A Halloween Well Spent

Halloween is my favorite holiday of all, and I have been preparing all month for it. From the treats and movies to the pumpkin patches and ghost tours, and carving pumpkins I have been trying to soak in all that this spooky month has to offer.

I have my traditions that I do every Halloween, and this Halloween I have also had a couple of new experiences. Every October I make my way through my core list of non-negotiable movies: “Halloweentown”, “Hocus Pocus”, “Practical Magic”, the “Halloween” movies, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.” “Halloweentown” can be found on Amazon, “Hocus Pocus” plays just about every night on Freeform, “Practical Magic” is on HBO GO, and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is constantly being shown on Freeform also. AMC plays repeats of Halloween, “Jeepers Creepers”, and “Nightmare on Elm Street” as well. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is shown sparingly on local channels, but I also found it on YouTube.

This year, I have seen all of my non-negotiable movies (a couple of times each), and I was also able to go see the new “Halloween” movie that was recently released. This year is the 40th anniversary of the original “Halloween” movie, and I thought the new one was very well done. It even had some funny quirks relating it to the original. I have also been watching “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix. This is a sort of remake of everyone’s favorite witch show, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” There are a lot of similarities to Sabrina, but the new adaptation is much darker and not as generally happy as the older show. The new one is scarier and more violent, and the premise of the show is completely different. The new Sabrina does look strikingly like Melissa Joan Hart though.

Not only is this the 40th anniversary of “Halloween”, it is also the 25th anniversary of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Hocus Pocus”! 1978 and 1993 were very good years for Halloween movies. Hopefully, if you’re like me and these are three of your favorite movies, you’ve had time to watch them this month.

We also went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year! It was absolutely adorable, and I loved getting to go through Magic Kingdom dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. The decorations were obviously incredible and we left with a ridiculous amount of candy.

I am currently baking my favorite cookies (Halloween Pillsbury Holiday Cookies), with a fall candle going, while continuing to watch “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” I just so happen to be planning to dress up as a witch tomorrow.

Tomorrow night we are planning a movie fest, and hopefully some Trick or Treaters will stop by. I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow and of course, Happy Halloween!

 

 

Finally October

I live in the South where the first day of October does not mean cold weather and beautiful rust and yellow leaves falling. It is normally not chilly even at night. If I were to cuddle in a blanket on my porch right now, I would be sweating and uncomfortable.

But October is still my favorite month for many reasons. I can still dream of the leaves changing colors and the colder weather, even if that won’t happen for at least another month. October 1st is my amazing mom’s birthday, and it has always been fitting to me that my favorite person was born the first day of my favorite month. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I can now have my Halloween decorations out without being completely judged.

October has always signified the start of something for me instead of the end of summer. It’s the start of the season of celebration, holidays that revolve around family (yes, even Halloween) and a time to lose yourself in the distraction of it all. I love decorating and embracing the new colors of each season.

Fall and Halloween is also the only time of year that buying a vegetable puts me in a good mood. Pumpkins are to me what roses are to other women. They brighten up a room and a doorway in my eyes.

Clemson football being in full gear, Halloween movies, fall spices, baking, and candles are just a few of my favorite things about this month, and I spend the rest of my year trying to recreate the feeling these different activities give me.

I know this month won’t last long (it never does), but I plan to enjoy it to the fullest.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

What I’m Reading Right Now

Hi friends!

I am having a little bit of writers’ block for my blog, also known as “blogger’s block”. So, I thought it could be fun to see what everyone has on their reading lists right now!

Currently, I am reading Carrot Cake Murder- A Hannah Swensen Mystery- by JoAnne Fluke. She’s a favorite murder mystery writer of mine. Her reads are easy and fun. I’ve been reading her books for probably thirteen or fourteen years, and I have always enjoyed them.

We are going to be driving to Nashville next weekend, and it’s about a nine hour drive. So, by pure necessity since most of our trip will be while it’s dark, I have the first book from the Nocturne Falls series queued up on my Kindle App on my phone. The first book is titled: The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride. This book series was recommended to me by a follower. It reminded me a lot of the Disney movie Halloweentown (that I was OBSESSED with as a kid…and still am), so I was excited to hear about these books. They seem like a light, easy read also, so perfect for a long road trip.

