Going Down the Bayou

Halloween was last Sunday. A spooky night of trick-or-treating, scares, and costumes. My family loves Halloween–especially my brother. So, a couple years ago, we started a tradition of doing a haunted garage Halloween night for every trick-or-treater that came through our neighborhood. Our decor gets bigger every year and this year our theme was witch doctors on the bayou. We scared a couple kids that night and had a lot of fun. Allow me to share with you a description of our night of voodoo and haunts.

You take a deep breath as you walk down the street. You’ve got your bag of candy and a costume of spooky things. The late chill of the night begs you head home to sleep. But it’s time for the house you save for last every year and now that you see it, your hesitating with fear. You’ve seen it all month: the decor slowly going up. And now, for one night only, it’s all set up. Ghosts fly about the windows and moan throughout the shutters. They sit on pumpkins with skulls and try to scare each other. You know they’ll keep their distance so that’s not what has you worried. It’s the voodoo of the bayou that makes your heart so hurried.

Sticks and branches fill the yard and spiny thistles standing tall. Tree trunks hold hanging bones and cloths that bid warning to one and all. Green light shines swamp water on the scene and the two skeletons fishing almost make you scream. But what really makes you worried is the monster in the deep. It’s tentacle seeps up and you pray it’s not you it seeks.

With your head held high you take the torch lighted path all the way to the witch doctor in a terrifying skull mask. He bends down deep and tilts his head. “Are you brave enough to enter my homestead?”

You glance away and just say “Trick or treat,” but a bone-haired witch says you must earn your keep.

“To obtain your sweets, just enter through here. Brave the bayou and don’t show any fear! Follow the path and do not stray lest the gators will come and take your leg away.”

“Gators?!” You repeat. “There’s live gators in there?”

The witch doctor laughs. “It’s just all a good scare!”

You hesitate as you glance at the porch. There’s old barrels and moss and bones–of course. The old wood creaks right under your feet and you let out a shudder as you pass the bamboo screen.

Only firelight illuminates the witch doctor’s hut. You swallow down deep and clench your butt. Stay on the path, you remind yourself bravely, but the wood under your feet leads away from safety. To your left is another crate and an old, mossy trunk, but what seeps from inside makes your heart jump. A rotten bride screams with eyes glazed dead. All that is left of her is her hands and her head. You take a step back and you back into a cage with of bottles and potions and skulls full of haze. The words written on them put your head in a daze. Virgin Blood, Gator Skin, Tears of the Innocent? You hope coming here doesn’t mean your imprisonment.

You push forward to try and pass through the hut. On a table lays brains and a hand lost to a clean cut. You need only one step and you’ll finally be out of the hut and onto the next scene. Yet, shadows cloud your path and you duck your head because you swear there are bats. The darkness of trees hang high overhead with vines and moss hanging from their stead. You back up again–the sweets probably aren’t worth it. Yet, you back into a cabinet, jars rattling from your hit. Sitting atop are more ichors, but it’s the giant spider above that makes you head out the door.

Out of the hut and into the bayou, you silently wish you had someone to guide you. Immediately on the left is a wrath that fills you with fright, so keep down the path heading off to the right. A fog fills the air, it’s harder to see and you swear there are eyes staring out of that tree. You hug the rope railing, letting it be your guide and quietly pray you don’t trip and die. Beneath the wood planks is a green eerie glow, where trees reach up to grab you and gators hunger below. Forward you see a gator poking from the deep with somebody’s leg sticking out of its teeth. You avert your gaze and let out a gasp at the head hanging from a hollow tree’s grasp.

The fog thickens and you’re filled with dread. Surely, there must be a way out up ahead?! You keep your eyes on the path, but then you shutter at the spiders crawling around each other. Watch your step, then duck your head! Away from the snake hissing red. You hear the witch doctor laugh. You’re almost there! Too bad you forgot about the yearly jump scare.

From the thick of the spiderwebs in the last trek of the bayou, a brown haired spider screeches and comes right at you! You let out a scream and abandon all caution. You race from the bayou–your only option. Through the dark curtains and back down the torch path. Your parents are laughing since you’ve finally come back. Now that the night air fills your lungs, you start laughing with them. That bayou was…fun! You grip your candy bag–wait just a sec! You forgot your reward after your long trek! Ah, oh well, you decide in your head. That bayou was much more fun instead. You crane your neck to look back at the scene and spot both witch doctors hollering “Happy Halloween!”

Published by Nikki

I am an aspiring author with one novel written and ready for representation and many in the works.

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