Monday, November 03, 2008


I awoke to a very unpleasant sound this morning. We have been trying to buy the lots next to us where we live to keep folks from building on them but have had little luck in tracing ownership of said lots. Then I saw a sign up last week that I thought was a lot for sale just one over from ours. I immediately called to make an offer only to find out that it had already been sold and that no information could be released on the buyer. This morning, before 8:00, they started clearing the lot and the awful sound I heard was a bulldozer tearing down trees. I don’t begrudge others wanting a bit of nature in their lives. That’s why we moved where we did. But with the constant building—at least 12 houses have gone up in our neighborhood since we moved there in 2006—we’re rapidly losing the very nature that we wanted to get a piece of. It’s very saddening and I’m really not feeling very happy today. I want to get back somewhere in the woods with hundreds of acres around us as a cushion against other people. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

As a quick warning note, if you see a book by Peter Benchley called Creature, be aware that it’s the exact same book as his White Shark. I liked the book when I read it but didn’t need two copies. Now I have two because I didn’t realize it was just a change in title.

Finally, below is a complete—I believe—list of all those flash fiction stories and poetry that were written for Halloween Horror October. I’ve also included links to Halloween art from our blog colleagues, and links to blogs where nonfiction materials were published about Halloween. My own stories can be found in my post backlog under the names Halloween Flash #1 through #7. Thanks again to everyone who participated and who visited. Happy Halloween!

Halloween Flash Fiction Stories and Poetry:

Donnetta Lee, Spirit Moving.
Donnetta Lee, Loop.

Avery Debow, Empress of the Fescue.
Avery Debow, Problem Child.
Avery Debow,The Love of the Job.

L. A. Mitchell (an Award Winning Story), Home.

Sidney Williams, Having His Say.
Sidney Williams, Jack-O-Lanterns.

Miladysa, Twisted.

Bernardl, Jack-o-Lantern.
Bernardl, Last Halloween Fiction.

SQT, Election Day.

Lucas Pederson, The Lesson.
Lucas Pederson, Hell Plate.
Lucas Pederson, The Creeper.

Stewart Sternberg, Fat Man.

Vesper: Fortune.
Vesper, On a Halloween Night.

Will Kinshella, Halloween Flash.

Mark C. Durfee, Trick or Treat.

JR, Inspire.

Writtenwyrd, Chocophobia.

Travis, Investigating a Mysterious Ending.

Ferrel D. Moore, Little Friends .

Barbara Martin, Halloween Flash.

Sarah Hina, Run.

Jason Evans, The Forgotten Ones.

Billy Hammett, It Is a Fearful Thing.

Laughingwolf, freaky flash iii.
Laughingwolf, witch.
Laughingwolf, overlord.
Laughingwolf, Polterguest.
Laughingwolf, Dawn Coyote.
Laughingwolf, freaky flash IX, night.
Laughingwolf, flight.
Laughingwolf, analine..
Laughingwolf, lady jane.
Laughingwolf has another freaky flash up: Chance
Laughingwolf, freaky flash IX, night.
Laughingwolf, lobo.
Laughingwolf, rider
Laughingwolf (Adult Language Warning): taboo

Nonfiction Halloween Horror links:
Rick, “The Writer and the White Cat” ran a very informative series about the “monsters” of horror fiction.

Scott, Blog of the Beast did a series on horror movies, including one of the goriest films ever, “Dead-Alive,” which was directed by none other than Peter Jackson.

Writtenwyrd, Marketing Horror, markets for horror fiction.

Barbara Martin, Dracula, posts about horror films.

Travis, (a great true story of haunting),Ghost. Well worth checking out.

Halloween inspired art:
Steve Malley, here.

Jack Bertram, Frankenstein versus Hercules



Heff said...

I bought the lot next to me to keep out undesirables (ANY other people), just as someone else was looking to purchase it. I'm sorry you got beaten to the punch. I was quite proud of my conquest.

Chris Benjamin said...

this is happening in the community where i grew up, where my folks still live. it's gone bedroom, little boxes as pete seeger put it.

BernardL said...

Thanks for the round-up of links, Charles.

Lana Gramlich said...

