Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween/Samhain, Yay!

Enid's Happy Halloween Fic

Samhain is the Pagan New Year -- the time where old meets new. In the spirit, then:

Trick or Treat:

Enid slipped on her sunglasses and smiled as a group of preschoolers were herded down the sidewalk by their teacher’s aides. Every one of the little ones was dressed as some Halloween figure.

Most of the parents had gone in for some sort of cuddly, animal motif. The children wore pajama-style costumes that morphed them into bunnies, puppies, rabbits and the like. Of course, there were a few witches and pirates dealt into every deck.

She had always adored this holiday. It had been called many things in the cultures that she had drifted through. Yet the similarities remained charming. Any holiday that featured offerings to the dead was going to be top shelf with Enid.

It was about four in the afternoon. The sun was just starting to bow its head over the crisply temperate horizon.

The teacher’s aides were walking as fast as they could in an effort to herd their short-legged charges to their school. It would be time for the parents to start swarming in for the evening pick-up, soon.

Enid would be starting her Samhain festivities when the sun went down, as well. She was on the prowl for some particularly tasty meat. This was indeed “harvest time.”

Enid did not pick her prey based upon height, weight, or appearance. She did not even care about blood type. Enid liked to kill bad people.

She was looking for a pimp or a pedophile or a superficial asshole. She was a true hunter – respecting the natural balance of things. Yet she took this a step further than the other creatures that hunted their meat.

Enid sought not merely to kill the weak, old or sick. She sought the immoral ones. She would make the world a better place, one meal at a time. That was how the world made sense to her.

She already had a good candidate. It did not take long when she hunted near these suburban schools. There were others hunting here, too.

Enid could smell her prey -- the short man who sat upon a bus bench on the other side of the street. She wrinkled her nose. It wasn’t his blood that had the foul stench. It was his soul.

That was how she picked them. Vampires had razor sharp senses. The horror movies had that small detail right. That was why she needed sunglasses.

It was not because the sun would burn her, but only because solid shapes were too dense. They hurt her eyes. Her kind saw more than the surface of things. When Enid hunted, she looked well into the edges of the spirit realm.

She could hear the warm blood gurgling through the man’s veins. She could hear his past whisper like a distant echo. She could hear how he yelled at his aged mother. She could hear that he used to pull the legs off frogs.

Now he was looking for a youngster to steal. Not this time. He would never see the dusk, let alone the next dawn.

Enid ran her tongue over her fangs. The man was here to find a Halloween treat. She was going to turn him into hers.

She was just about to cross the street when two enormous shadows towered up from behind her. The man jumped up and walked away. Enid was too preoccupied to care. There was some terrible power behind her – one that even the undead had to respect. It could only be….

“Naughty, naughty,” a raspy voice said. It sounded like a very old woman.

“Yes,” someone else added. “Naughty – were you going to ask for that chap’s candy?”

“She would take it, I think.” The first one said. “She would take away all his sweet meats.”

Enid turned slowly and looked up at the eight-foot-tall forms. She felt her own blood grow cold, as it had not since she had been un-born. She was facing the arcane women – the old ones.

These were the elders that had made her. They were the Nosferat.

There were a hundred things that she might have said when faced with the old ones that had made her. All those things faded out of her mind at the sight of the elders in their Halloween costumes.

Both of the Nosferat were nearly nine feet tall. One had the feet of a lion and the other had the talons of a bird. The feet were not disguised, but each wore a novelty costume over her scaly body.

The elder who had bird feet was dressed like Cinderella – complete with plastic tiara. She had cut slits in the back to accommodate her huge, black wings.

Her lion-footed sister wore a Jedi robe and was carrying a plastic sword. She had an unsettlingly realistic police-hat perched between her own donkey ears.

The surreal look of a silly costume on top of what looked to be an extremely good one was enough to make parents yank their children to the other side of the street. Not to mention their enormous size.

The squawk of a police radio sounded from somewhere. Enid traced the sound. It was coming from inside the Jedi Nosferat’s plastic, Trick-or-Treat bag.

“How are you doing, Enid, dear?”

“We decided to come and see you.”

