Last Moment of Childhood


Halloween – refrigerator – pier – strengthen – voice
surprise – contribute – bird – iron – requirement

It’s 10:13 PM, October 31. This year for Halloween, I went as a refrigerator. Despite the detail and uniqueness of my costume —you could even open the door and see the candy resting on the shelves around my torso— my haul is depressingly low. Most houses closed their doors in my face. I stand at the edge of my neighbourhood, not wanted to accept my failure of an evening, not wanting to waddle the rest of the way home. I stare up at the street light I stand under, wishing I joined Tommy in going to the party. No. Stick to your guns. I iron my will and start to walk down my street. No regrets, just time for bed. Then a SUV speeds around the corner and almost hits me where I walk in the street. Once it’s passed, I hear it stop. Oh, great. Then:
“Hunter?” I turn to the voice. It’s Jessica Fields standing out of the sun roof. “What are you doing?”
“Uhhh,” I manage.
“Aren’t you going to the pier?”
“Um, I don’t have a ride.” I say. In response, she just leans down out of sight, and then the trunk starts to automatically open.
“Get in,” she yells.

At the beach, I can hear the sea birds’ calls contribute to the music and the voices of the party. Tommy is in the parking lot and runs over to me in his Danny Zuko costume, surprised to see me with Jessica and the other girls.
“What happened to trick-or-treating, bud?” He says. The girls leave to join the party, but Jessica stays behind. “Too old,” I reply. He laughs and opens me up. He takes my only full size candy bar. “Entrance requirement,” he says. Jessica rolls her eyes and then takes my hand to guide me down to the sand.
In the crowd, she says: “Let’s dance.” She’s wearing a crayon costume that matches the girls she came with. She looks right into my eyes, and that strengthens me.
The rest of the night is a blur; all I know is: I’ll never be that kid again.

About the author

Benny Greeno

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