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Hope everyone is having a wonderful October. But now it is almost over, and Halloween is near.

At first, October might seem like a nice time of year. After all, what can be better than apple picking, cider doughnuts, and pumpkin spice coffee? Splashes of color flood the ground as leaves tumble to the Earth below. The warmth slowly fades and gives way to the frosty summons of winter. Sickness, anger, and freezing temperatures creep in as we are tested by Mother Nature’s scorn.

So therefore, it is a perfect time to celebrate that dark and mysterious side of life we glorify on Halloween: the things that go bump in the night, the sugar rush of too much chocolate, and the ghouls and zombies that eat your brains. For without them, what would be the fun of October, right? For surely they aren’t real and just tales to scare children from being bad.

Though it is intended to be scary, there is sort of a revelation in this: Though the harshness of life might try to steal us away, we remain strong. In my area, Halloween has been sabotaged by severe weather and other unfortunate occurrences for the past few years. Children could not celebrate the one time of year they looked forward to most. This serves as a true reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned, but it turns out better in the end. The ghouls, goblins, and witches will always be out and about, but only the weak will fall prey to their traps. On this Halloween, I hope everyone remembers this: the light will always be stronger. Don’t let the darkness do you in.

Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone. For those who don’t celebrate it, enjoy the rest of October ūüôā

Now, I will end off with a short story:

The moonlight sang silent dirges as it hit the zombie’s rotting flesh. So silently he wandered, roaming through the abandoned streets of his old home.

“Har…old?” He asked. Harold no longer had a family or a home. The recesses and sewers of the once lighted cityscape were his new reality. He poked at a man’s body, hoping to find warmth within it.

“Cold…” Harold muttered as he turned around. The bodies of several police officers and people with pitchforks littered the road; the scene of an old slaughter.

“Cold…” Harold said again. He stepped over the bodies, bones crunching beneath his feet as he walked. An old newspaper blew past. The faded portrait of a young woman fluttered in the wind, disappearing forever into the faded sky.

“Find… her…” He growled. The blackened sky only made Harold’s shoddy vision become worse. He wandered aimlessly, hitting old buildings with a thud. He stepped on an abandoned gun, and the bullet pierced through his rotting arm.¬†No blood came out, and he could only moan in pain.

“No…” He moaned. He watched as pieces of flesh came off his wounded arm and landed on the street.

“Hurry…” He began lurching away as quickly as he could.

“Stop right there!” A female voice yelled. Harold turned around to find a young woman holding a shovel.

“What do you think you’re doing?” She yelled again.¬†Harold could only stand there in amazement.

“Why… you back…” Harold asked, tilting his head to get a better look.

“None of your business!” She responded, clutching the shovel tighter.

The zombie walked over to her and held out a shiny object in his hand.

“No… get away! STAY AWAY!” She hit his hand, causing the object to land on the pavement. The object opened to reveal a picture of a young couple.

“Love… you…” He stammered.

“I said STAY AWAY!” She screamed and swung the shovel at him. “I never loved you, you cheating son of a bitch!” The shovel landed in his side, causing a chunk of flesh to fall away.

“Sorry… Wrong… Never again…” Harold whimpered. He carefully bent over and picked up the locket.

Love her… I still… love her. Harold held the locket close to his chest. As he did so, it began melting into his flesh. He began changing, no longer a rotted version of his former self. He stood up a man now, and held out his hand to the young woman again.

“Loretta. I cheated once, but never again. I wandered this hell for sixteen years looking for you…” Harold sighed. “I gave you my heart. Now give me your hand.”

Loretta glared at Harold and folded her arms. “And why should I trust you again?” She scowled.

“Because only good things come from second chances.” He said as he grabbed her hand.

The blackened cityscape faded away, disappearing into the darkest corners of his mind. Harold stood now before a majestic white house.

“Daddy!” Two young voices shouted. Two children emerged and gave Harold a hug.

“Welcome home, Harold.” Loretta said. She walked over and kissed Harold on the cheek.

“Home at last.” Harold smiled. It was so good to be home again.

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