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Halloween from the Other Side: Holidazed, #1

Halloween from the Other Side: Holidazed, #1

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Halloween from the Other Side: Holidazed, #1

Length:
276 pages
3 hours
Released:
Sep 9, 2019
ISBN:
9781622535286
Format:
Book

Description

Delphyne Shadow is Solomon's ex-girlfriend from hell—literally. At Halloween, she returns for his soul.

Back in 1979, when Solomon Zuch and Delphyne Shea were in high school, they shared an intense, romantic liaison on Halloween night. It became one of Solomon's most treasured memories.

Twenty years later, Solomon is the married manager of The All Hallows' Eve Shoppe, a pop-up store that reopens every year to sell Halloween supplies to customers in north Columbus, Ohio. Delphyne Shadow, as she is now popularly known, calls herself the Madonna of the Underworld, and every year she hosts the most infamous Halloween party in town, The Nightmare Bash.

At the end of the millennium, Delphyne plans the most outrageous Nightmare Bash ever. Unexpectedly, she comes back into Solomon's life, making a "business proposition" too good to be true – together, they will co-host the Nightmare Bash, right inside The All Hallows' Eve Shoppe.

But Regina, Solomon's wife, a psychic healer, knows that Delphyne has hidden motives. Only she can protect Solomon from his former lover's sinister plan to steal his soul… if her powers are strong enough.

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS a satirical, down-right funny novel sure to keep a smile on your face. [DRM-Free]

Books by Gregg Sapp:

  • Fresh News Straight from Heaven
  • Holidazed - Book 1: Halloween from the Other Side
  • Holidazed - Book 2: The Christmas Donut Revolution
  • Holidazed - Book 3: Upside-Down Independence Day

More Great Fiction from Evolved Publishing:

  • Hannah's Voice by Robb Grindstaff
  • The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning
  • Memoirs of a Transferable Soul by W. Town Andrews

 

Released:
Sep 9, 2019
ISBN:
9781622535286
Format:
Book

About the author

Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a librarian, academic administrator, and a Pushcart Prize-nominated author. Having written over 60 academic articles and some 300 reviews, Gregg published his first novel, Dollarapalooza (or “The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus”) in 2011 with Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press. Since then, he has published humor, poetry, and short stories in various literary journals, including Defenestration, Imaginaire, Kestrel, Zodiac Review, Marathon Review, and Writing Tomorrow, and he’s been a frequent contributor to Midwestern Gothic.


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Halloween from the Other Side - Gregg Sapp

Copyright

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HALLOWEEN FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Holidazed – Book 1

Copyright © 2019 Gregg Sapp

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ISBN (EPUB Version): 1622535286

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-528-6

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Editor: Lane Diamond

Cover Artist: Kabir Shah

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE:

At the end of this novel of approximately 53,959 words, you will find two Special Sneak Previews: 1) THE CHRISTMAS DONUT REVOLUTION by Gregg Sapp, the second book in this fun and satirical Holidazed series, and; 2) FRESH NEWS STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN by Gregg Sapp, the award-winning tale of the American legend, Johnny Appleseed. We think you’ll enjoy these books, too, and provide these previews as a FREE extra service, which you should in no way consider a part of the price you paid for this book. We hope you will both appreciate and enjoy the opportunity. Thank you.

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eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

~~~

Disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by Gregg Sapp

HOLIDAZED

Book 1: Halloween from the Other Side

Book 2: The Christmas Donut Revolution

Book 3: Upside-Down Independence Day

Book 4: Murder by Valentine Candy (Coming February 2021)

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Fresh News Straight from Heaven

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Dollarapalooza (or The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus)

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www.GreggSapp.net

What Others Are Saying About FRESH NEWS STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN

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Johnny Appleseed told many a good yarn about his life and times. He would like this book. ~ Howard Means, Author of Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, the American Story (S&S 2011)

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"Fresh News is as fresh as today, filled with the flavor and plain frontier talk of the Western Reserve. It’s unmissable." ~ The Akron Beacon Journal (Book Talk, August 2, 2018)

~~~

Gregg Sapp presents a superbly researched, highly entertaining, and thoroughly enjoyable historically based novel surrounding the exploits of Johnny Appleseed; intertwined with some of the most noteworthy persons and events of the time period. If your initial reaction to the topic is that it may be rather trite—I assure you it is NOT. The historical references and characterizations are intricately researched, creating an exceptional description of lifestyles and living conditions in the cruel harsh frontier at the onset of the nineteenth century. Sapp is a professional researcher with prominent academic credentials who knows how to evaluate the authenticity of primary and secondary sources of information and then craft them into a highly readable and truly exciting adventure. In addition to being a truly exciting story, this book gives the reader a fascinating prospective of frontier living not previously available in other novels. ~ Tim Terry

