Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Freak Out and a New Agent in Town

It turns out my little blog and twitter account have been nominated for Mobbie awards in the Baltimore Sun (yaah me!). If you like this blog and/or my tweets, please go to the following links and cast your vote:


Codename: Carla:

I'd really appreciate the support! You can vote everyday until the deadline on November 12 at 5 p.m.

Sadly, I haven't been tweeting very much lately because I've been focused on writing my novel for the NaNoWriMo event. Between writing during slow moments at work and staying up late in front of my laptop, I've managed to write a little over 10,000 words. I think that's a pretty good run for just four days, but I have to keep up the pace. I know the Thanksgiving holiday and the beginning of Christmas shopping will become a distraction down the home stretch. I feel a little guilty actually because I'm simply relating the incidents which occurred in Vermont last month. Technically not a novel, but written in a novel style, like what Truman Capote did for the Clutter family murders in the book In Cold Blood. I've altered a few things as well to make it flow more like a suspense thriller. Creative license is what writers call it. I call it smoothing out the rough edges.

The writing has actually helped me focus since I was beginning to feel like I was losing my mind from office work. It came to a head Halloween night. I had volunteered to hand out candy to the trick or treaters since my mother was going out with her boyfriend for dinner. Sitting on the front porch with a giant bowl of candy on my lap wasn't my idea of a great time, but I had nothing else to do. My legs were going numb from the brisk fall air and my mind started to drift from the monotony of children in costumes parading across the porch, droning out the phrase "Trick or Treat" as if they were just as bored with the routine as I was.

Then, hidden between a row of Iron Men and Shreks and Neytiris was this older kid in a completely unique costume. I say older because he stood just under 5 feet tall, and he wore a rather generic blue jumpsuit featuring insignia I was not familiar with. But it was the mask that turned my blood cold. It was made of lumpy orange latex and painted with  large brown spots. Shiny black plastic eyes the size of tennis balls were affixed to the mask by what I could only assume were some sort of spinning discs, causing them to move in random directions. The nose and mouth were also lumpy and grotesque like someone experiencing an allergic bee sting reaction. The costume looked exactly like the strange creatures I encountered in Las Vegas last August!

When the kid approached me, he raspily mumbled the requisite line through the latex. Before I dropped the Snickers bar into his pumpkin-shaped bucket, I said, "Nice costume. Where did you get it?"

He merely shrugged and extended his bucket closer.

"No really, I'd like to get one just like it. Where did your Mommy buy it for you?"

The kid didn't move. The longer I looked into that deformed face, the more intensely I felt the horror of that night in the desert heat. I started to quiver inside. I barked, "C'mon, I want to know where you got the mask? Who sent you here?"

The kid stepped back a few inches, but he still kept his bucket in front of me. I was no longer seeing a child. He appeared to me to be a true alien creature. Instinctively, I lunged for him, but his youthful reflexes were slightly quicker than mine, and he bolted down the porch steps. With children screaming and fleeing the scene, I was fixated on chasing down the bizarre figure. After a couple of blocks, I finally tackled him and spun his face around to meet mine.

"Who are you?" I yelled at him. "Who sent you here?"

He reached up and pulled off the mask. The ginger boy was beet red in the face and crying from fear. Suddenly, I regained some measure of sanity again. I released the boy, who scurried into the darkness. In the pale light of the street lamps, I could see children staring and a few adults approaching me with looks of anger and concern. Completely humiliated, I ran back to the house and locked myself in. Fortunately, no one followed or called the police. I'd still like to know where that child got that costume. Or perhaps it was all in my imagination and the costume was actually a fireman or a cowboy. I can't accept that idea because then I really would be going insane.

Work offered an unlikely sanctuary after that night. I've just kept my head low and attended to my business. Except a couple of times I looked up to notice a new field operative, codename Geoffrey. He's about six feet tall with a swarthy complexion and longish black hair. He's well muscled but not overly developed, and he has one of those compact little tushies that you just want to reach out and squeeze. I'm not sure what he's doing at the moment, but he seems to be meeting with The Colonel quite a bit. And the last time he dropped by the office, I believe I detected the beginnings of a mustache. Must be grooming himself for an undercover assignment. I'll have to find some way to introduce myself.

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