Ray Bradbury has written rather famously over the years in books and story collections about things deliciously and delightfully macabre. Evocative titles like Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree and From the Dust Returned hint at the fantasies and wonders to be found in the pages that lie between the covers. Of all Bradburyâ€™s strange and wonderful autumnal fantasy titles, perhaps none more so than The October Country seems somehow to speak directly to something deep inside, something visceral, something primal. Rayâ€™s vision is of not just a time of year but an almost-actual place where everything is slightly askew, where the weird is not at all unusual, and where the Pumpkin King reigns supreme. In autumn, the leaves fall and rot gently into the soil, the green of summer grass long gone. In autumn, the air turns crisp and cold, and often smells of bonfires. In autumn, jack-o-lanterns gleam and spirits roam the earth. In autumn, we journey into the October country.
To attire myself for my own October country journey, I began by turning to the design work of Sciffer Mortenwold. Scifferâ€™s clothing designs are quirky and interesting, with a slight but distinct goth sensibilityâ€¦really quite perfect for the season. I particularly like the Deconstruct shirt (L$175). The fabricâ€™s bold and clean,Â almost formal stripes contrast with theÂ casually unbuttoned collar for a look thatâ€™s dressy and fine but sexy, even slinky, and not at all stuffy. TheÂ sculpted cuffs and collar are handsome and quite successfulâ€”fitting them was a matter of but a momentâ€™s work.
These pants are called Bound (L$200), and for very good reasonâ€”theyâ€™re enhanced with a cleverÂ non-prim strap that binds the legs together,Â yet stretches to allow normal movement. Itâ€™s a subtle but unusual effect, something Iâ€™ve not seen done before, and Iâ€™ve had more than a few admiring comments. The sculpted cuffs are embellished withÂ skull-motif medallions and the flexi ends of the binding strap. Subtle artwork in the fabric repeats the skull themeâ€”the faces, once noticed, are quite clearly present, and they appear to beâ€¦screaming. The effect is unsettling, to say the least.
A relatively new SL designer, Sciffer has as yet no inworld shop for his clothing designsâ€”you can find and purchase his creations on SL Marketplace.
I knew that nights in the October country would bring a deep chill that would go right to my bones. Fortune smiled on me in the form of this Aviator Jacket, a truly beautiful new release by Paul Lapointe in the Sâ€™Wear line at Lapointe & Bastchild. Sculpted with great precision, handsomely textured, lavishly detailed inside and outâ€”itâ€™s nothing short of an astonishment when the sculpties snap into â€œfocusâ€. TheÂ proliferation of buckles alone is worth the price of admission, but then there’s the uniqueÂ double-layered collar. Resize scripting makes the five separate attachments easy to fit. L$449 each in six colors (or L$999 for all sixâ€”a substantial discount) at Lapointe & Bastchild (Evocative 116, 90, 31); basic Black, naturally, is worn here. Iâ€™ve already given one of these as a gift to a very appreciative friend. He may well not be the last.
Although my look here is intentionally realistic, itâ€™s a matter of but a few clicks to transform into a stylish contemporary demon worthy of â€œSupernaturalâ€. Sam and Dean would no doubt find a way to rid the world of this menace, at least for now, by the third commercial break. Iâ€™d like to think that Iâ€™d last longer, but given their track record itâ€™s highly unlikely, unless itâ€™s a two-parter or I have some collusive backing from Crowley, or maybe that duplicitous Castiel. The world is a safer place for mere mortals because of Sam and Dean, and we love them for it. Especially Sam. But I digress.
The October country is intriguing, beguiling, even welcoming once one finds oneâ€™s way there. Any warmth to be found will most likely be flickering at the center of a carved pumpkin, or raging at the heart of a roaring bonfire. The air will be chill, but it will also be crisp and clear, and the moon will be yellow and full. Marshmallows will be roasting somewhere just down the block. Apples will be in season. Spirits will roam the earth. Be sure to dress warmly.