“It is the only night of the year when we can walk amongst the living. If we wish to leave even a single one of them alive, that is.”

“How is your sister? Does she still eat her dinner out of a plastic bag?”

The Nosferat giggled and Enid blushed. Her sister, Svetlana, was on what she referred to as the “three pint program.” She ordered her blood from some diet company that got it whole-sale from local hospitals.

“Sign up now and get your first week of blood for free,” Svetlana had said. Enid thought it was shameful for a vampire to live that way.

She fidgeted and tried to think of what she could tell the arcane monsters that had chosen Svetlana and herself to receive this heritage. She was afraid that they would punish Svetlana for denigrating the hunt. Yet they seemed to be in too jolly a mood. Thank goodness for the holiday spirit.

The winged one clicked her tongue impatiently. “Come, now, Enid. Demon got your tongue? Now, tell me…what exactly is your costume?”

Both Nosferat scrutinized Enid for several moments. She could not think of a single thing to say.

The one in the Jedi robe finally nudged her sister. “I don’t believe she is wearing a costume.”

“Oh, Enid…where is your holiday spirit?”

Enid swallowed hard and managed to speak. “I do not know, Mother. I…I suppose that I could not think of anything.”

The one with the donkey ears shook her head so that they swayed violently. “Dear, dear. That is very sad. Don’t you own a television?”

“I don’t think she does.”

“Oh, my. What a shame. We watch the telly all the time. The humans have the most wonderful technology.”

“Yes. We especially like the cooking shows. We saw a lovely cordon bleu recipe just the other day. They did it to a chicken.”

The winged one licked her lips. “Yes. We must try that, once we catch a really plump one.”

“It shouldn’t be hard after this holiday.”

The two giggled like nine-foot, mutant schoolgirls. The police radio squawked again. The Jedi Nosferat shook her bag until it fell still.

“You really should have a costume, Enid,” the winged one said. “It is only respectful to age old traditions.”

Enid forced herself to speak. “Mothers, it is so good to see you, again. There are many who say that the Nosferat no longer walk the earth!”

The monsters giggled again. “Oh, you youngsters don’t have any imagination. I think you rely too much on the telly to tell your stories for you.”

“I don’t know about that, Sister. The telly has some very good stories. They come up with some very entertaining….”

“Well I know that, Silly. I only mean that these youngsters tend to enjoy the stories without taking the bother to tell their own. Take Enid, here. She can’t even think of a costume. Isn’t that right, my dear?”

Enid mouthed something silently and then looked at the ground. A giant hand with talons like tree branches reached down to pat her on the head.

“Well, we had best be going,” the winged one said. “We have a haunted house to go to. We like to sneak in the back door and bring a little something extra to the ending.”

The Jedi cackled. “Yes, yes! They get tricked and we get treated! Would you like to come along, Enid?”

Enid mouthed something silent. The winged one nudged her sister and shook her head.

“She has a pedophile all picked out, remember? And he has scampered away. Hurry, Dear. His trail will grow cold.”

“We can catch him for you if you like, Sweetling. After all, we called you off the hunt.”

“Now, now. She can do her own hunting. Enid is one of our best pupils, aren’t you, my blossom?”

Enid still stared in silence at the arcane goddesses that had been the fodder of her village upbringing – brought suddenly and horribly to life when they snatched her off the steppes. Their sudden reappearance seemed to have the same effect on her, to this day.

“She is peckish,” the donkey-eared one finally said. “Let us be on our way.”
Both monsters blew kisses at Enid. The gust of breath that this created sent up a massive swirl of dead leaves.

Enid blinked and that was enough. When her vision cleared, the old ones were gone.
She turned and looked at the suburb around her. It was bustling with cheerful, holiday life. The young ones were out. Goblins and werewolves abounded. The pedophile was long gone. Enid could just catch his scent.

He was near the public firehouse. She knew that the mortals were having a community party there. So many parents were afraid to let their children knock on strangers’ doors, these days.
They were right, but Enid was going to give them one less reason to be afraid. Holding the fantastic memory of her Nosferat mothers in her mind, she started down the concrete sidewalk.

