• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

T’was The Night Before The Zombie Apocalypse

hwabutton

Greetings and Salutations,

This is the last Friday before Christmas so I’m re posting my version of The Night Before Christmas. It is in the name of fun, so enjoy.

On a serious note, remember we are celebrating the birth of our Savior. So be a little more patient, a little more forgiving, and a little more loving.

 THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

T’was the night before Christmas when all through our shelter,

Not a creature was stirring, not even the smelter.

The mac-tens were hung by the chimney with care,

For the undead horde that soon would so

The guard dogs were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of raw meat danced in their heads.

Mom and her uzi and I with my launcher,

Had just settled down to plan for the slaughter.

When out on the lawn there arose such a racket,

I leaped from the bunker and put my jacket.

Grabbing my Kevlar I flew like a flash,

Turned on the search lights looking aghast.

The lights on the breast of the new fallen dead,

Gave luster of midday to zombies in red.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight zombie reindeer.

The driver was quick, his head wrapped in gauze,

I knew in a snap it was Zombie Clause.

More rapid than missiles his coursers they came,

He grunted and slobbered, and called them by name.

“Now, Femur! Now, Sacrum! now, Kidney! and Bicep,

On, Liver! On, Stomach! On, Colon and Tricep.

To the top of the porch and over barbed wire!

Now dash away! Dash away! Far from the fire!”

Above all the landmines and away from the moat,

They went higher and higher like some flying boat.

So up to the lookout the reindeer they flew,

With a sleigh full of entrails, and Zombie Clause, too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof,

The prancing and pawing of each rotting hoof.

I switched off the safety and pulled back the hammer,

Down the chimney came Zombie with quite a clamor.

He was dressed all in fur from head to the floor,

And his clothes were all bloody and splattered with gore.

A bundle of severed limbs on his back,

He sat himself down to have a late snack.

His eyes—they were sunken, his flesh was so pale,

His nose was held on with a bright shiny nail.

The stump of a leg he held tight in his teeth,

As I pulled my new sword clear of its sheath.

He was rotten and putrid but looked quite surprised,

As I sliced off his arm and poked out his eyes.

He ran to the chimney forgetting his snack,

So I picked up my shotgun and gave him a whack.

Sticking a finger far up his nose,

Giving a nod up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the led from my pistol.

I heard Zombie moan, as he flew through the night,

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good bite.

To You and Yours,

Have a Scary Christmas and a Happy Ghoul Year

Dave Benneman

The Plague has arrived…

Flu

The Swamp has been hit with the plague, so I’ve been huddling inside a salt circle warded by every known repulsion spell I can possible conceive of.  First it raced past the beautiful gardens at Dreamer’s place and left foliage carnage in its wake. Snarky managed to curb its insatiable appetite with a few well-aimed licks of her whip of displeasure.  I haven’t heard from Smokey, the haze is pretty deep, but I think that’s what’s keeping the plague in check for him.  As for Quirky, nope, he tried, but in the end he too fell.  Red managed to put a whole ocean of water between him and the feared virus carrier.  Eerie and Mischievous? Well, they headed up Troll Mountain and let the frigid temps discourage the plague’s forward momentum.  For a while it looked like Mighty Dwarf was going to escape, but then this week, she finally succumbed, swearing and cursing all the way. We’re experimenting with a few medicinal drams in an effort to weaken the stupid bug, but so far all it does is knock the victim out, leaving them to roll around in bed with a few weak moans. 

Even here in our humble shack we haven’t been totally immune.  Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor went down a few days ago.  Supportive spouse that I am, I vanquished him to another room as far from me as possible, because, let’s face it, I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME TO BE SICK.  Oh no, with the Prankster Duo at full steam, demands from that pesky job that pays the bills, edits to finish, queries/synopsis to compose, the Blogger Book Fair to prep for and preparing to start the next WIP in February, there is not a lot of time to be laying around moaning. Unless of course those moans are because my brain is on the verge of imploding under the massive to-do list that haunts my nightmares. 

