This was written for a 500-Word Snatch on Second Life… in 30 minutes.
The first day I remember it getting cold in Orlando was almost always on Halloween night. We’d have our flimsy costumes ready weeks in advance, then the night of Trick or Treating, we’d have to bundle up, covering our lovely Japanese kimonos or flowy Princess dresses. Not fun!
But we didn’t have to hide our pillowcases we’d hope to fill with candy that night.
I was a fat kid. I am a fat adult. I loved Halloween! It was a day that lasted for weeks (if I played my portioning out decently). Candy, candy, candy.
This was in the olden days, back when we wandered alone, sans parents, always after dark, not before. We knocked on doors for a 5 block radius, knowing almost every person who opened a door. (Can you imagine that today? Ha!) This was also before the health food kick started encouraging folks to offer “healthy” treats… “Garbage” I would have thought in my youth.
No, give me the Snickers, the Milky Way, the Three Musketeers. Chocolate, please. And more chocolate, please. Candy pumpkins were alright, candy corn, boring… Smarties? Well we could eat those in about 40 seconds. I marvel today we got candy cigarettes in our Halloween pillowcase. My kids didn’t believe me when I told them about them. “True stuff,” I said!
After gathering the night’s haul, we’d go back to our respective homes, find a space big enough to hold the largesse and dump the goods out, ooh-ing and ah-ing at what we saw spilling out of the cotton sack. My eyes quickly assessed the haul and even midair, could pick what was going right into my mouth, what was going into my bowl for later and what was being tossed into the trash.
Once the separations had been made, mom would come around to see what we had. Even if she was hovering over my head a mere 5 minutes after coming in from outside, I would have already hidden much of my stash, knowing she would want some of the goods herself. I was a piggy girl; hoarding food was normal for me. I learned it from mom.
When mom had moved on to the other kids, I began unwrapping what I’d chosen to eat before bed. Unwrapping the crinkly papers, I barely tasted what I popped into my mouth as I swallowed and was cramming in the next chocolate bar, my fingers having barely let go of the wrapper I’d just pulled off.
Every Halloween, I was sick to my stomach by the time I was sent to bed, an hour past our usual bedtime. I’d lay between the sheets writhing in pain, but kept my mouth shut about it lest mom give me a lecture about trying to eat so much so fast. I knew, every year, when I sat down with my candy, still in my rumpled costume, that in about 20 minutes I would be so sick to my stomach, but I could not help myself with this candy free-for-all.
Yeah, Halloween. Delicious holiday tinged with a bit of a stomach-ache. Isn’t that like many holidays anymore?