Last night I saw.
I wrote earlier about the spookiest road I'd ever been down. That was the kind of scene that scares you through suspense alone, never jumping out at you but creeping up on you, and if nothing happens you're left to wonder what could have happened.
This was different. This was a waking nightmare.
So I'm walking home in the dark -- sounds like a perfect setting for a horror story already, doesn't it? -- and I'm enjoying the warm woolen cloak that I made, because if I flip the hood back I look medieval, and if I wear the hood I look like a dark shadowy ghost, or a penitent monk or something. It's dark green. Blends into the night real well.
And I'm walking down streets I know, but I decide to take a dogleg right down a street I haven't seen in the dark yet --
And I don't think about the fact that it's Halloween time, so there are scary decorations out. "Scary." Ha ha, yeah, a skeleton hanging in a tree, seen that one before, I'm not frightened by the decorations anymore. Blood on a sword, yawn. Guy in a coffin, been there. Severed hand, real original. Keep trying.
I usually see those decorations by daylight, or when I am out at night with people.
That night, I was alone. Not thinking about the decorations. Not really paying attention to the yards. Caring more about texting, and keeping an eye on my feet as I travelled. I was, in fact, the stereotypical Halloween Horror Story protagonist. Jaded about everything, unobservant, haughty, and suddenly a monster grabs them, and everyone else learns a valuable lesson or something.
So I'm walking down this road, alone, in the dark, and I look up from my usual posture. There's some noises up ahead. An orange light. People? A woman's voice. Oh, that's amusing, a guy on a swing, but who's to the right of --
Three witches around a cauldron, stirring and cackling and muttering. All three of them had glowing orange eyes. It took me half a second to realize this was a decoration, and even after that I was shivering in my shoes, because from this distance they looked just real enough to be real, but just fake enough to be monstrous. And they sounded pretty real. And at random moments the damn decoration HISSED at me.
It was hissing with steam, but I didn't realize that the first time. Meanwhile these biddies were still stirring the cauldon, and now and then saying things like lookie here my dearies, a child seeking candy, and I was beginning to wonder if they COULD see me, and if they were going to attack me after all. The fact that this was a decoration did not reduce my fear of it. I knew this thing was activated by a motion sensor. That didn't help.
I got a photo. I was only willing to stick around long enough for one. I can't say it's a good one, but you get the eyes at least.
A light over the garage turned on after I took the photo. I wondered if someone was looking out the windows and expecting me to leave. So I departed in haste, and only realized later that, to someone in the house who was looking out the window, seeing a hooded figure in a dark cloak come up to the light of your silly halloween decoration is probably scarier than anything you can see on October 31. Who is that? No, What is that?
You win this round, Halloween. I'm not as jaded as I thought.