Until this harbringer of aches and fevers removes its shadow from the Swamp, I’m staying put, hunkering down and ignoring the anquished moans of suffering.  I’m fairly certain that’s the only way I’m going to make it!

Besides the Blogger Book Fair starts in two weeks and none of my highly anticipated visitors want to dodge the plague!

If the plague has found you, my sympathies, but please don’t be offended if I say that from wayyyy over here!

Until next week….

Wicked

You Survived NaNo…now what?

So we’ve survived the madness that was NaNo and we actually did it! Consider it a major miracle.  I know the whole point of having this in November is to test your ability to meet your goal under severe duress, but seriously, folks? I think you’ve gone beyond severe, into freakin’ terrifyingly horrendous…but now that we’re done, what happens next?

Well there’s this minor celebration involving an overly decorated tree, hastily wrapped packages (some reappearing from last year), and a never ending stream of family and friends just “popping by” to get through.  If you could find the time to write during the wild halycon days of November, I promise, you can find the time in December.  Now, whether or not your brain is able to focus and make sense, well that’s another story.

I have to credit NaNo with getting me through SHADOW’S MOON’s mid point and well on the speed track of the last handful of chapters.  The goal is to have this first draft done by (what month is it or yeah…) December, get it out the other Evil Ones for dismemberment, then it’s onward to the polishing stage.  By end of January it should be winging it’s way out into the query world.  I will keep you updated.

Apologies ahead of time but my posts this month will be embarassingly short as something has to give and my family has already started to wonder who I am. 

So to keep the conversation going, what all do you guys have planned for this holiday season?   For me and mine, much celebrating with loved ones has the starring role!

Cooking , however, is no where on my list unless it’s a move to invite the local fire department over. 

Until next week…

Wicked

Challenged Accepted…

Yes, that’s right I have been challenged by lovely and talented Liv Rancourt who’s nominated me for One Lovely Blog award. This time around the object of the game is to list seven things about yourself, then nominate other bloggers for the award.  Liv’s list of 7 was her 7 all-time favorite vamp novels (which if you know her, is not a surprise).

Now that it’s my turn, I have to admit that deciding which list of 7 to post was tough.  There are so many to choose from–Urban Fantasy series, All-Time Fav Music, my Fav movies that make you think, you see how long the list can be?  Since October is coming and for some odd reason Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor has been obsessed with firearms, I decided to go with My Top Seven Weapon Choices for the Impending Zombie Apocalypse!

So don your Kevlar, add your war paint, it’s time to get down to business of putting those Zombies in their place (or places as the case may be!)

First up, since I’m a blade woman is the updated version of a katana, the Apokatana found at Zombie Tools. This tactical version of a tried and true blade has a stronger spine than the traditional katana.  With a lethal 28 inches you can be sure to keep those corpse shamblers at arm’s length while taking their heads off!

My second blade of choice would be the Machete.  I don’t care which one you grab, just make it a good one.  This is a great weapon for those who didn’t have the time to study martial arts before the dead rose.  Not only good for carving your way through the moaning hoards of cannibals stumbling towards you, it can also help you slash your way through heavy foliage to help speed your getaway.

Now on to my third weapon of choice.  This one Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor highly recommends and has even offered to pick it up for our anniversary. The Benelli M4.  This gas-operated shotgun is great for us smaller peeps who don’t want to find ourselves sitting on our butts after firing. This way we can keep our feet and take out as many Zombies as possible.

Now, if you have the Apokatana and the Benelli you may find yourself unable to take on any more weapons, but I disagree.  Now my choice for weapon number four is certain dependant on individual preferences but no matter what you choose a small firearm is needed for those tighter situations where you just don’t have time to pull out the big guns.  We’re a Sig Sauer type family, so we’d lean towards the Sig Sauer P226, not just because SEALs tend to like this gun, but come on, it’s dependable no matter the environment.  When the apocalypse hits, there will be more than the environment to worry about!

