Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scared silliness

Happy Halloween

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.


Andrea Cremer said...

Love it!!! Your lion looks ready to attend tonight's masquerade :)

Donna said...

Wow! A stupendous Halloweeny post. Thanks. Love the punkin, the witch, and the masked lion.

Dave said...

Thanks for the pumpkin carving inspiration. Makes me want to get to work on one today.

Sarah Wylie said...

Very cool! Have fun today, and good luck with NaNo! Can't wait to read the snippets! :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Andrea: Isn't the lion cool? Found him on a walk.

Donna: Thank you ever so! I had fun with them all.

Dave: Hope you have a great time carving. It's one of my favorite creative outlets--and it only comes once a year!

Sarah: Good luck to you, too. See you at NaNo!

Robyn Campbell said...

Knock, knock!!

Love the tale you weaved. Especially love the witch.

And I can see you in your dress and witch hat. Oh honey! You are lookin' good! The kidlets will want to come back to your house next year. To be terrified again. And again.

But come to my house if you dare. But if you're the least bit afraid, well, stay in. I won't discuss it any further. Someone reading this, well, the hair might stand up on the back of their neck. Just come and see if you have the nerve. Come at your own risk! :)

Oh and hey, the shoes from my blog award? Honey! Of course I can ride in those shoes. This girl can ride in anything. And the spiky heels will make my horses really giddyup, but good. YEAH! *fist pump*

Keep us informed of the nano progress. Lie if you must! :) But make us proud! :)

PJ Hoover said...

Your pumpkin is seriously made of awesome!
As is the web. Happy Halloween!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: You silly! It's funny you should mention terrifying the kiddies. I guess I did it too well as a teenager when I sat still as stone and then cackled and reached out just when the kids came up. Sent them flying! I think they all came back, but the next summer I heard a pack of kids walking by the house and one pointed and said, "That's where the witch lives." So I kind of have a witch identity issue. :)
I'm gonna try my best to make 50,000 words, but I have no idea how this will turn out....

PJ: Thanks! That's majorly nice.

Anonymous said...

Very cool post, Pat! And good luck with NaNoWriMo!

Carol Amato

Barrie said...

Hope your Halloween went well. And sending you speedy writing Nano vibes!

Unknown said...

What a great read!

and Tricia, thanks so much for your post on my blog, I felt the energy from across the miles. Really.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Carol: Hi and thanks!

Barrie: Halloween was fine, and I sure need the speedy vibes. Eeeek, what have I gotten into???

Suzanne: Oh, you're so lovely-crazy to get out of your fever bed to write comments. I do hope you are getting better fast and can jump into NaNo. I'm questioning my sanity. Oh well, here I go...

Cynthia J. Iannaccone said...

Great pumpkin face!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Thanks Cynthia!

cleemckenzie said...

Catching up on my holidaze! Hated missing out on most of the Halloween craziness this year. Loved your pumpkin.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Lee. Glad to see you any time. Thanks!