The sun was down and its warmth was gone. She didn’t want her dinner to get cold.

The end (and happy Halloween)!

mop up in isle styx

A skeleton walks into a bar. He says, "I'd like a beer...and a mop."

Yep, that's the best I've got. Happy Halloween! ;) LJL

Sunday, October 29, 2006

the hallow tree

when the power is out

Things to do when the power is out:

-Test the batteries in all emergency power outage equipment (assuming you can find the shit)

-Set things on fire

-Play Marco Polo

-Invent fun, new games like "Which cat did I step on?"

-Waste laptop battery with dribbling blogging


Saturday, October 28, 2006

kitty card

adorable! had to post it! this is my fave time of year. ;) ljl

monster mash

I’ve been watching a lot of horror movies this month. Most of them are from the forties. I’ve got “Dracula,” “Mark of the Vampire,” “Frankenstein,” “Bride of Frankenstein,” “Son of Frankenstein,” “House of Frankenstein,” “The Mummy,” “The Mummy’s Hand,” “The Wolfman,” and something like “Dracula Meets the Wolfman.”

I can’t wait for my all time favorite to air: “Dracula and the Wolfman take the Mummy out for Drinks and the Mummy gets totally Shitfaced then They dare him to Strip and use his Bandages to Vandalize the Topiary on Sorority Row.”


Friday, October 27, 2006

Dirty Stories

First: I do not mean porn. Get your mind out of the damned gutter.

Moving on: I opened the trunk of my Subaru yesterday and started rooting through the trunk, looking for something or other (don't remember what). I dug under the disposable doggie-poop scoops (unused, thanks very much) and the old newspapers and...ah...some petrified snack bars (in my defense, they tasted petrified when I bought them), a couple of cat toys, and several dozen coffee cups to reveal...

...about three chapters from one of my story drafts. It had coffee on it, of course, and what I optimistically assumed to be "mud." But it made me think of the typical condition that my old story drafts tend to wind up in.

Any story draft that is left in the open for any period of time has pawprints on it -- and probably a rip or two. My tortie-cat, Ophelia, resents my time at the keyboard and has been known to perch on top of the printer, shredding each page as it comes out.

Then come the inevitable coffee stains. Maybe some chocolate or even some mustard. It could be anything, really.

When a story is "done" (if there is such a thing) and I feel safe discarding the drafts, they become:

1) kindling
2) phone messages
3) band-aids (I once bled all over the title page of a novella)
4) a private message from one cat or another that the litter needs to be changed
5) grocery lists
6) paper dolls
7) door-jams

The kindling one is hardest. I try to think about it as letting the old stuff recycle back into the Universe, but sometimes it just looks like burning my work.

No matter how much I think I conserve paper and rely on the computer, it is amazing how much paper I have gone through over the years. Pound upon pound of dirty stories.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

mmm...choclate-y justice goodness

hi! i just got an article posted on the frontpage of www.cauldronliving.com/ (thanks, sonya!) about fair trade chocolate. check it out if ya can.

;) leslie

Monday, October 23, 2006

Awarnesess month fun and frolic

Awareness month. What can I say? Banners, brochures, emotional exhaustion....

The funnest thing we have done this year is the "Pumpkin Patch Pet Show and Children's Day," which went on this past Saturday at the elementary school. It was fabulous! We had people from the local animal shelters put up their own booths, and help judge the pet show. We had games and toys and a bouncy house. It was cool. A ton of pics follow. Enjoy the ride! And please don't feed the advocates. Feeding the goat is fine.

star volunteer

Mommy! Worked her ass off all day just because I needed help, which is not unusual (um...her working or me needing, that is).

I wish I'd remembered my coat

Does anyone else feel a draft?

auxilliary power

Whoa, boy! I need a hug.


wait -- get my good side.

got the goat

two of the stars of the show -- for obvious reasons.

If I had a hammer....

A coworker of mine takes matters in hand....

