tagErotic HorrorAll Horror's Eve

All Horror's Eve

byJenny_Jackson©

Note to Readers: Carrickfergus is a real village in Northern Ireland. It sits across the bay from Belfast. The ancient Celtic people celebrated the Festival of Samhain on October 31st.The belief was that the boundary between the living and dead became confused on that night. The holiday became All Saints Day in Europe then Halloween in more recent times. I've taken the liberty to blur the time line of the change in names of the holiday, placing the timing of the story somewhere in limbo. So, enjoy this twisted little tale from the mind a twisted lady and have a wonderful Halloween.

*

Garth walked down the three steps at the front of the meeting hall into the dark grey afternoon. The icy wind caught him as he moved down the dirt lane toward the center of the village. He pulled his leather cap down over his ears and held his woolen coat closed at the collar. Still the icy air cut though his homespun trousers making him shiver. The air came from far to the north, cooled by the ice, then blew south across the Irish Sea to strike land at Carrickfergus. This was a wind sent by the devil of the north to chill the soul of the Celtic folk.

"Blast this bloody wind. To hell with everything," he groaned as he marched steadfastly onward.

Soon enough he came to the center of the village and entered the inn. Inside the men sat sullenly waiting for his return. The women huddled in the corners in groups of two or three talking in quiet tones. The inn was dark except for a few sputtering tallow candles and the low burning fire in fireplace.

"Aye, Garth," came to the voice of the innkeeper from behind the old, stained and splintery bar. Garth could barely make out Donal Halloran, the innkeeper, in the gloomy, half-light.

"Ah, Donal," Garth replied.

"What's the news then, Garth? What did they say of the prophecy this year?"

All eyes turned toward Garth. The room became very still.

"Yes. The Council says, Aye. The Prophecy is true. They come this year. But who knows? Didn't they say that last year and the year before and the year before that?"

Maggie O'Connell, wife of Brian, stood at the back of the room. "If anyone knows it would be the Council, I'm sure, Garth."

The people mumbled in agreement, for they knew Maggie was old and wise, having lived longer than anyone in the village except maybe the head of the Council. Even this was disputed by some.

"Come now, Garth. Tell us what exactly did the Council say?" Innkeeper Donal went on.

"Ah. Fools that they are. They went on about ghosts and witches and walking dead. But whoever saw such?" Garth shot back.

There was another general murmur. "Walking Dead?" "Witches?" "Ghosts?" The men and women repeated these words in whispers with fear in their voices.

"And when did they say this would occur?" demanded Maggie O'Connell.

"You know very well, Maggie. Tonight's the night. You know that as well as you know the nose on your face," came Garth's irritated retort.

Again there was a general murmur in the room. "But tonight is the Festival of Samhain," Mattie McGuire objected.

"Aye so it is," Donal mused. "But then what do the English call it? What is it? All Saints Day isn't that right?"

"Yes. And in the colonies it's called All Hallow's Eve. The very words puts a chill in me bones," said Ian Denny, somewhat louder than he expected.

Garth moved closer to the great stone fireplace, still feeling the chill from the cold wind blowing off the Irish Sea.

"Why?" he wondered. "Why tonight. Annie, daughter of Hamden, had wished him well only this morning. Her laughing grin said more than her words, Garth was sure. It seemed so much better to be bundling the lovely Annie off to a warm bed for a little "in and out" and maybe a tickle and a snog as he had done many times before, rather than standing around here musing about this silliness. "A man needs a bit of a wench to keep him warm on a night like this." But it's early yet," he reminded himself with an inward smile.

With that thought on his mind, Garth turned back to the rustic bar. "Give me a short glass of your finest to warm me innards, Donal. Then I'll be on me way."

Innkeeper Donal brought a glass, poured whiskey from a bottle and set the glass upon the bar in front of Garth. Garth dropped a copper on the bar and, picking up the glass, downed the drink in a single gulp and slammed the glass back on the bar. "Ah, now I'll be off. I have business to attend too."

Turning toward the door Garth again thought of the lovely Annie and the pleasures between her thighs. Even outside in the icy wind now driving a few snow flakes from the grey sky, the combination of drink and Annie added warmth against the cold. Garth moved up the lane toward the hill behind the village. Soon he could see the tiny cottage Annie kept with her father, the fisherman.

A single knock at the door and Annie answered. Her smile was as wide as it had been earlier at the sight of Garth.

