The Halloween Party in America
By Thomas Emmon Pisano
Every year at the end of October our family has a tradition where we live it up by having a harvest party. We celebrate the finish of the growing cycle and celebrate the end of the season by harvesting all the fields and the orchards. We store all the goods and put every thing up that won’t be sold and we put the rest away to eat through out the long winter. This party of ours is also kind of weird because we celebrate the unseen forces and the supernatural beings, which may or may not be in existence in our world. Ghosts, goblins, and specters are a few of the things to which we pay recognition. Everyone dresses up like some kind of dark entity and they parade around the fires in the orchards hooting and hollering like banshees; it is the most fun we have all year, we really let go. The masks I think help us to be uninhibited and free to express ourselves. I live on the Stephenson Farm, a good five miles from Meyer's Hollow, a small rural community dedicated to agriculture and god. We spend most of the year in solemn repast nestled in the lord’s arms and singing praises to him in prayer and hymn. This we do for most of the year except for October, it is in this month that we give thanks to the pagan earth spirits that we have come to know. Oh yes, we know these spirits exist, we have proof of their being. It is a simple historical fact that the spirits of the earth ( as we like to call them) roam the countryside and come to visit us once a year during the feast of Halloween.During the seventeen hundreds when our ancestors first settled here bouts on these lands, as legends have it, that the ‘spirits’ confronted them. That was the first time that had happened and it has happened every year since.On Halloween night, the spirits come expecting a party and celebration, and if it is not prepared as it is suppose to be, the spirits go wild and destroy all the hard work we have put forth during the year. We are Christians and very devout at that; our spiritual leader says ‘it is such a small price to pay having a good time; surely the lord must understand what is going on here, after all didn’t god create everything?’Therefore, as expected, we have a Halloween party. So the whole town and the surrounding community dresses up with pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and spooky customs in anticipation of a good time.The closer we get to Halloween the more decorated the area becomes; spookier, and spookier everything takes on an air of the supernatural. Our costumes are orange, black, and very colorful; they are noticeable all around the countryside. There are children running back and forth trick or treating. Small bonfires are in the fields where people congregate, and the rivalry has begun. As most of the town had gathered at a large bonfire next to our house, it was there that the demons had arrived enforce. The leader of the demons is named Beelzebub; he marched up to the Magistrate of Meyer's Hollow and demanded an audience.In an all too classic demonic voice he said; “this is all well and good but things have changed our needs are different and so are our appetites. We, us demons, have decided that we wish to marry into the world of men. Now you must choose for us the prettiest maidens and present them on our night. It will be then that we will take them for our own, your worldly priest will bind us then to these maidens fair.”All this was bad news, if ever news had been bad this was the worse. The town fathers were in a panic, they didn’t know what to do, the demon’s demands were too high. The price too dear and near to the hearts of the town, no price like this was reasonable indeed. What course of action could be taken against such a disaster? How were they to overcome this painful loss? This was sudden and unexpected and without any warning.The magistrate was in the midst of the town folk as they cried and complained to the man in charge. Then the Magistrate turned to the demon leader.“Well, Beelzebub this has come as quite a surprise, no warning and no preparation for us, I don’t know why we had no warning of these most unreasonable demands. Can you tell me why the sudden change and the urgent need? Just how many maidens will this cost us? Can we have them ready for next year instead of now? These are just a few questions, which we may put forth to you. I hope you understand my concern?” The Magistrate said folding his hands on his fat stomach patiently. The demon rubbed his whiskered chin pensively, “hummm, let me think here a minute, let me see what do we want. Yes I know what we want, we want, a dozen fair maidens and on demand next year we want them here upon Halloween night for sure Sir Magistrate.” “I agree Beelzebub Spirit I will be producing this for you come next year and upon this I give my hand in honor, agreed?” Then the Magistrate extended his hand to the demon and the claw of the demon caught the flesh and it tore slightly, bringing forth blood. The demon took the soiled claw, licked the blood off it, and smiled, “and if you do not fulfill your bargain Sir Magistrate I will take you for my bride and maybe my supper too.” Upon that note, the demon gave out a hideous laugh, which turned into a scream, and they, as a lot, flew off into the face of the deepening moon. The little borough of Meyer's Hollow was saddened about the thinking of the next year's loss; their daughters would be sacrificed to the demon’s demands for another year of goods and prosperity. No mother could forgive the men especially the Magistrate for their pending loss, and all the while, the Magistrate was demanding that it is for the greater good and for the best. To say the least, the women chastised the men to the point that they could no longer stand the anguish in the women’s voices. The men had to retreat to the town hall to