Come into to my web, my sweets, and I will tell you a story.
Every year I carve a pumpkin, sometimes two. I go to a rural pumpkin patch on a day when the sky is bluer than blue and brushed clean of clouds. The air is sharp and dry, electric with the change of season. I stroll through the field, leaning down to pat the firm shells or consider the contours. A few imperfections are intriguing but I don't care for much surface rubble.
Children around me whoop and holler and attempt to carry pumpkins bigger than their own round bellies.
I'm always looking for a special one whose face I see trying to break free of its pumpkin shell. I see where it would smile if I gave it back its mouth and how its eyes would see if I unveiled them.
This year's pumpkin I picked from a supermarket bin--no time for more than a quick once over and home with me it came. When I slid the long stainless steel knife in its top, it felt like butter. I don't remember ever having such a fresh pumpkin. It was young and succulent, its flesh full of juice. I knew its face as soon as my safety razor started drawing, and I quickly revealed it with carving saw and peeler.
Despite where I find my pumpkins, when a candle is lit inside the carved squash, it's magic. And children always know. They stand still in their trick-or-treat tracks and observe the faces as if they are real. But I didn't tell you they aren't, did I?
I wear my witch's black flowing dress, striped stockings and tall hat. I love to cackle. Knock on my door, if you dare.
My snippet today will feature a witch who may find her way into something sometime. She is currently homeless.
An enormous buzzing, an angry rattle and drone, shook the air. A figure shot above the treetops, followed by an undulating black cloud which seemed to be the source of the noise.
Aidan tried to get a better view through the trees and, not paying attention to what was in front of him, walked into a ginormous spiderweb. He swiped the sticky tendrils from his face and hair, hoping the giant spider wasn't there, too.
The figure shot by again and he saw it was a woman sitting on a stick! In her wake was a swarm of hornets.
Aidan hopped over tree roots and rocks as he hurried back to the boulder outcrop where he would have a clear view of the sky. He stumbled up, skinning his hand on a jut of granite but was rewarded when he got to the summit. The witch was spinning in circles, creating a vortex of hornets below her. Her laughter, bright and blade-sharp, competed with the hornet's buzz.
The witch wore swaths of black silk that fluttered like banners. Her legs and feet were bare. Her hair was a tangled, twiggy mass of brown and forest green shades. Aidan thought he saw a bird's nest above her right ear!
And then like a spaceship at hyper speed she shot across the treetops towards a larger rock face several hundred yards from where Aidan crouched. The hornets stuck to her like jet stream, as though she pulled them in her wake, and then Aidan noticed that behind the hornets were a flock of cowbirds, an overalls-clad farmer and a mooing milk cow.
The witch disappeared into a crack in the rock wall, leaving her entourage suspended in air as they buzzed and mooed and shouted. Only her laughter echoed from the rock.
I leave you this fine Halloween with this partying lion.
I start NaNoWriMo at daybreak tomorrow and will keep you updated and slip you some snippets as I go.