My Halloween in Umbria

Amari vampire


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 preĀ­packaged 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