live, it was there that the men set up housekeeping and closed and locked the door to keep the women from driving them to insanity. Don't you know the reputation of Meyer's Hollow; the woman there were known world wide for their abusive relationships and for their nagging, they would not stop their badgering no matter what the cost. Even when they had gotten their way, ‘Meyer's Women’ would not stop causing grief to the men in their lives, so the men of that village had set up a contingency plan a long time ago, to retreat to the town hall in such an emergency. Consequently, the year passed and the complaining did not cease in the slightest, the women followed the men to work in the morning and trapped them on the way home in the evening. It was an endless diatribe of anguish for the men. At the end of the year when the fall harvest celebration came around the women just flat out refused to give over their daughters to the demands of the Magistrate and the demons, with just two days to go the women would not budge on the subject. The village of Myer's Hollow was barren of all decoration and it looked as though the harvest festivities were naught to be had. On Halloween afternoon, the women and their comely daughters sat in a big circle in the town's square, arms folded and full of contempt for demon and human males alike. The rebellion was firmly in place the women refused to cooperate. They had taken their stand, and for that they were to be admired, they would not allow this heinously arranged marriage to take place, no way.As the sunset and the moon rose, the demons began to arrive to a lack of festivities; puzzlement was forthcoming as the leader of the demon horde arrived. To the Magistrate he addressed his concerns; “Sir Magistrate, we had an agreement did we not?” The Magistrate's hand began to throb where the claw had caught it a year ago. “Beelzebub, honored demon leader, yes we did have a contract between us, but the women refuse to cooperate with the deal, they refuse to take part in our agreement and have taken to the town square in protest.”Beelzebub began to laugh an uproarious laugh, which sounded through out the surrounding airs. He laughed until his sides ached. “My, my, little man the women here have pierced your noses and affixed chains to them like prized bulls. I suspect that some of these bulls have been castrated as well.” Beelzebub began to laugh anew at his little pun. “You laugh sir demon, but you I suspect can do no better with these women than we can; besides they are over at the town square and they are there for you to do as you wish. One thing, I have a thought, a deal if you please Beelzebub.” The demon looked at the Magistrate his attention held affixed. “What is it Magistrate, what is the deal?” “Sir Demon, you select your dozen women from our chattel and be gone. If you can keep them and control them for a year, we are yours for the eternity that our village shall exist. However, if not then we will be rid of you and never have to pander to your inane demands again. Agreed?” The demon laughed a smaller laugh and again extended his hand to the Magistrate, who remembered his last handshake with the demon. “My word is my bond Sir Demon,” a nod of the head between them had to suffice for this deal. Quickly, Beelzebub turned and spoke to his demons in an unknown tongue then, a dozen or so flew off to the town square and selected twelve women for their brides to be. The drooling and lustful demons could hardly wait to get next to the comely women they had selected, so in a mock mass wedding ceremony the women were bond to the demons as they flew off to their nuptials. Surprisingly, some of the women were women who had previously been married to the men in the town, but no matter. The wedding party had flown off to parts unknown. The nagging had diminished for a while at least. The town was now actually quiet after the marriage celebration. The men were happy for the break, so was the Magistrate, he had had enough nagging to last him a lifetime. Twenty-four hours had passed, still no word from the demons or the brides. Had he miscalculated the whole thing, had the women succumbed to the whiles of the demons? He became nervous, the Magistrate was sure the demons would not be able to endure the constant reprimands that the women produced. The Magistrate sat in the town square and smoked his pipe while contemplating the error of his judgment. Off in the distance towards the darkening sky he saw a swarm of dark spots. He waited with knowing anticipation; yes, it was the demon horde carrying their women. The demons landed around the town square, they dropped the women onto the ground with loud thuds. There was in an instance the sound of nagging feminine voices rising from the ground. “Magistrate, my god man, how do you tolerate the constant bickering and bitching, it is more than a demon can bear. In my thousands of years as Satan, I have never heard anything as foul or as evil as what I have heard this past day. My horns are off to you Sir Magistrate; I commend you for your tolerance for sure. You do win our bargain; you are free of our meddlesome ways and us for an eternity. We will now leave this place in hell called Meyer's Hollow, and we know that you have not won the better part of this deal.” With that, the demon horde alighted to the airs and flew hard and fast from Meyer's Hollow. Beelzebub could hear the sounds of female voices complaining, as they flew into the moon and off into the peaceful distance.
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Mr. Thomas Emmon Pisano, an electronics-engineer-turned professional writer, serves as US correspondent for The Seoul Times. A New Jersey native he has lived in California. He has started his writing career in 2003 and has authored four books including “No Murder Too Small” and Big Crimes Small Miracles.”