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This narrative begins at Owl Creek in 1801 and immediately I am captured not only by the description of America’s western frontier but by this gangly and cheerfully unconcerned barefoot backwoodsman who made walking sticks fashionable. Against a lush and fragrant backdrop, Sapp provides an array of multidimensional characters in an unpolished landscape that is researched and executed so well, it is difficult to tell that which is invented and that which is historically accurate. ~ Lori’s Book Loft

BONUS CONTENT

We’re pleased to offer you not one, but two Special Sneak Previews at the end of this book, each of them featuring the first chapter of a novel by Gregg Sapp.

~~~

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OR GRAB THE FULL EBOOKS TODAY!

YOU’LL FIND LINKS TO YOUR FAVORITE RETAILER HERE:

GREGG SAPP’S BOOKS at Evolved Publishing

Table of Contents

Copyright

Books by Gregg Sapp

What Others Are Saying

BONUS CONTENT

Table of Contents

Dedication

HALLOWEEN FROM THE OTHER SIDE

PROLOGUE

PART ONE

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

INTERLUDE

PART TWO

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Epilogue

Special Sneak Preview: THE CHRISTMAS DONUT REVOLUTION

About the Author

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: FRESH NEWS STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN

Dedication

To Bee,

It all began one Halloween night....

PROLOGUE

Columbus, Ohio—Halloween Night, 1979

The night began to get really weird when Delphyne ripped off her studded black leather bustier, spread her arms in embrace of the sky, flung back her head, and shrieked at the top of her lungs: Hail, Lord Satan!

Flat on his back, pantsless and nonplussed, Solomon wondered if he had heard her correctly.

Glory and praise to you, Satan, in the depths of hell! she wailed, her stringy black hair hanging in Solomon’s face. At the same time, she deftly reached behind her back and unsnapped her black underwire bra with silver pentagrams on each cup; she tossed it underhanded onto a twisted oak branch, where it hung like a noose.

Solomon heard that clearly enough. This probably isn’t normal, he thought, although he would excuse just about anything as legitimate foreplay if it led to finally losing his virginity. Delphyne pinched his ass, as if to prove that, indeed, this was happening. It hurt just enough to reassure him.

This was unexpected, to say the least. When Stu had first asked him for the favor, Solomon declined. He contended that he had no interest whatsoever in taking the oddball Shea sister on a double date. Solomon figured that he probably wasn’t the first person that Stu had pitched for this duty; they’d been childhood friends, but gone in separate directions in high school—Stu to the chess team and robotics club, while Solomon aspired to sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Even so, Stu’s date for the Talking Heads concert, Daphne Shea, insisted on making it a double date with her older sister, Delphyne, and thus Stu had been desperate to find an escort for the hapless sibling.

Solomon had wondered why an older sister couldn’t arrange her own date. What’s wrong with her? he asked.

She’s on the mend after breaking up with her boyfriend, Stu replied. Then, to further entice him, Stu divulged the game-changing bit of information that the Shea girls’ parents had raised them in some bizarre evangelical cult—Seventh Day Witnesses or Jehovah’s Adventists, something like that—the effect of which was they shed all inhibitions like jailed women on parole as soon as they left their parents’ sight.

What does she look like? Solomon asked.

Stu considered his answer for entirely too long before saying: She’s exotic.

Although Solomon hedged to make it seem like doing so was a great personal sacrifice, and because he delighted in making Stu beg pretty please, he finally agreed to the terms of the date. In reality, given the sorry state of his love life, he never had any serious intention of refusing. He, too, had heard tales about the insatiable lusts of born-again Christian girls.

Stu thanked him and assured him that he would not regret it. Maybe you’ll get lucky, he said.

If this was lucky, then it was the luck of the damned.

As arranged, Solomon and Stu met the Shea sisters at the Jolly Roger Donut Shop on North High Street on the Ohio State University campus, catty-corner from Mershon Auditorium, site of the Talking Heads Halloween concert. Daphne beamed and waved with both hands when she saw Stu come through the door. Delphyne, wearing studded fingerless gloves and cracking her knuckles, didn’t look up until Daphne elbowed her and whispered something into her ear. Stu cleared his throat and introduced Solomon to Delphyne, speaking in a gravelly voice that sounded to Solomon as if he were asking him to pick her out of a police lineup. She mouthed hell-ooo, lingering on the flavor of the vowel. Solomon noticed that she wore a barbell tongue ring, which made him wonder if it would cut his tongue if they French kissed.

I like your costume, he said to her.

Costume?

Yeah. All that Goth stuff. Now I wish I’d gotten dressed up too.

Delphyne removed a simple black face mask with a rubber band from her clutch purse. She asked Solomon to bow down. When he didn’t respond immediately, she snapped her fingers. Solomon obeyed.

