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  • Writer's pictureShawna Reppert

Free Halloween story!

Free Halloween story!

Published October 3, 2013 | By Shawna

OK, Samhain-kitty wanted me to give away something in her honor, since her day is coming up. (Actually, I think she’s just worried that the Halloween release date for Ravensblood will steal her thunder.)

So here’s a fun little Halloween story to get everyone in the spirit of the season:

Roadside Assistance

Of all the places to break down, The Bitch had to pick a lonely road across the field from an ancient pagan tomb. Danny wasn’t a superstitious bloke, but sitting in a dead truck by the side of this particular road in the dark of All Hallow’s eve gave him the willies. Across the empty fields the garish artificial lights they’d put up at Newgrange shone out in the darkness. And there was Newgrange herself, hulking in the shadow, pregnant with mystery.

Of course, his Gran always insisted that Newgrange wasn’t a tomb, even if archeologists found cremated remains inside.

“They buried people in St. Patrick’s cathedral, too,” she always argued. “Folks aren’t calling that a tomb, now, are they?”

Just what Gran thought Newgrange was, she’d never said. Likely it wasn’t something he’d want to know, out here alone on the night when ‘the veil between the worlds grows thin’.

Come to think of it, an ancient tomb was bad enough.

None of this was getting The Bitch moving. Cathy was waiting, and Danny was already running late. He could picture Cathy now, checking her watch, her pretty mouth turned down into a frown. Of course, his cell phone was dead and the cigarette lighter and the car charger weren’t on speaking terms tonight.

He cursed the truck soundly and hit the steering wheel a few times for emphasis.

Not that The Bitch would care, but it made him feel better.

Danny grabbed the electric torch from the glove compartment— The Bitch had taught him the virtue of being prepared. Hopefully, this wasn’t going to be one of those nights where she also instilled the virtue of long walks. Cathy wouldn’t forgive him if he stood her up for her brother’s Halloween party. Not after he missed her parent’s anniversary dinner last month when the rear differential went spare.

“Damn, you, Bitch, are you trying to break us up?”

Then again, maybe she was. He’d bought The Bitch from a friend of his Gran’s, and Gran didn’t care for Cathy.

The thing was, Danny did care for her. A lot. Cathy had every reason to be impatient with his unreliability. The cold shoulder Gran had giver her when he’d brought her by for tea hadn’t helped.

Still muttering a string of words that Gran would not approve of, Danny got out of the truck and zipped his jacket against the misting rain. Then he popped the hood and played the light around the truck’s cavernous engine compartment to see what he could see.

Danny was a pretty fair mechanic, but what The Bitch needed was an exorcist.

The distant hum of a motor broke the silence. Danny looked up. A single headlamp, a pinprick of light growing larger as it approached.

Oh, please, be a Good Samaritan and not a hooligan.

The motorcycle slowed on approach, then came to a stop behind The Bitch. Its rider was clearly dressed for the evening’s festivities, and Danny had to smile at the image of a faun on a motorbike. Really, the bloke should be wearing a helmet, though he supposed it’d ruin the elaborate, shaggy hair, not to mention the extremely realistic horns.

“Engine trouble?”

The stranger wasn’t a local, though Danny couldn’t place the accent. Still Irish. Kerry, maybe?

“Yeah. Reliable as a drunken fiddler, The Bitch is.”

“Let me see what I can do.”

The stranger reached into the truck with his furred hands. Damn, but that was a good costume. He must be in theater, or else he had a friend in the theater.

Light flashed like The Bitch was channeling Dr. Frankenstein. Danny cried out in fear for the stranger— his old truck had never done that before. He had less than a second to think about the flammability of fake fur before the engine started up and the stranger stepped back, unharmed, laughing.

“Your Gran may know about Newgrange and fairy circles,” the stranger said. “But I’d never take her advice on a car. Or a woman. Dump The Bitch and keep the girl.”

A friend of Gran’s? Danny stared at the man, trying to place him, although the costume made it difficult. His mind was still trying to process what had happened with the truck. The first explanation that popped into his mind made him question his sanity.

The stranger returned to his bike and mounted. “She was wrong about one other thing. It’s not true that my kind aren’t any good with cold iron.”

Danny drove as fast as he could on the narrow roads to reach Cathy before she could decide he had forgotten her. He would see what he could do about trading in The Bitch tomorrow.

After all, Gran always said it was dangerous to ignore the advice of the Fair Folk.

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