All Hallows Eve

The little Lacey Stitch dressmakers shop has been on the corner in WoodGrove for as long as anyone can remember! Now derelict and abandoned, it used to be a thriving little town and Lacey's is the only working shop left. But, she saw something. Something terrible, something horrifying she has been keeping to herself for all these years. And now, she wants to tell it to you. To tell you her story.


1. That night...


They call me Lacey. Lacey Stich. “The best dressmaker in all of Woodgrove” They used to say. All the locals, the usuals. Back then I had a good business. But now… it’s all gone down the drain for me. My shop is only one in a few that are still open here. It’s a ghost town now, there’s no hope left for it. The tavern (The Star and Gazer) was abandoned years ago. Forced out by the lack of customers and the fact that they were finally broke.

After that, it was passed from owner to owner and eventually left in the street, lonely and derelict, rotting around the edges. The church is boarded up and nailed all over! All the houses and shops have gone to the dogs but the only other shop open here, is the old news agents, which is run by a miserable old woman with curlers in her hair and a ratty, pink, old dressing gown! Well, I suppose I am only as sad an old lady as her but I guess it was the murder that started everything. Sixty years or so ago, when my business was in full swing, it happened on the thirty first of October nineteen fifty two. It was a rather cold and stormy that night. Well, it was Halloween night wasn’t it? So all the dead long gone would be sweeping the streets of Woodgrove, singing their sad songs and howling into the night.

Of course I didn’t believe all that lark! At twenty, I had opened a good business and was a very industrious and ambitious young woman. I was closing up shop for the night, packing my handbag and switching off the lights. Finally I stepped outside and locked up then slung my handbag over my shoulder and strode off. It must have been around seven thirtyish and small figures moved around in groups wearing white sheets and pointed, black, papier-mâché hats. Their faces in half darkness, while the other danced with speckles of light from the jack o’ lanterns they were carrying with them. The icy October wind swept the street once more, clearing it of rubbish and stray, dead leaves. I wrapped my old trench-coat tighter around myself in an effort to keep warm.

I shivered, something wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right. But I must be wrong! I thought, reassuring myself. It was just the thrill and atmosphere that all hallows eve brings to places like Woodgrove. The scent of toffee apples and oak wood being burnt, fresh pumpkin bread and seeds scattered on the hearth of a fire and a whisper… a whisper of the dead in your ear. Of cold and dark, damp, rotting, blood and the distant scream of loved ones slowly, painfully dying in the dusk.

I blinked and suddenly returned from my daydream. I shook myself and straightened up then carried on my brisk walk to my house on the edge of town. I myself had lost a loved one, years and years ago though. Granny. Dear, old Granny. She died in hospital of an eclectic fit. I was there when it happened! It was awful. Twitching, agony, shrieks, screams, rolling eyes, crouching, lying, crying, shouting. And all the while I had to just sit there, hold her hand and try to stop the tears from spilling down my face. It really is the worst kind of torture, watching your friend or family member clutch at you, beg at you, cry, scream, shout and writhe before your eyes unable to help in any way. I trotted down Cherry road in the bright starlight and let the leaves of the dying trees flutter down and settle in my hair. Soon, I entered Scarlett wood and was thrown into shadow as I made my way down the dirt path way, winding down the slope scattered with acorns and lost lives.  Eventually, though I came to the bridge that led me over a small stream that carried off down into the distance.

I trailed over it, watching the ripples go by, when… I saw red. Crimson rivulets rippling down under the bridge and out again, down the curving way. I frowned then stepped off the bridge and strode up, following the streams progress. The scarlet was getting thicker now, filling out the river in full, red waves. I carried on going up, up; up I went until I reached the source of the problem. The body of a bloated girl lay sprawled across the water, her deep wounds seeping crimson that flowed in large pools with the water to the bridge where I’d first seen it. I put my hands to my mouth and backed away, shocked beyond words. I could feel my breath against my pale palm and my heart beating quick to burst. Thump, thump, thump blood seeping, brown eyes. Thump, thump, thump lopsided witches’ hat, white hand reaching. Twigs snapped and leaves rustled at my steps I was preparing to make a hasty retreat, when a soft, cold hand clapped over my mouth and I was silenced from screaming on the spot!

Spirits. Spirits, ghosts, ghouls, all of them! I began my life believing they did not exist, but that day, that day was different. And from then onwards I was silenced to speak of it to anyone else in the world! And by who you may ask? Well, if you cross the line in the spirit world you will live to pay the price! There is a sacrifice of life every All hallows eve. A ceremony conducted by the spirits of the dead, but this time it just happened to be me who witnessed it.


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