And there were witches. Some had broomsticks, wands, one even had a cat on a harness. Puss looked unperturbed and purred loudly as everyone, included me, gave him attention.
At my gate a middle aged lady stopped me.
"I should give you this," she said, and gave me an acorn. "She would like you to go back to her," she said, and walked away.
So I did.
Not knowing whether I'd knock her door, what I'd say, what would she say...?
Yet when I got there, she was opening the door.
"Hiya, welcome back," she smiled. "I knew you'd come."
Samhain is the time of year when the veil between this world and the other is at its thinnest. It is the end and it is the beginning, the beginning of the end, as is every day, and the closing of summer and the opening of a darkness, which is not a bad or evil period but an opportunity for rebirth, a space for memories...
Her words flew through my memory as I walked home.
And as I walked, it didn't take the thinning of the veil to reveal zombies, vampires and ghosts, some of them in very high spirits.
The food was amazing, I never knew vegan food could taste so good. But then, I never bothered to find out. Caraway tea was tasty, too, as was caraway in warm cider.
She lit a candle at the window and we talked about Wicca and how Samhain was the most wonderful of the Sabbats and when the time came to leave I realised I'd told her all about myself and learned a lot about Wicca and nothing about her.
I left early, but we stood outside for an hour, just talking. When I left her she passed me an acorn.
"So, you really a witch?" I asked.
She nodded. Lowered her head and looked up at me, you know, one of those looks. Cute as.
I was gone.
"Tomorrow evening's Samhain," she said. "Would you like to come over for food?" She saw my eyes.
"Only food," she said. "Don't go jumping too far. "
"That would be awesome. I'll bring wine. Red or white?"
"If you want, bring cider. Or mead. Something tuned to this time of year."
Ok, I could go along with that.
At her door I kissed her once, quickly, and left.
"I'm a witch," she said, when I asked her what she did at weekends.
She didn't look like one to me, except for those gorgeous green eyes - they cast a spell on me.
Which is what I said to her.
"Cue a song," she said, and laughed.
The band started playing again, fast and loud, and I nodded towards the door: the bar was crowded, hot and noisy and I needed fresh air. She grinned and allowed herself to be led out through the dancing bodies. Outside, I gulped cold air like it was water.
"What's your name?" she asked.