Friday, October 31, 2008

About the ghosts of Halloween

They're here in the aisles of a discount store long gone, where a little girl picks out a witch costume, and contemplates how scary she'll be in the short black skirt, the cape, the hard plastic mask with warts and a long, crooked nose.

They're flitting around a stuffy classroom in the elementary school in Fitchville, Ohio, where the kids have left their desks and ineptly frost cupcakes, and that same little girl is just a little disappointed when she doesn't win the contest.

They're lurking in the corners of a big house with a long driveway off a state highway, where the knocks on the door with cries of "Trick or Treat!" are few, but the excitement of giving out candy is great.

They're following a group of four little kids as they trail around Fitchville, a town without a stop light but with enough streets to make a Halloween bag pleasantly heavy. The sharp fall wind might whip through her costume, and the little girl wonders why that lady always gives out apples (who needs an apple? There are plenty at home!), but she and her sisters and brother will have plenty of good stuff, anyway.

The ghosts whisper to me, reminding me of that little witch of long ago, and for a moment I ride a broom high above the few streets of Fitchville, catching a glimpse of the pumpkins flickering in the fall night, hearing the children shrieking between houses, feeling the wind that rustles the last leaves off the trees.

The ghosts of Halloween fly with me, always.

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