Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Walk in the Woods on an Eerie Evening

Tuesdays with Morzant:

Morzant Meets with Penny C. Monster to

Discuss S.C.R.E.A.M.

MORZANT: Zulko, humans. I’m on my way to the beach to see Penny. She requested use of my Tuesday blog post as a platform to announce her current initiative to have all the BIGFOOT READS cryptids share their favorite seasonal books. The season, of course, is autumn. Although I’ve lived on Earth for several years now, I’m still astounded by the quarterly change in weather patterns that occurs in the particular region in which I reside. Given Zeenton’s unique orbit around its three suns, my home planet doesn’t experience any such seasonal fluctuations.

I thoroughly enjoy all of Earth’s seasons, but I’m especially fond of autumn and the myriad changes that accompany it. Take for instance the leaves. Not only do they alter in color, but also in texture as is evidenced by the pleasing crinch-crunch-crinch sound I make by stepping on the brittle leaves that have fallen from the surrounding deciduous trees. Furthermore, the atmosphere is distinctly cooler in autumn, and it’s getting dark much earlier in the evening.

Strange. I’m usually quite observant, but I don’t believe I’ve ever noticed how grim these woods are at dusk. The bare tree branches resemble a giant Gorzontantapleor’s palpi. I wish I had brought a litomeruza to illuminate the path.


What was that?


There it is again.


Don’t be alarmed. I’m sure it’s only a harmless nocturnal rodent foraging among those noisy leaves we were discussing. Hmm. I just had a thought. I really should record it in my notebook for later consideration.

The leaves crackle because they are dry and decomposing. Surrounded by decay in a rapidly darkening forest, I notice for the first time that the atmosphere is charged with an almost palpable feeling of foreboding. Possible future experimentation: Explore whether “eeriness” is a tangible manifestation of autumn. Is it quantifiable?

Please forgive the interruption, but there are so many aspects of your planet I want to study. If I don’t record them, I risk forgetting—


Oh, dear. I’m considerably late for my appointment to meet with Penny on the beach. I’ll just pick up my pace a bit.

[Ticka-tat. Crinch-crunch-crinch. Shooooosh.]

Actually, I’ve been meaning to take up jogging. Aerobic exercise is beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

[Crinch-crunch-crinch! Traka-tuk-tuk! Crinch-crunch-crinch!]

In my case, since I have three hearts I should really run three times as fast.

[Crinch-crunch-crinch! Crinch-crunch-crinch! Crinch-crunch-crinch!]

I can’t…huh-huh…run…huh…any…huh…more…

Got to…huh…catch…huh-huh…my breath

…listen…the sounds seem to have stopped…


I admit, I was afraid for a moment. I certainly feel foolish now. Those were obviously everyday sounds of nature. In fact, the woods would be infinitely more frightening in the absence of sound. Utter silence can be quite unsettling. Like now, when there isn’t so much as the flapping of bat wings. This acute quiet is like the calm immediately preceding an explosive chemical reaction. It’s as if the forest is holding its breath, waiting for the moment when someone—or something—will suddenly burst forth and attack, eliciting a deafening shriek of terror from its helpless Zeentonian victim.


MORZANT: Ahhhhhhhh!

PENNY: Morzant! It’s just me!

MORZANT: Buttered weasels, Penny!

PENNY: Sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you. But ’tis the season!

MORZANT: It’s the season for giving me a ternary heart attack? What are you doing here?

PENNY: I returned some library books and was on my way to the beach when I saw you go into the woods. I tried to catch up with you, but you took off like crazy.

MORZANT: I thought you were a giant Gorzontantapleor.

PENNY: A what?

MORZANT: Nevermind. Can we please get out of these woods before I faint? It’s creepy in here.

PENNY: Isn’t it, though? Everything about this time of year gives me goosebumps. That’s why it’s the perfect time for my S.C.R.E.A.M. project.

MORZANT: Scream?

PENNY: S.C.R.E.A.M. It stands for: Super Creepy Reading Extravaganza A la Mode. We’re all going to make a list of our favorite Halloween books to share with BIGFOOT READS followers.

MORZANT: Halloween? When you told me we’d be recommending seasonal books, I assumed you meant stories about industrious squirrels stockpiling sustenance for the dearth of winter or instructional literature regarding apple cider preparation. But, I suppose if you insist on using this season to promote the horror genre, I do know of a zombie book or two I could suggest.

PENNY: Great! Thanks, Morzant!

MORZANT: You’re welcome, Penny. Now if it’s all the same to you, I’m going home. It’s one thing to read a horror novel for a momentary chill while in the safety of one’s own lab; it’s quite another to stand in an autumnal forest at night waiting to be devoured by a giant Gorzontantapleor.

PENNY: A what?

MORZANT: Nevermind. Oh, and Penny? Why “a la mode”?

PENNY: Because everything’s better with ice cream. That’s why we all scream for it.

MORZANT: Good-night, Penny.

PENNY: Good-night, Morzant.

MORZANT: And good-night to you, humans. If you’re interested in the Halloween selections proffered by my friends and me, be sure to visit BIGFOOT READS over the coming days.


Kelly Hashway said...

Love it. Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. I just got my daughter a really cute Halloween ABC book too. It's called Creepy Crypt of ABC. Love it.

Penny C. Monster said...

Kelly, I always say it’s important to introduce the little ones to the important things like reading and Halloween early. Extra bonus if you can do both at the same time! Sounds like the perfect book!