October 31: Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve. November 1: All Saint’s Day, El Dia de Los Muertos. The Day of the Dead. Feast of Ghosts. These days are known the world round and down throughout time. Even the Magical have something to celebrate.
Halloween is Winging Night for gargoyle babies born in October. The night when their mothers and fathers take them aloft, release them to the sky, and they can feel the cool air beneath their new wings for the first time as they learn to glide on its currents.
El Dia de Los Muertos sees the rejoicing and remembering of families, magical and mundane. The cemeteries are as aglow as the churches on Christmas Eve, and lilting music, dancing, and songs ring long into the night.
Delicious dishes waft their scents for Anubis and the waiting spirits in Little Egypt as families fill their tables, invite their ancestors to come and join, and the feasts begin.
The nights reverberate with laughter and roars and music, punctuated by the dinging of doorbells and chorusings of “Trick or Treat!”
Nela and her wolfling friends make sure to stop at Miss Akiko’s house so they can see her in her rare Juko form, her five, luxurious, red-and-white tails waving softly around her ankles, and receive her unique rice-paper candies and mini-lanterns.
The Halloween Tree blooms bright and macabre in Mr. Moundshroud’s garden. (What? You thought that came solely from Bradbury’s brain? Nonsense! He shinnied up that tree himself to try to fetch his own pumpkin one year, I’ll have you know. He broke a total of three toes between both feet on the way down.) And if you ever come across a man in a large sombrero that hides his eyes, selling sugar skulls (“Sweet skulls! Treat skulls! Sugar candy skulls!), do not give in to his cloying voice and trade away your name for a treat, like Jacob selling his birthright for a pot of stew. For the Takers are still abroad, even in the here and now, and still have great fun snatching up what gullible creatures they can find as will give in to the trick and make an unwitting deal.
The ghostly nights are here, dear friends. Mind your step, watch your words, and enjoy! Keep your eyes open for the magical in the mundane, for a glimpse of a fluttering fairy wing, the glint of a fang under a ruby-red lip, a shadow flitting across the moon (or is that a gargoyle?). Keep looking. Keep looking. Can you see…?
*Footnote: Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud from The Halloween Tree is indeed the creation and property of Ray Bradbury and his estate. I just borrowed him and my persistent childhood memory of his wizened face for a moment.