It seemed like we would not do anything! I told Jenny, "Forget it!!" How could we become trick or treaters without costumes? People would just laugh at us.
It was just past seven, and most little kids were returning from their evening exploration of the neighborhood. Their bags were full of candy, cheap candy, but still candy. I really wanted to go scavenger hunting. Tommy did. too. But we simply could not gather ourselves to yell "Trick or treat!" in our regular clothes.
"It's too late! " Finally, Joe spoke after wiping a tear which he tried to hide from me. I knew he was upset. My baby brother loved Halloween. He had talked about going scavenger hunting since Monday. We had even decided to split all the candy collected that night at home not in front of our buddies Jenny and Tommy. It it was our secret.
But now it was nearly eight and our plans had vanished. I felt like crying, too. But I didn't want to look like a sissy. I was too old to cry.
Mom had given us permission to stay out until 8:30; it was a school night!
Why don't they have Halloween on weekends?
My big sister, Annie, could stay at her friends' until nine. She was thirteen, an obnoxious teenager who didn't see any fun in wearing costumes and going trick or treating. She was into lipstick (although Mom thought it was lip gloss) and eyeliner. ( Mom didn't know about this, either!)
"You mean you're still here? No trick or treating for you guys? Get your act together, people!" She screamed from Marcie's Mom car as she handed her make up bag to Joe ordering him to put it back in her bedroom.
Poor Joe, he didn't even have a chance to say no. I would've told her to return it herself, but the car sped away to Marcie's house too quickly.
And there we were in the middle of the street, with Annie's make- up bag. Somehow, the disgusting, last words of my sister to Tommy, enraged me. It was as if the thrilling monsters of Halloween possessed me, and all of of a sudden, I snatched Annie's make-up bag from Tommy's tiny hands. " Let me see what's in it! Let's paint our faces!! " Immediately, Jenny protested with her squeaky voice: "You better not get in that bag. Annie is going to kill you!" "Let blood flow on Halloween, Annie, that will make it more authentic." Then, for the first time that night, Joe and Tommy screamed a loud monster laugh! We all joined in, eventually. It was as if the fears and stress of the moment transformed into ghostly, playful gobblins!
Without hesitation, I traced a mustache with my sister's black eyeliner on Tommy's face. While Tommy imitated my strokes on Joe's face who burst out giggling from the tickling tiny black tip. In the meantime, I dug out Annie's beloved lipstick and passed it to Jenny. After saying she didn't want it, she eventually painted her right thumb and then spread it on her lips. We couldn't help but laugh at our accomplishment and at each other's looks! " Mess up you hair! " yelled Joe as he began to beam. "Untuck your shirts! " We had stopped being ourselves, now we were turning into unkempt, mustached beings, except for Jenny. Her pale face and the red unevenly smothered lipstick turned her into a female, baby zombie right out of the tomb!!!
With the speed of light, possessed by the spirit of Halloween , we buried our insecure shyness and dashed into the almost empty street where a few homes still had left porch lights signaling their willingness to share candy with remnant, stray, late children.
Doubts seemed to assail me again: " It's almost curfew time...there must not be any candy left... how about if they don't open the door for us?..."
Then, the Halloween monster in me took over, With determination: " We must yell together ' Trick or treat ' when we reach that house. Ok?"
We slowed downed simultaneously! "Ok. Ok. We're doing it!" Just then, we let out the loudest, most awesome "Trick or Treat!" yell that echoed down our semi- lit street.
But immediately, we started running away from our target house. My heartbeat was all the way to my throat. The thrill of it all was too much.
And we sort of hid when the door finally cracked open. A short , serious, old lady appeared at the porch. We pretended it was not us who yelled as she came closer to the gate.
Pulling an orange, plastic pumpkin over the railing , she spoke a soft "Happy Halloween! Help yourselves! "
Believe it or not, it was tiny Jenny who took a fistful of candy first. No manners. A whole fistful and kept it to herself ! Selfish!! And then Tommy to my surprise, did the same!! My brother and I looked at each other as if to say there won't be much left for us...
The lady noticing my brother's fading mustache and scrawny figure called him out and said, "You little one, help yourself."
I waited patiently or rather tried to... Tommy only took a few candy pieces. Thank God!
"And you in the back?"
When, I placed my hand in that plastic pumpkin, it did not sink. Instead, it collided with oodles of choco- smelling candy. My eyes witnessed a miracle, my favorites: Reese's, along with Kisses and Hershey's . I pulled out a fistful and then another. I wanted them all. Embarrased yes, but I wanted more. I let a loud " My favorites!" And the lady noticing our thrill gave them all up! "Take them all. It seems you are the last kids out tonight! "
We were quietly, shyly stunned as we thanked her, dashing down our street to our homes to beat curfew. Not speaking to each other, our looks spoke of amazement, joy, delight, fulfillment... the magic of Halloween and its gifts dispelled our insecurities and fears for one night...Spooktacular!