As Jamie travels the world in search of fulfillment, she arrives in Majorca the day before Halloween. Almost immediately, she realizes all is not what it seems. There are no tourists, and everyone is just a bit — different. She meets a local tattooist named Carlito, a native of Peru. The attraction is instantaneous and intense. He makes her an unbelievable offer. But whether it means heaven or horror, she is not sure. When the Eve of All Hallows meets All Saints Day only Fate can decide the outcome.
I think I will enjoy my time here.
I’m taking in that magnificent view while I swirl a glass of red wine. Sometimes a girl gets lucky. It’s well past midnight now, but I can’t sleep. Beyond the beauty of my surroundings, of the warmth on my skin this late in the year, is the sound of the sea. I am truly alone in my own little nirvana. No one knows where I am, and I don’t care.
There’s a flash of movement from the corner of my eye. Maybe I’m not as alone as I thought. My heart flutters a little. Then I see him walking the beach towards the water, under the great moon above. My magnificent view just got even more spectacular. He’s fully naked.
My attention is riveted now as I sip my wine. I can’t see a lot of detail in the darkness, but I can see he is tall, with long hair. Nicely built, and if my eyes don’t deceive me, well-endowed as well. Now, this is a very interesting development.
I watch as he enters the water, and I shiver just a little as if my own skin was touched by the cool waters. He disappears momentarily beneath the dark sea, and emerges, throwing back his long hair. I know I should look away, I should respect his privacy, but I cannot. I am a voyeur in my own little world.
I’m not really sure how much time I spend watching him. Perhaps only a few minutes, maybe even an hour. He emerges from the waves, a mere silhouette now in the moonlight. He stops and looks straight to me. My first reaction is to want to drop to the floor. But my mind tells me he cannot see me in the darkness.
So, if he cannot see me, why does he stare in my direction?
A Quick History of the Jack O Lantern
By Natalie-Nicole Bates
I was born on Halloween day. This I suppose is the reason for my love of all things Halloween. My favorite part of the holiday isn’t the trick or treating or the fancy costumes, not even the birthday cake and the Halloween themed birthday gifts.
No, for me it was, and still is the choosing of the perfect pumpkin for carving into the slightly imperfect Jack O Lantern (you must know that I am artistically challenged – so the slightly imperfect remark).
But to understand the (supposed) origins of the Jack O Lantern, we must first briefly discuss the pumpkin. Those beautiful globes of orange goodness whose remnants become pies, cookies, muffins, and seeds. Or wind up on the compost heap.
The name pumpkin dates back to Greek origin. Pepon or large melon. It was translated into Pompon by the French. The English then translated pompon to Pumpion. In The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare makes mention of Pumpion. Pumpkins are also a large mention in such classics as Cinderella, Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater, and of course, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Native Americans roasted pumpkins on an open fire, and dried strips of pumpkin were woven into mats. The earliest pumpkin pies were baked over hot ashes. The Colonists sliced off the top, removed the seeds, added spices, honey, and milk before baking. A handy baking vessel and treat all in one.
The Jack O Lantern has been around for centuries. The story goes that an Irish fellow by the name of Stingy Jack once invited the devil over for drinks. In true stingy style, Jack didn’t want to pay for the drinks, so he suggested the devil turn himself into a coin, and Jack could pay. The devil did so (how incredibly foolish), and Jack pocketed the coin. He kept the coin in his pocket near a silver cross, thus not allowing the devil to reanimate. Eventually the devil was free, but Jack managed to trick him at least two more times. Each time Jack extracted a promise from the devil not to claim his soul if he should die.
You know nothing good was coming of this.
So Jack died one day, and God told him to hit the road, he wasn’t allowing such a cad into heaven, so Jack paid his friend the devil a visit in hell. Well, the devil, still seething about the multiple tricks perpetrated upon him by Jack, also told him to hit the road, he certainly wasn’t welcome in hell, either. He gave Jack a burning lump of coal and sent him off into the night. Jack carved a hole in a turnip, placed the lump of burning coal inside, and has been using it to light his way ever since. Doomed to roam the earth forever and ever. The Irish referred to this ghostly figure with a lamp as Jack of the Lantern. In time this changed to Jack O’ Lantern.
Frightened by the possibility of Stingy Jack or other malevolent spirits haunting their neighborhoods, folks in Ireland and Scotland began carving scary faces into turnips and potatoes, beets were used in England, and placing them in their windows to scare the spirits away. As immigrants made their way to America, the glorious pumpkin became the go-to fruit for this task.
I hope you enjoyed this brief history of the pumpkin and the Jack O Lantern. Happy Halloween!
About the Author:
Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author.
Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian photography, Frozen Charlotte dolls, and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.
She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.
Visit Natalie online at www.natalienicolebates.com
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/Natalie-Nicole
Twitter: @BatesNatalie https://twitter.com/BatesNatalie
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