That’s better, she said, placing the mask over his face. Now you’re Goth, too.

She was right. Masked, he felt like a character in a murder mystery.

Oh puh-lease, Delphyne, can’t you be normal, just for tonight? Daphne protested. She carried pom-poms and wore a pink polka-dot dress, bobby socks under penny loafers, and an oversized bow in her tied-back hair. Stu put his arm around her shoulder, pulling her close enough to cop a feel on the pretext of providing moral support.

Solomon supposed that the Shea sisters had intentionally attired for contrast, perhaps some kind of angel/devil-themed Halloween getup; but he also wondered if there were deeper echoes of sibling rivalry behind their appearances. Either way, he was glad to be paired with the bad girl.

Ignoring her sister, Delphyne crossed her arms and walked 360 degrees around Solomon, looking him over the way a skeptical customer might examine a used car. Is your name really Solomon? Are you wise?

A wiseass, maybe.

Can I call you Sol?

Nobody had ever called him that. Sure.

Okay, then, Solly, let’s go to the show.

At seventeen, Solomon listened to industrial-strength, decibel-crushing heavy-metal music almost exclusively. It addressed his confused rage. He had only passing familiarity with the Talking Heads, generally disdaining anything new wave since it was popular among the artsy fartsy crowd at his high school. Still, when Solomon inquired about the band, the stoner who worked at the Magnolia Thunderpussy record store endorsed them as way out there, and in order to prove the point put Psycho Killer on the turntable and cranked the volume to the edge of the human pain threshold. David Byrne’s babbling planted a meme in Solomon’s brain:

Psycho Killer

Qu’est-ce que c’est

Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa

Byrne sang about a serial murderer in French for fuck’s sake. How cool was that? Solomon didn’t know whether he liked the song, but he couldn’t get it out of his head.

On that Halloween evening, frolicsome coeds in costumes overran the OSU campus, everyone having an unabashedly raucous time. Earlier, when Stu had asked whether they ought to dress in costume for the concert, Solomon rolled his eyes and sneered, Noooooo way, Jose. The question mildly offended him, since obviously they’d both outgrown such juvenile hijinks as trick-or-treating. Now, paired with the Shea sisters—who may or may not have been in costume—and transfixed by the bewildering phantasmagoria of scary, strange, sexy, and surreal citizens of the college community, Solomon wished he could reconsider his decision.

A blue-faced Smurf sold Solomon his Boston Cream donut. A Honey Bunny Cabbage Patch Kid drank black coffee and smoked a cigarette alone in a six-person booth. Creatures in concert-going regalia crowded the sidewalks: Darth Vader with a flashlight; Ziggy Stardust standing on the roof of a VW van; Scooby and Shaggy rummaging through garbage cans; Lady Liberty holding a dildo; a dancing White Castle hamburger box; Fritz the Night Owl in garish shades; a disco vampire dressed like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever; Zippy the Pinhead wearing a question mark; a Rolling Rock beer bottle with a bag of potato chips; Flippo the Clown on roller skates; Alice’s caterpillar smoking a hookah; a big, dumb round-headed Brutus Buckeye; Mr. Peanut with a Jimmy Carter smile and haircut; Kermit the Frog strumming a banjo; a giant hot dog accompanied by an empty bun; and members of the Bee Gees, the band Kiss, and Devo singing a cappella. These and other mythic characters cavorted in the streets of Columbus in defiance of the law, decency, normalcy, and all authority.

Without a costume, Solomon felt naked. He was grateful he at least had the mask that Delphyne has given him.

This kind of capricious behavior wasn’t what Solomon expected from college students. To the slight degree that he ever thought about the future, he’d already decided against going to college. He was discouraged by the horror stories about hundreds of pages of homework every day, of sadistic professors who made a sport of insulting their students, and of caffeinated all-nighters spent cramming useless knowledge for mindless regurgitation the next day. Given a choice between that kind of an ordeal and, instead, two years enlisted in the navy, where he would see the world and enjoy carnal relations with sensuous native women in far-flung ports of call, he’d opt for the latter every time. He was already receiving near daily calls from the local recruiting offices. Somewhat surprisingly, though, this theatre of the absurd, dancing-in-the-streets revelry on the OSU campus actually looked like fun. If this manner of frivolity was common among college students, Solomon wondered if he might not reconsider his plans for higher education.

Amid all the chaos and tumult of concert goers trying to get into the auditorium, Solomon kept an eye on Delphyne, worried that she might try to ditch him and disappear into the crowd. As if to allay his concern, she slipped her hand into his back pocket and allowed him to break their path through the throngs. She palmed his left buttock and held on until they entered the auditorium, at which point she gave a hard squeeze before relinquishing her grip. Solomon’s equal and opposite reaction was an immediate erection, which he did not try to conceal from her when they took their seats.