"Ah, Garth. I wondered if you would bother to pay me a visit today," Annie said stepping aside to allow him to pass.

Garth pushed into the small, cozy room. Opening his coat, he stood by the warm fireplace. "Aye, Annie, me dear. I knew by yer smile this morn you were in a mood for a bit of ..."

"Garth you naughty bugger. What makes you think I would want anything to do with the likes of you?" Annie tried desperately to hide her grin.

"Oh come now, Annie. You know you are me true love," Garth said pressing close to Annie. His arm snaked around her waist and pulled her against him.

"And here you are," Annie said, "smelling of whiskey, thinking I would have you here while me father is gone on the boat. And professing true love for me, no less. That's funny. For I've heard you have been tickling one of the fancies at the inn."

"'Tis a lie!" protested Garth.

Annie broke into a laugh and kissed Garth on the lips.

"Oh, 'tis a game you want then, wench?" Garth said, joining Annie in laugher as he returned her kiss on her full, smiling lips. Annie slumped against him and pressed her body hard against his.

It was not long before clothing flew and Garth grunted between Annie's legs right there upon the floor of the cottage in front of the fireplace. Annie screamed and moaned and came with a body wrenching shudder just as Garth's seed spewed deep inside her. Garth rolled off Annie and lay beside her on the floor.

"So, tell me. What was the ruling of the Council?" Annie asked rolling to her side and placing her arm across Garth's chest to rest her head on his shoulder.

"Now, Annie, me lass. Don't you worry your head about those old fools. They are all full of ghosts and dead things. I think they dream them."

"You didn't answer me question, Garth," Annie said slowly, wondering. "And should I now? You know them. Every year 'tis the same thing. The prophecy is true and this is the year they say," he said staring at the ceiling. In spite of his protestations Garth was not really sure the Council was wrong again this year. He knew that from the time he was a wee child the Council had given the same dire warnings of the prophecy year after year leaving the villagers to cringe in their homes, huddled by their fireplaces in fear of the prophecy. But it had never happened.

"No," Garth told himself, "It won't be this year either or ever." Then to Annie he said, "And don't you worry. The prophecy has been told and retold since ages past. It's nothing but a tale to scare the children."

Annie smiled at this, knowing Garth would be there to protect her even if the tale turned out to be true. After all, wasn't Garth the strongest man in the village? Wasn't he the one who never showed fear? These thoughts comforted her as she snuggled closer to Garth and reached her face toward his for a bit of a snog.

But Garth was no longer in the mood for cuddling. He sat up, his ass feeling the roughness of the hand sawn planks of the cottage floor. Looking out through the one window he could see the day beginning to darken. Night was growing near. He rose to his feet and began hunting his clothes.

"Will ya be back later, Garth? I have a fine stew boiling for me dad. We can share with you," Annie said almost pleading.

"Aye. I'll be back, Annie. I'm just going to clean up me mother's grave just as I have all these years on the eve of the Festival," Garth said. He really saw no point in cleaning the brush, leaves and twigs away from the grave, but it was a tradition the villagers carried out and had done so for generations as far back as anyone could remember. And he knew the thought of Annie's fine stew would bring him back to the cottage when the task was done.

After a quick kiss and a wave good-bye, Garth buttoned his coat against the icy wind and left the cottage walking quickly down the lane the short distance toward the cemetery. Already he could see others there brushing away the leaves and pulling the weeds away from the graves of their lost parents. As he came closer he could recognize them one by one. There was the O'Malley girl on her hands and knees at the grave of her father. Garth felt a warm stir as he watched Katy O'Malley's ample ass juggle under her heavy skirt as she worked.

And there was Biddy Carmichael. At the sight of her he instantly remembered the night several years before when Biddy lay with him, her large bosom pressed against him. He could almost feel her hard nipples against his naked chest and the smooth skin of her bum.

Over there was Michael Flannagan tending the grave of his mother, Chatty. Poor woman passed away from the cough a month ago. Garth thought of stopping to talk to Michael but then thought better of it. "Leave him to tend his grief," he thought to himself.

