Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Day in the Lonesome October-fest, October 8

The continuing account of reading A Night in the Lonesome October with an nine-year-old, out loud and during the day.

October 8

Fun chapter with a decent amount of stuff going on. I gave Lily a preview of this last night, because she was really interested in the story. So I read the bit where the Thing breaks out of the wardrobe.

She had fun trying to guess who Larry was. I knew the first time through, because I happened to know that was the same name of the main character from the Wolf Man (and I only happened to know that because I bought a couple packs of the Vampire: The Masquerade card game and wound up with a copy of Talbot’s Chainsaw. I suspected the name must have been a reference to something, so I did a little digging.)
Then came a terrible crash from the attic.
I departed the room immediately, bounding up the stair, swinging around corners. Up another stair. . . . The wardrobe doors were open. The Thing stood before it.
"Free!" it announced, flexing its limbs, furling and unfurling its dark, scaly wings. "Free!"
"Like hell!" I said, curling back my lips and leaping.
I caught it directly in the midsection, knocking it back into the wardrobe again. I slashed twice, left and right, as it sought to seize me. I dropped down and bit one of its legs. I roared and threw myself on it again, slashing faceward.
Lily: Is that all it had to do to escape? Sounds like wardrobe wasn’t very secure.
Me: Yeah, well, he got caught up having tea with Mister Tumnus.
It drew back, retreating to the rear of its prison, leaving a heavy scent of musk in the air. I shouldered the doors shut, reared up, and tried to close the latch with my paw. Jack entered just then and did it for me. He held his knife loosely in his right hand.
"You are an exemplary watchdog, Snuff," he stated.
A moment later Larry Talbot came in.
"Problems?" he said. "Anything I can help with?"
The blade vanished before Jack turned.
That always reminds of Jack of Shadows. There’s a trick question for Zelazny trivia night. Which novel features a character named Jack whose knife disappears before he turns around?

"No, thank you," he said. "It was less serious than it sounded. Shall we return to our tea?"
They departed.
I followed them down the stairs, Talbot moving as silently as the master. I'd a feeling, somehow, that he was in the Game, and that this incident had persuaded him that we were, too. For as he was leaving he said, "I see some busy days ahead, before this month is out. If you ever need help, of any sort, you can count on me."
Jack studied him for several long moments, then replied, "Without even knowing my persuasion?"
"I think I know it," Talbot answered.
"Good dog you've got there," Talbot said. "Knows how to close a door."
I added a little extra emphasis to “close”, and she just got so excited. Her eyes got wide, then narrow, and she asked “Is he the Count?” I told her that he wasn’t. I would have let her know if she had guessed correctly, as it’s more or less spelled out in the next chapter, but she didn’t hit on it.

Owen tries to poison Snuff, but Snuff recognizes the poisoned meat and doesn’t fall for it.

"Bravo!" came a sibilant voice from above. "I didn't think you'd fall for that one."
I glanced up. Quicklime was coiled about a branch overhead.

Lily: Can snakes really climb trees?
Me:…I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it.

I looked it up later. The answer is yes, but not easily.

Quicklime tells Snuff some important news.
"The crazy witch's companion may be running out of steam about now."
"What do you mean?"
"'Ding, dong, dell.'"
"I don't follow you."
"Literally. Pussy's in the well."
"Who threw her in?"
"MacCab, full of sin."
"Where is it?"
"By the outhouse, full of shit.
Do I really need to tell you that Lily loved that line? She got very nervous about Greymalk’s fate, too. “Promise me that she doesn’t die?” She was very relieved when the cat climbed out of the well.

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