Choice number five is not only practical but looks totally cool! This is Cold Steel’s Trench Hawk.  It’s a great weapon for tight spaces, plus you can also chop up downed power poles and abandoned houses for firewood!

Up in sixth place are those items you can use that you already own.  Most of us just don’t have the time to stock up on a plethora of firearms, so if the Zombies are knocking, just look around your kitchen.  A butcher knife, a rolling-pin, a solid candlestick, that cast iron skillet, even that hammer you shoved in the junk drawer.  They’ll all work and don’t require years of training to use effectively.  A little messy, but when you’re in the kitchen, messes happen!

And last but not least because no matter the quality of your accessories you must look good while taking out the undead.  Some will prefer the camo look, others leathers, and still others will cross styles. Now if you’re in the hotter climes leather may be out. It can get sticky, but if you haven’t been able to round-up some Kevlar, you really need to make sure your clothing can take a beating, weather the blood and brains they’ll encounter each day, and may even double as weapons.  I’d mention stiletto heels, but everyone knows you can’t run in those things.

I’m sure I’ve missed some, but what would you put up for your list of favorite 7’s?

And because I like to share the love, here are seven bloggers who I’m tagging for the next round of the One Lovely Blog award:

  1. Amber Kallyn
  2. Mona Karel
  3. Rachel Firasek
  4. Michelle Miles
  5. Adriana Ryan
  6. Empi Baryeh
  7. Ciara Knight

Share the love and give them a moment by checking out their blogs!

The Goode Olde Days

Been fighting off a cold for the majority of the day, so instead of helpful writing tips/not so helpful writing woes, you get a funny video about technology instead:

 

 

Have a great week!

May the Force be with you,

Jedi

Holiday Merriment with the 7 Evil Dwarves

Once again the 7 Evil Dwarves gathered around the Swamp Gas Fire and exchanged annual gifts of merriment.  Not only is it the one time of the year we cut Smokey a break and bring in our own nourishment, but we also drag along significant others.  Since the Prankster Duo was busy gutting bits of wire and plastic with other miniature humans, my knight in slightly muddy armor and I loaded up with essentials and headed out to trek on over to Smokey’s place.

Me-“Did you get the pies?”

Him-“Yeah. You didn’t have to make them did you?”

Me *snort*- “Please, if the other six wanted to experience a near death experience they’d go taunt Eerie’s Zombies.  I picked those up from Knaves’ End.”

Him *looking very relieved*–“Great.”

We added a couple of new cold steel blades to our outfits, grab the gaily wrapped gifts, leave the hellhound half a boar and some water, set the perimeter defenses and headed down the road. We passed Sunny’s place where a veil of mist swirled in a thick mass.  Poor Sunny, we’ve been trying to get supplies through, but the black hole of chaos is holding her under siege.  We’re going to have to send in a search and rescue team soon and drag her back out.

The cackling of Mischievous’ laughter rings out from above while the moans and shrieks of the Swamp Thing trail behind him.  I can’t quite make out what he has clutched in his talons, but it’s shiny.  One day, the Swamp Thing is going to use him as her Thanksgiving centerpiece.

We pass by the Filet Your Own Deli where my Muse is enjoying her time off and playing a game with the white haired guy sporting a tool belt.  I can see the flash of blades in-between the smack of cards being slapped upside foreheads.  There’s a hungry, evil smile gracing her pale face that sends shivers down my spine, but the old guy just bares his teeth, takes a swig from the old flask at his side and flicks another battered card on the scarred table.  I shake my head as we continue on.

The snap of leather snaking through the air sends me into an instinctive crouch.  Belatedly, I realize that Snarky is just testing out her new bullwhip.  Grumbling softly, I straighten and get a good look at her newest accessory.  Purple…niiiicceee.  I might have to find out where she got that one.

