This was the sixth night in a row that a nightmare woke me up. I’m a sound sleeper but something was throwing me off and this past week did a number on me. I felt drained and on edge. Now it was 2:00 AM and I was craving a cigarette. I got up and scoured my apartment hoping to find a smoke – which I didn’t – and thinking about why I was having these constant nightmares. I mean, nothing different happened in my life, except I’d started smoking again. 

And there was also her.

Last weekend I went to a party and this gorgeous redhead walked up to me and asked me for a light. I’d quit smoking about eight months earlier but for some reason – call it a security blanket – I continued to carry my Bic around in my pocket. This chick was way too hot to let her slip through my fingers so I reached into my jeans and pulled out my lighter. 

I flicked my Bic and damn(!) if she didn’t cup both her hands around mine as I lit her cigarette. She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly, the smoke encircling her head. All the while her eyes never left mine. She had the palest blue eyes I’d ever seen and the contrast against her red hair and mouth was bewitching. Then she did something to me no woman had ever done before; she took the cigarette from her lips and placed it between mine. That move was so intrinsically sexual, I couldn’t think of anything else but possessing this woman. I took a long drag, that familiar heat singeing my lungs. 

We shared her cigarette and when there was nothing left, she took me by the hand and led me into the bathroom. Locking the door, she turned her back to me and leaned against the sink staring at my reflection in the full-length mirror. She hiked up her skirt and I was not surprised to see she wasn’t wearing panties. She said two words and they weren’t “Happy Halloween”; I didn’t have to be told twice.

Fifteen minutes later we left the bathroom together. I went to get us a couple of drinks and when I turned around, she was gone. I searched everywhere but couldn’t find her. Just like that – the greatest bathroom sex I ever had and now she was gone. And I was left craving her and another cigarette. That was the night I fell off the wagon.

Now I needed a smoke so badly I tried to salvage butts from the trash but they were all buried under a soggy coffee filter. I had no alternative but to head out to the all-night 7-Eleven

I grumbled and dragged myself out of bed. I switched on the overhead lamp and immediately cringed and looked away; the damn light hurt my eyes too much.  Squinting, I staggered into the bathroom and splashed water on my face. Grabbing a towel, I wiped off and looked in the mirror. Holy shit! What I saw startled yet intrigued me. My eyes had changed from brown to ice blue. There was no denying that woman had done a number on me.

It was now 2:30 AM. I threw on yesterday’s clothes, turning up the collar of my leather jacket. Before venturing out I grabbed my shades. Stepping outside, I was momentarily caught off guard by the number of freaks walking around; then I remembered Halloween was just winding down for many partygoers. A bright moon cast strange, elongated shadows across the walls. Dressed in black clothes, I must have blended in with the silhouettes for no one took notice of me. 

As I entered the store I was pleased to see there was only one other customer – a nondescript woman wearing a hooded cape. I stood behind her at the register and when she turned to leave, I was blown away to see it was the redhead from the party. She looked directly at me, gave a little laugh and left without so much as a word. I was glad my dark glasses hid the lust in my eyes. I quickly bought my smokes and bolted from the store.

I looked up and down the street; nothing – she was gone. Then I spotted her standing across the street watching me. “Ok” I thought. “This is gonna be interesting.” As soon as I started heading toward her, she turned and began walking away. She walked slowly, her cape swaying side to side, and I followed her just as slowly. She took her time and I had no doubts she knew I was there. She climbed the steps to an old apartment building; I followed. She casually walked up three flights of stairs and down the hall to the last door where she stopped, removed a key from her pocket and unlocked the door, leaving it slightly ajar as she stepped inside. If that wasn’t an invitation, I didn’t know what was. I entered the apartment and closed the door behind me.

The room was awash in moonlight streaming through the window where she stood staring up at the night sky. I lit a cigarette, took a long drag and handed it to her. She placed the cigarette between her bright red lips, took a couple of puffs and tossed it out the window. She turned to face me and shrugged off her cape. Of course she was naked; I would have been sorely disappointed if she wasn’t. She loosened her hair and a cascade of long crimson tresses escaped and flowed silently over her flawless body. Her hair shimmered in the moonlight; the fragrance of strawberries and honeysuckle filled the room. She was intoxicating.

She drew me closer and parted her lips in a sultry smile; it was then that I saw her delicate fangs. I was aroused, my cock throbbing. A deep passion rose in me and I groaned with a fierce hunger. I turned my head and willingly offered her my neck. She feasted on me, then gave herself up to me with shameless abandon. 

Whatever I had become that night didn’t matter. Nothing mattered any more. My savage blood boiled as I barked at the moon.

NAR © 2022


Monastic specters floated seamlessly between the leafless trees of the old forgotten cemetery. Round-eyed owls hooted from crooked branches while huge black crows swooped in and perched on weathered headstones. Sensing their imminent demise, the blind field mice scurried to and fro, frantically searching for safety. Alas, not fast enough for that one pathetic rodent chasing his own tail. The crow snatched him up and carried him off into the darkness. The weak and small have no rights in this most dreaded of places. 

It wasn’t always this mist-enshrouded wind-swept graveyard; many years ago the cemetery was a pastoral spot surrounded by blossoming trees and shrubs.  It was lovely and visitors would come by frequently to pay their respects and linger for a while on a nearby bench. 

High on a hill above the cemetery stood the Old Dutch Church. The property was expansive with an outstanding view of the Hudson River. The focal point of the church was the belfry with Its majestic wrought iron weather vane that could be seen for miles.

One stormy night in late October while parishioners were awaiting services for the feast of All Hallows’, a giant thunderclap boomed, followed by an enormous lightning bolt which struck the weather vane. The lightning coursed its way down to the belfry, instantly setting it on fire. Within moments the entire church was engulfed in flames, imprisoning all inside. Horrified townsfolk who were still outside tried valiantly to save their friends, to no avail. 

The wind blew sparks into the cemetery, setting the trees ablaze. The smoke was black, the air thick with an acrid stench. Those outside the church fell to their knees crying pitifully, covering their ears to block out the agonizing screams of the tortured. Finally, after what seemed an eternity in hell, the screams stopped and an eerie silence followed. 

Suddenly what was left of the church came crashing down, leaving nothing but a mountain of ashes and the grotesque twisted remains of the once glorious weather vane. 

Forty-seven souls perished that ghastly night. No bodies were found to be buried and the church was never rebuilt. Eventually people stopped coming to the cemetery. The only denizens there now are the interred – the owls, the crows, the blind field mice and the forty-seven specters seeking final rest. 

The haunted wind is eerily unsettling this Halloween night … or is it the wind? 

NAR © 2017