When guest editor Kevin Lucia put out a call for stories for their special Halloween issue of Shroud Magazine, I wrote what is probably my first short story in about a year, "Last Halloween." You can pre-order this issue here. You'll probably also be able to find it in Barnes & Noble and other major racks, but if you want to be sure of getting a copy, probably best to pre-order above. If you do see the magazine in stores, let me know.

The background on the story. I used to carry a small notebook with me as story ideas came to me, and more recently a Palm Pilot. I had two ideas jotted down, the first noted a few years back during trick or treating - what if a mother and her kids went trick or treating, but no one else did, for some reason everyone was afraid to go out at night but she insisted on bringing her kids - how would the neighbors deal with the situation, and what, exactly was the situation? Another note I'd taken was the concept of ghosts being drifters, like mist, wandering, wandering. There was more to that idea, but I simply used the drifting ghosts, coupled with the woman taking her kids out on Halloween when she should no longer be doing that, and the result, I hope, is a pretty cool story of loss, yearning and addictions - and withdrawals - people have for one another, and the past.

 I think it came out really good, kind of quiet and sad but then themes like that are, I suppose. But I'm happy that the overall feel of the story, envisioned years earlier when I jotted the thought down, managed to come out. Let me know what you think of the piece. We never have enough feedback as writers.

Also, major kudos to artists Danny Evarts, who did all the interior illustrations and layout, and Steven Gilberts for the amazing (as always) cover art.


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