Gruesome Ghouls and Ghastly Ghosties – Scottish Hallowe’en

Ghouls n Ghosties by Phil Burns

Ghouls n Ghosties by Phil Burns

AnElephantCant contain his excitement
As the end of October draws near
His wee brain fair itches
As he thinks about witches
It is far and away the scariest night of the year

Aye Hallowe’en is a night of fear-filled frolics and fun
As long as you ca’ canny*
You might see a de’il
Or a bogle for real
If you keek in each impenetrably dark nook and cranny

Some traditions last forever and ever
Some changes we find quite surprising
In the US it’s neat
To say trick or treat
But in Scotland for the past 500 years we call it guising

There’s ay laughter and games for the children
With treacle scones hung on a loosely-strung string
Just mind your thrapple
When dookin’ for apples
In case a wild wean wi’ a sharp-pronged fork takes a swing

And everyone carves out a lacklustre lantern
We use torpid turnips but some folk use pumpkins
We may be old fashioned
But please show compassion
AnElephant should not be casually confused with a near-extinct country bumpkin

Now though it’s all modern and commercialised
We a’ continue to do things we’re no’ supposed tae
It’s still the nerve-numbing night
That causes face-freezing fright
When we walk wi’ all sorts of gruesome ghouls and ghastly ghosties

Hallowe’en is the annual haunt of the bogeyman
He frightens the bravest bairns out of their hat-disguised heads
He has never been seen
But does that really just mean
He is hiding patiently but perniciously poised under AnElephant’s bed?

*Glossary of Terms:
Aye – yes
ca’ canny – take care
bogle – a bad thing, a spectre, a goblin
keek – look
ay – always
thrapple – throat, windpipe
dookin’ – ducking, trying to capture from a large basin or bath
wean – bairn, child
tae – to
bogeyman – boogeyman (USA), very bad (hopefully) imaginary person

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The Bow – Friday Fictioneers

AnElephantCant bear untidiness
He likes to arrange things with care
Which is much admired
Until he gets tired
And sprawls quite haphazardly in a chair

Once again it is Friday Fictioneer time.
Master of Ceremonies Rochelle invites us to the top table to dine on the 100 word stories of seated scribes.
And AnElephant tries not to rearrange the furniture
The idea is to write a very short story, circa 100 words, based on this picture prompt (below).
That’s it.

Copyright - Melanie Greenwood

Copyright – Melanie Greenwood

The Bow

Sitting in the sunshine, I see him coming from afar.
His walk is distinctive.
The upper half of his body angles forward at about 45° from the upright.
He makes slow progress, takes great care crossing the road.
He approaches the café, scanning the tables with his prominent eyes.
He reminds me of a large bird.
Or perhaps a small dinosaur?
He stops beside my chair, takes the hand I extend.
It is almost as if he is bowing to his lord, his superior.
Which is probably right.
After all, the last time he challenged me I broke his back.

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Doors – Haibun Thinking

AnElephantCant always be active
Sometimes he just sits back in his chair as
As quick as a snail
He tells you a wee tale
About a friend of a friend and a friend called Eros

AnElephant makes another indiscriminate assault on this great weekly challenge hosted by his friend Al, who continues to do great things with this site.
Please take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
This week AnElephant chooses as his inspiration this handsome, lovable and somewhat left field pooch.

eros by anelephantcant

eros by anelephantcant


He stands at the glass door, waiting.
She loves her dog, though he can be a pest.
Excusing herself to her guests, she rises from the table and opens the door.
He enters nonchalantly and passes under the table to the amusement of everyone except her.
He ignores her admonition that it is not a tunnel.
This is his preferred route, always.
He checks the guests, trying to identify who is most likely to feed him titbits.
She shoos him away, apologising to her grinning companions.
Casting a rather disgusted look over his shoulder at her, he goes out through the far door, which is always open.
The meal continues.
Then the laughter starts.
She shakes her head.
He stands at the glass door, waiting.

some doors are exits
and apparently
some doors are entrances

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Two Tales of Hallowe’en – Sunday Photo Fiction

AnElephantCant deny he is frightened
By the ghouliess and ghosties who appear at Hallowe’en
When he sees the size of
That pumpkin he is indecisive
So here are two tales he cannot choose between

This is a weekly invitation to write a short piece of fiction (c. 150 words) based on a photo prompt (below) provided by Alastair.
Just click on the link to find some scary stories of spooky spirits in response to this week’s excellent image.
But please first cast an eye over AnElephant’s double-barrelled drivel!

