25934. “A woman I didn’t recognize tapped my arm. She was elderly, but still stood tall, her dark eyes bright with sadness. She wore a black brocade gown edged with red. She held out a bouquet of red carnations and white narcissus. She stepped forward and placed the flowers on Bartolomeo’s headstone, then stepped back and slipped into the crowd so fast I could not see where she went. I stared down at the flowers. Narcissus was a common spring flower at funerals, but red carnations meant only love, deep abiding love. I had never seen her before. Who was she?” ― Crystal King, The Chef’s Secret
25911. “People think blood red, but blood don’t got no colour. Not when blood wash the floor she lying on as she scream for that son of a bitch to come, the lone baby of 1785. Not when the baby wash in crimson and squealing like it just depart heaven to come to hell, another place of red. Not when the midwife know that the mother shed too much blood, and she who don’t reach fourteen birthday yet speak curse ‘pon the chile and the papa, and then she drop down dead like old horse. Not when blood spurt from the skin, on spring from the axe, the cat-o’-nine, the whip, the cane and the blackjack and every day in slave life is a day that colour red. It soon come to pass when red no different from white or blue or black or nothing. Two black legs spread wide and mother mouth screaming. A black baby wiggling in blood on the floor with skin darker than midnight but the greenest eyes anybody ever done seen. I goin’ call her Lilith. You can call her what they call her.” ― Marlon James, The Book of Night Women
25894. “He would have told her – he would have said, it matters not if you are here or there, for I see you before me every moment. I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart. You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping. You are – you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath.” ― Juliet Marillier, Daughter of the Forest
25891. “At Bealltainn, or May Day, every effort was made to scare away the fairies, who were particularly dreaded at this season. In the West Highlands charms were used to avert their influence. In the Isle of Man the gorse was set alight to keep them at a distance. In some parts of Ireland the house was sprinkled with holy water to ward off fairy influence. These are only a mere handful out of the large number of references available, but they seem to me to reveal an effort to avoid the attentions of discredited deities on occasions of festival once sacred to them. The gods duly return at the appointed season, but instead of being received with adoration, they are rebuffed by the descendants of their former worshippers, who have embraced a faith which regards them as demons. In like manner the fairies in Ireland were chased away from the midsummer bonfires by casting fire at them. At the first approach of summer, the fairy folk of Scotland were wont to hold a “Rade,” or ceremonial ride on horseback, when they were liable to tread down the growing grain.” ― Lewis Spence, British Fairy Origins
25889. “Please, please, help me grow to be like them, the ones’ll soon be here, who never grow old, can’t die, that’s what they say, can’t die, no matter what, or maybe they died a long time ago but Cecy calls, and Mother and Father call, and Grandmere who only whispers, and now they’re coming and I’m nothing, not like them who pass through walls and live in trees or live underneath until seventeen-year rains flood them up and out, and the ones who run in packs, let me be the one! If they live forever, why not me?” ― Ray Bradbury
25887. “I should add, however, that, particularly on the occasion of Samhain, bonfires were lit with the express intention of scaring away the demonic forces of winter, and we know that, at Bealltainn in Scotland, offerings of baked custard were made within the last hundred and seventy years to the eponymous spirits of wild animals which were particularly prone to prey upon the flocks – the eagle, the crow, and the fox, among others. Indeed, at these seasons all supernatural beings were held in peculiar dread. It seems by no means improbable that these circumstances reveal conditions arising out of a later solar pagan worship in respect of which the cult of fairy was relatively greatly more ancient, and perhaps held to be somewhat inimical.” ― Lewis Spence, British Fairy Origins
25885. “Harvey wasn’t interested in the clothes, it was the masks that mesmerized him. They were like snowflakes: no two alike. Some were made of wood and of plastic; some of straw and cloth and papier-mâché. Some were as bright as parrots, others as pale as parchment. Some were so grotesque he was certain they’d been carved by crazy people; others so perfect they looked like the death masks of angels. There were masks of clowns and foxes, masks like skulls decorated with real teeth, and one with carved flames instead of hair.” ― Clive Barker, The Thief of Always
