To my chagrin, I must confess that after an entire month of watching Dracula movies and slasher flicks, I have no Halloween plans of any kind.
We won't be passing out candy, because there are only three kids who live in our small townhouse complex, and their parents will likely drive them to a ritzy neighborhood just up the road where the little demons can hit true sugar pay dirt. Even if we did have a lot of kids around, we'd probably be one of those spoilsport houses with a darkened front porch light. Hudson would lose his little terrier mind to have a succession of costumed children ringing the doorbell, and I don't need that kind of drama on a Tuesday night.
Honestly, ever since I was a teen, I have enjoyed the run-up to Halloween much more than the day itself. (One notable exception was a party I attended in Nashville with my friend Angela three years ago. I found some great fangs, put on a bit of eyeliner, slicked back my hair, and went to the party as a chunky version of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)
She turned to me and spoke.
Did you like the Dracula movie?" she asked me.
Oh yes, I love vampires!" I enthused.
She flashed me a quick smile. "I do, too!" Another smile.
Hmm. Something funny about that smile.
Her teeth... Were they...pointy?
My scalp began to feel a little prickly, and my palms turned clammy.
No, that can't be, I assured myself. Real people don't have pointy teeth. I knew my imagination sometimes got the better of me, and that must be happening now.
I stuffed another handful of popcorn into my mouth and then nearly choked when the young woman gave me a long slow, toothy smile. Then she winked at me. I felt the color drain from my face.
She had FANGS! Not cheap plastic ones like those that came with my Dark Shadows board game, but real, honest to God long, pointy fangs! Just like Dracula had in the movies!
My dad didn't appear to realize that we were in mortal danger. He continued chatting with his students, amusing them with off-color stories as was his wont. I sat stock still, hoping to avoid further attention from the comely revenant seated next to me.
Mercifully, the next movie was soon announced, so my dad and I went back to our seats. My knees were wobbly with fear, but I kept silent and just snuggled up close to my dad to watch The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
As I watched the movie, I cursed my lack of foresight. What insanity had prompted me to leave the house without bringing a crucifix with me? With that weapon, we could at have held the vampire at bay long enough to get safely to our car. I didn't think a bat could fly faster than a Dodge Dart could drive, so we would probably be safe once we were on the road.
The lights finally came up, and people gathered their coats to go home. I cast hurried glances around the student center, trying to see where the monster had gone. I didn't see her. We were in luck--she must have chosen some other victim for her nightly feeding!
A few silent minutes passed. "So," my dad finally said, "did you happen to notice anything funny about that girl's teeth tonight?"
I burst into tears. "She's a vampire!" I exclaimed, "A vampire! We have to hurry home! I have holy water in my bedroom, and Mommy has a crucifix. Do we have any stakes? We need stakes!" Far from being alarmed by my revelation, my dad seemed amused.
Happy Halloween from your psychologically scarred