Sunday, October 18, 2015

Halloween With Frankenstein


                           (copyright 2015 Mariah Lynne)
Halloween! That special day when a frog can become a prince and I, a shy sixth grader donning a pink sparkly tulle gown and tiara, caught the eye of the cutest boy in my class. One year later, it was a different man who stole my heart! Our first adventure trick or treating alone, my friends and I wanted to visit the more affluent part of town. We convinced ourselves that the elegant homes with manicured lawns gave away the best candy. One such home, decorated to the hilt, peaked our curiosity. The more spider webs, Halloween wreaths, and witches’ broomsticks we saw, the more excited we became! We quickly juggled around the candy in our bag to make more room before walking up to the front door and ringing the bell.
Spooky music greeted us through a speaker near the front door as if on queue. Plastic spiders shot down from the front door- frame. We stood there looking at each other wondering what would happen next. The large wooden door creaked opened slowly, very slowly. We gasped! Standing in front of us was a tall thin man. He was so tall we were eye to eye with his belt buckle. As our eyes shot upwards, we recognized him as Frankenstein. Dressed in a tuxedo and carrying a large oval silver bowl, he bent down to welcome us in a low deep voice.
 “Greetings, my little trick or treaters. You may each reach in the bowl and take as much as you can in one handful. Remember I’m watching, so no tricks.”
 Well, who on earth would want to trick that guy! He leaned down a little more putting the bowl where we could see its contents. My eyes popped! It was filled with hundreds of brand new pennies. All shiny, they glistened all the brighter in the subdued lighting of the entryway. I took a deep breath, opened my chubby hand as wide as I could and grabbed as many of those magical coins as would fit. My excited friends did the same. What a magical night! To this day, my memory of Frankenstein is as vivid as that night. Imagine how much time and effort a family I didn’t know put into making my Halloween so extraordinary!
            Fast forward forty years. I now live and work on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast island. No chill in the air, no falling leaves but our islanders celebrate Halloween in a big way. At the time, I owned a video store on the island. About eighteen years ago, some standing water and pesky mosquitoes caused the county to cancel trick or treating! How could they do that? I understood it was for everyone’s safety, but I saw a lot of disappointed little faces coming into my store after the news. With that magical memory of Frankenstein still in my heart, I along with some friends rolled up our sleeves and transformed my store into a Howling Halloween Haunting for kids of all ages on the island. We constructed a big black tent out of extra huge lawn bags in which one of my friends, an amateur magician, performed. Kids were greeted at the entrance by one of my adult customers dressed like the Wicked Witch, green face and all. There were gooey spider webs and scary movie standees like Freddy Kruger. Domino’s who occupied the building next door delivered pizza throughout the party. The manager, another friend, made a special appearance as the Noid. I bought tons of candy and apples. We had games, photos and costume judging for six great hours of Halloween fun. The kids had a blast. They wore their newest costumes and their parents came as well. I have since sold my business but occasionally run into those kids now all grown up. They always tell me how magical that Halloween was for them. Maybe in some small way, I was able to pass the spirit and love I felt on my memorable Halloween with Frankenstein forward!

Mariah Lynne
NINE DEADLY LIVES: An Anthology of Feline Fiction

Released in time for Halloween reading