Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"The Halloween Tree" Chapter 8

I really want to go fly a kite now.  Sure I'd rather fly with the kite, but if I can't do that the least I can do is watch one from the ground.  Watch as it loops and veers and soars on the wind.

Chapter 8 of The Halloween Tree continues with the boys and their mysterious host, gliding through the night with the aid of a bewitched and wondrous kite.
They yelled with delight.  They shrieked with ingasped, outgasped terror.  They rode across the moon in an exclamation point.  They soared over hills and meadows and farms.  They saw themselves reflected in dusky moon-bright streams, creeks, rivers.  They brushed down over ancient trees.  The wind stirred by their passing shook down whole government mints of coins, leaves, bright showering to the black-grassed earth.  They flew over the town and thought --
O look up! see! here we are! your sons!
The kite soars above and around the town, before returning back to where they started.  They see Moundshroud's house and the Halloween Tree again.  The plunge downward in rapidity, causing the candles in the pumpkins to go out, but as the kite swoops back up again, "the Tree blazed up with a thousand new cut-pumpkin frowns, glares, grimaces, and grins!"

Then the kite changes direction, leading them to the "Undiscovered Country" as Moundshroud calls it.  "The Past" is a term we might use.
"Two thousand, count them, years before Christ!  Pipkin's there, waiting!  I smell it!  Fly!"
Then the moon began to blink.  It closed up its eye and there was darkness.  Then faster and faster it began to wink, to wax, to wane, to wax again.  Until a thousand times over it flickered and in flickering changed the landscape below, and then fifty thousand times, so fast they could not see it, the moon extinguished and relit itself.
And the moon stopped winking and held very still.
And the land was changed.
And what's below them now?  EGYPT!  Not only do they see the pyramids and the the Sphinx and the River Nile sprawling out before their very eyes... but they are new!  These structures look a good 4,000 years younger... because they are!  They've gone back to the time of Ancient Egypt!

The kite "shook itself like a wild dog ridding itself of fleas" and the boys all fall off into the sand.  The kite, having served its purpose, shreds into a thousand pieces, just as an Egyptian tomb opens up in front of them.  The ripped paper from the kite is sucked into the tomb, followed by Mr. Moundshroud.

The boys, alone in the Valley of the Kings, look down into the tomb.
The tomb breathed out a sick exhalation of paprika, cinnamon, and powdered camel dung.  Somewhere, a mummy dreamed, coughed in its sleep, unraveled a bandage, twitched its dusty tongue and turned over for another thousand-year snooze....
The chapter ends with Tom Skelton calling out Moundshroud's name.  I can't wait to see what they'll discover in the tomb, and what we might learn from the Egyptians about Halloween.

1 comment:

~BeX~ said...

Awesome chapter! Excited for the next!


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