Ribbons #Halloween

fox-006_fotosketcherAnother knock at the door. How long would this go on for? Didn’t anyone put their kids to bed at a sensible time any more? Well, this would be the last…the jar of sweets on the shelf was almost empty; it seemed as if every child in the neighbourhood had been on her doorstep with that silly ‘trick or treat’ thing. Still, you never knew. She heaved herself out of the armchair, her bones creaking as much as the ancient oak. It might be a customer.

Halloween was about the only time anyone else knocked on her door.

She’d never advertised. Never had to. Her particular talents got around by word of mouth. Most of them were grieving…or in desperate need of help. Or both. Often it was both. There were the curious, gawping at rumours and hoping for something sensational. There were those who came just to see her fail… but that never happened. She could read them too. Their minds were open books. And about as interesting as a telephone directory.

She looked through the spy-hole in the door. You couldn’t be too careful, living on your own. Another Grim Reaper or a Mad Monk. Taller than most. No imagination, these teenagers. Zombies and Reapers. And a rather scratty white rabbit. That’s all she’d had. She opened the door, holding out the candy jar to the black-robed ghoul on the doorstep.

“That’s the last of…’ere!” The figure glided past her silently and stood framed in the soft light in the living room door. She reached out and touched the mind that seemed as hooded as her visitor. Male…young… that was all she could tell. He was keeping secrets, this one. The blokes were always ashamed when they came to visit. That explained the silly costume, she supposed. Ah well… a customer would put the mockers on any more Halloweeners.

She bolted the door and turned off the garden lights. From the front, the house would be in darkness. No-one would call now.

“Make yourself at home,” she indicated the big easy chair, the twin of her own, upholstered in faded chintz. “What can I do for you?” Without a word, the dark figure glided over to the old, mahogany dresser and opened the cupboard. “Oho, been here before then ‘ave you?” The figure took out the bag of ribbons and handed it to her without a word.

She didn’t need the ribbons. Not really. She never had. They just made people more comfortable. Ribbons were harmless… no threat in the pretty, vibrant strands that she pulled, one by one, from the concealing bag. They thought of it as fortune-telling, mostly. They could pretend not to believe. They didn’t like the idea of her reading their souls. But still they came, asking questions, seeking answers, not knowing they had them already. Still, she’d made a good living out of it. Give ’em a bit of what they want.

The cowled figure bowed his head. “No ‘elp there, then.” She closed her eyes and reached out, seeking some chink in the hooded mind. There was only emptiness, a page waiting for words. She’d never had one with so good a barrier before. Never mind. The ribbons would put him at ease. She knew every one of them…and if she couldn’t piece something together from their colours, she’d been wasting the last sixty years…

She drew out the first ribbon. “Hmmm….” Palest blue. She wound it around her fingers and tried to use the moment to pierce the mist that surrounded the soul opposite her. The colour reminded her of her first proper party dress. She’d met him that night… they hadn’t spoken. Just eye to eye. Funny, she could see that memory on his soul… watched it unfold as the ribbon slid from her fingers. Creamy-white… the colour of May-blossom. That had been their first kiss. Black… that was her world when he went to war…and didn’t come back… red the blood when she had signed her name.

One by one she pulled the ribbons from the bag and, instead of unravelling the tangled thoughts of her visitor, she watched in silence as each ribbon called up a memory that played out on the blank screen of his soul. Not just her memories, but those of every soul she had ever read. One by one she dropped the ribbons to the floor where they lay like the tangled skein of her life about her feet. Each one a memory stolen, disappearing onto that once-empty screen as the Thief fed on remembered joys and sorrow… glowing now, with the colours of the ribbons dancing about him. Wearing her life as it left her.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Memory, mystery and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Ribbons #Halloween

  1. Wow!!! Now that’s a scary one. Well done. I hope I don’t have a nightmare about it. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    Great story

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Ineffably Ethereal and commented:
    Spooky!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chilling…hope I don’t get any trick or treaters!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. TanGental says:

    Oh you are good. That was a grand start to the day

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ritu says:

    This was amazing Sue!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jenanita01 says:

    If I remember nothing else this week, I will remember this story. Brilliantly eerie, Sue!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Victo Dolore says:

    Creepy! Loved it. πŸ™‚

    Like

  9. fransiweinstein says:

    Maybe I’ll leave a bowl of candy outside after reading this. Happy Halloween! Boo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. noelleg44 says:

    Five stars, Sue. Great story. Happy Halloween! Please don’t tell me you’re going to dress Ani up in a costume!!!

    Like

  11. A gently spooky tale – the kind I like best. x

    Like

  12. Absolutely wonderful. (the ribbons are a bit like the threads of The Moirai of myths)
    Such a perfect last paragraph. Appreciate the story.
    Hope your Holler-Ring is spooktacular

    Like

  13. janmalique says:

    Reblogged this on strangegoingsonintheshed and commented:
    A strange and rather spooky tale from Sue Vincent. Careful who you let in…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. willowdot21 says:

    OH! Sue that was so beautiful and clever , you can really tell a tale!! ❀

    Like

  15. Pingback: THIS will REALLY Scare you! | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  16. Reblogged this on Edwina's Episodes and commented:
    This is a great Halloween story from Sue.

    Like

  17. Sue, you are getting as bad as Hugh for giving me the creeps with your scary stories!

    Like

  18. dgkaye says:

    Fantastic Halloween tale Sue. Eerie enough, as nowadays we all have to leery before opening a door. πŸ™‚

    Like

  19. Eliza Waters says:

    Yikes, another good one, Sue. This one gave me shivers!

    Like

  20. Thank goodness I read this on the day after Halloween. I’ll never use ribbon ever again…not even in my hair! Spinetingling.

    Like

  21. Widdershins says:

    Ahh … I thought it might be Death coming for her. πŸ™‚

    Like

  22. Pingback: Things that scare dogs on Halloween | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  23. Wow, Sue, this was unexpectedly creepy at the end.

    Like

  24. rijanjks says:

    Excellent! Halloween was the perfect night for her life to take leave of her body.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.