Haunted House

Imagine a small elementary school. Imagine its tiny stage. It’s dark. Soft spiderwebby stuff hangs down. Lights glow and flash. There’s a severed hand over there. A small doll sits up, a beam illuminating its melancholy face. On the table is a cauldron of brains, better known as spaghetti. Organ music fills the space. Ten human beings stand or lie or hide behind the curtain, in various states of distress. Nine are young, one is old. All are grotesque.

Do you get the idea?

We have a manager – “Tammy”, a Grade 6 student. She orchestrates our visitors, who range from age 6 to 12, plus some hesitant adults. They are ushered into our home in groups of two or three. If it’s a Grade 1 child, we mostly laugh rather than scare. For the 12-year-olds, however, it’s full on terrorizing.

We played our roles for an hour-and-a-half. I cackled, moaned and invited folks in for dinner. A glob of spaghetti dripped from my right hand. Green stuff adorned my left.

Oh my God, we had fun! Our victims hopefully are having lovely, terrorless evenings as an entry to soft sleep. But they’ll remember their excursion into the Twilight Zone.

You are travelling through another dimension
a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind
A journey into a wondrous land
whose boundaries are that of imagination

Thanks for coming with me to the wild country
Sleep well

Monster Walk

On Saturday morning, at least 200 mini-ghosts and princesses walked down Main Street in Belmont, Ontario, searching for goodies.  “Mary”, the owner of the Belmont Diner, had asked me to dress up and hand out candy from 10:00 till noon.  Yes, of course I would!

The day before, I went to a costume store and picked up a greyish black handlebar moustache that made me look extinguished.  I thought about adding a black wig for consistency but then reasoned that the blond one I had at home would do just fine.

Then it was off to Value Village for the subtle tones of a shirt and pants.  A bright orange top drew me in and resistance was futile.  As for the pants, I couldn’t imagine I’d find an appropriate pair in the men’s section, so I asked a saleswoman what size I’d be in female lingo.  She thought a 12.  Alrighty then.  Lurking on the rack in front of me were bright pink trousers.  I rushed to the change room to check out the effect but couldn’t get into the pinks.  Down another aisle was a glowing turquoise version of conservatism.  Yes again.  A perfect 14!

At home there was the wig, a red foam nose and a blue fish head to frame it all.  When I created costumes in the past, I always got the question “What are you?”  Saturday was the same.  I still didn’t have an answer.

Mary had cute little plastic bags stuffed with chocolate unknowns.  I was ready.  Shortly after 10:00, the trail of young costumites and their parents wound its way to the Diner’s front door.  I had the vague idea that my job would be done in thirty minutes but the answer to that was “Not!”  The flow flowed for nearly two hours.

Kids would come into the restaurant looking impossibly cute and glance around, not knowing where to go.  I was at the far end in full regalia, waving my hands in unison and yelling “Hello!  Over here for the candy.”  Wary little ones, often urged on by mom, found their way to me.

I saw so many glimmering dresses.  So many masked demons.  And I looked into so many eyes.  Put so many bags into so many hands.  It was special.  Many kids didn’t know what to make of me but they all enjoyed receiving my gifts.  The stream of young humanity was virtually constant and so was my happiness.  Eyes of wonder.  Mine and theirs.

When the bags were just about gone, Mary pulled out a box of tiny chocolate bars.  All was well … until about 11:30, when there were maybe thirty bars left.  I moseyed over to a table of women regulars and asked if someone would walk over to the nearby grocery store and pick up more treats.  “Barb” bounced up off her seat and headed out the door.  I was handing over my very last bars when she came back.  The universe was truly unfolding as it should.

I was happy
The kids were happy
And I think the cosmos was wearing a big smile