Well, here we go, the conclusion of my October writing exercises.
I’ll share more thought-out, um, thoughts on the whole exercise later, but this has been good, both as practice, a source of potential new ideas, and a way to stave off boredom for about an hour every day this month…
Every year, their mom warns Dunstana not to eat too much candy on Heroes’ Eve night. And, every year, that warning goes unheeded.
And Kat watches as her little sister becomes an entire bestiary unto herself: dutifully portioning out her candy like a worker ant, hiding the bulk of it away like a squirrel, jumping on the candy like a breaching Turboshark, unhinging her jaw like a snake to devour it all whole.
Then promptly entering hibernation like the great bear of the forest.On the one hand, Kat is shocked that Dunstana can not merely sleep at all after ingesting so much sugar, but sleep so deeply that she becomes utterly immovable and imperturbable.
On the other hand, after that much sugar, it only makes sense that she would crash hard.
Kat just wishes her sister had picked somewhere else to crash than on top of her.
Still dressed in her vampire costume, Dunstana is sprawled across her sister. Still dressed in her pirate costume, Kat has no choice but to serve as Dunstana’s pillow for the duration.
This is the ideal time to eat the left-over candy. And that candy is mocking Kat from the other side of the room. So far out of reach that it might as well be halfway across Terrace. Pinned as she is by Dunstana’s sleeping form, Kat can only gaze wistfully at the candy bowl.
She’s going to get Dunstana for this.
Dunstana stirs in her sleep, causing a surge of optimism to well inside Kat.
“Look out,” Dunstana murmurs as she rolls over, “it’s the Baleful Saucier!”
She completes her roll and returns to stillness.
Estelle comes into the room. She looks down and smiles at Kat. “Are you alright like that, Kat?” she asks. “I can wake her up if you want.”
“No,” Kat says. “It’s fine. What are big sisters for, right?”
Estelle’s smile grows and she drapes a blanket over her daughters. “Well, let me know when you get tired and we can do something about your vampire problem,” she offers.
Kat nods. “Yeah. Thanks, Mom.”
Estelle crosses the room and returns with the bowl of left-over candy. “Here,” she says, offering it to Kat. “I think you’re earning your wages.”
“Thanks,” Kat says, taking the bowl.
Kat is interrupted by the arrival of her father in the room.
“Ah, perfect,” Dorian says when he sees Kat on the couch. “I’ve been looking for you, Kat. First, I wanted to tell you that you picked a great costume this year.”
She should have known better, Kat tells herself.
For her, the greatest terror Heroes’ Eve holds isn’t the cold of autumn, or the dark of the night, or the amuse-bouches done up like monsters or any or ghosts or gremlins or Baleful Sauciers.
It’s the Pirate Talk.
“And,” Dorian continues as Kat breaks out into a cold sweat, “you wear it well, Kat. Which is why I think you should give some serious thought into going into the family business. You’re only fifteen, after all. Still plenty of time for a good pirate career.”
Kat glances down at the sleeping Dunstana and begins to wonder how she might be repurposed into a projectile to allow Kat to escape.
Dorian reaches into his pocket.
“In fact,” Dorian says. “I’ve made a list of reasons to consider piracy.”
He pulls out the list. And then continues to pull it out of his pocket as it becomes clear it is a long list.
Dorian clears his throat. “Reason number one,” he declares. He glances up from the paper. “And this is reason one of one thousand and four, by the way.”
Well, there it is. Writing every in October accomplished.
Also, Happy Halloween, everybody!
Have fun, stay safe, and may you escape any awkward conversations your own parents may want to have with you this night.
And may this help you get into the spirit: