HalloweenThe summer seemed to be over before it even began, which was just fine with me. Even though we had a few weeks in August and September that were hot,-off and on-it was too much for me. There was only one day that it reached over 90 degrees and it was like hell on earth. By the time October had reached us in Michigan and the local stores began to sell pumpkins, I was ready for Halloween. I felt like it was far too long a time coming.
It was the time of year that made all the rest of the months seem bearable to me. The smell of the hot cider was like a magical elixir that would make my nose quiver until I took a deep breath in, savoring that flavor like some kind of sweet caress to my soul. The sights and sounds of the local streets and stores made some kind of lycanthropic transformation from midtown America school spirit bland and boring to ghosts, goblins, witches and all kinds of creatures of the night. I hated all that summer time, blonde haired, snotty and stuck-uppedness of what most would consider normal. Normal to me was to wear black on black with touches of earth tones, mind my own business and be off in my own mental world where the sounds of a wolf’s howl and the screech of a bat seemed like a perfect backdrop for some ghost story that was brewing in my brain. For me, it was Halloween all year round. By the time October rolled around and everyone started to play the part, I felt bittersweet. They were finally catching up to where I was all the time. And most of the time, the regular people only considered it a holiday for kids-which it is not-or just dressed up like hookers instead of celebrating the monster in us all…if you know what I mean.
Halloween was more than a costume. It was a way of life. The wind in the trees would whisper sweet songs of the undead and the sights of the undead and monstrous would remind me that there was much, much more to this world than just birth, school, work and death.
I wish every month could lead up to Halloween. Once a month, trick or treat. All month long, horror movies every day. And most of all, we could all just dress in our costumes all the time, never worrying about the heat and having to dress down and sweat! Forget all about the Spring and Summer, those were for the birds and the bees, which I mean literally. Autumn was for me. I love the Winter, too, but that is another story.
It was the first of October, now many years ago, when I met Daemon.
I will never forget him. He saved me. Not only that, he showed me a new way to look at my life. Daemon was such good man to me. I think about him every day. Sometimes we still visit, but he travels so much and lives out of town now. Sometimes he comes to me in dreams, if you can believe that. Maybe it is just that I have dreamed about him, but I like to believe that he has something to do with it!
Sometimes I think I hear Daemon in the sounds of the rustling, Autumn leaves. I can see his soul with the darkness surrounding him. He lives, always in my heart. Daemon is my friend now and forever.
I was only thirteen when I met him. My family had just gotten done tormenting me with our weekly journey to church and the obligatory visit to the Holly doughnut shop afterwords. As usual, Dad was stuffing his face with a cream stick and black coffee, while Mom was always a fan of the glazed. We were almost ready to go when he walked in. It felt like Halloween was here. In fact, I used to think that he might be the Mayor of Halloween. That was, of course, when I was just a kid. Now, years later, I am pretty sure that we are all upon the council of Halloween.
He walked up to the counter, clad in all black clothing, black hair and an orange scarf that trailed down his chest. His fingernails were painted black. I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen. His eyes were lined with shadows and they looked almost black. I found out later that he was wearing movie fx contacts that day. Still, he was the creepiest, coolest looking person I had ever seen. Daemon was like a living and breathing Samhain spirit.
It was windy and chilly that day, and the red and orange leaves were flying around the streets of Holly, Michigan. There was a lot of talk about Halloween going on at school the previous week and there was excitement in my blood for that night to arrive.
He ordered a cinnamon roll and coffee. I can remember the doughnut lady, Marsha, looking kind of confused by his presence, but at the same time I could tell that she was crushing on him.
“Would it be okay to place an ad on the bulletin board?” he asked with a calm, friendly voice. “I’m looking for someone to help me around the house.”
Now, Daemon was not an old man. He had a look about him that suggested he was mature, maybe in his late forties, but hardly unable to do some work around the house. I could see that he had some gray hair that was sneaking out behind his ears. Could have been on oversight during a self made dye job.
Daemon posted a small ad on the bulletin board and made his way out of the place. He walked calm and cool, not a care about what anyone might be thinking about his dismal appearance. I thought he looked cool as hell. Shit, we looked like we could be family. Big brother Daemon and his badass little sister, Jodie. He was a lot older, though, so maybe he could have been my dad….I never thought I was anything like my dad. Many years later, I think maybe I was secretly adopted.
“Maggie said that guy abused his wife and got away with it,” Dad spouted. “Nobody really knows him. He inherited his parents place out on Pine Hill Drive. They were good ole’ folks.”
“Well, I heard he used to live in Europe,” Mom added. “He probably fit in better over there.” Dad grunted under his breath.
I remember hearing some other things about Daemon, too, long before the day he walked into the doughnut shop. Some people said that he was a Satanist. Some others thought he was a cheater and that is why he wife vanished. They said that she had run away after she caught him with another woman. Some people even said that he killed her and buried her body way back in the woods behind his parents house. They were all just rumors, you know, nothing worth believing at all.
Mom gave him a cautious look. “We need to get home for Sarah.” Dad nodded and began to get himself ready to go.
Dad always made time for Sarah. No matter what was going on, he would make a bee line for his daughter if she needed something. She had a hard life since she was a baby. When she was born, the cord was wrapped around her neck and gave her some kind of brain damage. She was the sweetest girl you would ever meet, but she hated to go in public. Instead, she would stay with our housekeeper, Maggie. Sarah never really spoke much, either. More like mumbles. That was my nickname for her when she was little. That was a long time ago, now.
I took that little card from the bulletin board that day. I cared not what my parents might have to say about it. I was going to call him up and be his friend and employee if he needed. Even if I had to lie through my little, crooked teeth to get out and away to hang out and work for him, I would do it without a second thought. It said that he needed some help around the house. Done deal. I was the one for it! I could clean like crazy!
It was the best thing I ever did for myself. And for my sister, too.

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