My book is…umm coming along….sort of. It’s so easy to get sidetracked from writing, so I really need to take the time this weekend to sit down and write some more.

Happy Thursday 🙂

 

Just Another Maniac Monday

If you ask my family and friends, they will be the first to tell you that if my television is on, it is likely on the I.D. Channel (Investigation Discovery). I have always loved watching any show dealing with crime, murder, mystery, etc. When I was younger, my mom introduced me to mystery books, and as I got older, Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew turned into Agatha Christie and Lois Duncan.

I am fascinated by serial killers, and I am keenly aware of how odd it is to write that. In another life I would be a profiler for the FBI on serial killers. The closest I ever came to that was taking a “Psychiatry and the Law” class in law school. My paper for the class included several different serial killers and the legalities of their cases- from the things that were missed throughout their lives to their actual trials and sentences.

Honestly, they are all terrifying. You don’t get lumped into the category of serial killers without being scary. In terms of which serial killer scares me the most though, I would without hesitation say John Wayne Gacy. The man dressed like a clown for parties and charity events, and ended up killing around thirty-three young men. Have you ever seen anything more terrifying?

“The Killer Clown”

john-wayne-gacy

No, you have not. He is the real life version of Pennywise, and just from writing this post I will likely have a nightmare about him tonight.

For me the scariest part about serial killers is their otherwise normal existence. Most of them lead normal lives with families and jobs. No one is ever the wiser about their real personalities, until they are. Often, the scariest monsters are the ones who look just like us.

Hopefully your Monday is less horrific than “The Killer Clown”!

 

 

Carrie’s Cup- Final Chapter

Carrie tried to muffle out a scream for help, but she knew it was useless. It was getting dark and people would be arriving for the play soon. It was so cold and she was only wearing a thin sweater. Her hands were ice and the only thing keeping her teeth from shaking was the cloth Donovan had so generously shoved into her mouth. She looked around for anything that could cut the rope around her. She saw some garden shears, but she couldn’t exactly pick those up and use them, so she kept looking.

The rope was not very thick and Carrie knew if she could just find anything sharp that she could back up to, she could possibly cut it off. She could stand, but she was tied to a chair and the door was shut, so she knew her only way out was to free her arms. She scooted her chair closer to the edge of a metal table and tried to use the corner to saw through the rope.

“How could Donovan have done this?” mused Carrie.

Carrie blamed herself. If she hadn’t hired Mary-Anne, Donovan never would have had the opportunity to be near her. She knew there was not anything she could do to help Mary-Anne at this point, other than to stop Donovan from getting away with this.

She kept sawing at the rope until one popped. She moved on to the other one and she prayed by the time she got it undone, Donovan wouldn’t have already left town.

After what felt like another hour, Carrie finally got the second rope undone. She ripped the ropes off, pulled out the cloth from her mouth, and tore across the greenhouse only to find that the door was blocked by something.

“Wonderful! Someone please help me!” screamed Carrie. She kicked and screamed on the door until tears were streaming down her face and her voice was growing raspy.

Suddenly she could hear someone coming. She backed away from the door and grabbed the garden shears she had seen earlier in case it was Donovan coming back to check on her.

It wasn’t Donovan.

“Beatrice!” exclaimed Carrie. She had never been so excited to see that woman, or anyone for that matter, in her life. “Thank God you’re here. How did you find me?”

“Carrie,” cried Beatrice, “why are you in here? What is going on? When you weren’t there for final alterations and curtain call, I went looking for you. Donovan said he thought you had just run back to the coffee shop, but I knew something was off.”

“He’s still here? Listen Beatrice, Donovan put me in this shed. He is the one who killed Mary-Anne. I figured it out, or I was about to, and he confronted me when I got to the school earlier today. We have to go right now.”

Beatrice looked pale, but she nodded her head and they ran towards the school.

“Beatrice, go inside and find a phone and call the police department. Ask for Detective Johnson- tell him to meet us here and not to make a big scene.”

Beatrice nodded and followed it with “Wait where are you going Carrie, why aren’t you coming in to wait on him?”

“I have something I need to grab while I still can from Donovan’s house. If he’s in there, and does not know I’m out of the shed, this is the best time to do it” said Carrie, and she took off down the sidewalk.

Donovan lived close to the school, so Carrie hurried towards his house. When she got there, she ran around the back and grabbed a key from under the stone frog beside his door. She let herself in, and gasped at how the heat felt on her face. She looked around. She knew his laptop had to be here; she just needed to find it. She wouldn’t need any more proof than that to hand Detective Johnson.

She grabbed a coat out of his hall closet to try to stop her bones from shaking, and she made her way into his bedroom. The laptop wasn’t there. She was walking out of the room when she saw it on the master bathroom counter out of the corner of her eye.

Carrie snatched the laptop up and ran out of the house as fast as she could back to the elementary school.

As she opened the double doors, she was met by Beatrice and a confused Detective Johnson and ushered into a side room.

“Beatrice, go make sure he stays where he is until I can talk to Carrie and figure this out,” ordered Detective Johnson. Beatrice left the room, closing the door behind her.

“Tell me what happened Carrie. Beatrice was a mess and I only got half of what I assume is the story.”

“Donovan killed Mary-Anne,” said Carrie flatly.

She explained how she found the mug handle, how Waffle had gone missing, how she had gone through Mary Anne’s Facebook and figured out she was talking to someone. Then, she explained the connection of Donovan and Connor’s name, and how he confronted her and tied her up inside the greenhouse.

“So, you left to go to his house to get his laptop so he wouldn’t be able to destroy it?” asked Detective Johnson.

“Exactly” smiled Carrie.

Detective Johnson opened the laptop and looked through the messages. Turning a shade of red, he closed it and stood up.

“Carrie, you did really good with this. I’m going to go get him now.”

Carrie nodded her head and followed him out of the room. No way was she going to pass up the opportunity for Donovan to see her.

His reaction did not disappoint. He pitched a fit in front of everyone standing in the lobby of the auditorium. As Detective Johnson put handcuffs on him, Carrie smiled and waved at the frowning face of the man she once considered her closest friend in town.

Guess she would have to find someone new to have coffee with every morning.

 

 

Carrie’s Cup- Chapter 6

Donovan was waiting on Carrie when she got to work the next morning.

“Sorry I didn’t call back. I fell asleep early last night…wasn’t feeling well,” said Donovan.

“Aw I’m sorry you weren’t feeling well. Come on, it’s cold out here. Let’s get some coffee,” Carrie said.

They walked into the shop, and Carrie made a pot of coffee. She poured two mugs, and sat one down for Donovan on the table and took the chair across from him. She told him about the night before, and Donovan sat and listened quietly. She told him about Waffle being missing and the coffee cup handle. She told him more about Connor and Noel mentioning that no one in Mary-Anne’s life had met him.

“I think it’s weird,” mused Carrie. “Don’t you think it’s weird? No one knows him, no pictures of them together. Do you think it’s a fake profile?”

Donovan nodded, but he was quiet. Carrie figured he just still did not feel great from the previous night. He had a second cup of coffee and then was off to work.

The Thanksgiving play was that night. With everything that had been going on, it hadn’t been at the front of her thoughts, but she only had one small part of a Pilgrim costume left to finish.

Carrie closed the shop early at 4:30 so she could get to the school to finish the costume. No one was there yet; the play wasn’t until 7 p.m. so she didn’t expect anyone to be there until around 6 p.m. Carrie preferred it that way- fewer distractions. She got out of her truck and hurried inside. It wasn’t even dark yet, but the temperatures were dropping quickly.

Carrie sat down at the sewing machine, and fixed the hemline on the Pilgrim skirt she was working on. It didn’t take her long, so when she finished it, she pulled out her laptop.

Carrie googled Donovan’s name, and a few different things popped up. Donovan had grown up in Ristretto, and some local news articles about him popped up, including a list of graduates from the year Donovan graduated high school: “Donovan Connor Landry.”

