KAREN: Gerald Costlow is a multi-published author of paranormal romances and he's here today to share a TRUE Halloween tale from his past. Beware: The tale is a stinkin' good treat!!
CONTEST: Gerald is offering a print (US only) or ebook copy (International) of the 2012 Fall/Paranormal Collection to one lucky commenter. Read on to find out all the details. CONTEST ENDS OCT. 9TH AT 12:01 AM PST. The winner will be announced in the comments of this post. Good luck!
The Night Someone Fell In.
by G. Costlow
The first thing you need to know, if you ain’t from the country, is that an outhouse is a small wood shack downwind of the main house, sitting over a hole in the ground, containing a bench and maybe a roll of paper. The bench has either a single butt-sized opening in it, or one adult and one child size opening. How deep the hole is varies according to the water table, how rocky the ground might be, or how much you’re willing to pay someone to dig another hole for you. It can get mighty odiferous inside a mature outhouse in the summer.
Eugene Crouse, being from the country, knew this.
The second thing you need to know, if you ain’t from the country, is that these privy holes get filled up eventually with the end product of fine country cooking. Once the contents of the hole reach a certain level, another hole will be dug and the outhouse dragged over to sit on top of the new privy hole. The old hole is filled in with dirt from the new hole. It’s because of this that outhouses are never attached to the ground, built light enough for a man to move with the help of a tractor and some rope, and a strong wind has been known to blow one over occasionally.
Eugene Crouse, having dug his share of privy holes, knew this.
The third thing you need to know, if you ain’t from the country, is that every Halloween a bunch of bored, high-spirited teenage boys will go around tipping over outhouses, a prank that is harmless enough unless you happen to be sitting inside one at the time the boys came by, and unless they tipped the outhouse so the door was on the ground. Like what happened to Mister Muggins last Halloween. It was an hour before Missus Muggins came out for her nightly sit-down and discovered his predicament.
Eugene Crouse, being one of the high-spirited boys involved, knew this.
So this year, Mister Muggins decided to get even by waiting until Halloween night, and then taking his tractor and some rope and moving his outhouse about six feet further from the house so the open privy hole and its odorous contents were exposed. He figured anyone stumbling around in the dark that night looking for his outhouse was in for a nasty surprise.
Eugene Crouse didn’t know this but it didn’t matter. He’d arranged to meet Darlene Smith in a hay loft that night because he’d discovered something better than tipping over outhouses.
It was unfortunate that Mister Muggins didn’t think to tell Missus Muggins what he done before she went out for her nightly sit-down.
GERALD: I'm excited to have my story, "Magic Words", included in Victory Tales Fall Anthology. This is my attempt to write a modern, updated "Princess and the Frog" type fairy tale. I also wanted to begin writing a series of stories that take a look at the descendents of the characters in my ongoing 1920's Appalachia series. Once the characters came to life on the page they took over the story and the ending even surprised me. That always happens with the really good ones.
CONTEST: I'll send a copy of the Fall anthology (choice of paper or ebook if in the USA, ebook if outside) to a commenter chosen at random. If they already have a copy of the anthology, I'll send them a copy of my first novel, "The Weaving". HOW TO ENTER: Answer the questions: Have you ever played a trick on someone? If you answered yes, tell us about it. Please make sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you should win. Thank you.
Felipe Caballero is a Spanish conquistador who found the fountain of youth when all others failed. He drank from it and became immortal...an immortal frog. Now Felipe is able to assume human form only on the anniversary of his transformation—All Hallows' Eve, now known as Halloween.
It's four hundred years later, it's Halloween, and Felipe has twenty-four hours to find a way to lift his curse. He meets Evelyn, a woman who might be able to help, but only if he can convince her he's not crazy and avoid complications that might delay his desperate quest.
Complications such as Evelyn falling in love with an immortal frog...
If you like this story, you might enjoy reading my other published tales, available in ebook and paper. You can find information on them by going to http://theweaving.blogspot.com/ I have a new novel coming out soon, published by Victory Tales, a supernatural romance titled "Crazy Jack" so watch for further announcements!