Fall is my favorite season. Shadows quicken behind the sun’s shortened days. Plant life gasps golden deaths; the trees begin to bare their branches. Winds blow from a new direction and even here in Texas, there is the promise of Summer’s end.
I notice light: the way it falls across a yard, how it moves along a wall as the day passes, how it feels on my skin. The effulgent summer overwhelms me, dulls me with ubiquitous luminosity. Heat, greenery, and unrelenting daylight steamroll my consciousness. Summer is a season of indolence, of hiding in the darkened cool of shaded rooms, of enduring. The calendar says otherwise, but summer in central Texas is at least six months long. By the end of September, I start to feel anxious. I imagine people who live farther North feel this way about Winter, wondering if it will ever relent, if the seasons will ever turn. I don’t bother to check the weather April through September; the high might waver by a few degrees, but once the heat sets in, there will be months of unvaried sweltering. This year, there has not even been any rain to take the edge off. I am ready for Autumn. I am ready for the change.
It doesn’t hurt Fall’s case any that October is an Autumn month. The sun sets earlier and invites the inborn fear of darkness. It is a time when walking on a trail after dark feels spooky rather than simply dangerous. There is a shift in psychological pressure as the forced fecundity of the growing season dies back. Elements held in abeyance all through the beery, sundress days rise like mist. October is the month where my husband and I go on an exclusive visual diet of horror movies. Halloween is the crowning glory, and I am thrilled by the decorations, the candy to hide the bitter taste of death, the delicious charge of a haunted house, scary movie, or psychologically taut novel.
I love maize mazes, scarecrows, and carved pumpkins leering out of triangular eye sockets. I love the russet, orange, goldenrod color scheme. I love those obscene decorative gourds with their mottled skin and their absolute uselessness. I love the way dry leaves sound as they are shoved along night time streets. I love the fact that I survived summer.
Happy Horror Season!
STOLEN CLIMATES will be released in Kindle, Nook and paperback – more details soon!