Snarky *checking out the pies in knight in slightly muddy armor arms*–“That better be chocolate.”

Me-“As if there’s any other kind.”

Snarky *narrowing eyes*- “You have two?”

Me – “Nah, offering second option for those of us who OD on sugar today. Sugar Free Apple.”

Snarky *waving a dismissive hand*–“I’ll stick with chocolate.”  A sharp squeal comes from inside her house, and the smile that appears is the same one I’ve seen right before she hands me back my drafts dripping in red. “I need to go check on the ham. See you soon!”

A little further down the road, we pull up short as we watch Eerie fighting over a bottle of Werewolf Hunter’s Moon red with a fairly persistent pair of Zombie twins.

Eerie–“Let go you brainless lump of flesh! Even if your brain was working you couldn’t appreciate this vintage.”

It’s entertaining watching the on-going struggle between my short friend and the Brainless Wonder Duo.  The scuff of boots against gravel announce the arrival of Quirky, Jedi and her other half.

Quirky–“Who’s winning?”

Me-“Not sure yet.”

Jedi-“I’ll put ten on the twins.”

Quirky-“You’re on.”

Me *thinking about the last time Eerie got cornered by the horde*–“I think I’ll just watch.”

Eerie–“A little help here!”

Knight in slightly muddy armor–“I don’t know, this is kind of fun to watch.”

Before anyone else can move, a black feather dive bomber manages to distract Twin 1 by introducing talons to eyeballs.  I grimace.  Those stains are never going to come out.

Me-“Have you considered enrolling your horde in Zombie training courses, Eerie?”

Eerie-“What are they going to teach them? They already know drop dead, gnaw and claw.”

I take the pies from my knight–“We’re going to be late.  Go help.”

He takes out his shiny new sword and cuts the legs out from under Twin 2. Literally.

Eerie stumbles back and cradles his bottle carefully. Smoothing down one of many flyway strands of hair, he’s all dignity.  “Thank you.”

We make it to Smokey’s door without further incidents and his lovely Italian counterpart welcomes us into their home.  The next few hours pass in a blissful haze of food, friends and laughter.  Gifts are exchanged, stories are shared and barbs are traded.

Remember during this busy season–this is what makes the holidays–laughter, love and friendship.

Treasure yours as I do mine!

Merry Holidays everyone!

Wicked

Welcome Back to the Swamp

Greetings and Salutations,

We are gathered around the cypress tree awaiting the traditional lighting of the swamp Christmas Cyprus.  The Swamp hasn’t looked this festive since the celebration of George Romero’s birthday last year.  Of course that was the beginning of the end of the Swamp Things addiction To swamp gas.  Not long after that party we had the intervention and she went off to the rehab.  I must say we’re very proud of her.  Mischievous Raven was given the honor of throwing the switch this year.  I hope his mischievous nature behaves tonight.  That’s a lot to hope I know.  Here he comes now.

“Happy holidays everyone, I am very happy the committee finally came to its senses and made me this years Master Of Cemeteries, I mean Ceremonies.  The zombie choir will sing some carols and the wassailing will commence after I throw the switch.  Thank you once again for the honor.  So without further a due.”

Ooh ahh, the tree is splendid and–what’s this, the traditional angel top has been replaced with a holographic Raven.  Oh my, I’m not sure how that’s going to go over.  Let’s grab some punch before the line gets to long.

“What do you think, Eerie?  Pretty nice huh.”  Mischievous points to the new tree topper.

I, I’m speechless.  It certainly is different from our angel.

“Speechless good or speechless bad?”

It’s very nice, but we are not celebrating your birth you know.  We have a day for that already and it’s always a great party.

“Yeah, but we don’t have a tree with lights and all for my birthday.”

Mischievous, it’s not about you.  This is about the birth of our Savior.

“Yeah, but I had it specially made.”

Mischievous?

“Can I leave it for tonight I’ll change…”

What do you think?

“I get off right away.  I catch up to at the punch bowl.”

