Love and Monsters!

Perfect for Halloween, because Halloween is all about monsters, and I love Halloween.

Halloween for my family is a long-anticipated yearly event. Only Christmas is more anticipatedand just barely.

Each year we fry donuts. Dozens of donuts. Nearly 200 last year. Half the neighborhood hangs out at our house Halloween night. No wonder, eh? No, you can’t have my address.

Our childreneven at 25, 23, and 18begin planning costumes, decorations, and pumpkin carving patterns months before. Pinterest has been on fire!

Last year the pumpkin theme was literary horror storiesPoe, Shelley, Stoker. This year it’s horror films. My son, 23, has been assigned The Creature From the Black Lagoon. The German silent classic, Nosferatu, is on the list as well. My job is to shop for a pumpkin tall enough to handle the high-haired do of the Bride of Frankenstein. A trip to our local farmer’s market is on the calendar.

All day we work side by side, my husband and I. We make our traditional dinner of Sloppy Joes with potato chips, make a big pot of warm spiced cider, roast pumpkin seeds, fry donuts until we’re covered in grease splatters and droplets of glaze. Our costumes are kitchen aprons.

But the day isn’t about costumes. It’s not about pumpkins or Sloppy Joes, or even the donuts. It’s about family, and it’s about love. Black and orange hearts.

As for this month’s stories, they are four of the most memorable stories I’ve read this year. They are pumpkin-plump with all the feels.

Happy reading, and Happy Halloween!