by Vinnie Hansen
As night falls, we advance toward the 100-year-old mausoleum in the cemetery. There is no electricity. Candles and a kerosene lamp light the way.
Here in Santa Rosa Memorial Park, I join seven other mystery writers to read our spooky stories in the echoing marble chambers.
Even though we are competing with the Giants playing in the World Series, the annual event draws a standing-room-only crowd.
No one rose from the dead around us except in our tales.
However, two nights later, at the Dead Writers Costume Party, three local Santa Cruz writers used an Ouija board to conjure up Edgar Allan Poe. Asked what he wished he’d written about, Poe replied: H-O-E-S
This delightful evening, a fundraiser for the Young Writers Program, featured H.P. Lovecraft as an animated host.
I resurrected my Emily Dickinson outfit for the evening. Before I retired as a teacher, I would wear the costume when teaching Dickinson. I’d stay in character for the entire class, in spite of questions like, “Are you a virgin?” and “What’s it like to be dead?”
I also rubbed shoulders with the lovely Beatrix Potter who brought along her hedgehog and Peter Rabbit.
Among others in attendance were Kurt Vonnegut, Dashiell Hammett, Mark Twain, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, and an imposter Emily Dickinson. Authors were invited to read and I recited “my” poem:
A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just
Begins to live
If you had gone, which author would you have impersonated? Why? And which author would you have wanted to contact in the Great Beyond?
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