Copyright Al Forbes

Copyright Al Forbes

The Pumpkin

I was born to laugh, and to bring laughter.
I am not handsome.
Not clever or athletic.
Kinda ordinary looking, but not unpleasantly so.
I stay pretty much in one place until it is my time to shine.
For me this happens only once in a lifetime.
This year’s festival will be my big moment.
I am excited.
I am purchased by a lady with three youngsters.
I know she will put a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eyes.
She will light a flame in my heart.
I will fulfil my destiny.
For me, Hallowe’en is what life is for.
I bring brightness and joy.
Maybe a little touch of mystery.
Oh, and pie.

 * * *

 The Lookout

We know they are close behind us.
If they catch us there will be no discussion.
We will all die horribly.
We tend to travel through the mountains, where we can see any signs of pursuit well in advance.
But we have to go into the villages for food, we do not steal from these people.
I am the lookout.
While the others barter for provisions, I station myself near the entrance to the market square.
I am not afraid, I know they will not see me.
I am a master of disguise.

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gelastic by phil burns

gelastic by phil burns

The girls in summer dresses
Are strolling in the streets
The man you ask the questions
Hands out answers just like sweets

But he answers you in riddles
That don’t make any sense
And the girls all merge together
In colours so intense

You see her standing talking
You’ve waited seven thousand days
You call her name out wrongly
When she turns it’s not her face

You know it’s her striped jacket
You admired it for years
She looks at you and walks away
But the stripes have disappeared

Your friend who stands beside you
He is dating your lost child
He tells you it’s quite normal
To have your memories defiled

The house you live in isn’t yours
You don’t know the address
When your lover comes to breakfast
She can’t ignore the mess

There’s a lady showing people round
They don’t even see you there
They say that they are moving in
But you can live beneath the stairs

Your friends and lovers talk to you
You can’t understand a word
You tell them that it’s all a dream
They think you’re old and quite absurd

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The Bench

AnElephantCant be an ornithologist
Although he does like to see pictures of birds
He is not sure whether
To discuss their feathers
When he only has 100 words

Once again it is Friday Fictioneer time.
Top twitcher Rochelle watches while lakeside legendeers create magic in 100 words.
And AnElephant tries not to mess up the nest.
The idea is to write a very short story, circa 100 words, based on this picture prompt (below).
That’s it.

Copyright- The Reclining Gentleman

Copyright- The Reclining Gentleman

The Bench

I know I am being watched.
I sit gazing across the water, wondering how close they are.
And if I have any chance of escape.
People stroll by, some pause to take in the view.
A cigarette packet is tossed, too casually, falls to the ground.
I scowl at his back, he is oblivious to my annoyance.
As I stand to leave, I stoop, and, with obvious irritation, push it into the bin.
I now have in my palm the last piece of the device.
I blow into my cold hands.
It fits perfectly.
And now they are too late.

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Being a Mother – Haibun Thinking

AnElephantCant tell you how happy he is
There are days when his old grey heart just sings
The gigantic blue lobster
Is quite clearly an impostor
So he sends apologies to his dear friend MyBeautifulThings

AnElephant makes another inconsequential assault on this great weekly challenge hosted by his friend Al, who is doing great things with this site.
Please take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
This week AnElephant chooses as his inspiration this superb piece of art by the lovely, and very talented, Anja.

Copyright Anja Partin

Copyright Anja Partin

Being a Mother

I remember, just, being sixteen years old.
I was a fairly normal, if perhaps slightly wild, teenager.
I played rugby and football, did a bit of boxing, got into scraps and scrapes.
Not in any way extraordinary, just a healthy, troublesome boy.
I had and, happily, still have a brother, six years younger.
So he was still at this time just a kid.
And he had a fall, caught his face on something – a tin bucket, if memory serves – and split his nose wide open across the bridge.
Now I had already broken the odd bone, had had my head stitched up to keep my brains in, some may say with limited success, had fallen out of innumerable trees, and been hit by a lorry.
But I was helpless, and useless, when I saw his blood-splattered features.
I called for my mother, wishing that my father was home.
She was a kind, easy-going woman, for whom the description scatter-brained could have been invented.
She handled the situation with calm authority, pacifying, cleaning, organising.
What could have been a crisis was a mere hiccup.
Perhaps all the practice had been good for her.

being a mother
is understanding
the needs of a child

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