He means well, he needs a little guidance from time to time, like we all do.

The walking dead decorating committee did a fine job although the materials they used are a little gruesome when you look closely.  They said all the decorations were green this year meaning they are all natural.  Now I see what they meant when they said taking them down will be a snap.  Or did they say snack.  The entrails wreath is especially grotesque when you get too close.  From afar it’s very colorful.  that’s just not right an undead nativity.

I hate to be the one to point this out, but we seem to be missing the true meaning of Christmas.  I’m heading down to A to Z Ammo.  I think it’s time to thin the zombie herd around here.  A few less shamblers is all I want for Christmas.  I know just where to get the help I need.

“Hey Eerie, the angel is back are we good now?”

Yes that’s very nice Mischievous, now let’s head over to the Slice Your Own Deli.

“What for?”

We’re going to send some these undead on to the promised land, but first I’m calling in the muses.

“You know the muses hate zombies, they’ll jump at the chance too…  I see where you’re going with this now.  You know they won’t leave one foot dragger standing.”

I’m counting on it.  They’ve ruined Christmas with their rotting decorations and new lyrics to all my favorite Christmas songs.  Have Yourself a Medulla Oblongata.  I telling you they’ve gone too far.

“You think your muse will give us a ride in the armored Hummer?”

I’ll ask him.  Let’s get going.

As for the rest of you, I’d make myself scarce. The muses are deadly when they get excited, but not all that particular as to whose head they’re chopping off.  Clear out and I’ll meet you back here next week.  We can survey the carnage then.

This week our quote comes from Robert Southey.

“By writing much, one learns to write well.”

Write On,

Eerie

Happy Thanksgiving…7ED Style

It’s the time of year when everyone does the Why I am Thankful blogs, so I thought I’d join along in my own unique way.

Here in the Swamp there are many things to be thankful for this year.  Let’s begin, shall we?

I am thankful for…

…the Prankster Duo.  Who else in my life would make me consider the deep, dark mysteries of the world  with  such scintillating conversation gambits such as:

                “Mom, can I borrow Siri for a second?”
“Umm..sure…why?”

“I need to look up a word.”

“What word?”

“Fart.”

Startled silence… “Why?”

“My friend said he did and it was ‘an explosive sensation from between his legs’.”

I try really hard not to hit my brakes and cause a five car pile-up as I try to find air to drag into my lungs.  My precious 9 year old…oh dear…. “Um, honey, perhaps you should think of another definition.”

“Why?”

Right, how to answer this one without him thinking his mother is a pervert…oh wait…. “Okay, because that definition could be interpreted in a way you would find really gross.  How about  ‘explosive flatulence’?

“Hmm…okay…should I ask why it would gross me out?”

“It has to do with boys and girls…”
“Okay enough said, I’ll stick with ‘explosive flatulence’.”

…my knight-in-slightly-muddy-armor who has stayed beside me while Eerie’s Zombie’s have trashed our yard and the hellhound has seeded the same yard with many landmines.  Not only has he braved that terror, but he has successfully save many an electronic devices from being tested for aerodynamic properties when they refuse to cooperate with me.  Considering how often that temptation occurs, he’s my hero, because recovering drafts from broken pieces of plastic and wires is really hard!

…my hellhound, without whom my floors would not hold themselves down, but float away into oblivion.  Only he could figure out the strategic points that will keep them grounded and still manage to be where ever I have to walk.

…Starbucks and the lovely baristas, because they have saved many an unsuspecting person from violent death while supplying me with my needed caffeine fix that makes sure all my edged accessories stay sheathed!

…Snarky and her bloody whip.  Let’s be honest, without the combo of the two there’s no way I would have dredged up enough courage and armor to brave the pit of submission hell and finally, FINALLY got a contract!

…Eerie, Mischievous Raven and the herd of corpses that tend to trample my lawn.  Not only has he obtained some seriously good wine from the Werewolf monks, but he shines forth humor in the darkest moments and that is truly priceless.

