A Dark Stormy Night Story & Tablescape!
I have to confess that when I first saw this little haunted house, with the cute little ghosts scattered on the roof, I thought what a cute centerpiece….I knew there had to be a story there and you all know how I love to tell stories…..especially this one with a mystery to be solved.
……AND of course if stories don’t interest you, you can skip to the rest of the tablescape below.
It was a dark and stormy night……the frenzied wind lashed out at the tall oak trees, their branches slapping against the attic windows of the little cottage.
Inside the tiny room at the top of the creaking wooden stairs, the 10 year old little boy with a dutch boy haircut, sat on his knees, with his arms resting on the window sill. His wide eyes staring down at the shadows on the street created by wispy clouds, moving in front of and away from the full moon.
With each gust of wind, the fallen leaves were whisked up into the air and then skittered along the ground before coming to rest again further down the lonely street.
Earlier on this Autumn evening, just as the orange sun slipped below the horizon, there had been a popcorn vendor with stooped shoulders, pushing his cart on the cobblestones…handing out popcorn to all the children dressed in their Halloween costumes.
The little boy, all excited in his hobo costume had been given his trick or treat bag by his mother along with instructions of staying on this block only …AND to be careful of strangers.
So, the little hobo, his face smeared with charcoal, placed the stick with a red bandanna pouch tied carefully on the end, upon his shoulder. He closed the screen door behind him, and prepared to begin his evening of fun.
The little hobo stopped dead in his tracks right there on the front porch, where he remained, standing next to the full sized skeleton his father had propped up against the stoop… as he stared at the strange old man pushing a popcorn cart.
The man was bent over, and was dressed all in black from head to toe. He had stopped the cart right in front of the cottage. It appeared to the little hobo that the man intended to stay there, right there….in that one spot… for at least forever.
Remembering back, the little boy in the attic shuddered….. as the vivid memory came flooding back to him.
He stared down at the spot from his window perch …at where the popcorn machine had sat. He remembered slowly walking off the porch, never taking his eyes away from the strange man, whose face he could not see.
He skirted the popcorn machine as if it had the plague, as he darted quickly across the empty street.
The little boy stopped to look back as he stood behind the trunk of a massive elm tree that stood in front of Ole’ Mrs. Henly’s house.
He didn’t want to look, but he was drawn to the red popcorn machine with wheels and the stooped shouldered man with the stovepipe hat.
He watched in horror as a little girl approached the eerie looking man.
He was frightened for her.
He moved closer to the tree, as the old man handed the little girl a box popcorn, the wind blowing a few popped kernels from the top of the box.
He didn’t know what he expected would happen next, he just knew the man frightened him.
The little girl, dressed in a tall pointed, black, hat timidly held her pumpkin shaped treat bag out to the shaky old man. After receiving the popcorn, the little girl slowly walked up the street in the opposite direction the little hobo was going. He could hear the faint strains of a sweet little song intermittently with the swishes of the wind, as she walked away.
A loud bang sounded as one of the tiles on the roof of the cottage broke loose and startled the little boy as he sat in the attic perched by the window.
He saw the wind carry the tile across the yard and it landed next to a pumpkin.
A black cat, one of many that had showed up tonight… squalled and leaped out of the way.
The little boy eyed the pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns along the fence, eyes wide open.
He had always loved the picket fence and this morning he delighted in helping his father place pumpkins all along the front of the white pickets as the sun’s warmth and light gave him a homey and comforting feeling .
But now as he sat in the attic, he clutched the old patchwork quilt closer to him as he shuddered. That had seemed so long ago.
Before…well, before his mother donned the black choir gown she always wore in the church choir and… the pointy hat.
That strange black hat she placed on her head as she sat up a table at the side of their cottage.
On the table, she had carefully laid out a bright orange tablecloth and placed a black cauldron of red apples along with a basket of treats to hand out to the trick or treaters.
Yes, and long before the skies turned dark and foreboding and before the eerie sounding wind had started to howl like a wolf in search of it’s dinner.
The little boy turned his eyes away from the window as he looked down at his small trick or treat loot. He hadn’t gotten to the end of the block when all the noises and sounds of Halloween shook him to his very core and he ran all the way back to his house and up the creaky stairs to the attic where he felt safe.
Rain began to pelt on the attic window and the wind appeared to grow stronger as he cautiously moved back from the window.
“Would you like some hot chocolate?” he heard his mother call to him from the bottom of the stairs.
And then the familiar deep voice of his father called up to him. “I know I could use a cup, son…come on down and let’s have some hot chocolate and popcorn, I just popped some fresh!”
And that my dear readers is the end of the story inspired by my table setting today.
I know, …..my imagination can run rampant!
As you can see, I used a black and white charger plate, made by 222Fifth called Wiccan Lace topped with a pumpkin shaped dinner plate from Sur La Table.
The salad plate is also from 222Fifth and called Wiccan Lace.
I just love the stick looking flatware, they can be found several places, including Pier 1... and I used dollar store black goblets. The black napkins I have had for years and I am not sure where I found them.
The little cottage house, I bought at Michael’s a few years ago. I just love the cottage all lit up at night. I also like the little ghosts on the roof. They seem like happy ghosts to me. And I picked up the popcorn machine and vendor and the little girl at Michael’s this year!
I used 6 little votive candles set in glass pumpkin holders from the dollar store several years ago and I placed my orange tablecloth underneath the “spiderwebs” that I purchased for 99 cents at Party City .
Just as an FYI….
The phrase is considered to represent “the archetypal example of a florid, melodramatic style of fiction writing,” also known as purple prose.
I believe true novelists stray away from such melodrama…but personally? I like it.
Have a great and Blessed Day.