I've left a message with the realtor today, baby. Waiting to hear back. Even if we do lose some of the paradise of home, I still look forward to retiring to AR, where NO one can move in "next door." <:(

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, I envy you. That's what I was hoping to do but I gotten beaten to the punch this time.

Benjibopper, it's agonizing for me. I grew up with no houses closer than a mile or so from my home, and then only two houses closer than about 3 miles.

Bernardl, no problem. Hope you enjoy,

Lana, that seems so far off right now, baby.

Steve Malley said...

Those treedozing bastards.

And, quite the list. You really whipped up the Halloween spirit this year!!

Cath said...

Hi Charles. Sorry - had to skip the scary stuff. Caught one or two but I am not THAT brave.

Don't those owners of land have to advertise a sale of land or at least the contractors advertise their intentions before just bulldozing the place?

Sad state of affairs.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Wow! There's plenty of free flash to read here (I know, I'm behind). I certainly hope you'll continue this tradition next year. Maybe I'll write one that includes a bulldozer, some woods, and a writer. Peace.

Barrie said...

I'm so sorry about the building going on around you. And what's with the change in title thing??

Charles Gramlich said...

Steve Malley, I was very pleased to see all the halloween stuff that folks produced. And yes, treedozing bastards. I feel like pulling a Monkey Wrench Gang kind of behavior.

Crazycath, they had a sign up but no information about who to call or where to call.

JR, yes, we had a really good turnout on the Halloween horror. Thanks for your contribution. That story you're contemplating might be too horrific for me.

Barrie, I know. I'm not sure what you mean by "change in title" thing?

Charles Gramlich said...

Barrie, never mind, I see you're talking about the White Shark, Creature. I think they did a tv series and changed the title to Creature, and then kept that for the re-release of the book.

Barbara Martin said...

Too bad about those lots around you. It seems wherever people are new houses are bound to go up. You'll need to buy a small farm to keep people at bay.

Thanks for the links.

Scott said...

Charles, I'm sorry to hear about the lot situation. I've been living in the city since my late teens. My house has houses right next to it on either side. I didn't mind it for a long time, but lately I've been more inclined to find a house in the woods somewhere in the next few years or so.

Travis Cody said...

Sorry to hear about the building. My folks have run into that twice now, once in southern California and now in Washington State.

They are headed for a try in Arizona soon.

Thanks for all the links! I'm going to mark this post so I can go back and catch what I missed.

Rick said...

Charles, you and Lana are always welcome to move to Detroit. Wait, I'm trying to think of a few reasons you guys would like the natural scenery around here.... let me get back to you on this. Maybe we'll all come join you down there. Stewart and his wife can sleep in your guest room, I'll sleep on the roof. The other Detroit writers will have to fend for themselves!

By the way, the Halloween fiction you series you ran was great, great fun. We're all hoping this becomes an annual tradition.

Thanks, Charles.

Miladysa said...

Ditto Steve Malley

It must be heartbreaking for you both.

It might be an idea to lightly nail a copy of your Halloween Flash Fiction #7 to a nearby tree and mumble something about voodoo as you are passing by?

Thank you for the link.

Anonymous said...

Damn progress! Can't they go and do it somewhere else? That really like sucks and shit. There's another "like" to brighten your day.

The Trailer Of Love

writtenwyrdd said...

That's awful about the encroachment! I grew up in a town that was agricultural (San Jose CA) and watched it get paved and made into cookie cutter homes and strip malls. Truly awful to see occur.

Charles Gramlich said...

Barbara Martin, forunately my family has farm land in Arkansas and when I retire I'm moving to the middle of it.

Scott, I lived in Metairie for years and it was like that, and it wasn't so bad when Josh was young because he had lots of friends and kids to play with, but as I've gotten older I just want to be away from folks.

Travis, people follow you it seems.
As they've followed to Abita Springs.

Rick, as long as you and Stewart stay out of my beer you're welcome.

Miladysa, lol. That's a good idea. Or maybe I'll put up signs that say "target range."

Wil, yep, I'm putting up "target range" signs.

Writtenwyrd, it is indeed horrible. I hate to see so much land torn up.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

Sorry about the evil noise! Thanks for the Halloween links -- too cool!

