creative projects · Fiction · The Hollow Times

Why We Celebrate

A Hollow Grove Editorial by Mariela Hudson

It’s coming upon that time of year again, dear readers.

As the autumn season begins in earnest and the trees start to don their brilliant funeral colors, Halloween beckons with its haunting tidings of horror and family fun.

We all know the usual trappings. The houses on the streets will put out their usual spooky trimmings with skeletons plastered on windows and pumpkins strewn about the lawn. Stores will stock up on Halloween merchandise advertising this or that “wicked” holiday deal and sales that will make you “jump out your skin.” Spooky TV specials of speculative horror will air on our television screens, seducing our attention with their cheesiness or gratuitous amounts of gore. Children will excitedly go everywhere as their favorite fictional character, prepping themselves for the night where they will go out to unabashedly demand candy from strangers.

But when midnight strikes at the end of Halloween night, the spell is broken. The trimmings will be stowed away in the attic, pumpkins will rot away in garbage bins, stores already stocked up for Christmas will offer Halloween trinkets in out of the way clearance sections, and anyone caught in silly costumes thereafter will be thought products of bad breeding.

But Halloween means a little more to the people of our quiet little town. It is a day that we can all cast away our yearly costumes and bask our true selves in the light of the perpetual full moon.

Our love for this holiday comes off as uncanny to some and a curiosity to others. Like years previous, Hollow Grove will become a local tourist treasure for the members of our inept bureaucracy. Governor Bissette has already advertised our local celebrations as “Thrills That Will Give Your Family Chills For A Few Small Bills.” Again, we all know that she’s not the best person for coming up with catchy slogans but it’s the effort that counts.

Already the out-of-towners from across the Midwest have flocked to our little den of mischief to partake in our local festivities. And who can blame them? From our ghoulish pumpkin patches to our nightly fare on Dead Street with all its strange happenings and scenes of terror, it’s enough to capture the imagination. They will soon see that we have quite a few tricks and treats up our sleeves for their morbid consumption.

To kick things off this week we’ll be holding a pumpkin parade down Main Street. A part of the proceeds for this parade will go to the Home for the Head-Challenged. Those who wish to donate will only have to trade in one human head and you can get a new pumpkin one in return for the generous gift. Along with this, the Werewolf Brigade will be holding their annual march on Tuesday. It’s quite the spectacle with lots of death defying stunts and a spectacular moon float. Benet Wolfram, the admiral of the brigade, welcomes all to the march and also wanted to state that the brigade will take no responsibility if a few spectators get bitten by members of the European persuasion.  The Vampire Society on Bram Stoker Parkway will also be holding parties throughout the week to ring in the spooky season. They’re serving up their famous fake real blood and will be giving lessons on how to become a creatures of the night. They’ve been losing members since the Helsing Laws were passed last November so now is a prime time to join.

With these events, everyone is sure to have a crazy time. This despite the fact that there have been some voices of dissent that think that these events are nothing but “macabre frivolity.” But that’s beside the point. Even though we have a minority of naysayers and a multitude of excursionists who wish to dilute this holiday, we here in Hollow Grove must not forget why we really celebrate.

Halloween is not simply a holiday for us that’s been commercialized and televised for mainstream consumption. It’s the life blood of our community—the reason we exist. What other town can boast as much?

It was on that day, 203 years ago, that the first of our ancestors stumbled upon this scarcely occupied land. After shooing away a few of the neighbors (and dodging some of the curses that came with it), our founder, Sebastian Hollow, claimed this land as his own and named it Hollow Grove. The immense amount of blood and sweat shed to build this land is the soil we so frivolously tramp upon to celebrate this wondrous occasion.

Sebastian Hollow smiles proudly from his resting place in Hollow’s Cemetery. To pay our respects to him, a memorial will be held there at midnight on Halloween. If you stick around, you can witness the dead pilgrim rise from his grave and take an evening stroll along Dead Street. For anyone who cares to walk alongside this great zombie of a man, you will be the honorific sacrifice to appease his restless spirit. You will be nibbled on and quarantined on the zombie reserve. But it will all be worth it. How many people can say they’ve been snacked on by a Founding Father?

In summary, let us celebrate this Halloween with all the gore and gusto that this town is known for.

Let yourself succumb to your strange obsessions and become one with the night.

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