5 comments

Oct 25, 2020

Contemporary Holiday Fiction

It was that time of year again and the last harvest of the year was to come in full swing. It was what they celebrated. Halloween was but the commercial side of things. What the holiday really was about was far more than that. So as the world was primarily focused on the candy preparations and the costumes, others were preparing for something else.

               Out in the woods and down by the lake, some of the men that ran with the coven were busy clearing out a section of the forest floor. The bomb fire couldn’t get out of control that would be bad for the mother’s realm. Some of the ladies were in grocery store picking up some things to cook up. Others still were gathering certain unmentionable things as to some people, Halloween wasn’t a commercial thing.

               Two women walked along with a cooler as the day turned more toward night. Within were thin cut pork chops to get to the sight. A third woman that was with them carried a tray of roasted pumpkin seeds with ginger and pepper. They were for snacking. As they came out on the path by the lake, one of the guys willingly took the cooler and hauled it over to a hand carved wooden table closer to the water’s edge. The third woman was shown to a larger table where she sat down the seed.

             Once she was done, she turned to the gent that showed her over. “How is the set up going here, Cade?”

               “Going well”, he said as he gave her a kiss, “we have the tables set up along here; the bomb fire is built but not yet lite. Sara and Bev are setting up a few alters that they gathered stuff for near the trees. Everything is on schedule.”

              “Well there is more stuff back at the car but I am just one person”, her name was Vivian and she was his wife.

             He whistled and motioned two of the guys to come a long and they left with Cade and Vivian as they headed back to the car. Before long there was an entire meal being brought back to the site of this evenings All Souls Night by way of the parade of people that ran to help the couple empty the car. There were fried apples, apple sauce, corn, pumpkin pie, and even some mashed sweet potatoes for the dinner.

           It was not long before another had full of people showed up. Tonight’s get together promised twenty in the RSVP. This was not an affair for the kids; it was mainly for the adults. This new group brought a box with them of herbs and other such items to add to the evening activities. 

               Finally up walked a lady that was swearing a dark purple cloak. She was the high priestess of the coven and she usually led things off. Then everyone else joined in as well. She was a red headed lady and her husband the druid was over seeing things while she was on her way out. Behind her walked the last few stragglers. The stragglers were in their own cloaks only and had the booze, but the priestess had one of the best parts…she brought the gram crackers, chocolate, and the marshmallows.

               As the sun was going down and a few minutes until ceremonies began, the group that had been there departed only to come back in similar fashions. As the ceremonies were to begin, all were wearing only cloaks as they stood in places around the set up fire.

             The priestess looked to those gathered and smiled. “I thank you all for a job well done. This promises to be a great get together for our day of Samhain. It is this day that we celebrate the final harvest of the year and with the veil thinning, we honor our ancestors and fellow witches that have gone before us, we also honor the New Year ahead and hopes for a wonderful future when the light returns at Imbolc.” 

She raised her hands high as did the other nineteen people that gathered here. “We welcome you our ancestors and bid you welcome among us this night. Partake with us in this bounty as we celebrate your lives and honor you in your passing. We especially welcome a little one among us tonight. Such a tiny child that joined you all too soon, come back and join us tonight little Emma so that your parents feel comfort in your presence. We welcome you and bless you all in the light of our mother and father, or Goddess and the Holly King as we await the return of the Horned One.”

To her left when she gave the welcome to the child two of the coven members lost earlier this year, the young couple of Cade and Vivian looked at each other with a few tears. Emma was their baby girl.

As the priestess finished with the benediction; the druid husband lite up the torch that he carried and preceded to lite the bomb fire for the festivities. At the honorary alters that were set up, gifts and offerings were placed. On some of the older alters a shot of the whiskey and various little items in honor of the dead. One such alter received a hand full of the pumpkin seeds as it was one of the man’s vices in life as well as a cup of coffee was poured. On the baby’s alter, some brought heart shaped balloons and others sat candy suckers and small baby toys.

Some of the women proceeded to dance around the fire after the momentary honoring of the ancestors as a few of the men played guitar and a fiddle.  A rack was set up of metal next to the fire and many a thin cut pork chop was impaled so that they could be cooked up on the fire. Others sat up around the fire and spoke candid of those that had gone before. Herbs were tossed in the fire as small chants of luck and health were cast about the group.

When the pork chops were done, plates were made with sides and piping hot pork chops was added to them. Together the witch’s ate as they conversed with stories of the ancestors and the people they knew and even told histories of family members that were gone.

Some of the couples wondered off into the woods together during the night. 

When day light came, the witches cleaned up their mess and returned nature to how it was originally. Then everyone went home to get some rest.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

5 comments

Philip Clayberg
20:24 Nov 21, 2020

If you can stand a pun, I felt like giving your story a subtitle: "Something Wiccan This Way Comes". (A pun on the Ray Bradbury story, "Something Wicked This Way Comes.) Very nice story. Thank you for writing it: Just one typo: wondered off into the woods I think you meant: "wandered off into the woods" (without the quotes)

Reply

00:01 Nov 22, 2020

Samhain because I am a Pagan. Just saying. As to your spotting Typos on something three to four submissions back, was that really necessary?

Reply

Philip Clayberg
00:58 Nov 22, 2020

I have a friend who's Pagan. I have no problem with that. It's interesting learning about other faiths (whether Pagan, Christian, etc.). In fact, I find non-Christian faiths far more interesting. Especially Celtic. And the stories are wonderful to read (the Mabinogian, Irish legends, King Arthur, Avalon, etc. and more modern versions like Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series which takes place in a land that resembles Wales). I doubt I'd ever switch from Theist to Pagan, though. It's taken me a long time to reach where I am faith-wise. It...

Reply

04:10 Nov 22, 2020

A Theist could be Pagan if you believe the creator to be creators as in two or more. My personal take is that the creators of all life is two. A God and Goddess, you need both males and females to produce in higher species. Higher meaning more then single celled organisms and the like. Without one, life higher then single cell types cannot exist. In fact, the way I see it anyway, late 2019-to this point in 2020, look at everything going on in the world. I believe Mom is mad and dad isn't sure how to handle it. Fires all over, a pandem...

Reply

Philip Clayberg
04:25 Nov 22, 2020

I didn't think of Theism that way before. But in my case, there is God (whichever gender he/she/it happens to be). Maybe God is two genders in one, which would be okay with me. I'm no expert at that level, though. Whew! Considering what we "modern" humans are doing to this world, I wouldn't be surprised if God (and his equal and/or helper Mother Nature) is upset with us. I think I would be, if I were God. I'd want a happy, healthy, blue (water and skies), green (forests and fields), and yellow (deserts) world. Not one messed up lik...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply