Halloween was always our favourite celebration, Jess, until you left to go on what you called your ‘Grand Adventure’. A place where even a long-distance relationship won’t work. Now, it’s just another celebration that I get to celebrate alone. I still do though.  

I went looking for pumpkins yesterday. Found one at a local farmhouse. The perfect one. It’s sitting in the middle of the kitchen table, waiting for work to commence. With great care and precision, I carve the perfect face. I drew the design on a piece of paper weeks ago – always the planner. I wish you could see it, Jess.

I’m done now and place the tea-light inside. I don’t light it yet. It isn’t time. I pack it all in the car, together with a mini picnic of coffee in a travel mug and our favourite candies, grab my warmest hoodie and drive to what I call our ‘Special Place’.

It doesn’t take long. I sit on the cold ground, light the tea-light and lean back against the stone to admire my creation. I close my eyes. “Hope you like it, Jess.”

“I love it.” A whisper on the wind. “It’s your best one yet.”

My eyes snap open and you’re there, right before me, wearing the familiar goofy smile. “You’re here,” I splutter.

“Well, of course I am, I’m always here.”

“I miss you so much.” I wipe angrily at a tear – can’t cry now.

“I know you do Alec, but it’s been ten years. I don’t know many seventeen year old boys who would have stuck with their girlfriend through to leukaemia’s bitter end. But you did, and I’m so grateful. You need to let me go now. It’s time to move on.”

“I don’t know if I can. It hurts so much not having you in my life.”

“I know,” you say, “but it’s hurting me to stay. As long as you hang on to me, I can’t let go. I’ve seen things here. I’m afraid of what I could become. One last night?”

I smile and bravely nod. 

One last perfect night.

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Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
1 year ago

Very poignant, spooky story, Carrie. Well written. I liked the hint of menace in the warning she gives him. Not sure how after a perfect night he’ll actually feel able to let her go. If you wanted to write something a bit darker, then this would be a great story to expand, especially if he just can’t leave things and keeps conjuring her!  ? 

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 year ago

Truly enjoyed your story Miss Carrie; I enjoyed the new take on Halloween. The spooky link to loved ones who have passed on.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

A very nice story, Carrie. I felt so sad for the young man, not being able to let go of his beloved girlfriend. Ten years is such a long time for anyone, especially someone his age. Like Paul, I imagine he might have a harder time letting go after the perfect night! Let’s hope it wasn’t quite perfect … for both their sakes.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Oh, Carrie. I could feel the wound and pain in Alec’s heart. It is very difficult on his part to let go of his beloved but, it is necessary. It is an infinite love story on a Halloween theme. It is perfect. I almost cry while reading it, Carrie. Well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Carrie. Oh yes. Life is not just cruel sometimes but also unfair.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

It is not only a poignant portrayal of the ordeal of a long terminal disease but also eerie. Good work!

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
1 year ago

You’re welcome.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

After having read not only your story, but also your answer to Fuji’s comment, I feel deeply moved by the sad story. You manage very well to combine the description of the young couple’s warm relationship and the girl’s death, with the spooky possibility of a ghost being stuck in this world. Good work!

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 year ago

Don’t they say that if you love someone you need to let them free? Alec is allowed one last night with his lost love. She offers hope but gives him also a warning. What you left unsaid is the real masterstroke, Carrie. I love it!

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Orlando Sanchez
Orlando Sanchez(@orlando-sanchez)
1 year ago

Poignant and touching…well done!

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

This is a very touching story. The line “As long as you hang on to me, I can’t let go. I’ve seen things here. I’m afraid of what I could become.” is really thought-provoking and scary. I found it very sad, but beautiful that after all the years, Alec still tries to do things that Jess liked. This was beautifully written.

Last edited 1 year ago by Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
Reply to  Carrie OLeary
1 year ago

I look forward to reading more!

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Trista HerringBaughman
Trista HerringBaughman(@trista-herringbaughman)
1 year ago

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