Debbie, Hobkin’s godmother, has regaled us with stories of how every time he goes there for skunk camp, her power goes out. At first, Matthew and I attributed this to coincidence. We did, after all, have a hurricane pass through the area during Dragon*Con, and other such weather patterns have likewise been timed to coincide with various skunk camp dates. But now I’m beginning to suspect that Hobkin is a Magical Electric Skunk. The electrical system in our house is . . . whimsical upon occasion, a state of affairs that began only after we acquired a baby skunk. (The fact that we hadn’t lived for very long in the house before that point is, of course, irrelevant.)
The light in the master bathroom switches off at random times–typically when I set Hobkin down so I can use the facilities–and the light in our entertainment center is likewise arbitrary with its illuminative cause-and-effect. Some mornings I come out into the living room and the lights are on even though Matthew swears he turned them off. And other times no matter how you punch the switch (it’s touch activated), the lights won’t go on. Then there’s the fluorescent overhead in the kitchen. When one flips the toggle from the off position to the on, the light usually flickers to life, but not always (and it has nothing to do with the bulb).
Upon further consideration, it all makes sense. The light in the bathroom goes out when I’ve had the audacity to be away from my prescribed, skunk-cuddling spot on the couch. The skunky wrath I have incited can be observed in how he digs at the door outside in protest. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the gimpy, cheap-ass switch, or the fact that Hobkin’s not allowed into our master suite or that usually when I leave him to use the bathroom, he wakes up.
The kitchen light is an obvious target because the kitchen is where we make food, and food is a rather important life-event according to Hobkin’s world view. And the entertainment center is synonymous with freedom and companionship. When it’s on, we’re there, he’s free to roam around, and the world is good. When we turn things in it off, it usually means we’re leaving the house for a while and he has to be locked away in his area. (Naturally, the peculiar lighting behavior can’t possibly have anything to do with the hyper-sensitive switch which can be triggered by the rumbling of passing semis.) As far as skunk camp goes, he’s probably feeling rather mischievous or inclined to show off, being in a new place and all. Ergo, he engages in small pranks.
Magical Electric Skunk. Yup.
Words: 800. Just about at the climax. Stopped mid-paragraph as I was going into the end, blasted between the eyes by the realization that I needed an additional, key scene in order to explain the protag’s central motivation. So I backtracked to the middle and then ground my gears uselessly for a while. In order to jostle some ideas loose, I started doing some research on Buddhism. Voila! Enlightenment struck and the new scene essentially wrote itself.
Maybe a couple more days and I’ll be able to type “the end” on it. Currently it’s at a little over 5.5K. Doesn’t look like keeping it at or under 7.5K is going to be an issue. Whew. It will require a lot of clean-up before it’s ready for Matthew to first-reader, though.