November Can Be Glad, Too.

Halloween is 6 days over and Snug Harbor is still festooned with cobwebs. The Grumble still snarls from his tree, and orange lights still glow in the front bushes.

However, in my sloth, I’ve still managed to stack the tombstones on their shelf in the garage, a shelf that won’t bear the burden of next year’s planned expansion. The zombies are back at their posts above the garage door and around the walls, looking very much like unusually garrulous gargoyles. Notre Dame’s rejects.

Some new faces grin over the room at large. Crow, this year’s skeleton-in-a-tree, seems at home hanging by a bungee from a drywall screw. The witch sisters are stacked unceremoniously on a high shelf, for which I’m sure they will make me pay. Brittle arms, once outstretched and reaching, but now sagging, lay folded across flattened paper bosoms. Their musty cloaks are busy with industrious spiders constructing new homes for the winter.

And unlike those spiders, I have been anything but industrious. Just taking a breather. The galleries will get updated. Soon. There are new projects to post. The website’s ongoing renovation is still … ongoing. I’ve just been distracted lately.

I think that possibly I’ve gone and done something rash. Yesterday began chapter one of “The Matter of The Scarecrow Menace”. Want a taste?

On a tall rotten fence post it hung, had always hung. Its cheerless wide-brimmed hat slung low, shading a skeletal face. No crows ever came near, but there were always hornets. A nest humming maliciously somewhere in its dry, paper-filled chest.

It was a menace. You never wanted to see it, but couldn’t help looking. Was it still there? Yes. Always. From its perch in the last field, farther away than any of the boys could run at top speed in under a minute, you could still feel its dead, empty sockets staring. Closing the distance between life and laughter and the sudden realization that no wall blocked its path. No shining knight, leathery cowboy, or hardened marine stood between here and there. And if it suddenly decided to jump off its nail and stalk across the field to the big climbing tree on top of the hill, then — what?

Oh, I’m in trouble.

So, I suppose sloth isn’t really the deadly sin of which I’ve been partaking after all. Possibly wrath. Anyway, if you don’t see many changes around here for a little while, it’s not because I’m neglecting the Autumn Spirit. It’s just that soon everything will be painted gray, and we’ll be the ghosts haunting the cold night.

Go out and fill your soul with sunshine right now, store as much as you can for later. Jump in a pile of leaves. Take a drive into the country and buy a jug of cider from a man with a beard and a friendly dog. Build a little campfire in your front yard and roast something on a stick. Get a bag of those little hard root beer candies shaped like barrels and share them with some kids. Spend a whole day well so that when you close the door for the night and sit down to supper, your clothes smell like leaves and your warm, soft bed is so inviting that you never once consider turning on the TV.

November can be glad, too.

5 Responses to “November Can Be Glad, Too.”

  1. Spook, your writing style is wonderful. You remind me that I have a scarecrow story to write, one that’s been brewing since July, when I started Stewie.
    And I, too, realized that I haven’t watched t.v. in days. It’s so pretty out. The trees, the wind, the panting of our dogs as we take them for a ramble.
    Ahh, Fall.

  2. Thanks, Hawk Girl. And congratulations on your new blog. Can’t wait to explore all the paths and little hidey holes that you’ll be sharing with us. :)

  3. I love November. I think it’s creepier than October. In the Shenandoah Valley it’s usually annoyingly warm still through most of October. But the last week of October into November is when the temp drops and the leaves start changing and falling. Then it gets that cold blueish grey sky with all the dead trees.

    I really like the beginning of this story! I’m so glad you’ve started writing one. I very much enjoy your writing. I can’t wait to read the rest.!

  4. Writing a short story or book is exactly what you need to do; your writing talents should not go to waste. Flattery? Not at all. Your blog has always been one I’ve not only thoroughly enjoyed reading, but considered like a fine wine, to be savored and enjoyed.

    OK, maybe flattery. ;)

    Keep writing!

  5. That is some great writing. I would buy it. Can’t wait for more!

    Also, your description of what you did with your props reminds me of what i did. I broke it all down Halloween night and moved it into the garage. It will sit there, for about a month probably, before I get motivated enough to move it around to the basement. Same thing I did last year.