Garth stooped to his knees at his parent's grave. The ground was cold, cold like death and already nearly covered with a light dusting of snow. This ground was cold as death under his knees. He looked up at the headstone. It read simply: Robert and Patty Kelly

"Aw, me darl'n, ma and dad. Here you lie, cold in the ground. Taken so young." Garth brushed away the leaves and twigs from the grave then began pulling at the dead vines that had encroached. For some time he worked until finally satisfied, he stood at looked at the grave. "Yes, and a fine grave it is," he thought out loud. "God willing we'll do this again in another year."

Then Garth looked around. All the others had finished and left him there alone. "Gone home to their warm fires, I would imagine," he thought to himself. "And it's getting quite dark now. Time for me to return to Annie and her delightful stew."

He turned back toward the lane and began to walk, then stopped suddenly. Did he hear a sound? Garth looked around him, listening. "No," he told himself, "Just the wind." He took a few more steps toward the lane. But he heard the sound again and stopped. That sound. A sound of...what? Scratching? "No. It couldn't be. It's just the wind playing tricks," he told himself.

Garth hurried toward the lane. It was nearly full dark now and the wind was even colder than before. He found himself hurrying even faster than he would have thought, driven on by the thought of Annie's warm fire and...or was it...something else?

"Fear? Of what?" he asked himself, "Fear of the dreams of old people?"

Still, he hurried along to Annie's cottage. Once inside he stood before the fireplace shivering.

"So, how did you find Patty Kelly's grave, Garth?" came the voice of Hamden, the fisherman.

Garth turned to see the old man sitting in the corner in his rocking chair, smoke curling from his pipe, barely visible in the dim light from the oil lamp on the table. A tall glass of whiskey punch sat on the table next to him. "Oh, the usual," Garth said, trying to act nonchalant. "A few vines had grown up and then there were the leaves."

"Yes, and the cold. I though I would freeze out on the bay. It's very cold this day."

"Aye, it is, Hamden. And what about the fish?"

"Fish? Ah! Not a one. The fishing was dead. I might as well have stayed home," the old man said shaking his head.

"How odd, but not the first time that's happened," Garths said.

"No. It won't be last either," Hamden agreed, shaking his head.

"You too stop all this sad talk. It's Festival. Now come and eat before I throw it to the dogs," Annie said somewhat more cheerfully than she felt.

The two men came to the table and sat. Annie brought the big, iron pot from the wood stove and set it in the center of the little table. Bowls and spoons were already set at three places. With a large ladle Annie spooned stew into each of the bowls then from somewhere brought a large pitcher of beer. Annie took her place at the table. The three of them began to eat silently.

After some time passed Garth said, "Annie, me darl'n. The stew is wonderful as always." Annie smiled at this.

Hamden spoke next saying, "And when are you going to marry this lass, Garth, and take her off me hands so I can wile away the evenings tickling the wenches down at the inn without having to listen to her complaining."

"I would marry her, Hamden, but she thinks I've been tickling a lady or two at the inn meself."

Annie's face turned rosy red with anger for a moment then she began to laugh at Garth's joke. "You shush now, Garth. We both know that's not true at all. I'll have you when I'm good and ready and not before."

All three laughed at the exchange. Then Hamden became serious. "Something very odd happened out on the sea today."

"Tell us," Garth said

"It's hard to explain," began Hamden, "But on the way back it turned cold so I settled down behind the gunwales to get out of the wind. After a bit I heard something. It sounded like a scratching. Then something hit the bottom of the boat nearly capsizing it. I was shocked. I stuck me head up and looked around, but there was nothing."

"You are making this up, father," Annie remarked after a moment. "This is one of your Festival stories, I'm sure."

"No. As God is my witness. It's true," the old man said. By the look on the old man's face they could tell it was true.

Garth sat saying nothing out loud, but to himself he said, "So, maybe something is happening. I heard what sounded like scratching in the cemetery."

The three fell silent once again until, finally Hamden said, "Annie told me what the Council said. What do you think, Garth?"

Stubbornly Garth answered, "Yes, the Council said that. But the Council has always said that. This year, next year, every year they say it's the prophecy coming true."

Annie asked, "But what if..." Annie did not finish and neither man spoke, but all three heard it. There was a distinct scratching noise.

"What was that?" Annie asked anxiously.

"It was nothing. Just the wind," answered Garth. But the scratching continued.

"It's coming from the door," said Hamden.

The scratching was louder now. Garth could no long deny the sound.

"Can it be? Have the come?" asked Annie really frightened now.

There was there was more scratching followed by a loud bang at the door, then another.