Carrie stared at the name. “His middle name is Connor?” she questioned.

Is it a coincidence? Since she spoke with Donovan earlier, all she could think about was how out of character he seemed. She was just starting to wonder if she needed to call and speak to Detective Johnson when she heard a footstep.

Carrie felt a hand touch her left shoulder, and she jumped slamming her laptop closed.

She turned around and Donovan was standing behind her.

“What did you find Carrie?” Donovan asked.

“Wha…wha…do you mean?” Carrie stuttered.

“Why did you save that handle Carrie?” asked Donovan. “Why couldn’t you have just let the Detectives do their jobs? They wouldn’t have found out, but at least you wouldn’t be in this situation now.”

Carrie turned white. “I don’t know anything though. What are you talking about?”

“Don’t play dumb with me Carrie. You’ve been digging around asking questions, looking for answers that you don’t need. I loved Mary-Anne.”

Carrie gripped the arm of her chair, as Donovan started laughing. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t want to interrupt him.

“She’s the one that suggested we meet at C4. It was her idea. We’ve been talking for months, and I told her I’d “fly in” to meet her. She didn’t want her mom to know she was meeting someone off the internet so she wanted to meet at the shop instead. She got there and didn’t seem happy to see me. I tried to explain that it didn’t matter that I was older, that she wouldn’t get in trouble. She tried to leave; she was upset. I grabbed her arm to stop her, but she started screaming. I couldn’t let her leave. I hit her in the head with the mug, and I dragged her into the back room. You know the rest,” Donovan sighed.

Carrie felt like she was going to be sick. “Did you break into my house?”

“Not exactly,” laughed Donovan. “You left your door unlocked and I snuck in before you got home. When you fell asleep, I let Waffle out and when you went to look for him, I found the mug handle.”

Carrie felt the room shift out of focus.

“Now what to do with you?” asked Donovan.

Carrie tried to get up and run, but before she could, Donovan pushed her down. He grabbed a rope from a supply box under the table and tied her arms. He rushed her out the back door of the school without her coat.

Donovan led her to a shed behind the school that the kids used in the spring for their garden. He tied her to a chair and put a piece of cloth in her mouth so she couldn’t scream out.

He left her there.

Carrie’s Cup- Chapter 5

Carrie poured herself a glass of Merlot that night and sat down on the couch with her laptop, Waffle, and her favorite fuzzy blanket. Carrie attempted to keep her mind occupied with online shopping, but her brain eventually shifted her back to Connor Dalton’s Facebook. She opened up his messenger to see if she could see how long it had been since he logged on; Connor had not been on Facebook for five days.

Carrie called Donovan. She hadn’t seen him in a couple of days, and she missed him. When Donovan didn’t answer, she left him a voicemail telling him about her suspicions about Connor, finding the mug handle, and what Noel had told her at the funeral.

She must have fallen asleep, because when she woke up, it was 2:44 a.m. and Waffle wasn’t on the couch with her anymore. She called out to him, but he didn’t come. She walked to the dining area, where Waffle’s bed was and saw that the porch door was open. Shivering, Carrie pulled the blanket around her shoulders, and hurriedly ran to the door.

“WAFFLE!” yelled Carrie. “Are you there boy?”

Nothing.

Carrie ran back into the house screaming for Waffle, but he never came out. She threw on her coat and her boots. She grabbed her keys and ran out the front door forgetting to lock it behind her.

Carrie drove around for hours looking for Waffle, and in tears she pulled into her driveway as the sun was rising. She dragged herself back in the front door, and when she opened it, there was Waffle stretched out on the sofa.

“Waffle!” squealed Carrie. “Where in the world have you been?”

As soon as Carrie got over the shock of Waffle being home, she looked around the living room. Someone had been in her living room… drawers were flung open, things were thrown across the floor. The wooden box was open. Carrie ran over to it, and horrified she saw that the handle was gone.

Waffle had been let out; she was sure of it. She just didn’t know how.

Carrie didn’t call the police. They’d think she had just dreamed all of it. What could she say “Someone stole a piece of evidence that I didn’t hand over to you”?

So, she made a pot of coffee and got ready to go into work.