we'll get right back to our perhapanauts scary story halloween contest in just a moment...
but remember yesterday when i said i couldn't get blogger to load up the photos of our friends from the screaming tiki con in ohio...? well, i finally got it to work...
and so here are c and my new friends, cat staggs and mark mchaley, both incredible illustrators who's gorgeous work adorns the cards and posters of many a star wars and indiana jones set--among many, many others!
cat and mark
here's a quick sample of what cat can do...
and here's a couple of mark's...
check out more of cat's stuff at:
and check out mark's at:
also part of our 'crew' were writer, marc sumerak, and artist, chris jones! marc is the writer on many a marvel masterpiece and, most notably, the award winning, franklin richards series! chris is the guy who makes the batman strikes comic book look even cooler than the show (imo!)!
marc and chris
we had a great time hanging with these guys--truly, the friendships we made at this show helped make the weekend SO much more fun! great meeting all four of you and we'll be seein' ya all again soon enough at the new york show!
and, now, here's david's story...
The following story is based on actual events. It has not been edited for time or to fit your TV...
It wasn’t a dark and stormy night. Quite the contrary, it was the Fourth of July. It was a spectacular one, too. The kind you always remember, like you would see in an episode of the Wonder Years. Everyone was there: family, friends, family of friends, people from church. The festivities sprawled some ten acres to encompass both our neighbors, with our house in the middle serving as the base of operations for all activities.
Growing up in rural southwest Georgia one becomes accustomed to a single cold hard fact… gatherings of any sort mean food… and lots of it.
There were ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, pea salad, corn on the cob, corn bread, baked beans and my Peepaw’s secret hamburger relish (if you keep it a secret I may share it with you sometime). Anyway, one could only imagine the spread of food available unless they had seen it with their own eyes. Food like this isn’t eaten in course but in waves.
After all that there was always dessert. Homemade ice cream made with blackberries, blue berries and strawberries from our neighbor’s garden. Ice cream was of course churned by crank, powered by the younger ones in attendance, myself included. It was my job to ensure that the youngest, my brother, sat on the churn while we cranked. “Otherwise the ice cream won’t freeze,” I would say. Of course this wasn’t true; it was a fable created by my Peepaw when my mother was a child. The actual result was to freeze the bottom of whoever was sitting on the churn. My glee at my brother’s frozen backside was short-lived, however. My schadenfreude would eventually backfire when the trash can of ice that was used to chill watermelons was used to douse me.
It was the only time that I can ever remember having enough people over to have two full teams to play softball. That was a real treat. Back yard ball on ten acres is as exciting as the real thing when you are 12. We played a good 6 or 7 innings before the parents opted to call it. We continued playing with our abbreviated teams until it was time for the fireworks.
Four brown bags full of contraband fireworks from Phenix City, Alabama (the other Sin City --- look it up), were the main attraction. We watched the sun set as gross after gross of imported explosions erupted before us. It would have taken longer to execute such an array, but one bag full of munitions caught fire and sent rockets and members of the audience in all directions. Turned out that would be enough fireworks for the night.
People began saying good bye and making their way home, leftovers in tow. My Mom, Dad, brother, sister and I gathered around the bonfire, taking a much needed breather from the day’s events. We agreed that much fun was had by all as Mom tried to get the perfect ration of crispy brown skin and gooey goodness on her marshmallow without it catching fire.
It was quite dark now. Living in the country, the night sky seems much deeper, the stars brighter and crisper. The glow of the fire was the only real source of light in the back yard. A dirt road ran the length of our property behind the house. Parallel to it ran US Highway 19. Past the dirt road were mounds of kudzu that covered the hollow remains of slave quarters. For a July night the air was cool and moved through the pecan trees that surrounded the house and lined the driveway. Mom always said it reminded her of Tara.
My dog Boomer lay at my feet enjoying a dish of leftovers that I had prepared for her. Boomer was the best dog a boy could ever hope for. The day she picked me to be her friend was a great one. She always looked out for my siblings and me. Quick to lick a scrape after tumbling from your bike or to put herself between you and a snake if need be. Boomer never gave anyone reason to question her motives or judgment.
Imagine our surprise when her oversized ears stood up along with the hair on the back of her neck as she stared and faintly growled down the dirt road. There were no headlights; all the guests had gone. We heard nothing… wait…something was coming. What was that sound? A faint rumbling, like…thunder? No, something else. Not just a rumble, but hooves. Was that a wagon? Who would be riding their horse at this hour? The noise grew louder, but not so much louder as closer. The sounds grew more distinct: hooves, wheels, chains, and a low moan --- a moan of anguish and pain, but not a defeated moan, a defiant moan.
Other than the initial call to Boomer, no one said a word. We stood frozen. Boomer let loose a barrage of barks at the peak of the noise, but never ventured out of the yard. While we never “saw” anything, we felt the presence pass as the sound disappeared down the road past the kudzu, beyond the trees.
We looked at each other, confused. We tried to explain what we saw. We are an open minded family who understands that there are things beyond that which can be explained.
Later, we carefully began asking the questions, trying not to sound too crazy. Not sounding crazy can be hard to do when you are an outsider in a town of 1200. An outsider is someone who doesn’t have family ties to the town prior to the turn of the century. As it turns out, a century or so ago a young black man was beaten nearly to death, tied to the back of a wagon, and drug from town out past where he lived. There he was hung. I don’t remember the “reason” given. Mainly because no reason would be just. There was even a passage about the incident in the “History of…” book of our community.
We never experienced the incident again. In fact, every 4th of July we would listen. I think it was important for us to know and remember what had happened. In that way others could not forget.
Except for the burning red eyes that would pierce into by brother’s window on occasion and the unexplained hot spot on the floor in my parents’ closet, everything else at that house was fairly normal.
[Peepaw’s famous hamburger relish: 1 part onion to 1 part tomato. Chop, stir and serve with any burger or dog]
David Hunting Hill, II
nice one! : )
smell ya later!