Speakeasy Entry “My First Halloween”


“My First Halloween”

The light from all the houses along Tanglewood Street seem dim and scary  tonight.

In my first-grader’s mind, all the doors squeak eerily as they answer our “Trick-or-Treat” call.  But, ah, the open crunch and tumble of all that candy  as it makes its way into my lovely red, metal bucket.  That is the magic of it all!  And I forget about being nervous or frightened.

“So, little, girl…what are you supposed to be?” said the wizened old gent who answered the door at #8 Tanglewood.

“Huh, ‘be?’….I dunno…”

“Well, I never heard of such a thing! A girl with a bag on her head and two holes for eyes!   You must be called something in order to be scary on Halloween!”

“But… but mom never told us we had to BE anything!”

It was true. Mom had put bags over our heads and sent us on our way.  Never “Trick-or-Treating” before,  this was my first “grown-up” Halloween.

“Just ring the doorbell and call out ‘Trick-or -Treat’, child, and show them your bucket.”

Hastily rigged, my Mom was home from work minutes before we were out the front door in our costumes: Two barefoot kids; walking bags with holes for eyes.  You could see my legs from the knees, down.  I  suppose we were a comical sight but too young to know we looked stupid.

Before us on the sidewalk, I hear snickers from a pirate with a fantastic scarf around his brow.  He wears an impressive black patch over one eye and  a long blade at his side.  His sister skips behind him, dressed in a pink, filmy fairy princess  dress with a magic wand and waving her arms at everything.  My little sister and I gaze in astonishment at the costumes as we walk farther away from home.   We saw magical creatures careen up and down the streets.  Downtown is dark and threatening if it were not for the revelers who carry old kerosene lanterns and flashlights.  Many ghosts, their white sheets flying,  scream down the sidewalks.   I could feel my little sister cling more closely as a clown opens his gaping mouth at us !  Main Street was like a ghost town, except for one lit storefront.  I pulled  little sister into the shop  and heard triple clanging sleigh bells ring over the door.

“Well, look at this! If you aren’t the scariest two, bewitching bags I have ever seen! Martha, come quick, and see what just walked through our door!”

Mr. Wilkerson, the shopkeeper, loves Halloween and goes all out each year to dress and decorate for the occasion.  He wears a heavy, ape costume with a head so real it takes my breath away! My little sister, Jean, will have nightmares tonight! But there was something familiar about the voice of this gorilla that reminded me of my grandfather.

“Martha, these are the little Whitford girls from Tanglewood Street and they look weary from all their walking.  Call their mom and tell her I’m driving them home in a few minutes.

(My story based on fact. Such times did exist in the 1940’s in Daytona Beach, Florida)

Trifecta Challenge Beast


 He growls and he is near

He’s just below, I fear.

 He rumbles and he churns;

sensational, his yearns.

But  just a simple plea

from the tummy monster

for a hot-fudge sundae

Time for another Trifecta Challenge! Here’s the prompt: Thirty years ago, Roald Dahl published the book Dirty Beasts, a collection of poems for children about weird and wonderful animals. The last poem, however, is called The Tummy Beast about a boy who thinks there’s someone living in his belly. Your Trifextra challenge is to write 33 words on a beast in an unusual place. No swamps or forests or caves, we really want you to take your beast out of its comfort zone.

Trifecta Challenge: “A Scrap of Paper”

“A Scrap of Paper”

So few memories! I rummage through a box and find the note among photos.

It seems like yesterday …and the note states:

“Billie :  I went by after the laundry and it was not ready. It is 1:30 and I still have to work Riviera. The man said it would be ready by 3:00 P.M. How about sending Butch after it?  Jack”

The note, written in large, beautiful cursive is on the back of an old, yellow-stained envelope. The laundromat is six blocks from our ugly, army green rental house.  On a hot, sticky Florida day, someone must rescue the laundry!

Daddy services jukeboxes. Take the money out; put new records in. The job barely pays the bills when the money does not lose its way at end of day to the race track. A sweet, wonderful , funny guy; everyone loves you, Daddy! Such a happy drunk! But you have a knack for being around things that like to blow up!

The “Billie” of our note does not approve your longings for adventure. A trip to the track or one last beer following jukebox rounds breaks the family’s financial back. Daddy, in your cups at the supper table you say: “pass the peas!” and Mother did just that. She threw the entire bowl… those tiny, green-garden delicious peas swimming in butter. Dogs tuck their tails and cringe under the table. Little sister screams with fear and I, the grownup child of eight, hush her away ’til the storm blows over.

Older now, and able to withhold moral judgment, I long to see you. Give you a hug; hold your hand. Look deep into those dark, mysterious, Cherokee eyes. You mean a lot to me and I apologize for mother pitching the peas.

We should have known each other better but you left too soon and remain a phantom, Daddy.   I know so little of you that even this old scrap of paper is a precious keepsake.

Trifecta Challenge : 333 words.  Use the 3rd definition for the word, “Phantom”.

“Dinner with Edgar”

“Dinner with Edgar”

Soon twilight falls upon my weathered roof.

but now, mid lightning, weathered-vane is heard.

The wind doth wave his wings, he spins, forsooth,

into my spacious den and there he stirs.

He harkens not to my sad tale of toe

so punished by the massive oaken leg

of table as I stumble , screaming so:

“Oh, God is there no mercy for my peg?”


He is a mute and un-impassioned bird.

And, senseless to my cry,  he ‘ner complains.

Continues with his game of spin_ absurd;

malevolent! (As one who is insane?)


But quoth this muted  bird, no “Neversmores”.

He clangs in need of basting as he churns.

Precooked,  rottiseried from all that sun.

Though, roasting of this fowl not my concern.


It’s time to serve my guests so we adjourn.

My dining table’s laid with Usher’s spleen,

  and now, it’s time to carve that turkey clean!

But he escapes!  my solitary, baleful bird.


“Metallic taste of skin!” as friends take flight!

Knife clatters to the ground! Screams pierce the night!

Jazzy Religion

Clint OneSource: Sketch by Clint Casey.

“Jazzy Religion”




blaring out the



prays swell


blowing on his horn.



entranced; their

foot still in my


Fearful Trifextra

So fearful of Soap Sally!

Dad says she comes in the night

to bump the daylights out of me.

Looking back, is plain to see

frightening things are ‘scary’

when told they be.

Trifecta Entry Bacchanal


We once began our bacchanal

days of wine and roses; all.

‘Til the band did stop its play

if we had no means to pay.

Oh, the frenzied riot’s bloom;

Oh, the headache mid the tune.

When the day did dawn anew

we were forced see it through.

Riotous, emboldened, short

haunts the memory’s cavort.

Oh, the candle burned too bright

as it snuffed reality.

Purple, the passion, college days;

grain of alcohol we played.

Priest and Priestess; we were gay.

Died too soon, a withered fate.

Swept away in our bacchanal

hollow dreams in hallowed hall.

Trifextra: “Chain-smoker”

Prompt:  the Rolling Stones “Sympathy For the Devil”


The devil’s gotta way with me.

I’ve heard his beat before.

Hand me another cigarette

before you leave my door.

Hey, baby, strum my lyre.

Give me another burn

before my bud expires.

Scary Trifecta

swamp_illustration“The Engagement”

From Goodwill Store
bought books galore.
Blood-gore contained
within them flamed.
Illogical,  insane
his wicked cry
as one alive!
I slammed the book
did not engage.
Then, out he crept
off damn`ed page!