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October 28, 2014

Night's BlueQian Shore

October is the best hiking and dog-walking weather of the year. Just watch your step, there are snakes out there under the dead leaves and dying underbrush. And who knows what else. Tradition tells us that this is the time of year for many things to go into a dormant state, like bears and plants and my soul, but also a time for other, darker, things to wake up. You might think I have an over-active imagination, but sometimes of late, I could swear there are...creatures. Following me. But every time I try to look at whatever is pursuing me (its there, I know its right there!) all I see is a shadow melting into the cracks of the pavement. Just the empty street and ‘Night’s Plutonian Shore’.

What is this strange place anyway? Lost in thought, I seem to have wandered out of my neighborhood and onto this eerie, woe begotten road I’ve never seen before. Am I well? Do I feel faint? Have I been drinking enough water?

“Come. On.” I mutter to the dog, tugging on the leash, “do your business and let’s get out of here”. But she’s not ready yet. She’s sniffing so hard at the wilting ragweed beside the road she might as well be huffing glue.

I heard somewhere that when dogs (or cats) are staring off, apparently at nothing, if you look between their ears you will see what they see, whether ghost, goblin or revenant. Strange things that we humans can no longer perceive. I look around – no one is in sight, all the windows in the nearby houses are dark. So I feel a little stupid but I do it. I squat down and peer through the space between my German Shepherd’s ears, half expecting it to be some magical portal, a thin place in the veil that will reveal primal terrors born of The Darkness.

And it works – I see what she sees. My heart stops beating for an instant as the icy grip of terror paralyzes it. What wretch is this –Fiend or Devil? Ah fuck, it’s a goddamned skunk. And it is pissed.

We bolt home, all frayed nerves and gooseflesh from our close call. The doctor would surely order a dash of brandy and plenty of rest in the country until I had gathered my wits about me, but all I can manage to scare up is the dregs of some cheap cooking wine.  I choke it down, bend my wife’s sympathetic ear and crash for a few hours. Good as new.

Thanks a Bunch!

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