Sarah Hina said...

I'm sorry to hear that your bit of Walden is being cut into, Charles. What a sense of loss.

Thanks for linking to my story, and for all the others. A lot of people were truly inspired!

virtualjourney said...

Very sorry to hear about the lots. We have a space that is thankfully dominated with two oaks with preservation orders.

Charles Gramlich said...

Michelle, and this morning I found they'd left a fire burning all night in some logs. Good thing it was relatively wet, but i'm not happy.

Sarah, thanks, and thanks for your great contribution.

Julie, wonderful. That's a good thing to have.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Oh Charles! I'm sory for you and Lana! I am completely anti development! It really burns me to see the constant destruction of nature as man continues to encroach. Grr don't get me started! But I'm sorry it is affecting your sanctuary.

ivan said...


You are not alone.

The Yuppies are now invading East-End Toronto, heretofor thought of as a decent area to live.
And the locals are getting nasty.

To wit:

Poster threatens Leslieville 'yuppie' shops
Updated: Mon Nov. 03 2008 7:24:37 PM

Leslieville merchants are on high alert after someone put up a poster all over the neighbourhood asking residents to vandalize property.

The poster is an exact replica of another poster being distributed around town that is rallying residents against big box development on the massive Toronto Film Studio lands.

The 18-acre site is set for redevelopment but some residents fear stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot will move in, pushing small independent retailers out of business.

However, the replica poster is not asking residents to take action against big box stores. Instead, it's asking people to boycott the stores that cater to "yuppies" -- young professionals.

"No yuppies in Leslieville," the poster says. "Yuppies and their stores prey on neighbourhoods. They push up rent while pushing the neighbourhood out. Don't look to others to solve the problem, we have to solve it ourselves."

The poster then goes on to suggest a boycott of the shops but also asks people to "smash out their windows" and "write graffiti."

Poster threatens Leslieville 'yuppie' shops
Updated: Mon Nov. 03 2008 7:24:37 PM

Virginia Lady said...

I can feel your pain. When we lost the lot next to us, it took the two buyers, but we finally got cool neighbors. Now, of course, the builders have been sucking up every square foot of land around. I'm definitely in the minority here with my suburban oasis of an acre but all my neighbors having at least that as well. Friends from the developments come into my backyard and are shocked at the park-like setting.

Cloudia said...

Changes in my neighborhood are also upsetting! My heart is with you. Perhaps the neighbors will be silent film fans. . .
Aloha from Waikiki-

Tom Evans said...

That certainly is an impressive set of links! Nothing like a good bit of halloween action...

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you weren't able to secure that land around you. I've always lived in apartments or tract housing, but I do have an appreciation for the great outdoors.

Thanks for putting me on you Halloween list.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ello, yes, we're really not happy with it but we will eventually retire to my family's land in Arkansas where we can be safe from developers.

Ivan, Geeze, that sounds a little extreme.

Virginia lady, hang on desperartly to it. Don't let the developers destroy it.

Cloudia, thanks for visiting. And yes, silent film fans. Great Idea. We can hope!

Tom Evans, there's some really good stories in there.

Annalys, thankee.

Jack, I grew up in the country so it's just so hard for me to live in close close proximity to others.

laughingwolf said...

thx charles...

[sitting here sneezing, nose still running]

Mary Witzl said...

When I was a kid, my parents bought a house at the edge of a wide field ringed by hills, full of wild flowers and sagebrush. Our views were out of this world. In no time, the bulldozers came. Our views disappeared and in their place came chains and chains of tract houses. Everyone needs a place to live, but it's so sad sometimes.

And the Panhandle of Florida just makes me weep...At least you're not there!

Charles Gramlich said...

Mary witzl, definitely makes me sad. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Charles!

Danette Haworth said...

When they were building up my neighborhood, the empty lot next door was filled with razor blades, belts of nails, and broken glass. And proudly standing on the front of the lot almost on our property line was the portable john.

We had a bad storm one night, and when I looked out the window the next morning, the john (and contents) had been knocked over.

Charles Gramlich said...

Jason, no problem.

Danette, now that's a real "shitty" story. *sorry, couldn't resist. ;)*