Note: This story is not fantasy/horror. It’s another realistic vignette following the childhood experiences of Warren Cowell, a character I wrote who’s 34 in the main manuscript but 13 in this story. This is set on Halloween (because I’m just feeling out-of-season) and portrays an oddball kid in good ol’ dysfunctional suburbia, circa 1997. There is some non-PC language which is meant for the purpose of realism and doesn’t reflect the feelings of the writer.
More recent stories about this character- Toxicity, With Families Like These…
Trigger Warning: Bullying, Homophobia
I was lying in bed listening to The Smiths when my mom pulled the blanket off me.
“Stop moping. You’re going trick-or-treating.”
I was surprised because usually my mom left me alone when I was in a downer mood and didn’t want to do something.
“Mom, I’m too old to trick-or-treat.”
“Warren, you need to go be a kid for a while.”
Everybody in my class was either going to a Halloween party or trick-or-treating with a younger sibling. Well, I hadn’t been invited to a party and I didn’t have a younger sibling, so I picked option 3- stay home.
“I don’t have a costume!”
“Well, we’ll get you one from Wal-Mart.”
“The costumes at Wal-Mart suck.”
“Don’t curse. And if you had tried planning this earlier maybe I could have made you something.”
So Mom took me to Wal-Mart and got me a vampire costume. It was OK. She made up my face to look pale and evil and I twirled around in my cape in front of the mirror until I got dizzy. I stepped behind my mom while she was washing dishes and yelled ‘I vant to suck your blood!’ She shrieked and giggled, spinning around and hugging me tight.
“You look great!”
I kissed her cheek and grazed her with my vampire fang. Dad was watching TV. He didn’t look at me. Rachel snuck out in a slutty nurse costume and when I saw her I burst out laughing.
“Shut up!” She hissed, pushing me hard.
“I bet a lot of the guys in my class hope they get you next time they have a skateboarding accident.”
“Do you think I look good?” She placed a hand on her hip.
“Do you really want me to answer that?”
“You’re right. Fuck off.”
“Are you going to a party?”
“Yes. Be quiet before Mom and Dad hear you.”
I couldn’t stop laughing and shaking my head. When I went outside it was starting to get dark and my mentally retarded neighbor Ethan was standing on the lawn in his underwear.
“Hi Warren!” He called, waving wildly. His fat pale belly stuck out over the waistline of his boxers.
“What are you doing?”
“What are you dressed as?”
“A vampire. Can’t you tell?”
I heard Ethan’s dad yell ‘Ethan! Get your ass in here and put your costume on!’ He sounded like my dad. Ethan ran inside, flapping his hands and humming like an airplane.
I wondered if I should ask for candy at Ethan’s house and decided against it. His brother Bobby was a real asshole. I twirled my cape again and tried to think vampire-y thoughts.Mr. Edwards gave me a sock full of pennies but everyone else on my street was okay. Somebody even gave me Reese’s peanut butter cups. Somebody gave me a candy apple but it wasn’t safe so I threw it away.
My mom would want to check all my candy when I got home. I thought about my sister at a party with a bunch of horny teenage boys, drinking and smoking weed. I worried about that sometimes. Once this boy named Sydney asked to come over to my house but he was just trying to get close to my sister. He wasn’t even subtle about it. I was like ‘Do you want to play video games?’ and he was like ‘Let’s see what Rachel’s doing.’ Asshole.
So I came to this house and a boy from school opened the door. He had a hatchet sticking out of his head with lots of fake blood and it was pretty cool.
He looked me up and down and said “Warren?”
I said “Hi Alex” and my vampire teeth made me lisp a little bit.
“Hey, look guys, Warren’s trick-or-treating.” Some other boys came over and when they saw me they laughed.
“Hey, it’s Count Fagula,” somebody I didn’t even recognize said. Alex grabbed a handful of candy from my bucket and slammed the door in my face. Hot tears burned in my eyes and I smudged my make-up. I kicked the door several times and then I heard a familiar voice.
“Give him his candy back, you fucking asshole.”
Then Rachel opened the door and said “Come in. There are some snacks in the basement.”
“Fuck Alex. Come on.”
It turned out Alex’s older brother Hank was hosting the party. Well, Alex gave me my candy back so that was good. I went down to the basement and there were little baggies of candy corn and cookies shaped like pumpkins. I avoided the punch, because… you know. Some guys were sitting in a corner watching a movie that was way too scary and I averted my eyes.
There were two people kissing on the couch and I couldn’t help staring at them. It was pretty fascinating. They didn’t care if I watched either. The girl looked at me with her make-up all messed up (I’m not sure what she was supposed to be) and said I was cute and I said ‘Thanks. I’m 13’ because she looked old enough to be in college. Alex laughed with his mouth full of cookie and said ‘Don’t bother, Penny. He’s gay.’
‘I am not!’ I said, my face getting hot.
“He’s not gay,” Rachel snapped. “Penny, you’re a slut. Stay away from my brother.”
“I’m just messing around,” she said, pouting. “As if.” Then she went right back to making out with the guy dressed as Michael Myers.
I felt better now that I was with my sister. I even gave Penny some Twizzlers since I didn’t like them and she said she did.
“Looks like you got a pretty good haul,” Rachel said, looking into my bucket. “Mind if I grab a few things?”
“Sure, but not the Reese’s,” I said, because I was keeping that for myself.
Me and Rachel walked home and saw that Mr. Edward’s house had been TP’ed. There was yelling coming from inside Ethan’s house. One of Mr. Edward’s cats ran in front of me and scared the shit out of me. It was a black cat.
“That’s appropriate,” Rachel said.
When we got home Dad was in bed but Mom was waiting for us.
“Did you have a nice time?” she asked as she wiped my face off with a wet cloth.
“Yeah. I guess so.”
Rachel ran upstairs to change into her nightgown before Mom saw her costume. I put my vampire fangs in a pencil box in my room. Maybe this isn’t my last time being a vampire.
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