Welcome to the third year anniversary celebration, where we present three of our favorite Halloween stories. Last but not least is SNOWFALL by the brilliant Mara S. Akram. This story is inspired by the Swiss folk legend of the undead hunter Türst and his three-legged hounds. To end the celebration, we give you a nightmare come to life!
I knew it would be that night and not the next.
Maybe it was the moon that told me, its honeyed light poured in through the spine of the cabin as I lay snug under the warm covers, my face bathed in the orange light of the fire.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Ama’s words all those years ago. ‘Magic happens when no one’s looking,’ she had told me. Ever since, I had been determined to see it – to know for certain it existed.
So much had happened since the last Light’s Giving. With Ama gone and my mother a shell of herself, I needed something to prove life still held meaning, still held magic. But everyone knew not to go out on the nights before Light’s Giving. All the stories said that whoever saw Türst was never seen from again. Those were the stories the Elders told. The stories Ama had told. But I, for one, had never seen anyone disappear, except those who died and were buried in the cold ground. And besides, my best friend Kilan said the stories were just there to scare children into doing what they were told.
On the other side of the dying flames, my mother’s rumpled form lay obscured beneath a heap of dark pelts. She would not even notice my absence, I was sure. A quick look and I would be back before the flames in the fire had dulled to embers.
I didn’t give myself long to think about it. I pulled on one thick skinned boot and then the other, wrapping myself in Ama’s old cloak. I pulled the hood down over my hair as I pinched my body through the small door and out into the milky silence of the night.
I made my way down the path…
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Mara S. Akram is a Pakistani-American writer living in Switzerland. An alumna of the Author Mentor Match mentorship program, her fiction writing has appeared in the archeo-fantasy novella The Eye of the Ocean. When not reading, writing or drawing, she can probably be found getting lost in the Swiss countryside. To connect with Mara, visit her on Twitter or at www.art4mara.com.
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As always, if you’d like your gothic, horror, fantasy, or psychological realism work featured, be sure to Submit.