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          Live! On the Air! It's the Yard Yeti Radio Show...

          It's me, your favorite Not-Yet-A-Yeti broadcasting live, a special nocturnal, super supernatural event on this Yard Yetis Halloween Howling Edition...

          "Tick tock goes the clock...time won't stand still. But we can...let's catch up." (My signature and often quoted opening line.)

          Normally, I would cue the Noon Whistle, but on this somewhat Para-Normal damp, dark and dank Eve, the clock chimes from the clock above the Bank on the corner of Main, will have to suffice. The street is wickedly quiet. Off in the distance the hoot of an owl, the caw of a crow, the howl of a lone wolf, and the profanity of a parakeet. Eek!

          My studio is lit with the eerie grins of carved pumpkins lining the window sills, candles flickering with each breath of wind, curtains fluffing and casting shadows on the walls. My chin is resting in my cupped hands as I lean my elbows on the sill, gaze up at the moon, shrouded in wisps of clouds. There are no bats in MY belfry.

          Just Pepper. My pet parakeet. My profane and tipsy parakeet.

          In his Halloween costume.

          Pepper changed his mind several times throughout the day. Early this morning, he had on his Angry Bird mask and red feathered plume. He gave up on that disguise as no one was fooled. Pepper looks angry ALL the time, so no one noticed the difference. Which, made him even redder and more angry. Then, when I suggested he dress as a Black Cat, he shrieked over and over "NO CATS" "NO CATS" "NO CATS". There are signs posted on the door to the studio, lettering on the window panes, and magnets on the mini-fridge stating clearly and succinctly...NO Black Cats...NO Cute Kitties...NO Feline Predators Allowed! I feel badly, as I often forget that his wings are clipped and he cannot fly, though the thought of flying freely fills his dreams at night. Instead, he decide to honor other earth bound avians who share his Dancing With the Stars fetish...the stars...the celebs of Happy Feet. Penguins.

          Pepper is a Penguin. Tuxedo clad, top feathers slicked back with gel, yellow webbed footies on his toes. With wings stuck close to his sides, he wobbles from one end of the room to the other while I toss him sardines from a tin can.

          To show my avian solidarity, I am dressed as a garden ornament.

          A pink flamingo.

          Fluffy pink feathered tutu, glittered flamingo glasses and pink and black striped socks with clawed feet. I donned my favorite pink shelled bathing cap with the strap pulled tight under my chin. As I crane my neck and balance on one foot with my other tucked behind my knee, I imagine myself inside an unopened jewelry box. Lift the lid, the music plays and I begin to twirl. That is until one of my claws catches on the CD crate and I fall face first into a can of sardines. Ah...the smell of the sea.

          The magic of Halloween. The simple joy of hiding behind a mask, assuming a different persona, a new identity. Trying on for size an unusual guise. The make-up, the weirdness, the mischievous other worldliness of posing as someone other than yourself just for the time being. The chance to be bigger or less than. A new face that washes off with soap and a shower. False eyelashes, fake fur, vampire teeth, out-of-character characters. Cartoons. Buffoons. A comical T-shirt take on what-I-might-have-been pulled over my head hiding who-I-really-am.

          Outside on Main, the phantom parade begins. Mayor Yoo-Hoo, dressed in his Stay Puft Inflatable Marshmallow Costume leads the way. Officer Dewey, in his regular regulation uniform, safety striped in glow-in-the-dark tape, brings up the rear, holding the red flashing light that would be on the top of his patrol car, if he had one. Ghouls and goblins, Ewoks and Batmen walk hand in hand. A lanky Lurch and a wide-eyed newborn in a Skeletor Onesie. Beware the apparitions, the ghostly ghouls, the things that go bump in the night. Avoid the menacing cobwebs draped across the front facade of Ace Plumbing and the cackling witch stirring her cauldron outside the Flickering Flame Restaurant at the end of the block.

          Caution. The innocents are out.

          Trick or Treat. Repeat. Repeat. Trick Or Treat.

          Give me something good to eat.

          Pepper wobbles toward the window with an open can of sardines tucked under one useless wing and a can of Coors under the other. I stretch out one slender pink leg and wrap my claws around his scrawny neck.

          "Candy", I yell. "Candy! Not DEAD FISH!"

          By the time we untangle ourselves, time has ticked away. Mummies and monsters into the mist. The shudders, shrieks and screeches echo in the distance. The clock on the corner raises its hands high over head. Eleven fifty-nine PM. One minute remaining. One moment before midnight. Under the clock. Tick and tock.

          I see her.

          Robed in red, her cape dragging in the gutters. Head down, the brim of her floppy felt hat bobbing with each step. She is wearing a mask, a full disguise, that covers all except her eyes. From her steadfast gait, this is a woman who has traveled miles and miles in her journey from HERE to THERE. This is not her first disguise. Nor her first trick. She is searching and searching for something good to eat. Fulfilling. Not a little snack, but a healthy hearty meal. No tricks. No treats.

          She is on the prowl. On this night of mystery, cloaked in her cape, she paces under the clock. Coming out of the shadows, into the light of the full moon, and the sky with each passing second lit by the flash of a falling star. Pinpricks of light create a halo around the moon. This is serious hocus pocus and I am running out of broadcast time.

          I lean into the microphone and whisper conspiratorially, my legendary sign off:

          "Your secrets are safe with me, except for the ones I posted on the Internet."

          The clock strikes twelve just as I slide toward the window.

          The woman in red, flings off her cape, tears off her mask, and marches on down the street, leading her own parade. Her massive red curls unfurling down her back as she squares her shoulders. A sigh. A deep breath.

Raquel sticks out her chest and her fully formed self...

Raquel Rhododendron is...Ready for her Close-Up...

Trick or Treat

Chapter 14 | Chapter 16


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29