The wind was howling fiercely at the shutters as the storm raged against the large, nearly empty house on the hill. In the living room candles flitted neurotically, the only source of light, the tempest having stolen the electricity about an hour ago. She sat all alone, save for her four cats who huddled, trembling at her feet. She sat still, sucking on a glass of wine for courage and reading the same line in the book, over and over. Occasionally she whipped her golden head around abruptly, in hope (or fear) to see what she felt, what she knew, MUST be watching her…but there was never anyone, or anything there.
Eventually, she found the glass empty, yet her nerves were still on edge. The decision had to be made. Try to bear it all in sober silence or leave the comfort of the sofa to fill the cup and ease the terror mounting every minute. One foot felt out for the cold, hard floor. Then another. Her legs were stiff, in fact every part of her body screamed out in the pain as it unfolded itself from the tense, curled position she had adopted, perhaps innately, as a means of self-preservation.
Slowly, she inched along in the darkness, toward the kitchen, feeling her way with a tentative hand against the wall. She realized, halfway there, that she should have brought a candle with her, but, with trepidation she soldiered on, knowing full well she did not have the courage to take this trip again. The boards creaked under foot, as loud as explosions in the silence of this inner part of the house. She was sure, if anything was laying in wait for her, that It would have no doubt where she was. As she reached the kitchen, she allowed herself a quick breath (she had held her breath the entire trip) and as the air released from her lips, breaking the eerie quiet, she swore she heard a breathy, whisper of a laugh from across the kitchen. Paralyzed with fear, she listened desperately for a few seconds, the fear building up in her like a volcano, that then, suddenly erupted. She grabbed the bottle from the counter and made a mad dash down the hall, knocking over plants and a vase in her frantic hurry.
When she reached the living room she slammed the door shut and pushed an over-stuffed armchair in front of it. Leaping onto the sofa, she stared at the door waiting, with heaving, gasping breaths, that, after awhile began to calm and slow and return to normal. After several minutes, she even chuckled a little to herself. What a ninny she was being. Her imagination had gotten the best of her, silly girl. Of course there was nothing in the house! What a nerd.
She smiled to herself as she lifted the bottle to pour another glass of wine, but the smile abruptly gaped open in horror. She couldn’t scream, her eyes grew wide and filled with terror. It couldn’t be possible!
The bottle was empty!
I wrote this silly little story last Halloween for my blog Exo Patrida, just as a lark, but as this blog is more geared toward the epi-curious, oenophiles, etc I thought I might recommend a fabulous wine for your Halloween festivities: Caduceus Cellers Merkin Vineyard’s CHUPACABRA! Not only does this wine have a fantastically scary name which will no doubt entertain your guests, it is also most excellent! I may be a bit biased as it is an Arizona wine, but it has received some pretty damn good reviews in the past year or so…more so for the 2007 I am thinking. It is a blend of Cab and Syrah so it is quite a spicy, juicy little number. Actually little is not the word I should use. It is a helluva big wine. When I first tried it, it had just come out and was wine-maker (and “Tool” frontman) Maynard James Keenan’s first attempt at the wine biz. I didn’t like it at first, to be honest. I tasted it when it was very young. There was just too much going on, it was too complex, like a drunk who puts too many different spices in the sauces (we wouldn’t know anything about that here at Forage, now would we?) However, upon a recent trip to Arizona I hit up the Caduceus Cellars Tasting Room in Jerome and was surprised and baffled at how time and a little tweeking had turned out quite a nice sip! I will write more on the beauty of the Arizona wines made by Merkin and their sister company Arizona Stronghold, but for your Halloween pleasure I give you CHUPACABRA!