out to the yard.
The leaves crunched beneath him as Mark laid down among the Styrofoam headstones. He whispered his wife’s name and closed his eyes while dark clouds rolled in above him.
Wind blew over Mark, catching Mark’s thoughts and his grief and carrying them into the ether, through the in-between, to the deep darkness, where Judith waited and listened. She felt the pain and mourning from her dear husband. And she reached out…
Judith’s decaying hands burst out of the ground on either side of Mark. She scratched and clawed and pulled herself up and wrapped her arms around his torso.
Thunder crashed and the sky turned black. The soil opened up, and Judith pulled her loving husband down into the dark soil.
Mark screamed in horror and confusion. The loose earth spread out around him.
“Why do you wake me, my dear?” Judith rasped.
“Because I love you! I miss you!” Mark wailed, dirt falling into his mouth
“And now, because you couldn’t let me sleep, we will be together, in terror and unrest forever!”
Mark fought and screamed for help as his wife forced him into the earth, the soil filling in above them, the decorative tombstones marking their place.
And as he sank into the dirt, Mark wished he hadn’t used black magic to bring Judith back.
As the years passed, Mark and Judith’s house sat untouched. Even the most ambitious realtors in town feared the rumors that surrounded the property and refused to go near it. The bank ignored it. The neighborhood children made up stories about the old couple who had lived there, telling tales of how they loved Halloween, that they had become ghouls themselves and that they haunted their own former home. And maybe those stories were true, for on chilly October evenings, are said to be seen sitting in the breakfast nook, sipping tea. And the Halloween decorations are still in the yard and on the house, covered in moss and vines, standing year-round, untouched, forever.