And since you were good enough to enjoy our deliciously sexy trick, please, have this treat to see you off into the night. Don’t worry about the things in the yard and the things in the trees and the things that go bump in the night–not every nocturnal sound is a scary one, after all!
TS Porter is a talented newcomer who thought it would fun to slip this into the mailbox, and again, we forgot to get a bio before they vanished…but I can tell you that a piece by this author will appear in the forthcoming Like a Haunted Trail sometime next year.
Happy Halloween, Spooky Samhain, and so on and so forth to all!
Fallen Leaves by TS Porter
They lived for that one night every year – not that either of them were alive, anymore. The days turned crisp and cool, the trees erupted with a riot of reds and golds. Summer died on the cold teeth of winter, and for just a single night the lines between the spirit world and the physical world blurred completely away.
Eliza could feel it in the house as October lengthened. Increasingly she felt a prickling at the back of her neck, as though she were being watched. Things moved in the house, not where she’d left them. Doors opened and closed on their own, and quiet footsteps echoed across empty floors. Occasionally she felt the ghostly touch of fingers on her arm, her cheek, brushing across the back of her neck. It was an old house, Eliza had built it for her love centuries before. There had obviously been renovations since then, but at its core it was a very old house. It would be easy to blame it all on a draft, on the settling of an old building as it adjusted to the cold of winter. She knew better.
Eliza dreamed full lips against her own, the softest golden skin in broad curves under her hands – rubbing her face against plump breasts and running her fingers through long dark hair. She dreamed endless kissing, caressing touches all over her body. She yielded eagerly to insistently probing fingers that entered her, stroked and filled and brought her to the peak of pleasure. She dreamed the heat of a pulse shuddering under her teeth and the intoxicating sweetness of her love’s blood on her tongue. No one else tasted so good.
She woke in the evening with a second depression on the bed beside her and ran her cold fingertips across the silk sheets, feeling the ghost warmth with a smile.
It was like this every year as the walls between them began to fall away. Eliza purchased the latest fashion magazines and left them in a neat stack on the coffee table. Over the next days she found them other places around the house – as though someone had been paging through one curled up in the window seat overlooking the night garden, or lounging across the bed, or on the couch by the fire.
Eliza sometimes caught a glimpse of a raven haired woman in a red dress as she walked through the house, just a hint from the corner of her eye, but whenever she looked back there was nothing. Just mirrors that reflected an empty house back through her.
The month wore itself to a close, vivid dying leaves fell from the trees, and finally it was time. Eliza brought up a bottle of rich red wine from the cellar, a good year from a wonderful vineyard that tasted like home. She let it breathe while she dressed herself in the very best of her clothes.
She sat by the fire and poured the wine as the sun set, the welcome dark of this one night settling in. Eliza could feel the change in the air, a presence when her love could finally join her. Lightly glowing fingers wrapped around the stem of one of the wine glasses, and Eliza finally looked up to see her love seated on the other end of the couch.
Rosabel was every bit as gorgeous as she’d ever been in life. She wore a very modern slinky red dress with a slit up to the thigh, but her long black hair she still wore in a crown atop her head, bound in ribbons. She moaned as she sipped the wine, a happy hum with ruby drops on her soft lips.
Rosabel’s warm brown eyes crinkled at the corners in a smile as she set the glass aside.
“My love,” she greeted, reaching toward Eliza. Eliza took Rosabel’s hand in hers. It was warm and her skin was smooth, so very much like how she’d felt in life.
“Eliza?” the ghost asked, reaching up to softly wipe away a tear from Eliza’s cheek.
“It’s just been a long year,” Eliza shook her head. “I missed you.”
“No, dolcezza…” Rosabel crooned, tugging on her hand, and Eliza couldn’t hold back any longer. She fell into her love’s arms, holding as close and tight as she could. “I know, I know,” Rosabel soothed, gentle fingers stroking through Eliza’s hair. “I’m here now. I’m here.”
Eliza leaned up to kiss the smoky wine from Rosabel’s perfect lips, her own glass forgotten. There would be time for wine later. There would be time for talking, to tell the most important of everything that was new. There would be time for dancing, Eliza had new music of their old dances to share. There would be time to make love. Eliza would have the chance to worship Rosabel’s body, to feel and taste and brand her love into her memory for another year.
They lived for this one night every year – neither of them alive, but each eternal in their own way. They were nothing but bright leaves fallen from the tree – but did not leaves dance as they fell?
They would dance as long as they might.