25884. “Nobody moved. Everybody sat in the dark cellar, suspended in the suddenly frozen task of this October game; the wind blew outside, banging the house, the smell of pumpkins and apples filled the room with smell of the objects in their fingers while one boy cried, “I’ll go upstairs and look!” and he ran upstairs hopefully and out around the house, four times around the house, calling, “Marion, Marion, Marion!” over and over and at last coming slowly down the stairs into the waiting breathing cellar and saying to the darkness, “I can’t find her.” Then… some idiot turned on the lights. (“The October Game”)” ― Ray Bradbury, Long After Midnight
25883. “Dear ignoramuses, Halloween is not ‘a yankee holiday’ celebrated only by gigantic toddlers wearing baseball caps back to front and spraying ‘automobiles’ with eggs. This is ignorance. Halloween is an ancient druidic holiday, one the Celtic peoples have celebrated for millennia. It is the crack between the last golden rays of summer and the dark of winter; the delicately balanced tweak of the year before it is given over entirely to the dark; a time for the souls of the departed to squint, to peek and perhaps to travel through the gap. What could be more thrilling and worthy of celebration than that? It is a time to celebrate sweet bounty, as the harvest is brought in. It is a time of excitement and pleasure for children before the dark sets in. We should all celebrate that. Pinatas on the other hand are heathen monstrosities and have no place in a civilised society.” ― Jenny Colgan, Welcome To Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop Of Dreams
25880. “We were in such good moods, we even decided to hit Todd’s house for candy. Sam rang the doorbell, and when it opened, this hideous, rubber monster face roared at us. Sam screamed. Todd started laughing and took off the mask. I yelled, “Put it back on! Put it back on! Your hideousness is terrifying!” Todd did a fake yuk-yuk-yuk at my joke. “What are you guys supposed to be? Is it Prom Night Massacre or something?” Sam sighed at Todd’s obvious stupidity. “We’re zombie princesses, Todd. Can’t you tell?” She stuck her arms straight out in front of her and said, “BRAINS! BRAINS!” I patted Sam on the head and said, “Sorry, Sam. You’re wasting your time with this one.” ― Kristin Walker, A Match Made in High School
25878. “He had never liked October. Ever since he had first lay in the autumn leaves before his grandmother’s house many years ago and heard the wind and saw the empty trees. It had made him cry, without a reason. And a little of that sadness returned each year to him. It always went away with spring. But, it was a little different tonight. There was a feeling of autumn coming to last a million years. There would be no spring. (“The October Game”)” ― Ray Bradbury, Long After Midnight
25876. “The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats. Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows’ Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.” ― Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree
25873. “For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth….Such are the autumn people.” ― Ray Bradbury
25871. “I think if human beings had genuine courage, they’d wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween. Wouldn’t life be more interesting that way? And now that I think about it, why the heck don’t they? Who made the rule that everybody has to dress like sheep 364 days of the year? Think of all the people you’d meet if they were in costume every day. People would be so much easier to talk to – like talking to dogs. ” ― Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief
25868. “The fruit alone inspired him. In the heat of summer there were mirabelles from Alsace: small and golden cherries, speckled with red. And Reine Claude from Moissac, sweet thin-skinned plums the color of lettuce touched with gold. In August, green hazelnuts and then green walnuts, delicate, milky and fresh. And of course, for just a moment in early fall, pêches de vigne, a rare subtle peach so remarkable that a shipment was often priced at a year’s wages. And right before winter, Chasselas de Moissac grapes: small, pearlescent, and so graceful that they grow in Baroque clusters, as if part of a Caravaggio still life.” ― N.M. Kelby, White Truffles in Winter
25850. “Several minutes later, Tomiko met me at the top of the stairs in her wedding kimono. She was totally transformed. Out of her blue jeans, loose shirt, and bulky sweater, she radiated femininity. The kimono elongated her torso and created a smooth cylinder from neck to toe, the hallmark of a beautiful Japanese figure. A striking navy obi with red, yellow, white, and turquoise chrysanthemums hugged her waist. A flirtatious cream collar peeked out from under the pale peach robe. The sleeves were just high enough to expose a sensual swatch of skin above her wrist. When she moved her arm, the inner fold revealed an erotic flash of scarlet and white silk.” ― Victoria Abbott Riccardi, Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto