Halloween. What to do?
That was the question Pique writers asked a few weeks ago when pondering what kind of Halloween feature should go with our Halloween cover. It's the biggest weekend for the resort in a lot of ways, with parties starting on Thursday (WORCA's annual Halloween Toonie Ride for one), and wrapping up in the wee hours of Monday morning, Nov. 1.
We've done all kinds of local Halloween feature stories in the past, reciting the history of the holiday around the world and in Whistler, talked to local spook hunters and witches, and written pieces about what you can do to celebrate (Holly's cookie recipe from last year was particularly good), but not wanting to go over the same ground again this year we decided to do something a little different and write a little fiction.
Some claim that's all reporters do anyway, but that's okay - we have thick hides, and haters gonna hate.
But this is different for us, a rare opportunity to try our chops writing original, scary stories for the season, and we all jumped at the chance.
We hope you enjoy them the way people are meant to enjoy horror fiction - which is to say we hope you crap your pants and have nightmares for a week.
A feast at Samhain
Huddled together in their hut of stone and sod, Elder Ongham hugged his children closer as the spirits of the dead raged outside.
For it was the festival of Samhain, the first full moon after the harvest. On this night the dead rose up from their graves and communed with the living, gently knocking on doors to have a quiet word with their kin. Candles burned in windows and hollowed out gourds so the waking spirits might find their way home through the mist, and warm their souls by the hearth awhile. It was a homecoming of sorts, and most welcome to families in mourning for loved ones.
But there was also a spirit in town who was not so welcome, said to be none other than Finart, the only son of Dis Pater; Lord of the Underworld. It was told that Finart, a warrior in his prime, met his bloody end in the fields nearby a hundred years before in a great battle. To punish his killers, Dis demanded a human sacrifice for his son each year on the night of Samhain or he would unleash all the dark souls in his keeping on the land.
And so each year the folk in the area drew lots, and this Samhain it was the Ongham's youngest daughter Brigan who was picked by Druid Mera. Just six years old, she was to be tied to a stake outside their home with an offering of wine at her feet, and left there for Finart's hungry ghost to devour.