…Quirky for reminding me why cynicism is not always the best thing to use for protection.  His ability to strip down situations to bare bones makes him invaluable to the Evil 7.  Beside it’s fun to watch him squirm!

…Smokey and his fabulous recipes.  However, I’m still not to sure about the octopus and whatever that was that one time in the Swamp where he and Eerie got together.  Strange, but if you don’t tell me what it is, I won’t think about it! It’s nice to know that even if you can’t pronounce character names, you can cook!

…Jedi and her bravery.  I mean, really, think about it.  How brave would you be to walk into a steamy Swamp filled with gods-only-know-who, talk to the short. stumpy guy with the beady eyed raven trying to pry a zombie arm from the Swamp Thing while the Prankster Duo goes screaming by with some weird contraption spitting flame, while Snarky tries to hold back the horde parked outside her porch with a 12 foot whip?  Really, our neighborhood doesn’t need a watch, more like napalm.  We’re glad you survived the welcoming committee and decided to stay!

…BFF, Ang, because who else would dare take me to a move about a sparkling vampire who hatches kids from eggs and an alpha wolf that doesn’t kill for leadership and can’t pronounce his someday mate’s name, and then let me go Science Mystery Theater on it for two hours.  She even held back the prepubescent horde armed with lip-gloss and sparkle and their mothers from trampling me under their keds.  Only a BFF like that can be trusted at your back.

…to all of you for taking the time to follow along, even when the insanity that lives inside me spews outward!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

To Nano or Not to Nano…

It’s November and once again I face the dreaded question, “To Nano or Not to Nano?”

For those not tormented each year by the looming challenge of Nano, let me explain.  Nano is National Novel Writing Month and if you write or have friends who do, it is the one month each year that is greeted with tears, mad laughter, nerves and for those into pain, joy!  Sometimes the entire plethora of emotions will ride you like a demented roller coaster ride.  The goal—write 50,000 words of a novel by the last day of November.  You read that right—FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS.

To give you an idea of what that means, my second book is at 405 pages and 114,000 words.

It’s a lot of words people.  Here’s the kicker—YOU CAN’T EDIT.  Yep, no editing allowed. You sit, you write and you don’t let your inner editor say a damn word.  Sound easy?  Have you ever tried to get that annoying friend who can’t resist giving you advice on everything to shut up?  How successful were you?  Multiply that by ten and your inner editor is cackling madly at your impotence.

So as  November loomed on the horizon, I had to make my yearly choice-do or not do.  I ran through my list of upcoming commitments:
Shadow’s Edge, my very first book, was coming out at the beginning of November

I had 15 guest blog posts to put together, send out, and then remember who and where I was for the next few weeks of November.

There was the book signing for the non-fiction anthology to go to.

There was the pesky little thing known as the job that pays the bills.

I needed to finish and begin editing the 405 page monstrosity of my second book so I could offer it to the other Evil 6 for evisceration.

The Prankster Duo have pretty much threaten to up their rebellion if I don’t acknowledge them at some point and help with the looming education projects coming down the road before Christmas break.

My knight-in-slightly-muddy-armor was requesting face time.

I could not miss my BFF’s graduation—that wasn’t even an option.

Sprinkle in the normal monthly requirements—meeting by the light of the moon with the other Evil 6, visits to local witch doctors before my knight’s lungs decided to created their own mucus nightmares, the hellhound required claw trimming and defurminating, etc.

Oh yeah, and there’s this holiday in here somewhere.

So call me wimpy but I decided to bow out of Nano this year.  Doesn’t mean I haven’t suffered unmitigated guilt ever since though.  Somehow I should have found a way to squeeze in 1500 words per day.  I’m a writer, damn it, it shouldn’t be so hard.

On the positive side, my guilt has encouraged some great ideas for the third book and maybe a whole other story line…hmmm…..

I wonder if I could suggest picking a different month next year?

