Today I’m happy to share my Halloween inspiration.
I’m happy to say I finished my Sexy to Go story for the Halloween Special a few days ago. A few weeks earlier I doubted if I’d find the inspiration for a short sexy story with a Halloween theme or connection. The image above helped me a bit. A historical picture of the kind of celebrations that took place in rural Ireland in the early 19th century. Many of these activities crossed to America a little later.
As well as the picture I found a listing of a Halloween fortune telling game I’d not heard of before. Your future told by the icy hand. That sounded the right kind of thing to leave my young heroine Charity Burbage breathless.
The icy hand was used to tell if a young person would marry, become rich, be successful or have children, amongst other things. This is how it worked: the questioner would sit in a dim lit space with the fortune teller, they would rest their palm on a block of ice and count to ten or twenty. The fortune teller would place a tray with tiny cut outs of paper shapes in front of the questioner who must put their wet palm on the tray. The damp skin picked up some of the paper shapes and this told the future. A ring meant marriage, in America a dollar sign showed wealth, a button meant a young man would remain a bachelor, for a girl a thimble showed she’d not marry in the next twelve months, a clothespin showed poverty, an umbrella told of a journey, a four-leaf clover showed good luck soon and key-fame.
I imagined how dreadful Charity might find such an activity and what might persuade her to take part in it. From there Charity’s Fortune proved great fun to write.
Here’s a little snippet.
“As if I’d tell you anything about what goes on between me and Matthew?” Kathleen said. “You listen to Ma too much and you’ll blab like a toddler if she pushes you to talk. It’s time you did some thinking of your own. They’ll be calling you next. I wager you my best pink ribbon it will be Joe who calls your name. He’s a hankerin’ for you so Matthew says.”
Even Joe’s name made Charity’s stomach roll. Each fear she had melted at the edges as she dwelt on him. Her skin tingled in places she’d never mention to anyone and heaven help her, the thoughts of kissing with him, his mouth on hers, blotted out many of the warnings of sin, but not all.
“Don’t look so po-faced,” Kathleen said. “I know well enough you like him above all others. I reckon he knows it too. You’re both of age to wed. If you promise each other, then where’s the harm in finding out if you’ll enjoy all of him?”
She craned her head toward the dark curtain the boys had hung up between a pair of towers made by six fat sacks each side. The voice came from within its folds. A deep voice, but she would darn well know it anywhere. That was Joe calling and it was her name he called again.
Kathleen gave her a gentle shove and a smile. “Go on.”
Charity’s Fortune will be available soon. In the mean time you can find all the Sexy to Go volumes on special offer. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading, and if you have ever had your fortune told by the icy hand do let me know.
Snap-Apple Night globalphilosophy by Daniel Maclise – 1833 painting by Daniel Maclise. Via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maclise.snap.apple.night.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons