In my line of work, I spend a lot of time reading… I maintain that any good writer is also a good reader. I also spend a lot of time on social media. And there it was on Facebook, the oddest question imaginable.
“What’s your worst ever Halloween experience?”
Wait… What? Why? Who in the world wants to focus on that?
I realize I can be the Queen of the Humorous Rant, so much so that a reader who was unfamiliar with me and my style called me negative. (hey, that hurt, dammit!) And believe me, I could win prizes when it comes to Really Bad Halloween stories. Trust me on that one. And sure, I could make the telling of them funny (to the reader).
But again… What? Why? Who in the world wants to focus on that?
I love Halloween. I love the fun, the festivals, the history, the costumes… I love it all. And for too many years I couldn’t really celebrate Halloween, instead it was “Halloween alternatives” and “harvest festivals”. Which, just for the record, are no where near as fun as the real deal. It’s like skim milk. It’s sort of like milk, but not.
Asking me for my worst Halloween experience is like asking someone why they no longer believe in Santa Claus. Or what was that one Christmas gift they always wanted but never got. Or reminding them of all the crappy Easter candy they got.
Who wrote that question? The Halloween equivalent of Ebeneezer Scrooge? I think they need a Halloween intervention. Hey, it worked for Scrooge at Christmas. Besides aren’t ghost stories more appropriate for Halloween?
The Ghost of Halloween Past would show him some happy memories from way, way back and then move on to some bitter disappointments. He took “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” way too literally and was ridiculed for sitting up in a pumpkin patch all night long. Later, orphaned, he was adopted by a family that held “Halloween alternatives” and he was no longer allowed to trick-or-treat with his friends. Then he heard some fire and brimstone preaching… and it all turned him cynical and bitter.
The Ghost of Halloween Present would show him how much fun other people are having during their Halloween celebrations. He’d see the festivals, the parties, the kids laughing and having fun. He’d see happy people doing happy things, despite the dire warnings of eternal damnation. And he’d see them surrounded by love, laughter and joy; all things his life lacked.
Finally, the Ghost of Halloween Yet to Come could show him the future. A dire thing indeed. His house would be TP’d and egged for years, until finally even that stopped and he was left a bitter, lonely old man who couldn’t even complain about the damn kids in his neighborhood. In death he would find the real surprise – because no human soul who goes through life spouting nothing but bitterness and hatred could possibly live a happy afterlife. Even in death, he would find himself lonely, reviled and bitter.
He would wake, screaming in fear, with a Fun-Size Snickers bar shoved in his mouth… on the morning of October 31.
Is he in time to save his immortal soul?