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In Progress …

It’s April 13 and I’m already behind schedule.

A pyramid of paper skulls, having accumulated like dust bunnies, grins like … um, like you would expect. This peanut gallery watches everything that goes on in the Spook Shop, and it’s especially interested in this advanced prototype Grumblesque critter.

When he ships out next month, he will represent a complete Grumble re-design, which is important, since your old pal Spook’s old pal Grumble was officially decommissioned last November. It was a solemn moment, and I admit that it took a while to get up the nerve to put a cloth over his face and saw off his head. Grumbles and Phoenixes have a lot in common, mainly a fondness for setting fires, so he’ll be back, and better than he was before; better, stronger, faster.

Experimental gargoyles occupy the number two slot on the 2010 project list, followed by “Gutter Bats”, and a slew of new tombstones. Spooky Hollow has experienced a haunted housing shortage and needs to expand. Especially with the upcoming horde of new creatures.

We’re trying out all sorts of new ideas this season, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen. Mrs. Spookyblue is looking forward to that Capsela-looking thing relocating back to the garage and out of the big chair in the living room.

Whenever the Large Hadron Collider Fires Up…

…I get a headache.

Whilst padding to the kitchen this morning to set the coffee maker to sputtering, I passed the front picture window and performed a perfect three-point double-take. Staring angrily back at me through the glass was what appeared, at first, to be a huge metallic bulldog. Now, when I say huge, I mean to say that its open maw and flashing eyes completely filled the window in a way that was most uncustomary.

Naturally, I hit the floor, but not before leaving a skull-shaped dent in the ceiling. Several subsequent minutes spent hiding under the piano revealed no new developments, so I guessed it was safe enough to dare a second look. There it stood, still staring through my window, motionless. Morning sunlight shafted down through the skylight, making it difficult to see details through the haze of ceiling Spackle that still sifted through the air, so I inched forward for a better view.

Details began to coalesce, and I perceived a symmetrical pattern of lines, like a tattoo, that converged to draw my eye to a wide plate with letters stamped upon it.

It read “F R E I G H T L I N E R“.

Snug harbor, being a “peculiar fold in space-time”, is sort of like the Bermuda Triangle in reverse. Things don’t necessarily disappear around here as show up. Mostly in the form of a dog, coyote, or goldfish-pilfering pterodactyl. We have grown accustomed to such appearances, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised, one day, to see a visiting Bigfoot having a go at the back porch swing. We keep a camera with fresh batteries next to the door for that sort of thing.

What I had never expected, but what has nevertheless resolved to occupy the flower bed beyond our picture window, was a 1974 silver and blue Freightliner semi. They’re like the Spanish Inquisition in that way.

There are only two reasonable explanations for this phenomenon, and the most compelling points squarely at Europe where the CERN folks have been playing with their fully armed and operational Large Hadron Collider. We’ve suspected for some time that the quest for the so-called God Particle would ultimately trigger an earth shattering kaboom, a black hole, or possibly open the gates to some unsavory universe filled with unsavory things. Like cats.

And if the LHC manages an end run around the other things that traditionally end worlds, specifically, heads of state and their idiocracies, then I expect it all to culminate in a single, distinct Fritz Feld-like “Pop!”

In any case, and until then, I have renamed the truck “Frightliner”, and have acquainted myself with its 13-speed transmission. It is now parked in the driveway with 11 speeds still intact. It seemed prudent to clear what appears to be a localized vortex or inter-dimensional drop zone for whatever next piece of flotsam should fall through to visit our flower bed. This explains all the Cornetto wrappers that have lately been seen blowing across the lawn.

Oh, the second, less compelling explanation? It’s April First, and Mrs. Spookyblue holds a grudge.