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A tale to haunt your days and nights

Tomorrow is Halloween, and I am going to be dressed as Tinkerbell.

Seeing as though last year I was the girl from The Ring (demon-spawn Samara herself), I figured this year it would be nice to bring a touch of levity to the holiday.

My decision was also supported by the fact that I must fulfill both an obligation to dress up at the office, as well as attend a number of business meetings throughout the day (in an appropriate, non-Tinkerbell specific outfit.)

My costume lends itself to these disparate requirements tremendously well. You see, I get to wear one of my favourite work dresses (please see below), and with just the simple addition of some wings and a wand I will be fairy dust ready!

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Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

This year Marc and I aren’t doing anything specific to celebrate this spooky day.

October has been such a gongshow of a month (I recently calculated that there hasn’t been one post-work evening in which I haven’t had either a work or social function to attend), and I am running the Boundary Bay half-marathon on Sunday, so we both just want to stay inside and hand out candy to all the little masked munchkins running about the neighbourhood.

Yesterday night we carved our pumpkins, and sticking to true Marc and Vanessa fashion, here are the results:

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I don’t think I will ever be able to carve a non-happy pumpkin, and each year Marc’s just keep getting scarier and scarier.

Speaking of all things frightening, and to remain firmly entrenched in the spirit of Halloween, I would like to share with you a story that Marc made up this summer.

We were camping with a bunch of friends and we decided to all share spooky stories.

He came up with this doozy:

Once upon a time, there lived a poor farming family that lived in a small isolated hamlet. Their land fell within the boundaries of a large, and very rich duchy, but they rarely met with anyone in their day to day lives.

The wife bore a set of twins – a boy and a girl. The boy was born blue eyed and fair haired, while the girl had olive skin and hair as black as a raven’s wings.

They came together into the world, one right after the next. He first, and she right behind him, clutching his ankle tightly in her newborn fist.

They named him Day, and her Night.

Each day following, the two were inseparable. Time spent roaming the vast expanse of the farm, and the nearby forest was filled with laughter and mirth.

But when the sun settled, and a deep darkness spread over the land, Night would bid goodbye to her brother, and climb out of their bedroom window, into the black.

Every time she’d leave, she’d remind him to keep the window open and unlocked, so that she could return.

Every night, Day would watch her slink out beyond the frame, ensure the latch remained undone, and then crawl back into his bed.

He would wake to the sound of a soft tap at the window, and he would get up and open the window and help her back into the room.

One day, the two were out in the orchard picking apples, when they heard the heavy clomps from the hooves of a fast approaching horse.

Night ran out from the shade of the tree to see who it was, while Day scrambled to keep up.

It was the Duke, riding one of his hunting steeds, with a party of other noblemen.

Startled by the small child, his horse reared, and struck Night in the head.

“Dirty peasants!” shouted the Duke, as he continued on his way.

Day ran to his sister, who lay so still and pale on the ground. Besides a small trickle of blood that ran from her temple to her eye, it looked just as though she was asleep.

He and her parents buried her the following afternoon.

That night, as Day struggled to fall asleep, he heard a soft taping at the window.

Convinced he was hearing things, he ignored the sound and eventually fell asleep.

The next night he once again heard the noise, only this time it was louder. Still convinced he was making it up, he put his pillow over his head and tried again to fall asleep. Eventually, he fell into a restless slumber.

On the third night the sound was no longer a tap, but an urgent knock.

Day could no longer pretend it was inside of his head.

He slowly got out of bed and walked towards the window. The pane rattled slightly with each thump.

He quickly reached out and undid the latch. The window swung open, and the cool night air rushed into the bedroom.

Cool night air, and nothing else.

Day paused a moment, before making his way back to his bed.

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

As he did, he felt a small hand wrap its fingers around his ankle.

And in the morning, when his parents came to wake him, he was gone.

THE END!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tale.

Happy Halloween you boils and ghouls.

Lock up those windows tight.

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A little ditty, sitting pretty

I am beginning to think that we will henceforth refer to time as “BTR” and “ATR” (Before the Rain/After the Rain), what with how hard it has been storming for the past few days.

There really is something to be said for a warm, dry autumn season.

I am looking at retiring to Portugal ASAP.

In the interim, here is a story:

There once was a girl who absolutely adored her to-do lists.

She made them each and every day.

At her job and at her home; for her work and for her play.

There wasn’t anything that she did – be it cleaning, writing, running, or shopping –  that she didn’t enjoy ten-times more when it was written down in pen, and then crossed out with that same pen after it was complete.

Sometimes on a Friday night, her and her Swiss-Indian life-mate would sit down and think of all the magical and mayhem-inspired things they wanted to achieve over the next few days.

Their excited and over-confident scribbling often took the shape of something like this:

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Nothing was ever left off of the list. Even if they thought the task too daunting – it was added along with the rest of the items, and treated with the same respect as any old regular, mundane activity.

One weekend, it just so happened to be that both the girl and her Swiss-Indian life-mate managed to accomplish the majority of things on their to-do list, despite the fact that it was very long, and very involved.

They did crazy things like jack up the floor joists under the extension of their one hundred and seven year old house, and bake two dozen pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and four dozen Halloween sugar cookies.

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(The girl did concede, however, that she desperately needed to purchase some new cookie cutters, as dogs and hands – HANDS! – don’t make for the best scary pastry cut-outs.)

She ran 14 kilometers on Saturday and 7.5 kilometers on Sunday, and he mowed the lawn (front and back!) and together they cleaned out their fridge and tidied the house (which included four loads of laundry, folded and put away.)

It was an incredibly productive time – and one that also included an inordinate amount of laughter and friendly ribbing.

Because according to both of these characters, there really is nothing like spending a couple of hours scuttling about the underside of a house to bring a couple together.

The girl felt so happy to have been able to spend this time with her Swiss-Indian life-mate.

Especially on a late-afternoon Sunday walk, in the beautiful soul-warming sun.

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(ATR, as it were.)