Twilight seems the favorite time for ghosts. In those last few minutes, as day surrenders to night, they are allowed to roam. It’s understandable, when you think about it, as the sun sets and shadows deepen. They belong to this place, the land of shadow, caught between light and dark, in a world of endless night. We must pity these poor soul and leave them be. Nothing could be worse than their timeless wandering, and we must pray that our own fate never mirrors theirs.
It will soon be that magical time of year again, Halloween. The shops are filled with costumes, giant spider webs and broomsticks, though they have to vie with the early addition of Christmas goodies. Still, we welcome any reason to celebrate as the dark night come ever closer. The air has changed too. It now smells of wood smoke and at night, the first hint of frost makes its clean and fresh. The weathermen predict the onset of winter this weekend and the crying of its wind always brings to mind ghostly tales. Don’t worry about that tiny glimpse you catch from the corner of your eye. It’s nothing more than the scurrying of nocturnal creatures or the way the shadows fall. Or is it?
It’s the time of year when our thought stray to better times and those we’re lost. I call them Twilight Thoughts. The memories that come flooding back as day surrenders to night and the sky begins to darken. It is then our mind turns to the past and we recall opportunities lost and chances not taken. We all know the short span of time I’m talking about. Just before the need for light. We are loath to reach for the switch on the lamp, but choose instead to pause awhile and remember. It’s not a great place to stay for too long, as the approaching darkness seeps in to our consciousness, creeping through cracks in the wall that hides our feelings until they threaten to overwhelm us. Our lost loves surround us in the deepening gloom, but they cannot speak. They have nothing more to say, as all has been said and their words are mere echoes of the past. It is then we reach for waiting switch and remember phone calls and contacts to be made, while we still have the time.
I was lying in bed last night reading when I noticed a movement our of the corner of my eye. It was a spider scuttling across the floor, but not your average spider, oh no. This was the King Kong of spiders, a huge, black, hairy hunchbacked thing. It stopped next to the waste paper bin and just stayed there. I don’t know it it was daring me to move or it had a death wish. If so, it got its wish as I introduced it to my shoe. It’s remains where then flushed down the toilet on its way to spider hell, because that’s where all spiders go. A place when juicy flies buzz over head, but they can never catch then and every hour they get a blast in the face from a bug spray. The thing that kept me awake was wondering if he had come alone or was there a relative or friend close by?
I woke this morning to the sound of chainsaws and to my horror found the powers that be were cutting down the branches of the tree outside my office window. It’s not in my garden so there was nothing I could do, but watch as it was stripped of its lush branches. Hours later its been reduced to a stalk, its limbs jutting like skeleton arms towards an unforgiving, grey sky. I know some will think, “So what, it’s just a tree,” but its not. I watched it grow over twenty years from a sapling to a might elm. Its branches was home to countless generations of birds. Their nests now lie like dark blood spots on the green grass and the owners circle the stump in confusion. Not only did it hang with leaves and blossoms, but in its youth it was a climbing frame for many of the neighborhood boys. If I close my eyes I can see them hanging upside down by the ankles, glossy hair swinging as they screamed with life and laughter. Those little faces are lost to me now, the boys all grown and scattered to the four corners of the world. I judged the seasons by its leaves and watched as it grew from bud to green, then orange, red and gold. It will, no doubt, recover and come to life in time, but I will miss its familiar greeting, when I open the blinds each morning and the birdsong. Ah, that I will miss most of all.
Well folks, we’re back to the rain. Not that it makes much difference when you’re manacled to a desk. I was determined to take some time off after completing Shadow Self, but the blank screen kept issuing a challenge and I’m not one to back down. I’m hoping to make the story in to a trilogy and have written the first three chapters of Beyond Bargamore. You’ll understand the title later on. Have a great day and stay safe.
I’ve done it. Despite the wonderful sunshine, I stayed inside and finished the last chapter of Shadow Self. It sometimes frightens me how determined I am when I set my mind to something and no amount of coaxing could get me to leave the computer. Now, comes the hard part, finding someone to publish it, but I have faith in my agent. It is suitable for 8 years and up, but really it’s for all those who still believe in magic. I do, do you?