by Michael Eldridge
I landed in Umbria on Halloween.
It was my daughter’s family’s Halloween party for friends and their children. Also my birthday
I was transformed into a ghoul for the occasion and was frightened even to look at myself in the
mirror, so ghastly Amari said I looked. So I decided to gauge my ghoulishness by the reaction of
guests. Mostly they gagged on their potato soup, spluttered into their mulled wine or stumbled into
the bonfire. So, I thought, effective, Whaha!
The Moon was an exact half, challenging the fire for brightness and blackening the night around
more densely. We told our stories and stared into the flames rejoining for a while our so recent
human past which flickered collective memories into our minds. We talked about how we wished
to be; what we want our children to be, see and experience; information coming to us from an
ancient direction, not prepackaged for ready consumption, and thus challenging and refreshing.
We made toffee apples which were perfect for using in Zimbabwean fly traps.
And mulled wine ideal for unblocking drains.
As guests left, I washed my face of ghoulishness, walked into the house and Sameena screamed in
Does this say something I wonder?
So, a great memory to take home, with Halloween biscuits to nibble on the drive back across the
Outsider on the Inside
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