All Hallow’s Eve By Jeff Baker The house was an old Victorian, two stories made of graying brick with a flat roof. The yard had seen better days; brambles tangled through a growth of brown grass. The shutters on the windows were securely closed. Irving sighed. If the flag wasn’t up on the open mailbox with a stamped letter inside Irving would have assumed the house was deserted. He sighed and snapped the mailbox shut, glancing at the name on the box: Mordante.
Mordante, he thought as he walked up the stone walkway. Mordante, Mordante. He reached the door and was about to reach for the big brass knocker when he saw it was in the shape of a skull. He stared for a minute, and then remembered. October Thirtieth. The family must have decorated for Halloween. He knocked on the door and after a few moments the door swung open and a blond, middle-aged man stood there in a turtleneck sweater and jeans.
“Good afternoon Mister Mordan-tay,” Irving said. The man smiled broader and held up a hand.
“Mordant, it’s pronounced Mordant. The e is silent.” Mr. Mordante said.
“Oh, Mordant. Sorry,” Irving said pulling out one of the flyers. “Mr. Mordante, I represent Josh Silk who is a candidate for Representative here in the thirteenth district. Are you and your family registered to vote in the election next week?”
“Ah! Civic duty!” Mordante said with an even broader smile. “But come in, come in. You shouldn’t be standing outside on a day like this!”
“Well, okay,” Irving said following Mordante through the front door, glancing backward before the door closed. Clear, sunny, not a cloud in the sky.
The interior of the house was greyish and somehow cozy with an old stone fireplace and antique furniture. The windows were tinted a dark green. The fireplace was made of the same gray stone with ornate carved groves and lines crisscrossing the mantle. Irving squinted: the lines almost resembled snakes.
Irving took a few steps to the side and stared into a large room where a rocky gully on the floor with a small, flowing stream (inside the house?) blended somehow into a large, high-vaulted cathedral, complete with a gray, stone altar.
“We only use it for Sabbaths,” Mordante said almost apologetically, steering Irving back to the living room.
Irving was puzzled; he hadn’t noticed a high vaulted roof on the house when he’d driven by it in the side street. He hadn’t thought the house was that big.
“Now, young man,” Mordante said. “About your candidate…”
“Oh, yeah. I mean, yes,” Irving said. “Well, he, we, believe in the importance of everybody in the household being registered to vote in local elections.”
“As do we!” Mordante said smiling even more broadly.
Irving stared. It had to be his imagination. Mordante’s teeth seemed longer and sharper. And there seemed to be more of them. Must be the light.
“Ah!” Mordante said. “Here is my lovely wife! As much a believer in the electoral process as I!”
Irving turned. What was slithering towards them on the carpet bore a superficial resemblance to a boa constrictor, except it had fins and human-like eyes. Luckily, it was not between Irving and the door. Irving barely remembered throwing the door open, racing through the yard, starting the car and speeding off. He didn’t remember that he was screaming.
He knew two things; he was done canvassing for the day and he was going to have a large drink.
Author’s Note: I had another story plotted out for this picture and then I realized what day this was going to be posted on. So I came up with this. Happy Halloween!