From the moment the lights dimmed and the so-so opening band took the stage, Delphyne remained in constant, agitated motion. She began by gently swaying her shoulders, left to right / up and down in a wave movement. Warming up to the music, she engaged her hips, thrusting back and forth, while bouncing her head vigorously side to side. Repeatedly, she bumped Solomon and he bumped her back, but mostly she seemed unaware that he or anybody else occupied space in her amplified dream world. She rolled her eyes into the tops of her head so that only their whites showed, fluttering her eyelashes in a manner that suggested some kind of trance. Her dance had a ritual quality, controlled yet phrenetic. She flailed her arms, inadvertently slapping Solomon’s face. He wondered if she was teasing him, daring him, seducing him, or totally oblivious to him.

Finally, when the Talking Heads meandered onto the stage and began tuning their instruments, Delphyne hopped onto her chair and shouted Rock me hard! loud enough that David Byrne turned and looked from the stage. Then, when the band kicked into its opening number, Life During Wartime,Delphyne abandoned all restraint and launched into manic, spastic, full throttle bumping, grinding, and gyrating as though in the throes of a grand mal seizure at the moment of orgasm. Her eye black started to smear, as if she wept dark blood. Pulling Solomon by the arm, she dragged him past Stu and Daphne and into the aisle. Solomon shrugged at them in passing; he noticed Daphne scowling in disapproval, but he wasn’t going to let Delphyne get away from him, even if that required him to dance. He pounded his chest, gorilla-like, and joined her in the pandemonium.

Delphyne danced as if attacking. She pushed Solomon, then pulled him, then took four steps back and launched chest-high at him, like a linebacker intent on knocking him off his feet. Staggering, he grabbed hold of the reptilian scales on her shoulder pads and caught his balance by pulling her into his body. They fused sweat, writhing together in the bedlam of a mosh pit that quickly closed in around them. Despite the crowd and turbulence engulfing them, it felt to Solomon like they were alone inside of a bubble. They thrashed and pummeled each other through Air, I Zimbra, Take me to the River, and Once in a Lifetime. Solomon matched Delphyne’s every twist and contortion, while maintaining eye-to-eye contact, as if their pupils were locked by a laser beam. She heaved her hips toward him; he opened his legs to receive her; their pressure points rubbed against each other with accelerating urgency.

Delphyne stretched her neck, threw back her head, shook her hair, and laughed maniacally. The image burned in Solomon’s frontal cortex, stirring a maelstrom behind his eyes. At once, she pulled him forward and kissed him hard. Something popped in the center of his head. David Byre sang:

Psycho Killer

Qu’est-ce que c’est

Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa

When Delphyne pulled back from their kiss, Solomon saw her lips moving but he couldn’t hear anything above the thunderous music. He shrugged and mouthed I can’t hear you. She licked her lips, breathed deeply, and shouted. Still, the music drowned out everything. The power of the sound was so intense it had a numbing effect on him, like being deaf in a war zone with bombs going off. Finally, she opened her mouth entirely over his ear so he could feel her tongue flicking his earlobe, and she screamed: Take me to Walhalla!

The song ended with a drumbeat and slashing guitar flourish. The Talking Heads thanked the audience, wished them a Happy Halloween, and left the stage. The crowd roared for an encore, lit lighters, and started an earthquake stomping their feet.

Solomon was sure he’d heard her wrong. Huh? he asked.

Walhalla Drive! Let’s go! Now!

What about the encore?!?

I don’t care! Let’s go! Now!

Solomon was baffled. Why now? The crowd was in a frenzy demanding the Talking Heads to return to the stage. Departing at that moment seemed like leaving a movie just before its climax. He looked at Stu and Daphne, who held glow sticks above their heads and called out Fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa! and he wondered what they would think if he abandoned them with no ride home.

And furthermore, why Walhalla Drive?

Why there?

In the Old North Columbus neighborhood of Clintonville, Walhalla Drive was a narrow one-way arterial that followed a meandering creek through an abrupt ravine. Although it connected the busy thoroughfares of North High Street and Indianola Avenue, the walls of the gulley were precipitous, the foliage dense, and traffic was sparse, so turning onto Walhalla Drive from the din and blur of the city felt like taking a cleansing breath of alpine air. At street level it was dark, even in the day, shadowed by tall oaks at the top of the hill and beech cottonwoods, low dogwoods, honeysuckle, brambles, sumac, and bracken ferns on the floor and slopes. Crumbling rock ledges lined the steepest sides where chunks of slate broke off and slid downhill. Walhalla Drive was undeveloped and largely uninhabited, save for the few old Victorian homes at the top of the ridge, which were only accessible from the rear. By day it was a popular venue for joggers, dog walkers, and strolling lovers. By night,

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