Hell's Halloween Gate, fiction by A.L. Paradiso at Spillwords.com
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Hell’s Halloween Gate

Hell’s Halloween Gate

written by: A.L. Paradiso



Normally, I like black cats. But this mangy, one-eyed, black nightmare with glowing eye, hissing at me, and sitting on a broken mirror under a ladder on All Hallows Eeev(il) is too much. Moonlight was all that lit the tight alley I was in. This shortcut to my car was a terrible idea and unusually dark for eight PM. When I turned into it, a gate slammed shut behind me and gave me no choice but to walk under the ladder and over the growling cat, as the return path was now blocked.

Though I offered him my yellow-orange candy corn, he ignored it and followed me with his pointy whiskers and devil teeth. I got by him safely, but he was still hissing and growling at something behind me. A human sized mist followed a foot behind me and the cat was locked on it. An icy chill seized my body when it reached out and touched me. Unable to move, I watched the black cat howl at the mist and attack it.

He pounced on it and ripped it apart with sharp claws and teeth, grabbing something that wasn’t there. As soon as the mist flew apart the aggressive black cat sat calmly, looking down the alley, then at me, he returned to guarding hell’s passage. I whispered my thanks and the cat blinked his eye and purred. Heart racing, I beat feet for home, happy and grateful for that cat.

Still nervous, I managed to get some early sleep. At midnight, I heard noises at my front door and something minor falling. When I investigated, I found the same black cat purring and pacing at my door. His calm convinced me to open the door and he walked in and claimed his territory. That was seven years ago. Charcoal is a loving, cuddly cat for three hundred sixty four days a year, yet still goes en guarde every Halloween and protects me.

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