What in the world could be scary about a skinny white woman standing on her front porch dressed as The Grim Reaper? The full moon cast eerie light on my front porch. I left my front door open, so the interior lamps backlight my silhouette. My 130 lb dog alerted me to approaching munchkins. An antelope horn topped my handmade scythe. The costume covered me head to toe complete with long billowy sleeves and matching hood. But the very best part of my costume? The part of my costume that made a Renaissance Faire Friar cross himself was the black panel that hid my face rendering me, well, faceless.
I purposely turned off all exterior lighting. I stood without moving, my candy bowl tucked under one arm, my staff in the other. The first victim approached. I couldn’t see very well through the black netting, but I could make out a very short skeleton mask and mummy wrappings, covering a 6 year old body. He slowly ascended the steps to my porch. I didn’t move a muscle. The statue of David had nothing on my non-moving countenance. Slowly the little guy approached me, constantly looking over his shoulder at his mother on the sidewalk. “Are you a monster?” he asked.
In the slowest motion I could pull off without falling over, I shook my head yes, then leaned towards him. Before I could drop a Snicker Bar in his pillowcase, he screamed like a girl and ran away. His mother took him firmly by the hand and marched him back to the porch, retrieving a candy bar for himself and his sister in the stroller. Mom didn’t say a word. Neither did I. The black netting hid my huge grin.
The next group approached leery of my barking sentinel. I didn’t move. Didn’t take a single piece of candy out of my bucket until they surrounded me. The tallest one was as tall as my rib cage. There was a Darth Vader, a ballerina, a couple ghosts and a hobo. Darth was the most courageous. He bent forward, looking under my hood. One of them refused to come to the top of the porch because “It has a big dog!”
Darth led the pack. “Trick or Treat” he said, though there was a slight wobble to his voice. I gifted him with M&M’s. The hobo was next and he got a Snickers. Suddenly, they realized we had the GOOD candy. They got closer. I kept my movements painfully slow. I looked to the street and noticed the Mothers were edging closer. I must have looked awesome to them in the moonlight. The perfect companion for their children.
Suddenly, the ballerina screamed as if I’d cut off her feet. “It doesn’t have a face!” All three of my pooches went ballistic as a whole group of strangely dressed short people ran from our porch in all directions! One of the ghosts threw his candy bar at me as he ran. This was my most favorite of all times costume.
I stood on my porch and shivered. The night air was cool. My whole street was dark. Very few kids came our way. They were enticed by the neighbor six houses down with the giant inflated Jack O Lanterns and taped ghoul music. The show off. He was stealing my audience.
Suddenly in my dimmed vision I saw an SUV pull up in my front yard. I could hear at least 4 kids talking to their parents. One of parents yelled, “of course he has candy, he’s standing on the porch! See?”
One little girl started crying. “I don’t want that candy!” The parents persisted and up marched the little vagabonds. I slowly leaned my staff against the railing to my porch. The kids were hugging each other as they approached. I extended my arm, encouraging them. As if I were made of cement, I pulled candy from my hidden bowl and held it out ready to drop it in their sacks. They stopped. Unsure whether to grab the sweets or run.
It was the perfect moment for my 130 lb wolf dog to jump to his feet and body slam the glass door. The mini ghouls and ghosts screamed, turned and ran right into their mother, standing in the street. They hit her so hard she fell on her butt. Just then my Border Collie added her voice to the pack from a hole in the side yard fence. I could no longer tell whether it was children or adults screaming. There was a huge pile of oddness in the middle of the street. My composure cracked. I yanked the hood off my face and started laughing. Out loud.
A man yelled, “It’s a woman!” The mother hustled her crying children into the SUV. As she ran to the passenger door, I realized no one had gotten any candy.
“Come here!” I yelled and laughed through the barking of my dogs.
She would have none of it. Before jumping into her van full of crying chillins, she turned to me and yelled, “You’re too damn scary!” I ask you. What in the world could be scary about a skinny white woman standing on her front porch dressed as The Grim Reaper?