Monday, October 25, 2010

"The Halloween Tree" Chapter 13

I feel bad that I'm sitting here writing this on Brian's birthday.  Poor kid probably thinks I'm neglecting him, but I have to get it done.  And better now than later when we're out celebrating.  We have dinner reservations tonight at 6:30 and then hopefully it's off to see a movie.

Anyways today's chapter was pretty creepy I must say.  A lot darker than any of the chapters have been so far, and I find it fitting that so much evil would occur in Chapter 13, considering it's an unlucky number.  I wonder if he planned it that way.  Probably not... I'm just reading into things.

So the boys are still hiding from the destructive Samhain, and they hear in the distance some singing:
"O Samhain, God of the Dead!
Hear us!
We the Holy Druid Priests in
This Grove of Trees, the great Oaks,
Plead for the Souls of the Dead!"

Far away, these strange men by their bright fire lifted metal knives, lifted cats and goats in their hands, chanting:
"We pray for the souls of those
Who are turned to Beasts.
O God of the Dead, we sacrifice
These beasts
So that you will let free
The souls of our loved ones
Who died this year!"
The priests continue to chant things like "Let free! Let be!" and "O free! Go!" as the creepy-crawlies on the ground began to be blown about, screaming their little screams, and dissolving away "like a million snowflakes."  The prayers to Samhain are working, and the souls of their loved ones are released.

But just when all seems good, Roman soldiers (yes, in England) come to attack the Druid Priests.
"Soldiers of Rome!  Destroy the pagans!  Destroy the unholy religion!  Seutonius so orders!"
The soldiers strike down the holy trees, and Samhain trembles in the sky as if they have struck him.  The soldiers strike dead the pagan priests, and Samhain falls to the ground like a mighty tree, shaking the earth.  The Romans have won, and they begin to make some changes.  Here we get an interesting lesson on conquering world religions...
The druid priests bled in the grass as the boys watched and the Roman captain prowled the dead fires kicking the holy ashes.
"Here we shall build our temples to our gods!"
And so the Romans light fires and burn incense and place golden idols.  But just then, a star rises in the east, and the Roman idols melt away to resemble Mary and the baby Jesus.  The Roman soldiers' garb melts away as well, and they have now become Christians dressed in robes singing Latin.
"Aye, boys, see?  Gods following gods.  The Romans cut the Druids, their oaks, their God of the Dead, bang!  down!  And put in their own gods, eh?  Now the Christians run and cut the Romans down!  New altars, boys, new incense, new names..."
The wind blows all the candles and fires out, and they are plunged into darkness and rain.  This part symbolizes the...
"Why, bless me, boys.  It's the Dark Ages.  The longest darkest night ever."
But the boys barely even have time to register this statement, because they hear Pipkin's voice above them announcing that he is on a broom and that it's taking him away.  The other boys all notice that they are on brooms.  The brooms twitch, and rise a little, before lifting them up high into the night sky one by one.
"Brooms," muttered Moundshroud.  "The gathering of the Brooms.  The October Broom Festival.  The Annual Migration...  Hang on!  When attacked by a broom, only one thing to do, hold tight!"
And with that, all the boys, have now been whisked into the dark night air on broomsticks.  See?  I told you this chapter was a lot darker.  We were shown animal sacrifices and brutal human murders all in the name of Religion.  What a dark history our world has, don't you think?  And now that we're clearly moving on to a chapter on witches, I think things might get darker yet.  As Shakespeare said, "Something wicked this way comes."

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails