#Arachtober – 5 Days Until Halloween

Florida huntsman spiders hide behind curtains and boxes pushed against the wall.  They’re velvety brown and large, nearly the size of your hand.  Their legs tickle if you let them crawl over your fingers.

You’ll see them when you pull back the shower curtain or move something from under your bed.  But they’ll skitter away, shy around humans.  For every one you see, many more are still hidden.

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Creatures In The House – 21 Days Until Halloween

We have cats.  We also have animals skulls, mink skins, a preserved alligator head and piranha, and vials of insects.  I have a coin purse made out of a Bufo marinus, complete with head,  front legs and googly eyes, but she’s at work.

percey and skullsNow that it’s Halloween time, there are all sorts of additional creatures lying around.  The cats consider them new places to sleep and fantastic toys.  I found a skeleton leg today that a cat had pulled from its owner to bat around the living room.

If I’m writing, this is the cat trying to crawl into my lap, pawing at my computer, or suddenly deciding to climb the laundry room shelves so I have to get up and investigate the crash when it happens.  I’d like to say he inspires me to write creatures that move stealthily through the night, creeping up behind you, with golden eyes that glow as a light slides past them.  Alas, he is the least monstrous creature in the house.

I am drawn to creatures of all types, whether they are furry or warty or scaly.  Even the ones with shiny exoskeletons and pincers are beautiful to me.  And I am intrigued by how they can figure into a horror story.  The idea of something adorable filling someone with dread is compelling.  Imagine the recognition a character would have, the moment they realized their beloved pet or the beautiful creature was something monstrous and unpredictable.  It gives me shivers.