Kage Baker. And it’s her season – less than a week to Halloween, and the night is full of weird lights and crazed children. The winds are back and gusting, there are more lights on the porches every night, tombstones are sprouting on all the lawns, ghosts hang in the trees doing the Lindy Hop to the Santa Ana winds blowing down from the hills.
The moon is waxing, and will be full only 2 nights before Halloween. Small kids were out tonight, “practicing” in their pirate and princess and Ninja Turtle costumes, running shrieking with laughter between the Baptist Church 4 houses to our North and the grade school 3 houses to our South. They don’t demand candy yet, but they’re having a wonderful time frightening one another under the lashing boughs of the camphor trees, squealing at the graveyards in the neighbor’s gardens and the leering crocodile in the faux pond in our rose bed.
Raccoons are stalking out there too, between the tides of crazed little children – lean and scary shadows that melt down into fat furry clowns with silly masks: but until you see it’s just the neighborhood vermin, they have a hellhound look to them in the dark … owls are out, too, drifting silently between the streetlights. We have a lot of owls here. Every now and then, there is a hoot or some other whispered owlish sound – and then sometimes a despairing squeak as some mouse or rat or insomniac gopher meets its end on the warm pavement.
We even have bats! But they prefer to stay in their territories – under the railway and freeway bridges; under the eves of the warehouses down by the tracks; amid the huge old sycamores in Griffith Park. Still, the mere suggestion of a flutter is enough to send the herds of kids skittering back to their mothers’ porches – even if it’s really only sleepy ravens disturbed by their noise.
Me, I’ve been distracted all week: by family disturbances, various fevers and megrims making their way through the household, senior year disasters fetched home by the nephew for healing by the family council. Even as I write this, one cat has just fallen into the kitchen sink and other out the bathroom window; my new knitting project is showing signs of some prenatal deformity; the Corgi is making psychotic growling noises at the raccoons in the driveway.
However … I found my missing 50,000 words. Thank you, Neassa! We ate all the See’s chocolate orange wafers, but I remembered to score a bag of Milky Ways at the grocery. It’s the last free weekend before Dickens Fair rehearsals are kicked off with both a wedding and a wake, but it means that between now and New Year’s my days and nights will be filled with people I love: who needs sleep when one’s own faerie tribe is preparing to dance the winter nights away?
This is about as exciting as my Friday nights get, these days. But despite all the domestic static, sturm und drang, I’ve gotten in a late post, Dear Readers. I feel wonderfully competent. I shall go reward myself with early chocolates now, and listen for the wind chimes in the lemon tree.
Chimes at midnight have always been big with Kage and me …