Dressing Up

August 24, 2011
Judy Monroe bustled to the front door with the bowl of brightly colored candy as the doorbell chimed its three-toned chorus. From her ears jingled festive pumpkins ornaments that swayed as she side-stepped baskets of gourds and life-sized tombstone figurines. She paused at the mirror hanging in the foyer to adjust her frayed witch’s hat that was perched crookedly on her graying hair. She let her eyes fall like they always did to the faded photo stuck in the corner of the mirror’s frame. Two young boys, brothers, clung to each other, grinning maniacally. They were wearing identical cowboy costumes, waving plastic guns in the air above them. They were her sons, all grown up and gone now. She smiled and a small, sad sigh escaped her and floated up to the twinkling string of lights. The doorbell rang again. Judy twitched her head slightly, like a dog getting water out of its ears and with a breath, readjusted the orange sweater that fit snugly over her plump figure and opened the door.
“Trick or treat!” they screamed as Judy jumped back in mock fright at the ghoulish, grinning faces. She scanned the crowd and felt a small bubble of motherly joy grow deep in her heart. A small giggle escaped her as she handed out candy: A chocolate bar for the zombie, licorice for the goateed Satan, gummy worms for the decaying mummy. One by one, the children grabbed their candy and flew, breaking into the vast darkness beyond her front porch, their delighted squawks cracking the inky darkness of the night.
They left and Judy was alone again.
But, no – she wasn’t. There, last in line, hovering at the edge of the darkness, a waif of a boy stood unsteadily at the edge of the porch, almost skeletal in the broken shadows of the yellow porch light.
A small bubble of joy returned. Judy took in his black eye, fat lip, torn shirt, and thin, red gash running high across his sharp cheekbone.
“Oh, I get it; you’re one of those boxer things.”
The boy turned suddenly as he heard his name called down the street, booming like thunder. Silently, the boy began to cry.

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Steph0804 said...
Aug. 31, 2011 at 2:39 am
That's so sad. The boy is on the verge of crying, he's injured, but no one seems to be helping or even understanding him.
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