Saturday 9: Don't Talk to Strangers
The Real Horror

Let the Horrordailies Commence


Welcome to October 1, the first day of Horrordailies! For this challenge, you're supposed to write about Hallowe'en or other scary stuff. I need yet another jumpstart on my blogging efforts, so what the hell.

So let's talk about Hallowe'en!

When I was a kid, Hallowe'en was the next best thing to heaven. I loved planning my costume, wandering around the neighborhood, and collecting all that fabulous candy.

Because, my friends, back in My Day, there was no such thing as "fun size." You got the real deal, full size candy bars. Hershey, Clark, Turkish Taffy, Baby Ruth, Payday... it was great! Of course, there were the lesser tier items -- Necco Wafers, Good 'n' Plenty, and Icky Peanuts, for example. Of course, there were always the stingy neighbors who bought scoops of Mary Janes and only gave out one each or made nasty cookies or -- God forbid -- gave out apples.

When I was younger, we had to stick to our street, from the cemetery to the gas station, down one side and up the other., my Pop hovering just out of sight. As I got older and went trick or treating with my pals instead of my little sister, we ranged farther, to the next street over and into the apartment complex. We always used paper trash bags to collect our loot. This backfired on my brother one year when some mean old person slipped ice cubes into his bag. They melted and the bottom of the bag disintegrated. I don't remember if he lost all of his candy or if he salvaged what he carry and stuff into his pockets. If I'm dead honest, that whole story could be family lore!

The best part of trick or treating, though, was the Candy Exchange. My little sister and I would dump our bags out on the living room floor and the bargaining began. Eventually we ended up with a curated selection of our favorites.

The worst part of trick or treating, on the other hand, was our dinner menu. For some reason, Mom always made stew for dinner on Hallowe'en night. Actually, I suspect she did it to ensure that we something warm in our stomachs before we went out in the cold rain. Yes, in the cold rain. It always seemed to be cold and rainy on Hallowe'en when I was a kid. If it wasn't raining, it was still cold. Therefore, stew.

The only problem was that I hated stew. I'm not sure why -- maybe because the tomato skins peeled off and curled up in those nasty tomato skin spikes. Or it had string beans in it. I don't remember. But I hated it, and I couldn't go out until I ate it.

So I did. For a sack full of candy, I could choke down some stew.