Halloween once more. Angela checked out the decorations one more time to make sure it all looked as she wanted. She gave a little dance around the room, her long dress swirling in the air. How she loved Halloween! The colors, the fun! She looked forward to this day every year!
She stopped her twirling in the middle of the room. She glanced over the long table that was set for the feast. It was her tradition to give a feast first, where her guests could eat and share stories and laughter. Then they would have dancing and drinks to cool them off from it all. The table was set perfectly, as always. The candles were lit and flickered merrily away. The food was looking good enough to be in one of those glossy magazines . The smells wafting upwards were tantalizing. Soon her guests would be coming in to sit at the table and eat, drink and laugh or shudder at the stories being told around the long table.
Angela had been having these Halloween parties for, well forever! It was by far her favorite holiday. On this day she could be herself and have all her friends over for lots of fun. She was always sorry when it had to end. She wished this day would come more than once a year. She gave herself a little shake, and decided today was not a day to be sad. She would be happy with what she had tonight!
She glanced at the large grandfather clock set against one wall and saw it was one minute to midnight. One minute left before her guests arrived! She gave another twirl around the room and then opened the double doors of the room so her guests could drift in and seat themselves at the feast table.
The hundreds of candles danced in the slight breeze as the guests began to arrive exactly as the grandfather clock began to chime 12 times. At each dong another guest made their entrance into the great dining hall. Angela greeted each one with a curtsy and a small kiss on the cheek. She loved her guests like family.
They got together every year at Halloween. The guest list rarely changed except to add one or two new guests every now and then. Angela loved to have her guests come and enjoy themselves once a year. She sat at the head of the table and smiled . She picked up a small spoon and rapped it gently on her wine glass. Ting, ting, ting. The room became quiet as each guest turned their heads towards the hostess.
“Welcome everyone! I’m so glad to have each and every one of you here again for my party!” Angela said.
There was a collective of “I’m glad as always to be here” said from the guests around the table.
“I do hope you all have a wonderful time. And please feel free as always to share some of your great stories with us. We never tire of hearing them.” With that, she nodded her head at her guests and smiled.
Angela watched as her guests helped themselves to the feast. Soon she knew from past parties that each guest would take their turn in telling a story and entertaining them all. She looked at each of her guests and smiled to herself. She had to admit, she gave great parties.
First, there was Bram Stoker on her immediate left. She loved the story of Dracula which he wrote. Such visuals, it gave her chills each time she heard it. Then her next guest, Robert Louis Stevenson. Ah, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a story with a twist. She shuddered with delight. Then on Angela’s other side, H.P. Lovecraft, a gifted storyteller. The Dunwich Horror a true classic. Then down the table she spotted a newer guest, Ira Levin, his story Rosemary’s Baby always sent chills down her spine.
Next to Ira, was the newest member of the guest list, Ray Bradbury a truly gifted writer. His story Something Wicked This Way Comes was a new favorite of hers. Then she glanced at Shirley Jackson, one of the few women guests, but none the less a great writer, her The Haunting of Hill House was a story worth reading. Algernon Blackwood she noticed was telling a great short story to Shirley. He did love his short stories, they were a bit strange, but then her guests enjoyed them and so did she. His collection gathered in ‘The Willows” was a favorite of many of her guests, also of hers.
Further down the table, she spotted Arthur Conan Doyle, Angela had read all of his mystery novels and short stories. Mr. Doyles’ ,The Hound of the Baskervilles is still one of her favorite books. Another author that Angela loved was talking to Dashiell Hammett, author of ‘The Thin Man” series. Agatha Christie seemed to be enjoying her conversation with Mr. Hammett, Angela thought. Ms. Christie was a dignified woman whom Angela always enjoyed reading. Her story Murder on the Orient Express always pleases.
Another favorite guest was Raymond Chandler, he always was delighted when asked to share snippets of his book Farewell, My Lovely, with other guests. She heard a tinkling laugh from her guest Daphne du Maurier. Such a beautiful woman and very talented also. Her novel ‘Rebecca’ will always be a riveting story.
Angela sighed with happiness. Her annual Halloween party was always the highlight of the year. So much talent in one room. All the guests enjoying each other and sharing bits and pieces of their famous works of literature. This has always been the most favorite day of the year for Angela and her guests.
Next year possibly another guest would be added to the list. Angela would have to wait and see. Soon this night would be over and once again the party would fade, including herself and her guests. But they would rejoin next year for a few short hours when the veil of living and dead grew thin. They would have their party and their conversations. They would laugh and dance once more.