This is the Hallowe'en-themed short story I wrote back in June, and has been printed on napkins and released in coffee shops in Brisbane, Australia, Leeds, England, and my hometown of Toronto, Canada. A huge thank you ever so kindly to the good people at Tiny Owl Workshop for making all of this possible for not only myself, but the other winning participants.
The afterlife is not all that it's cracked up to be. Yes, All Hallows' Eve is a time of year for my cohorts within the Nether Realm to rejoice over their high holiday. They howl under the light of the harvest moon, inspiring the nightmares of young children more concerned with how much candy they will receive during a night of trick-or-treating; their parents warning about moderation to avoid the impending rush and inevitable cavities from overconsumption of the sugary haul. But, I enjoy the autumn winds. Hearing the other ghosts carry on in their revelry grates on what's left of my soul, and takes away from my enjoyment in the season.
I was never a "party person". I spent my living days keeping to myself, my nose in a book, believing an educated mind was an enlightened mind. Hemingway, Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.K. Rowling; all of them aroused my intellect in the name of literary entertainment. Little did I realize the last book I was engrossed in would be the one which lead to my unfortunate demise.
Let this be a lesson to the bookworms amongst the living. The next time you bury your nose in your e-reader, watch where you step off the streetcar. You can never tell when a lead-footed motorist is a barreling down the street, trying to beat a red light. It was a mistake I have been paying for to this day.
Now, I suffer every October 31st for my lack of attention. I should take pride, for this night, is now my New Year's Eve, but I'd rather read some Edgar Allan Poe instead of dancing like a zombie to Thriller. Regardless, I wish everyone living or dead a Happy Halloween.