So for all those brave souls trudging through the mire of words this year, I salute you! Go forth, write and be the hero I couldn’t be this month!

Go Nanomites! Conquer the paper and make it bleed ink!

–Wicked

The Greatest Holiday Ever….

Halloween is around the corner and this month zipped by in spectacularly fast fashion.  With little time to spare, I wrangled the Prankster Duo, via a Venus Fly Trap snare, made them leave the head of one of Eerie’s zombies at home, and off we went to shop for costumes.   As we emerged from the Swamp, the youngest pointed out the new signs wallpapering the Impenetrable Forest.  Seems they’re in the midst of working on another deadly…I mean lovely, maze for this year’s celebration.

So we’re at the Aberzombie & Witch when my oldest informs me in funeral tones that this will be his last year of trick-or-treating.

Shocked, all I could manage was a garbled, “Uh?”

Ignoring my eloquence, he continued, “My friends and I discussed this, and this is it for us.”

“You make it sound like your impending demise looms upon the horizon, child. It’s Halloween!”

I never thought I’d get such a look from the fruit of my loins. (Loins, Eerie, not Looms!)  From the Whipmistress?  Hell yeah.  Him? Not so much.  “I don’t want to embarrass myself.”

Really? Okay, Mr. Daddy Long Legs…let’s think about this for a second.  You’re a boy, a sweet one occasionally, but a pre-teen boy.  Embarrassment is soon to be a way of life for you.  My poor baby.

He added, “Besides, we’ll be in Junior High.”

Ahhh! I get it.  As we leave the familiar halls of elementary school behind and begin to prepare for the hallowed journey to middle school, suddenly “coolness” factors into every decision.  Then it’s on to those oh-so-torturous years of high school.

“Okay then.  But you do realize that mom had no problem donning a wig, goth make-up and heeled boots for her writer’s conference a couple years back.  Remember that?”

He does a damn good eye roll, “Yeah, mom, but you’re…a writer, you’re suppose to be crazy.”

See! My son is brilliant! As I glide through the pride of my son’s keen intellect, my youngest cuts in.  “Mom, they don’t have any Minecraft pig costumes.”

Looking over the selection, I notice he’s absolutely correct.  Nary a piece of bacon in sight.  Unless you count the strangely compelling anatomically correct adult version hanging in the corner.  I gently steer his young, impressionable mind elsewhere.  “Okay, then, what’s your back-up plan?”

“Hmmm….” he studies the offerings with the seriousness of a heart surgeon.  A few minutes later and a decision is made.  I head to the counter, lay out the cash and we’re homeward bound.

Later that night as my knight-in-slightly-muddy armor starts to work on his daily shine-fest, the Duo drag out their costumes.

“Look, Dad? Like the whip?”  For a kid who doesn’t want to trick-or-treat, my oldest hides his excitement fairly well.

“Nice, son,” my  knight checks the workmanship.  “So, Indiana Jones, uh?”

“Yeah, no mask required.”

They’re interrupted as my youngest taps my knight on his shoulder.  “Check it out, Dad!”  The voice is a little muffled behind the mask, but it gets a smile from my knight.

“Niccceeee…I see we stuck with our old stand-by, Star Wars!”

“Yeah, no Minecraft pigs.” Disappointment has our ARF Stormtrooper’s shoulder sagging. But only for a moment.  “But it’s okay, this one has wickedly cool camo!”

As the Duo dart off to harangue the hell-hound, my knight turns to me.  “Does he realize the camo is for snow covered landscapes?”

“Yep, but it’s camo and you know as well as I do, any camo is good camo, as far as he’s concerned.”  From outside our well barricaded cabin, we hear another zombie cage-fight match start up.  I sure wish the Swamp Thing would leave them alone. I double check the locks on the door and make sure the flamethrowers are set.  “Besides, does it matter? It’s Halloween, and isn’t one of the best parts being able to dress up however we want?”

–Wicked

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