Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Spirit, Lickity Quick By Danita Cahill

Get into the Halloween Spirit, Lickity Quick  
By Danita Cahill 

It’s here all ready (where did summer go?), that creepiest eve of the year. Spook up some fun with these fast, simple Halloween ideas.
Add some boo to your computer with these free Halloween wallpaper downloads.  
Expecting young goblins tonight? Treat them to a haunted lollipop: Drill a couple dozen holes in a pumpkin. Cut paper towels into quarters; wrap the paper towel around lollipop heads in ghostly style. Tie in place with white thread. Dot on eyes and draw on mouths with a black marker and slip the sticks of the “ghosts” into the pumpkin holes. Idea courtesy of Parade magazine.
So you’ve dropped the kids off at a safe, community harvest party, or they are home from trick or treating and tucked soundly in bed. Now for some spooktacular game ideas for the adults: Check out this blog for fun ideas.
Or maybe the trick or treating wore you out and you just want to curl up with a scary book. Check out Mist by Danita Cahill, a brand-new thriller available on Amazon Kindle:
It’s Thanksgiving, but the Roseland community doesn’t feel particularly thankful. Not when citizens of their Oregon coastal town keep disappearing. Is it aliens? A serial killer? Or a pack of evil, red-eyed dogs? Detective Kevin McCoffey is determined to solve the case.

When young, widowed photographer, Dianne Harris and her infant daughter find themselves face to face with the killer, Kevin races to yank them to safety. But is he too late? With help from both the town’s fortuneteller and the ghost of Dianne’s dead grandmother, Kevin and Dianne battle their own demons and their shared past history as they rush to save Dianne’s baby from the killer’s grip.

To set up the following excerpt, the heroine Dianne Harris is trying to escape the jaws of a pack of red-eyed dogs by climbing with her baby daughter to the safety of her grandmother’s attic:

  The black dog’s neck and shoulders follows his head and then he plunges into the utility room. The hair on his face and chest is wet and shiny with fresh blood. The metallic scent mingles with the stench of rotten eggs.    
  I gag. It’s all I can do not to puke.
  The brown leaps and snaps at my ankles. The black snarls and leaps at the brown’s throat.
  They’re fighting over me. Over who wins the right to kill me.
  I have to get myself into the attic while they’re distracted. I pull up with everything I’ve got. The pressure in my face is intense with the effort. I grit my teeth and pull harder.
  The brown challenges the black. Then, apparently thinking better of it, he drops to all four paws and cowers. The black is still reigning leader. He jumps at me, knocking hard against the dryer. It sounds like a bongo drum. His teeth graze my leg before he drops.
  For a moment I think his teeth against my leg made the hollow drum sound, as though I am the tin woodman. My calf burns where his teeth raked my skin.
  The black gathers himself for another leap. Terror and fresh pain give me a new burst of strength. I flail-kick at the dog’s head. I kick and kick and pull until I can wedge my elbows into the opening.
  Megan lets loose with a new bout of screams. The noise works the dogs into a bigger frenzy. They try to leap onto the dryer. Their claws scrabble and slip against the metal. Their bodies twist in midair and fall back to the floor.
  I pull and squirm until my chest rests on the attic floor. It’s hard to catch my breath, but I’m almost there. If     
  I can just pull my legs up before one of the rabid beasts gets hold of them….
  The dogs pummel against the dryer again. Their bodies make a loud, tinny thud. One of them barks savagely. His sulfur breath blows up my pant leg. It burns, hot and acidic.
  I draw my legs the rest of the way up and inside the attic. Below, the dogs continue to jump and grapple against the dryer, trying to gain a foothold on the slippery surface but failing. I slide the wooden trap door in the attic floor back into place. The door muffles the sound of the dogs. I run my hands over Megan, making sure there are no spiders on her. I wrap an arm around her torso.
  My whole body quakes. 
  When my breath comes more even, my heart rate has settled, and my limbs stop trembling so hard, I tuck    
Megan under my left arm, tight against my body and start crawling. Around a stack of boxes and across the plywood sheets laying over the rafters. I could stand up in here if I stooped over, but I don’t think my wobbly legs would support me right now. I pull myself along with one elbow, pushing with my legs and feet toward the tiny, western facing window. 
  It seems to take forever to inch across the length of the attic but it’s like a magnet is sucking me through the layer of dust towards the only light source.
  The loud, tinny thumps in the laundry room slow. Quiet. Stop all together. Good. Maybe the dogs gave up.   
Maybe they’ll go away now.
  Don’t bet on it.
  Not to worry, Grandma. I’m not betting on anything today.
  By the time I’ve covered half the distance from the attic door to the window, Megan has stopped crying.   
  When I get out of this, I’ll know how to calm her down when she’s fussy – jam her under an arm and alligator crawl across the floor.
  When I get out of this? More like if I get out of this. How in the world am I going to get out of this?

Danita Cahill is a full-time writer and photographer. She lives on a small farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with her husband, two young sons and their animals – a horse, several cats and guinea pigs, a herd of nine alpacas and two dogs, who thankfully don’t have red eyes.

You can find Danita on Facebook (Danita Shattuck Cahill), see her photography here: read about miracles, visions and other amazing things, or check out her website


danita cahill said...

Thanks for asking me to guest today, Paty. Happy Halloween! My boys, four and six are dressing as pirates. What are everyone else's kids or grandkids dressing up as?

danita cahill said...

Glenda wrote on my Facebook link: "I read the excerpt. I could see a movie of this .... scary!"

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..