Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
A few years back, it was One Direction. All the kids in the neighborhood — mostly girls, as I think about it — dressing up like Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis. “Trick Or Treat” shouted in adorable English accents. Their moms’ said they spoke like that at home, too.
The year after that was Minecraft. Young boys encased in green and black cardboard boxes banging into lamp posts.
Then you had The Walking Dead year. Zombies, obviously, and eight years old impersonating Darryl, looking all redneck-y and tough.
Last year was Doctor Who. Fezzes. I clearly remember dressing up as Tom Baker, back when Doctor Who was on PBS. 1979 or so. Confused housewives thought I was done up as ‘an old man.’ The Star Trek dorks from the high school told me Doctor Who was cheap and that I looked like an asshole. I was 10.
This year was unfocused and exuberant. There were a few Caitlin Jenners, one very impressive Blacula, a few foam rubber HP Lovecraftian squidemons and a Ronald Reagan inexplicably clad in a purple robe and wearing a pentacle.
The neighborhood is getting a lot looser.
At about 8PM, somebody came to the door. Obviously. Marcy was counting candy with Seamus and Bridget in the kitchen, so it was my turn. I opened the front portal.
In front of me were four young boys, all about 8 or 9 years old. They had alarmingly shaved scalps, and their oversized olive t-shirts hung off their tiny shoulders. They were deliberately lidding their eyes and frowning. For a moment, I thought they were dressed as prisoners of war.
A few feet behind them, another young boy craned his neck to see over the forlorn group. He was shirtless and wearing a blue bandana and aviator glasses. His chest and arms were covered in unsightly ‘tattoos,’ likely applied with magic marker.
I surveyed the situation.
“Who are you guys supposed to be?” I asked.
“We’re Fugazi!” they shouted.
“…and I’m GG Allin!” announced the kid in the back.
Without hesitation, I grabbed the entire unopened plastic bag of fun size Snickers and handed it to ‘Ian.’
“Here, kid. Take it. Just take it.” I closed the door.
The next day, I thought about joining the seminary.