This week’s Quote of the Fortnight is Halloween-themed, from Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, an atmospheric book about a dark carnival which comes to Green Town, Illinois just before Halloween. The novel went on to be highly influential and inspired much of Stephen King’s work in the horror genre. The quote comes from the opening of the novel, addressing the sentiments toward the months that children have, before taking a turn for the ominous.
“First of all it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away.
But you take October, now. School’s been on a month and you’re riding easier in the reins, jogging along. You got time to think of the garbage you’ll dump on old man Prickett’s porch, or the hairy ape costume you’ll wear to the YMCA the last night of the month. And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.
But one strange wild dark long year, Halloween came early.”
page 1, Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1962.