Every morning while checking weather.com, I love seeing the number of hours and minutes of daylight remaining.
So yesterday, I went for a late afternoon walk because of the light at that particular time,
the shadows growing longer, the change in the possible cast of characters encountered.

The streets are empty except for one flattened, very dead squirrel. Hardly any blood.
A guy walking a dog coming towards me, barely nods. He is wearing sweats and thinking.
I say a quiet hello. He says nothing.
Turning up Hill Street, my attention is immediately drawn to Halloween decorations that register as 3,
on a scale of 1 to 10, in other words: not even half-assed.
Alternately repulsed and fascinated by lawn ornaments
and holiday decorations, I can be quite the critic. Hey, this is America. I can think what I want.

Stopping halfway up the hill (hence, the naming of the street), still pondering the incongruity
of a pumpkin head on a stick, draped with bridal white gauzy material, placed next to a bleached-by-the-sun
large frog, a statue of St. Francis, tilted about 25 degrees and missing both arms,
a lighthouse, a giant crab in red/white/blue and stars,
and a purple and black witch on a broomstick slammed face first into a lovely red maple;
I wonder what message could these people possibly be trying to convey?

Then a bearded man in a green empty pickup truck drives by and waves, like I know him or he knows me.

Quickening my pace, I get back to my observations, arriving at the most outrageously decorated house
in the neighborhood. No one is home, so I just stand there and take it all in: the entire front of the house is
hidden behind a facade of homemade castle walls, blood seeping through the fake stones;
a man is hanging from a scaffold by a noose, random severed body parts, including quite a realistic head,
hang from trees by large bloody hooks.
The path to the front door is lined with skull lights and menacing pumpkins, but these people are not done.
A work in progress, an enclosed gauntlet, is being built and it is by this path, one must approach
the door, covered with screaming ghost faces, that is if you want any candy. These are hardcore Halloween
Believers. Off the chart, and there are still 24 days to keep decorating.

Bearded, green pickup truck guy drives by and waves again.
Okay, now I'm creeped out, so I head home.
Passing a darkened corner, I think I see a child's body high up in a tree.
Almost not wanting to look, thinking this is no longer amusing, I look anyway
and am startled to see it is a small boy about 30 feet up.
I stop and tell him, "I thought you were a Halloween decoration; you kinda scared me."

He pauses, smiles only slightly, then says, "I've been up here for hours, well, most of the day
and it's really been boring."

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