Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Greetings & Autumn Bittersweet

Halloween Greetings card from ~ ~
Life seems to dish out the sweet with the bitter, or bittersweet, my Big Lovely Cats. If it was only bittersweet chocolate ~ meow yum-yum...but no such happy tail-plucky luck. Today the Kougar received some disappointing news about one of her pubbed novels. On the other paw, moi also received some delicious news. Another author, who is currently reading All Shades of Blue Paradise, had some wonderful things to say. For real. Not you scratch my novel’s back and I’ll scratch your novel’s back kind of stuff.
From the Kougar’s point of view, it’s sad artists are not valued, in general, by our culture, except when they reach celebrity en masse status. No, the term ~ starving artist ~ is all too real. Unless us creative types have the dreaded day job, or another means of support. Too bad the Kougaress can’t wave her magical wand and create the whole world as one big Renaissance that would be moi’s idea of a very good merry making time. Roar and evermore, bring on the Turkey legs.
Bittersweet ~ where the Kougar resided before her tame prairie, there was a very healthy bittersweet bush along the antique fenceline. And moi misses seeing it, especially the bush’s autumn beauty. Plus, the birds loved feeding on the berries, as well as the rose hips from the wild rose bushes next to it.
From ~ ~
American bittersweet is valued for its glossy green summer foliage followed by orange and red fruits and seeds, and several landscape cultivars are commercially marketed. The branches with colorful berries and arils are used in dry flower arrangements and winter decoration.
All parts of bittersweet are reported to be poisonous, but songbirds, ruffed grouse, pheasant, and fox squirrel eat the fruits. The Menominee, Ojibwa, and Potawatami tribes of North American Indians have used the inner bark as an emergency food. Various parts of the plant have been used in decoctions and ointments for a variety of ailments, including cough, intestinal, and gynecological problems.

Oil expressed from the seeds of the related species Celastrus paniculatus, a shrub native to India, has been used medicinally in India for centuries. The oil is used to increase memory and facilitate learning. It induces a feeling of well being and has reported aphrodisiac effects.
For Part I of the Kougar’s WIP ~ Arrival... ~ see moi's blog ~ Beware! The Bloodsuckers...
Now, just for the Big Halloween Cool Cats ~ Part II (improved) & Part III from moi's WIP ~ Arrival...
Not moving, holding her breath, Kristyn waited, half-expecting her lights to flicker off, and her computer screen to go blank. Then, she’d be left in total darkness, at the mercy of...a vampire? Her stomach tightened painfully. What now?
Do not be afraid, I await you now.
Stalker? Was someone just outside her window? The blood pounded in her ears, a roaring empty sound. Unlikely, since she was out in the middle of cattle country. Still, psychos could be anywhere at anytime. And this was precisely why she never watched horror movies. Fear stabbed you in the heart way before the knife plunged repeatedly into your chest.
‘Do not be afraid’, how insane was that? Kristyn quaked inside at the thought of what she would hear next, and from the words she’d heard before. Those words had been oddly powerful, definitely unique. And poetic. Yes, she had heard whoever, whatever. That she didn’t doubt. Whether it was someone outside her window, whether it was actual telepathy, or if the government spooks were playing cruel Halloween games, using their cell tower thought-implanting technology...she didn’t know.
The real eeriness, the one haunting her down to her bones, was how similar the words were to the ones she’d seen on the Vampire website.
Clicking the mute button on the media player, she focused on listening, while cold shivers chased each other up and down her spine. Waiting, she heard only the loud whoosh of her own breath as she released it, then the fast drumming beat of her heart. Weapons, she needed a weapon.
Too bad she never ordered that cattle prod. And she didn’t have a gun. Not that a cattle prod or a gun actually worked to stop a vampire. Wooden stake...maybe, out in the old barn. Silver bullet...yeah, in this bad economy silver was too damn scarce, anyway. garlic powder out in the kitchen. But, what did she do? Sprinkle it on him? Before he took that first bite?
Suddenly, the shrill yip-yip of hunting coyotes burst into the silence, coming from the north pasture behind her. As the pack moved closer, closing in on what they hunted, probably an unlucky rabbit, the sharp wild yips escalated in sound, rattling her nerves to an unbearable pitch.
Rising slowly and silently, half-frozen with fear, she moved toward the window. Willing her hand not to shake, she gradually pulled back the makeshift curtain. The chase sound of the coyotes finally faded, then ceased altogether.
I await you in the full light of the blazing orange moon. Come to me, Kristyn.
Where? Her mind sarcastically asked the question, before any common sense kicked in. Shut up, she told herself, then peeked out the window like a certified idiot. It was the wrong window to see anything. Like she was going to go back and look out the bathroom window, where the nearly full moon’s brightness lit up the western pasture.
Hell, how hard was her heart pounding? It hurt. "That’s all I need, is a heart attack," she whispered. "Well, hell, if I die, he can bring me back to being undead." Kristyn tried to enjoy her own dry humor for a moment of relief, and failed.
Come to me, my treasured woman. I stand near your double doors. I await your beauty.
You have a big wait. I am not beautiful.
Dropping the curtain, she battled the terrible urge to walk through her bedroom to the back doors, open them... Stop it! she ordered herself.
Oh yeah, calling 911 would work now. Great idea. Sure. If she was actually mind-speaking with a Svengali-like vampire...if he was bloodthirsty, it would be all over, including the screaming shouts.
Damn! My heart feels like it’s stuck in my throat.
I promise our first bite together will not be painful, my Kristyn.
Like I would trust a vampire....if you are a vampire. Leave
, she commanded. Why not? God, she prayed, ‘a little help here. No, a lot of help!
Come to me, my Kristyn. Let the moonlight bless our union.

She froze. Antifreeze, she thought. Only it’s poisonous. Archangel Michael, protection here, please. Yet her feet were moving. Her entire body moved. A strange compulsion used her bloodstream as a race track, speeding through her like a stormwind, possessing her. Unable to control herself, she walked back toward the double doors. Oh, God, no.

Bittersweet spooky smooch from the Kougar...

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