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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Thursday, October 31 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster Fright night

t's 10 p.m. This is Lowell Thomas in New York."

Before the second note of the NBC chimes was over, Ezekial Huffman had snapped off the radio. He pushed himself off the easy chair and lurched to the cuckoo clock that was in the sixth of its ten coo-coos when he reached it and pulled down the metal pinecone weights that reset it for another day of life.

Ethel Huffman peered out the window of the front door to the road below. The half moon gave a fairly clear view up and down the road. No more Halloweeners were to be seen, and since the last one had come by 25 minutes earlier, she reluctantly snapped off the porchlight. 1949 had been a relatively prosperous year, thus far (she softly knocked her knuckles on the door wood) at the Huffmans' north Belsano farm and she had bought more candy to give away than ever before. About half of it was still waiting on the stand next to the door. She was a little saddened by the ending of the special evening. Her own children were all grown and moved away at jobs and school, there were no grandchildren as yet to entertain at Halloween...she missed those days, those years. But the party the night before at the church had been fun. She hadn't laughed so much in months, but she regretted that Ezekial had refused to go along, knowing he would have enjoyed it, too. It wasn't easy getting him to socialize, much less do anything at church.

Turning the light off widened the view of the night world outside. The moon was shining between clouds but they seemed to be alive and moving quickly. The trees were swaying widely in heavy wind, and to the west, above Strongstown, Ethel saw what looked like a cauldron of clouds boiling and churning with a dark trail reaching toward the ground.

"It looks like a storm is blowing in," she said. No sooner had she spoken than the light in the kitchen went out.

"Power's out," Zeke said, clicking the livingroom light switch a couple of times with no result. Ethel pulled a candle and matches from the top buffet drawer and lit the taper. Without saying more, the pair trudged up the stairs to bed. The house creaked in the wind and the chimney howled. Hearing what sounded like limbs breaking off nearby trees, Ethel scootched up next to Zeke in bed and tried to fall asleep.

A bigger cracking noise suddenly started but didn't quickly stop as the others had. Squinting to see if she could make out anything through the bedroom windows, Ethel was suddenly aware of the roof of the house and the ceiling of their bedroom exploding and vanishing. Before she could clutch onto Zeke their bed was airborne. She started screaming "Lord, have mercy!" but thought she and the Lord were the only ones who could hear the screams over the louder screams of the wind and the funnel of debris it was moving through space. She thought she caught a glimpse of the nearest neighbor's house as they zoomed over it, wondering why it still seemed to be intact and unaffected.

It wasn't more than half a minute until the bed with Ethel still clutching on stopped moving. Only a second was needed to realize she was alive and not feeling pain. The next second confirmed that the wind had stopped. There might be a strange "whirrr" in the distance, but here—wherever "here" might be—there was a serene stillness. Zeke! What happened to Zeke, she frantically wondered, beginning to clutch to the bedclothes and everything under her. Zeke was still there, still breathing. Then he gasped and said, "You there, Ethel?"

They leaned up on their elbows to scan their situation. After a cloud skittered away from the moon they saw marble. Tombstones! There was one less than two feet from their heads! They were in the Adams family's graveyard!

Ethel gasped and started to sob. After a minute, the sobs became a soft bawling cry.

"Ethel, are you hurt?" Zeke asked. "Or are you just scared?" After a couple of audible gulps, she snuffed down her crying.

"No, Zeke," she sighed. "I just realized this is the first time in 25 years we've been out anywhere together!"

óBy Jon Kennedy
from a storyline by Judy Rose

Thought for today

There's a divinity that shapes our ends
Rough-hew them how we will.

Hamlet, Act V, Scene II; (Shakespeare)
—Sent by Clifton D. Healy

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