Katy Mann – Writer
Writing and reviewing horror fiction, because I love scary stories!
Fall Trees lit from below

Fall Trees lit from below



The Coming of Spooky Season


The first of September.


It’s the beginning of the shift from the bright season to the spooky season. The date used to mean going back to school, and this is what still shows on calendars and the annoyingly repetitious TV and print ads, but now it means so much more for me.


Fall is one of the transitional seasons, and it’s my favorite time of the year.  In the Midwestern world I used to occupy, it meant gradually dropping temperatures.  You could feel the shift in the air around you as the wind would start to pick up at night, blasting its way around my building, shaking the windows.


For me, autumn is when the night time forces of nature make their presence known.


I start to hear the skittle of fallen leaves being blown in circles on the sidewalks. This happens simultaneously with the sound of the wind worrying the dead and dying leaves that still cling to their branches, displaying spectacular new hues in their death throes as they change colors in the trees above me.


Even sunlight itself begins to change. Not as bright, not as warming as in previous months.


Back in Chicago, the waves racing across Lake Michigan seemed to look more gray and slate-like, cold and deadly to whoever dared venture onto it.  Then the water would begin to solidify into ice, and the freezing that started at the shore would extend outwards, never reaching the middle, but going far from the shore.  The glacial white, uneven top of this lake ice would be solid until the familiar roar of the ice breaking in the spring.


I love this time of year.


There are memories from childhood, of hunting for costumes in dime stores and for pumpkins at the local farm stands.  Now I generally buy my pumpkins at a farmer’s market or Trader Joe’s, but back in the Midwest we could drive out into the countryside and walk out into the fields.


Even the food changes.  “New” menu items are heralded in restaurants, though they seem familiar from previous years’ menus.  Weirdly shaped squash and wonderfully bizarre-looking root vegetables show up in the farmers market and are featured in the food magazines that come to me through the mail.


Out here in California, where seasonal changes are more subtle, autum is heralded in part by the appearance of those hokey, holiday magazines at the supermarket checkout stand.  I always buy one or two because this year I will use that decorating idea, or I will try that cute recipe with fingers popping up out of a graveyard sheet cake.  Yes, I really will.


And you?  What does the coming of fall mean to you?  Do you have rituals that you go through each year?


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