I don't know where I trick-or-treated prior to that year. Our house was on a main highway, which wasn't very pedestrian-friendly. I assume my parents carted me to some other area of town. Wherever we went, I do remember we always went after dark, and every single house seemed to have Halloween decorations. You could guess which ones were going to give the best candy based on the number of tombstones and skeletons festooning the front lawn.
But that year, my mom decided all the places we normally trick-or-treated were too rapey, and the only way we could avoid being hacked into tiny pieces by an axe-murdering zombie was to get all this trick-or-treating business done before dark.
I was scandalized when Mom announced that we were leaving to go trick-or-treating at five o'clock. I tried to impress upon her that NO ONE went trick-or-treating this early and that the sun wasn't even going to START setting for another hour at least and that people might not even be READY to hand out candy yet. She brushed off my dire warnings as illogical whining and inwardly chuckled at my inability to comprehend the grave danger we were avoiding.
There was a golf course across the highway from our house, and in the middle of this golf course was a brand-new development of houses inhabited primarily by retirees from places like Michigan and Massachusetts who figured they'd save a little money by migrating to South Alabama instead of Florida. Mom had selected this neighborhood as the only safe place to go trick-or-treating, so we set forth on our short journey, the radio covering our stony silence.
I had arrived at that awkward age when you want to look kind of sexy but it really just makes everyone around you uncomfortable because you're ten. To exacerbate this, I had decided to dress up as a Spice Girl. I looked like I'd been sold into child slavery and forced to work as a hooker.
|This is a pretty accurate rendition of my Ginger Spice costume. Mercifully, no one took an actual photo.|
The late-afternoon sun blazed down on me as I clip-clopped up the front path of the first house we stopped at. The street was filled with an eerie, bright silence, broken only by the hum of our car idling at the curb. There was nary another human being in sight, much less another trick-or-treater. The pastel-colored houses and neatly-trimmed lawns were entirely void of fake cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns.
Nervously, I rang the doorbell. The sound seemed to reverberate through a cavernous space on the other side of the door.
I waited for a whole minute, but nothing happened.
I felt stupid walking back to the car empty-handed, so I decided to ring the doorbell just one more time. This time, a middle-aged woman answered.
|To protect this woman's identity, I have made her considerably more attractive than she actually was.|
I walked back to the car in shame.
When we told my dad about our Halloween mishap, he had a very strong reaction.
|From age 5 to age 15, I never saw my dad without a baseball cap.|
Now that I've reached adulthood and gained a little perspective, I've come to a realization about that Halloween.
We should have egged her house.