Welcome to Day Three of Coffin Hop 2011. For a chance at Nate Southard's novella, He Stepped Through, visit Monday's blog. For a chance to win an ARC of Chris Golden's Cemetery Dance short story collection, The Secret Backs of Things, visit yesterday's blog.
My memories of fall as a kid aren't all wrapped up in Halloween. Actually, I've lots of memories that center more on autumn itself, which always served as precursors to Halloween, harbingers that the best dark and spooky time of the year was well on its way.
Wooly-bear caterpillars. Brilliant colors in the trees. Raking said leaves into huge piles. And, best of all...our basketball court-sized garden dying, because that provided PLENTY of amusement. Old gourds no good for cooking, now rotten and ready to burst, which made GREAT bombs to chuck around the garden. Lots of fun, watching them things burst apart.
Probably the best memory I have of tearing down the garden after harvest is reaping all the old corn stalks. My dad always grew ROWS and ROWS of corn, and when all the ears had been picked, those stalks made GREAT "planks" for anything from lean-to's, tee-pees and forts of all kinds.
Sure, they were a little dusty, got damp and a little moldy after awhile, and, yeah...buggy, too. But for a kid, they offered limitless possibilities when it came to building stuff. Nothing like having a fort or a secret place to hide in that YOU built, with your very own hands.
And that's when we knew Halloween lurked around the corner. When wooly-bear caterpillars were out, leaves were turning color, and we were building forts and tee-pees with all the cornstalks pulled up from the garden. We were ALWAYS hiding in those things. I remember once getting yelled at in the morning before school, because I'd been in the backyard, playing in mine, lost track of time, while the school bus sat idling out by the driveway.
So. Autumn isn't just about Halloween. Lots of great other memories about Fall, too. Share 'em if you got em, and up for the offering today: a Brian Keene two-fer, The Cage, (Cemetery Dance), his sold-out novella, and an unopened, unread, first issue of his comic series through Anarctic Press, The Last Zombie. Descriptions below.
For the employees of Big Bill's Home Electronics, it's just the end of another workday - until a gunman bursts into the store and begins shooting. Now, with some of their co-workers dead, the hostages are being slaughtered one-by-one, and if they want to survive the night, they'll have to escape... The Cage.
Follow the frantic journey of Doctor Ian Scott, a man seeking his one ray of hope in a post-apocalyptic nightmare United States. The zombies have come and (mostly) gone, but the disease is still out there, threatening the survivors. The country swarms with roving packs of wild animals—and worse, desperate humans—ready to do whatever it takes to survive. Through it all, one man must drive from Colorado to New York to reunite with the woman he loves...before it's too late for either of them!
Hey-up....hit me up with those crisp, apple-cider spiced autumn memories...