"It cannot be," shouted Garth. "The Council has said every year..."

There was another bang at the door this time sounding as if someone were pounding at it with their fists.

"Go away! Go away!" screamed Annie.

Garth looked at Hamden, whose eyes were wide with horror. "Hamden, what do you have, man? What do you have to fight them off?" Garth now was sure the prophecy was true.

"Why...why, nothing. Oh, maybe..." Hamden leaped from his chair and quickly opened a cupboard next to the fireplace. He took out two stout clubs, handing one to Garth. Annie went to the wood pile in the corner and picked out a two foot tree limb, wrapped the end with a rag and doused it with oil to make a torch.

The three stood together, shoulder to shoulder, facing the door as the pounding continued louder and louder. Each assault on the door was harder and more insistent than the last. Soon the door began to wrack on its hinges from the battering. The two men rushed to the door and put their shoulders against it. Annie went to the fireplace and lit her torch. The men strained against the door.

Then it went quiet. After a moment the men relaxed. "Have they gone away?" Hamden wondered out loud.

The door burst inward tearing loose from its hinges followed by a blast of frozen air, throwing the two men back to the center of the room.

Garths mother stood in the doorway, dressed as she had been buried with snow sticking to her hair and shoulders. Her arms outstretched. She took a step forward. "Ma?" Garth said in both confusion and horror.

There was a grey pallor to Patty Kelly. Her face was expressionless, but her mouth was drawn back exposing her teeth. No sounds came from her breathless mouth, but her eyes stared hungrily at Annie. The smell of rotting flesh and decay filled the room. Patty Kelly took another wavering step forward. Behind her they could see others. How many, they could not be sure. But all of them were coming toward the cottage door.

Garth stood transfixed staring at his mother. "Ma?" he mumbled. He took a step forward then stopped. Now he could see the dirt sticking to Patty Kelly's hair and dress. Bloodless scratches were evident on her arms and face. Could this really be his mother? Then something snapped in his mind. "NO!" he screamed to himself. "This is not me dear ma. This is some dead thing that..."

With a shout, Hamden struck first. The blow hit Patty Kelly in the face. Her head flopped to one side but she continued forward. The first blow was a signal. Garth struck the man behind his mother. Annie struck Patty Kelly in the chest with her torch. Patty Kelly's clothes seemed to grab the flames and she burst into flames falling on the floor. But Patty Kelly continued to crawl forward.

Others came through the door one after another stepping over Patty Kelly and they themselves became walking torches as they did so. Now as the entered the light some, even in their gray and rotting condition, could be recognized. There was Ian McGowan, the blacksmith, killed two years ago. Mattie McCormick, the school teacher, killed when she was hit by a carriage last year. Seven others they could not or would not want to recognize. Though he couldn't see his dad, he was sure Robert Kelley was out there somewhere. Garth and Hamden struck them each time and time again, beating back the crowd momentarily.

Patty Kelly, crawled across the floor and reached out to grab Annie by the ankle. Annie went down. Her torch flew from her hand, knocking over the oil lamp on the table spilling lamp oil over the table and floor. The torch ended up on a pile of firewood. Flames shot up from the table and floor turning the cottage into an inferno. Patty Kelly's dress caught the flames and turned her into an inferno, still creeping forward. Other coming through the door stepped over Patty Kelly and too become flaming bodies.

Annie screamed as Patty Kelly sank her teeth into her leg. Blood flowed from the wound as Annie frantically kicked at Patty Kelly's face and shoulders until she was finally free of the cold grasping hands.

Garth gathered Annie up in his arms and the two men charged the forms in the doorway knocking them aside. Cold dead hands grasped at them, tearing their clothes.

"Run. Run as fast as you can," shouted Hamden.

Hamden ran ahead. Garth ran as fast as he could while carrying Annie. A quick peek over his shoulder showed him the entire cottage was ablaze as were most of their pursuers. On they ran not toward the village, but toward the hill behind the cottage. At the top of the hill they stopped and turned. The entire village was burning. In the distance, they could hear screams and see torches moving quickly here and there. But it seemed their pursuers had forgotten them. They could be seen walking toward the burning village. Some stopped as the flames consumed them. Others continued roaming around the village, sometimes disappearing into the flames then reappearing, burning brighter than ever.

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byJenny_Jackson© 16 comments/ 18986 views/ 2 favorites

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