This is what awareness month is all about -- psychotically-overstimulated victim's advocates. Yay!

animal welfare

we had a pet show and family fun-day type of thing this weekend. it was cool. despite working nearly all day saturday, it was neat to see all the kids and their pets come in. we did it to highlight recent domestic violence/animal cruelty legislation which passed in our state. check out this link to see the info on the bill and the efforts of my pal and our board member, Sue Walsh. She's the one sitting...uh...at the animal welfare table. :)


ps: here is sue at our pet show! :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

dribbling babble

Hi. I’m at the church. I just went to the store and scored some coffee plus a cinnamon roll. I have a quandary. I want the computer on my lap but I want the cinnamon roll in my face. Hang on….

There. Now I have about half a cinnamon roll in my gut and big flakes of hard icing all over the floor. Now the church may get rats and I may get ex-whatever-icated. It was worth it. Hang on….

There. I just crawled around on the tile under my desk and picked up most of the icing flakes. Did you ever see the “X-Files” where the vampire was compulsively picking up sunflower seeds? That’s me with the flakes. The rats will be very disappointed.

I have a local paper here. It comes out on Thursdays. I love/hate to go through the court reports and see how many defendants I know – plus how pathetic their fines or sentences are. Hunting and fishing violations get like three and four times the fines or sentences of any kind of domestic violence. Virtually all the domestic assaults that lead to arrest bail for under $100 (and usually under $50).

Blah. Getting mad, now. Must deflect. The sanctuary has the greatest centerpiece on the piano. It has sunflowers and other flowers – mostly yellow, orange, or red. Then there is a fabulous cabbage-thing down to the lower left. Very cool. I am about to blog something that no one heretofore knew. Brace yourself.

When I am here I always sneak into the sanctuary and pray for a minute. I feel like a fugitive and I have actually hidden against the wall when on the verge of being caught. I don’t know why. I guess I just like it to be private. Even when you don’t live with your father anymore, I guess you can’t stop being a minister’s kid. I love a good sanctuary – but only when they are empty.

There. Flowers, good. Court reports, bad. I knew that. I will move on.

I find myself wondering more and more often about how damaged my soul has become by swimming in this sea of abuse, day in and day out. I have been working at the agency for five years, as of last month. I usually assume that it has been the internal strife and instability that has caused me more stress than the client work. Sometimes I wonder, though. Just in the past ten days I have had:

A two year old with cuts and bruises on his head from being boxed around – hugging and clinging and doing anything for a bit of safe affection.

A seven year old telling me how “I didn’t like what Daddy did to Mommy. He banged her head against the wall. He said he would tear Mommy’s head off.” – and telling me this about five times in eighty minutes.

A woman who had her head bashed against a wall until she shit herself – then was beaten because she shit herself. PS: the assault was retribution for filing a restraining order, which we helped her with.

A man who shot himself in the head in front of his family – and lived and still has custodial rights. PS: has a god-complex because he lived.

A woman who was beaten and choked, then her assailant called the police on her because she bit him during the choking. They have since both filed restraining orders against each other, which will be put to a hearing together.

A woman who came to this state with her fiancĂ© and is isolated on a bridge-connected island (remote but not impossible to get to). She has been assaulted “seven times” – including most recently when she was choked and kicked in the head. The assailant then called the police to “throw her out of his place.” They did not arrest her, but they did not arrest him, either. Then she was stranded on an island with no transportation and still with her assailant.

Kids who were knocked unconscious and then taped to a chair by their father – who had them for court-approved visitation despite the frantic efforts of the mother. As anyone who has ever thoroughly read a pertinent divorce judgment can tell you, “domestic violence prosecutions do not imply an inability to co-parent.”

A man who was beaten with a lead pipe in a busy parking lot by an unknown male whom he believes was sent by his ex (who is apparently in a mental hospital).

And, yes, SO MUCH MORE!!! Rural Maine – “the way life should be.”

There. No more icing flakes on the floor. No more rats. No more ex-whatever-ication.

Gotta go. PEACE! ;) ljl

Friday, October 13, 2006

my day job

Yay, October! Pumpkins, cool weather, costumes, and (of course) national domestic violence awareness and prevention month (you knew that, right?) Oooh. And candy.

Here's my deal-blahdy-blah-thing in the newspaper. Read it while the link lasts!




Peace, Leslie ;)