Spooky season started early for me.

Last evening, I was relaxing in the kitchen, reading my book. It was post-dinner; the twins were watching TV and Grant was getting a bath. This was some “me” time.

It was that time in the evening when afternoon is really just over. It’s gotten dark enough outside that the indoor light begins to spill into the outside. Because everyone was occupied in entirely different parts of the house, it was actually quiet. It was chilly without and stilly within.

As I’ve been doing lately, I was reading Agatha Christie (I’ve finished all the Poirots, and now I’m in the Miss Marples), and was in the final 18% of the book – meaning, the great reveal. The cats had been rolling in on foggy paws, with delicate rustles and the occasional mild skitter. As Eleanor would say, there were vibes and those vibes were super chill.

I turned a page and someone shouted BOO! behind me, in a very loud boy yell, which entirely shattered the silence – or perhaps it was my immediate, extended scream that did it. Either way, I launched into the air, like I had been dropped onto a trampoline and was rebounding, and landed facing Grant. Who now had lost all confidence in his scheme, and was just a very shocked little boy who also happened to be entirely nude; entirely bereft of armor. Tears welled in his eyes. Tears welled in mine. We both giggled a little bit, and hugged. He said sorry and I said sorry – I did not mean to terrify him with my scream. He went off to get into his pajamas, and I settled back down with my book. Less than a minute later, he ran back downstairs to me (still nude) and whispered, “I’m so sorry I thought it was just a funny joke,” and I said it was a good joke, but sudden loud noises make me scream. He threw his arms around me again, and buried his head in my belly. Then, fortified, he ran off again to finish getting ready for bed. And I finished my book.

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