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 Post subject: October Moons
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:15 pm 

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 6:57 pm
Posts: 1302
Location: Michigan USA
October Moons
by Will Heath

Maybe if I’d just stayed in the house on that cold, clear October night things would have worked out differently, maybe I’d still have that old, twisted Oak bonsai, maybe my neighbors wouldn’t be shaking their heads and whispering words about the crazy man next door whenever they see me. Maybe I’d still have my growing bed full of trees.

It was just a normal night, the moon was full, Halloween was just a few days off, the air was crisp and cool and I decided to wander out back and check on my bonsai. Due to the extended hours I have been working, checking and watering my bonsai after dark had become a ritual. I took a flashlight and grabbed the watering wand, started a small fire in the patio fire pit and made my usual rounds, first to the growing beds and then to the benches.

I was halfway down my second bench when I heard a rustling noise behind me, the noise was strange, unlike anything I have ever heard in my back yard before, like dry canvas being scraped against concrete. I whipped my flashlight around to my growing bed where the noise seemed to come from and thought I seen something move, but searching further with the beam of the flashlight revealed nothing so I continued watering.

I was almost done with the next tree when I heard the noise again, this time louder and coupled with I can only describe as a wailing half moan, half scream. I swung the beam of the flashlight toward the sound again and searched every shadow for the source of the noise to no avail.

I was a little spooked but wrote it off as imagination and turned halfway back toward my bonsai only to come face to face a ghostly image standing 7 foot tall and staring at me with the biggest, darkest, soul-piercing eyes I have ever seen.

I immediately took a few involuntary steps backwards only to feel something like a claw grab my back and my neck. I turned quickly and the claw clamped down and I could feel the weight trying to rip my jacket off of me.

I spun again; trying to shake the grip of whatever was clawing at me and felt a release of weight at the same time, out of the corner of my eye, I caught my prized Oak bonsai sailing toward the patio. Before I could even curse, the Oak arced up in a graceful curve and plopped right dead center into the fire pit, sending up a shower of sparks.

Forgetting all about the creature, realizing that it was my Oak that I backed into and that its branches had somehow caught my jacket, I panicked at the sight of it beginning to catch fire. I ran over, grabbed a protruding branch, which I quickly found to be now scalding hot causing me to drop it back into the fire. I grabbed it again, but this time I gave it a quick, forceful toss out of the pit and to my dismay, right into my freshly pine needle mulched growing bed.

You’d think I mulched that bed with gasoline soaked rags the way it burst into flames. My neighbors, attracted by my loud cursing, now started shouting for me to get the darn hose before the whole neighborhood catches fire. I ran for the hose that I had left by the benches, right toward that ghostly face still staring at me. I was ready to tear this demon apart to get my hose, gritted my teeth, pulled back my right hand preparing for a stiff jab, and the demon flapped it’s wings, lifted off from the fence it was perched on and flew a slow graceful half circle around my burning grow bed before disappearing into the night. It was a darn owl! A darn owl, it was nothing but a rodent eating, hooting, Common Barn Owl.

Screaming with frustration, I grabbed the hose, quickly unscrewed the wand and ran full speed toward my growing bed. I almost made it; I would have too if not for the small fact that the hose I use on the benches does not quite reach all the way to the beds. I remember my arm being yanked backwards at the same time my feet shot forward. I remember lying flat on my back gasping for air. I remember the sounds of laughter from my neighbors raining over my body, my ears, and my burning trees.

With the smell of burning pine around me, the smoke from the needles itching at my eyes, and the sounds of my neighbors jeering me on, I stumbled to the other hose and proceeded to soak the growing bed, killing the flames that were determined to devour everything in their path.

Once the bed was put out and I was standing there surveying the damage in my bathrobe, that I decided for some unknown reason would be perfectly fine to wear out for a few minutes tonight while watering, when a fire truck and a police car came screaming up the driveway, alerted no doubt by my neighbors.

I suppose that if I had simply accepted the ticket for having an open fire inside the city limits, the night would have ended up better. Maybe if I hadn't torn the ticket they gave me for having an open fire in the city limits in half. Maybe if I would have cursed a little less.

In my defense, I was upset over the loss of all my growing bed stock and besides who would have guessed a sudden gust of wind would have came out of nowhere just as I bent over to pick up the pieces of the ticket to avoid a littering ticket as well?

The next day, when they released me, I heard one of the officers comment on how strange it gets when there is a full moon. I think I heard his partner say that this was especially true when there were two.

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