Currently working on: Book 3 of The Marked Souls
I’m not sure my household can top last Halloweens high point. We always decorate the front porch for trick-or-treaters. I put out luminaria along the driveway plus a couple hollowed gourds or a pumpkin on the porch railing. We have a strobe light kicking, and a nice severed arm pointing to the door bell.
We also have a 3-foot plaster voodoo mask that I don for answering the door, and the chorus girl scream from “The Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack is cued up on the stereo with my XY’s finger on the play button.
Last year, about midway through the evening, the bell rang, I picked up the mask and opened the door, XY hit play… and the seven-year-old boy on the porch dropped his plastic pumpkin full of candy and ran as if all the demons of hell were after him — and could be bought off by a fairly impressive haul of Hershey’s products.
Well, I chased him down to return his candy (probably could have caught him quicker if I’d taken off the mask) and gave him a big double handful of Twix, Milky Ways, Pixie Stix, Smarties, and Reese’s PB cups (no off-brand candy bars from me) to make up for my burst of cruel delighted laughter.
In our defense, I think we taught him a valuable lesson about thinking even free candy comes without potential risk.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because, honestly, it’s low prep and high payout. I can recycle a costume from a previous year, and nobody expects a freakin’ turkey with multiple side dishes and baked goods, yet I get a monster truckload of candy at the end of the night. (Admittedly, this is because I over-purchase for the children who for some reason don’t come to our house anymore.)
But pragmatic reasons aside, I love Halloween because of the costumes. I wish more days of the year involved pretending to be something we’re not — and somehow, through that disguise, revealing something deeper about ourselves.
(I always wondered what it revealed about the studly jocks in high school that they seemed to gravitate to costumes involving pantyhose and high heels.)
I’ve been a princess, an alien, an overdosed starlet, a peacock, the planet Saturn, the last-minute ghost (who hasn’t?). So often, it seems like we’re hiding who we are anyway. At the day job, in front of the in-laws, around the neighbors. Wouldn’t it just be more fun if we were always wearing costumes?
My boss: Jessa, can I see you in my office?
Me: Argh, sorry, matey. A pirate can’t be constrained by four walls. I’m off to plunder the treasures in the office supply room!
With enough candy bars, we’d all have the high fructose courage to be ourselves — or anyway, be the ourselves we were meant to be.
If you were picking a costume to reveal the real you, who would you be?