by Chrysa Smith

I walked across the maze of yard, paint and home repair supplies that is my garage. A loud, girly scream and I was back into the house like a flash. ‘There’s a dead rat out there! It’s right by the work bench!‘ I shakily told my husband. After his own inspection, I got what you’d expect from a Montana guy, ‘It’s not a rat, it’s a possum. I bet it had that bird flu and looked for a warm place to curl up.’ Yikes! Not only a varmant with perhaps rabies or some ‘droppings’ to clean up, but now another thing to freak out about—bird flu?

Maybe it was God’s snarly sense of Halloween humor that left this city girl a ratty, little surprise. Or maybe it’s the fact that there’s a farm on one side of the street and some woods on the other. But just a bit earlier that week, home alone in the evening, the door bell rang. I looked out the glass panel and there was nobody in sight. I looked out the windows on either side of the door and nobody, no car, nothing at all. Uhhhhhhhhh–let’s just say I drew all the blinds, checked the locks and held the attack poodles close. Again, maybe it was nothing, but these two events, in the month of October, got me to thinking about all of the creepy, crawly, scary stuff that Halloween is made of; and just what it is that sends shivers up and down your spine.

Here’s my short list. Oh wait, it’s better when you read it to this soundtrack:

the usual collection of snakes, spiders, bats, rats & other varmints, plus ticks

weird phone calls at weird times

people I can’t place who call me by name

sudden emergencies

unexplained phenomenon in or on my body

used tissues stuffed into the couch cushions

dead animals anywhere on or near the entrances to my house

crows that sit on the rooftop

vultures stalking prey

heavy fog while driving

swamps at night

unexplained blood droplets

a large gathering of vultures, crows or any creepy birds

Can you top these?
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