Disclaimer: EVERYTHING WRITTEN HERE IS A PRODUCT OF MY OVER IMAGINATIVE MIND AND IS NOT MEANT TO CAUSE ANY HARM OR ABUSE, OR MEANT TO MALIGN THE PERSON, PERSONS, OR PLACES MENTIONED HEREIN.
Rupert celebrates his Holidays in the most uncanny ways.
It was the middle of October. James had been insisting that they went to see their Aunt Janelle who lived in Dublin for Halloween. Rupert didn’t really want to go -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will be shown on the 25th of November and he wanted to get as much rest as he can before the grueling schedule began. He loved going to Ireland, but filming was taking a toll at his health and for some odd reason, this year, something told him he shouldn’t go back.
Nevertheless, James was able to persuade their father and before he can protest, everyone was packing their things and his mother, Jo, bought the plane tickets for Dublin.
While on the plane, Rupert bumped into an old woman who had called him by a different name.
Thinking the woman was senile, Rupert apologized, “Sorry, ma’am!”
But the woman held his arm firmly. She was looking at his face in a way that nearly compelled Rupert to scream for help.
“Ma’am---” Rupert whined.
“Place a candle by the window on all hollows eve,” The woman whispered to him. Her breath smelled like cigars. “She has been waiting for your…Aidan.”
“I beg your pardon?” Rupert stammered.
“Place a candle by the window…on all hollows eve!” The woman insisted, her sallow eyes staring directly into his.
Then she left him there, bewildered, trying to catch his breath. Rupert had half a mind to follow her as she hobbled over to coach, only to disappear when a group of teenage girls who had recognized him, rushed forward with their pens and papers waving at his face.
He gave in to a few until his father came to his rescue and ushered him back to his seat. Rupert didn’t really mind the girls, in fact he could hardly remember what he wrote for them. The encounter with the old woman baffled him greatly because she called him by a name that oddly enough sounded his – though it wasn’t.
The smell of his aunt’s signature roast filled the air as their car slowly parked in her driveway. His cousin Alexandria and Mark came running out to greet them while his uncle Will put away the Halloween decors that would not work.
“Nigel!” Cried Will, taking Nigel’s hand and shaking it vigorously. “Jo, you look stunning!”
“Why, thank you Will!” Jo beamed, stepping out of the rented BMW.
James walked out and stretched his tired limbs while Georgina walked over to Alexandria (they are of the same age) and began comparing friendship bracelets with her, which she had traded in school (a fad all over the UK).
“Rupert!” Janelle hollered from the kitchen. Unlike Jo, Janelle was quite round with plump red cheeks that got even rounder and shinier when she smiled that it would be impossible to miss her even through the thick windows of her kitchen.
“Aunt Janelle!” Rupert bellowed back. He was Janelle’s favorite nephew for many reasons, though she disapproved of his acting job at such an early age. He liked her well enough, but Janelle can be too cuddly at times, and Rupert particularly disliked her pinches.
“Let me see you!” Janelle said as Rupert finally made it to the Kitchen. She held his arms and looked at him from head to toe, then smiled sweetly. “My, my, you’re a young man, now. Your son has grown incredibly handsome, Nigel.”
“Has he?” Nigel joked.
“Aunt Janelle—“ Rupert whined. He didn’t like being patronized – him being convinced that he wasn’t ‘handsome’- and knew that Janelle is far to fond of him to be reliable, tried to wrench his arms from her hands only to be bear-hugged by his uncle.
“You’re as tall as a post! He’s tall, Jo, reckon you’d be about, oh, I’d say, 6 feet?” Will asked.
“I’m 5’8”, uncle Will.” Rupert corrected.
When James entered, the whole house was in an uproar- James being more talkative than Rupert, always manages to steal the show – giving Rupert the chance to escape being harassed about his movie career by Janelle.
The morning of October the 31st started out normally enough. Samantha and Charlotte were fighting over the Jack-o-lantern on the table, while James tried to calm them and continued carving another pumpkin because Charlotte had smashed the last one with a small wooden mallet in her anger. Rupert decided it wasn’t safe to stay inside the house (not with an angry little girl armed with a wooden mallet). He’d been taken by the festive mood of the countryside that was oblivious of his famous alter ego that a long stroll along the cliffs about a mile from Janelle and Will’s house seemed inviting enough amidst Jo’s warnings.
There were lines of Oak and Fir that made loud swishing sounds as the cold autumn air crashed against their red-orange leaves along the steep mountainsides. Rupert sat on a rather large root and looked at the sea – the angry waves smashing against the rocks below. He noticed one cottage not far from where he sat that had a candle sitting in one open window. Suddenly, he remembered the old woman from the plane and his heart began to race.
‘Place a candle by the window on all hollows eve’ came her instruction. This was what she wanted him to do. Rupert tried desperately to remember the rest of her instructions, but his mind was still a bit hazy from the long sleep.
Without much thought, Rupert stood and walked towards the house and knocked on the door. An old man opened the small wooden door and smiled at him with yellowish-black teeth.
“Yes, lad? Something I can help you with?” The old man asked.
“Erm—yeah. I was hoping you could tell me why you do that?” Rupert asked, pointing his hand on the window where the unlit candle was.
“Oh! I reckon you’re not Irish, it’s an old tradition, you light a candle at night on all hollows eve,” the old man answered.
“What for?” Rupert asked again.
“Why, to show the way,”
“The way for what?”
“The way home. To show the dead the way home.”
Rupert felt his breath thicken; the candle was to call the dead home. She has been waiting for your…Aidan.
What had initially frightened him, now seemed to occupy every minute Rupert lay alone on his bed –James went with his sisters to town to join a Halloween trick or treat party. All hollows eve was only a few more hours away. Rupert didn’t want to do it, though he held the candle in his hand. He wondered what would happen if he didn’t. Then he wondered what would happen if he did. He knew the Irish believed in so many things and though he didn’t actually believe all of them, something told him this was different.
An hour before midnight Rupert decided – for the heck of it – to do what the old woman told him to do. Therefore, he placed the candle on the small table in front of the window and lit it up. He sat on his bed, stared at the candle, and waited.
An hour later, Rupert decided the whole thing was ridiculous and went to bed, though he left the candle lit. He pulled the covers over his head and closed his eyes gently when suddenly he felt something touching his toes. He tried to move his toes away, but the thing – cold and clammy – kept on advancing. He wanted to look at it, but the smell of freshly washed hair was now filling his nostrils, and warm breaths that caressed his arm told him someone else was under the covers with him. He inhaled sharply when that ‘someone’ moved and soft hair brushed across his face. Then she spoke.
“Gráím thú, Aidan”