Small Works is brought to you today by the letter "S" . . . and by the number One.

Welcome, Friends! Come in to my very sincere pumpkin patch. Today it's my blog Halloween party! I'm glad you could come. First, let's have a story:

Mac will do exactly what I would do . . .

Because I am really such a scaredy-cat. That's why the letter S: S for Scared.
But why the number one, you ask?

Because one is the loneliest number. (Now I hope I haven't put that song into your head, because I want you to get in a scary and lonely mood for the next Halloween story . . .)


I grew up in a very big house. Seriously. I don't have a picture handy, but if I did you would say, "Wow. That's a big house. I wouldn't want to be in that house alone in the dark."

You would be correct to think that.

Here's a picture of me in my parents' bedroom, and I think it captures quite well how I felt living in that big big house.

Do I look like a tiny little scaredy-cat in a great big room? Because that's what I was, for almost my entire childhood.

(For the record, I must admit that it was also an incredibly cool and wonderful house, but this is a spooky blog story . . . we'll have that story another day.)

Raise your hand if your house had a suit of armor in the dining room -- because mine did. It also had funny names for the rooms (it was the kind of house where you would give the rooms names, like "the receiving area", "the music room" or "the butler's pantry." It was a little like growing up on a "Clue" board, except instead of Professor Plum we had Professor Harold Hill.)

One of the places in the house was "The Long Dark Hall."

The "LDH" was indeed long, with a dark wood floor and two iron gates at either end. There were floor-length red velvet drapes hanging on sets of french doors all the way down one side. There were two medieval-looking chairs against the wall on the other side.

And there were ghostly footsteps in the hall when I would lay in bed at night. I think the steam in the pipes made them, but they sounded exactly like slow and deliberate steps made by a ghost in black heeled boots. When I had to pass the yawning entrance to the LDH at night, (which I did have to in order to go upstairs), I would of course run. And I think my face looked like Mac's face.

So in honor of Halloween, I thought we could venture down the long dark hall together and have some spooky fun. I bet it isn't as scary as I thought it was.

First, let's have some spooky organ music.

That's the Long Dark Hall
(now imagine some iron gates . . . scary, huh?!)

Let's tiptoe together.

I wonder what we'll find?

Here's a door -- let's open it . . . .

cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

EEEKKK!!! I knew it! That's the kind of thing I always knew lived here!
That's it -- I'm running . . . .

Here's another door.
Should I open it?

cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

I expected scary but I didn't expect the rack.

Still running . . .

Next door . . . cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

Should we go on?

Okay, just one more door . . .

cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .


This is much scarier than I intended. Enough film noir . . . black and white films are always scarier than color films. Let's change film before we open the next door . . .

cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

A nightmare of being chased by Man-Eating Fish?
By an artist I really admire?

This is getting better.

I think we should continue. . .

cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

Whew!!! It's just Leaf-Man.

(I don't know what Li'l Russ has to look so grumpy about. I think his mom did a fantastic job bringing his vision to life. Speaking of which, I used to be very sad and jealous because I only got store-bought Halloween costumes. I felt like my mom didn't care enough to make me cool costumes like Leaf-Man. But I was recently talking to a friend who told me they always felt sad and jealous because their mom didn't care enough to get them store-bought costumes. There's a Halloween moral there somewhere . . .)

But shhhh! I hear talking . . . .

cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

Oh good!

It's just three adorable little trick-or-treaters, Li'l Russ, Dave and Big John, the cousins from next door. They must have been told to either look tough or to look like the sixth grade bullies just stole their candy.
(Li'l Russ, you are a darling scarecrow but didn't you ever smile on Halloween?)

Now I'm feeling much more relaxed. We're almost to the end of the hall, and the gates are open so we won't be trapped here.

Another door . . . cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

Now here's a happy memory! I'm sure Lindsay's must be the one in the middle and Chelsea's must be the one on the left. Judging by the tablecloth, Hannah was too young so Russ must have carved the one on the right for her.

Alas, no little pumpkins in my house this year! Our first empty-nest Halloween. (Maybe we'll go out to dinner.)

Well, now I'm pretty out of breath. We're at the end of the LDH.

All I see is the HALLOWEEN VAULT.
Should we open it?

It looks a little scary . . . . cccrrreeeaaakkk . . .

Whew! It's only full of Susan's old artwork:

And Li'l Russ yelling . . .


Happy Halloween!


Amanda and Christopher said...


april said...

happy halloween indeed! i especially loved seeing all the pics of l'il russ. someday you'll have to tell more about the house you grew up in; i had no idea about all that.

Jake and Chelsea said...

actually, mine was the one in the middle, lindsay's was the one on the left. i remember my kindergarten teacher made moon eyes on a pumpkin and i thought it was the coolest thing in the world. they reminded me of that little wooden moon with the wire hanger than always hung in my room, and that was not so scary. some things, like being a scaredy-cat, are genetic. just ask lindsay about the one time she and moe took me to a haunted house...

Amelia and Justin said...

I know that when my mom was reading this post she was raising her hand at work.

Very fun. I definitely enjoyed it.

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