Short Story: Nightmare on Alexis Street by Nicki Scalise
Nightmare on Alexis Street
Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Just so you understand, how much I love this holiday, I’ll share an example of my typical October behavior. When I was eight years old, my mom made me a satin vampire cape. It was the classic vampire look, black with a red lining and an exaggerated, pointed collar. For weeks, I wore that cape and practiced my vampire “skills”, just so I’d have it right come Halloween night. I was very shy as a kid so I never used any of my acting “talents” outside the house but I’d like to think I had the Count Dracula act down pretty well. I wore that cape three consecutive years in a row. It was lost during a move sometime in my teens. I still miss it and have regrets that it’s gone. I just hope it found a new home with another little kid who loved it as much as I did.
Anyway, point being, my love of Halloween runs deep. Naturally, this love carried over when I grew up. My Halloween goal as an adult homeowner is to be “that house”. You know the one… the house in the neighborhood that gives out the best candy and has the coolest decorations.
When my husband and I first started our decorating traditions, we lived in a very small, secluded neighborhood with few trick-or-treaters. As such, our over the top decorations seemed wasted. To compensate, we handed out grab bags full of Halloween themed toys and full size candy bars to the handful of kids who darkened our doorstep. While somewhat entertaining, the night usually felt like a letdown.
Then we moved.
We bought our new house in April 2011. Although we didn’t know it then, our new neighborhood is loaded with children and neighbors just as enthusiastic about Halloween as we are.
Now, in addition to my goal, there’s a healthy dose of competition as four or five houses at the end of our block try to one-up each other every year. Last year, I built a small cemetery on our front yard. The lady across the street dressed up as a witch and cackled from the shadows beside their garage. There’s been talk of doing, at some point, a neighborhood haunted attraction. What will we all do this year? That remains unseen, but you can be sure it will inch me closer to that ever unobtainable goal of becoming “that house”.
Here’s a small preview of how our house looks for the entire month of October.
This isn’t all of our decorations, but you get the idea.
A few of the headstones.
*Note there is no final date on Lestat’s headstone. Anne Rice fans know Lestat lives.
Also buried in our yard (not pictured)-
Buffy Summers and Count Dracula
Erma Jean and Henry Bob- They have a very co-dependent relationship.
Her debut novel Prayer for the Dead, was released in October 2013.
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