Twenty-Four: Halloween

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"All of the dust and cobwebs in my house just became decorations. Thanks Halloween."

~Unknown



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September brought blessed cool weather. No more having my thighs stick to the leather seats of the car.

But it all went by in a weird sort of blur. I was finally in a routine, just like I had been before. But it was a new, exciting routine. The days were never the same, which was strange and thrilling.

One day, I found out Karen's email address and sent a fake summons to court, which actually led her to a huge petitioning rally for the allowance of public nudity at the courthouse. She had to sign dozens of petitions being handed to her by naked people just to make it up the steps.

As for the girls, I think we reached some sort of mutual agreement. We all kept ourselves busy, they weren't such a pain in the you-know-what and I'd take them to McDonald's after school for ice cream.

They fought with each other, but they'd work it out eventually. Aimee called the girls every night to "check up on them" (in other words, check up on me), and despite the occasional reproof, she seemed to be more comfortable with the idea of me taking care of her kids.

I even knocked down my days at Red Ribbon's from Tuesdays and Thursdays to just Thursdays.

I was so busy at the PTO, taking the girls to soccer, and generally trying to keep breathing that Red Ribbon's took the back burner.

Don't get me wrong...I was at the end of my rope about 99% of the time. I wasn't cut out for parenting. But, to my surprise, I wasn't bad at it, either.

Before I know it, it's October.

There's definitely a chill in the air, which means I have one more thing to keep track of--the girls' coats. They lose them everywhere, even though there's a nice coatrack near the front door. So I just let them freeze on their way to school now. It's not like they'll get hypothermia in the 45-degree weather, but maybe they'll learn a lesson.

When I walk into Percival on Tuesday, there's a gigantic blow-up pumpkin near parent pickup.

"What the..." I murmur, scowling at it before going inside.

The interior of the school is even worse. In one corner of the lobby, a creepy skeleton wearing a pirate hat sits on a treasure chest with a gauzy backdrop behind it. Every time someone walks by, it says "Gimme yer candy!" and my frown deepens.

There are gummy spiders, webs, pumpkins, leaves, and witch hats plastered to every window and fall leaf garlands wrapping around the whole room.

My guess is that there's some Halloween store nearby that is very happy that the school bought out all of its decorations.

Barb met me outside the PTO meeting room before I could go in.

"Beverly," she panted. "I don't know what I'm gonna do!"

"Try calming the heck down," I suggested. "There's plenty of air in here for the both of us before you pass out."

She sucked in a breath through her nose before her words spilled out in a rush. "Twopeoplearedressingasprincessjasmine."

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