Saturday, October 31, 2009


Leaves dash from the corner of my vision and skitter across the road in a brisk fall wind. The size of so many small critters that are jumping in front of my path way too late not to be crushed by a steadily moving truck. At night the smaller field of vision illuminated only by headlights amplifies the dancing leaves and their cursed imitations. The foot hovers over the break pedal in fear and the mind says have no mercy. Is your life worth the risk of careening over the steep side of a mountain for a twirling illusion? This aspect of fall still catches me off guard.

Earlier a still black figure laying motionless on the forest floor caught my eye. My heart skipped a beat. I squinted and looked closer. It was not who I thought it was. The forest was playing tricks again. Always filled with indecipherable sounds near and far that toy with your imagination, the newly leafless forest is now playing with distinctly formed dark shadows.

A day filled with sightings left me unsettled. A black and silver tabby cat with patches of white was by my truck in a parking lot in Asheville. Crawford? I saw the same cat walking along the highway driving home. It was an omen. A dead hunting dog on the side of the road followed the two sightings of Crawford such a long way from home. I was afraid he would be gone again when I got back.

Helmund Fire writhed in anticipation. He waited all year for this night. Fear was his specialty. He knew of no better way to keep the members of his small congregation worked up and easy to prod in the direction he wanted. The devil's night was his favorite.

The community dining room was recast as the circles of hell. Sinners torments were acted out in graphic fashion and the community's children were escorted through to be held firmly for a time at each grisly scene. A bonfire on the front lawn of the church waited for heaps of immoral books, movies and even a few computers to be burned in praise.

A witch and a homosexual were tied to stakes in the side yard. Next to the witch was a black cat in a wire caged filled with dismembered rats. Sharp sticks were available to poke the black cat and make it scream.

Helmud had seen the black cat on the hill above the road at the the gap many times and set a trap to capture the animal for his festivities.

All around the church grounds the groves of dying hemlocks added a special touch to this year's hell night. Helmund Fire was very pleased with his efforts.

Thank goodness. Crawford was home and waiting for me when I pulled up. The sightings meant nothing. A fevered imagination runs away from me. Still no Mama Spot though. She has not returned from the shadows and is on day number three of her second disappearance.


Anonymous said...

Good grief! This is not funny. Okay, Mama Spot, get on home and stay here.

Kim said...

Christopher, it's far too warm for me to have these chills up and down my back. You have a great talent for creating a realistic scene, however macabre it may be. And those Spots need to figure out where the good life is and stay there, so we can all stop worrying. I hope they are all safely home soon.

Siria said...

There is a full moon out. Was her last diappearance around the time of a full moon? Strange things happen when there is a full moon out. I sure hope Mama Spot comes home soon!

Christopher C. NC said...

Really anonymous, Mama Spot is working my nerves.

Thanks Kim. I do try to create a scene. The local story I read about a book burning helped. I don't know what is up with Spot. She seemed so happy to be back, was grooming her kids and all was well.

Siria I'll have to go back and look and count the days. I do know on full moons it is harder to get them inside because they can see the little critters out there much better in that light.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Tis the season for unease.