Hello folks! I'm a little late to the Friday Reflections party. Oops.
But we all know that the party doesn't start until I get here! Right?
Oh. It did. How rude.
Anyway, here I am regardless. May I present to you a lovely little Halloween story?
It's total fiction. I'm sort of sick of myself at the moment. Meaning, I'm sick of writing about myself. So I made something up.
I will preface this story by saying that Halloween has never really been a thing here in the land of Oz (also known as Australia) until the last few years. Consequently I never celebrated it as a child. My boys have asked to go trick or treating tomorrow. Therefore, I'm reluctantly becoming a convert. Well, I do love me some candy, especially in the form of chocolate... So it's all good!
Except for the part where I'm currently seeing a dietitian and I'm supposed to be eating healthy. Again: OOPS.
But back to my story!
Here it is:
A HALLOWEEN STORY
It wasn't the thought of a grisly death that scared Harry. He was more alarmed by the idea of his prolonged, uneventful existence stretching before him, bleak and relentless. Another nondescript life, as colourless as the next. There was nothing remarkable about him. There never had been. Never would be. It didn't matter what his mother thought. She herself was a lumpy, broad-faced jowly woman with a booming voice and a plethora of opinions. None of them unique. All of them bitter and bigoted. It wasn't an achievement to be held in her esteem.
The only people his family bestowed their good will upon were exactly like them. Anyone who was different in any way would be treated with suspicion, even contempt. These bloody foreigners coming over here and taking our jobs! Even though his mother had never actually had a job for anyone to take in the first place. Not Doris Weber. She'd been a dutiful house wife. Just like every good mother should be. Her condescension to Irene had been unbearable. There marriage was swiftly over. He didn't blame her.
He flicked over to her Facebook profile now. Her beatific smile beamed back at him. Her ebullient nature had been in stark contrast to his introversion. Between that and his officious mother, the union had been doomed from the beginning.
Here he was, approaching fifty with little to show for the advancing years. A patchy employment history, a divorce and an overbearing, elderly mother. She still turned up or phoned him every other day to tell him how to live his life.
He sat here in his shabby home in a dubious suburb. He didn't mind it here. But Mum was horrified. His sister too. Margaret had the appropriate cookie cutter life. The urbane husband who'd climbed the corporate ladder. The ubiquitous McMansion in a leafy, suitable suburb. Their children were teenagers now. He was the odd uncle. Unwelcome really, at Christmas and other occasions, but tolerated.
He poured himself another rum with just a dash of coke. Even his taste in booze was inappropriate. Ominous clouds gathered in the sky as he sat at the window. He loved a good storm. Some people didn't understand his fascination with weather. But everyone had their things. Something that was odd to some one else, not them.
Children were shuffling along the street now, in makeshift Halloween costumes. He knew they wouldn't come here for trick or treating. He might be a paedophile! Their parents would protest. He wasn't. He wasn't even overly sexual at all. Yet another oddity. Another thing that Irene couldn't fathom in the end. She'd wanted children. He was ambivalent. It wasn't that he didn't like them. In fact, he liked some of them just fine. Yet others, not so much. Children were just small humans, after all. What made them different to adults? Lightning pierced the sky. The inevitable thunder shook the house. Shrieks sounded as distant figures started running through the rain.
Harry took a long swig of his drink, enjoying the sensation of it sliding along his tongue then burning his throat. Jagged rain pelted the window. His blinds were fully drawn. Anyone could see in. The ghoulish clown face appeared with the next slap of thunder. A shock of vivid red against the sombre grey sky. Harry jumped, spilling his drink. He hadn't really cared about these ridiculous clown sightings. It perplexed him that he was so riled. He clearly needed something to stir his malaise.
He leapt from his supine position to stumble drunkenly to his front lawn. His bellows were swallowed up by the storm. He stood sneering and soaked, ridiculous now. Neighbours peered through windows, as the prankster disappeared around the corner. He shuffled back inside muttering and cursing.
When he heard about the murder on the late news he felt a curious sense of detachment. 79 year old Doris Weber had been stabbed to death in her suburban home in an apparent trick or treat incident gone horribly wrong. He could hear her now. "This isn't America! Why do we have to follow them?" The phone was ringing. It would be Margaret, beside herself with horror, but secretly thinking of her inheritance.
People were so transparent. His drab reality was now sordid and sinister. And he liked it.
Slowly he moved to answer the phone.
Linking up for Friday Reflections
Do you celebrate Halloween?
Do you have a Halloween story?