I was standing in front of a wooden door on the porch of an old Victorian building. A flimsy mask made of rusting iron was hanging from it. It’s been a while since I had been observing the peculiar shape of the mask. I found it puzzling because I had never quite heard of any creature like this one before. It had an elongated top with wide sides, rounding at the bottom. From afar, it resembled the ‘screw you’ symbol that was rather popular among the youth. Only on closer inspection had I realized that it was a face. It had a single eye at the base of the elongated end. A snout tapering into a sharp end was dangling from its centre.
Another drop of sweat originating from the depths of my skull found its way to my temple. The night was too hot for my liking and I could hear the vultures gathering. I hated them because of their ‘eating the dead’ habit. I mean shouldn’t they respect the deceased?
Thanks to the vultures, a tremendous urgency to enter the house grew upon me. I had already tried the doorbell with no fruitful results. In my desperation, I leaned closer to that gruesome face on the door. That was when the eye blinked at me. Surprisingly, instead of running away, I blinked back at it or perhaps was it a wink. The door, however, remained unmoved by this eye contact.
Then I glanced at the end of the snout. Its silver sharp end gleamed in the moonlight. Whatever, I thought and placed the tip of my left hand’s index finger against its razor-sharp end. I closed my eyes and let the steel cut deep through my skin.
“Ow ow,” my howling pierced the silence of the night. I could not open my eyes. Plop, the sound of my blood falling on the floor haunted me.
And then I heard a clicking sound, and I knew the door was open. The familiar death of smell welcomed me. It was only when I heard movement, did I chance a peek. A skeletal hand was reaching for me and before I could do anything about it, they had shoved me inside the house.
“Every firkin’ year,”, I heard a woman say, “Open your eyes, you sissy.”
There was nothing I could do about it anymore. When the dead Grandma tells you to open your eyes, you must oblige.
“Happy Halloween”, an uncountable number of dead people greeted me.
I sighed, removed my coat, and went to hug my Grandma. Our bones made the classic clang that meant it was a cold-hug. My favourite type of hugs!
“What is that thing at the door, Grandma?”, I asked her.
“That is your young cousin’s take on the Jack-o’-lantern. He thought it needed some spicing up,”, she told me, “If you ask me, your aunt should not have let him study fine arts. I mean what is wrong with the dark arts?”
Before I could reply, the party had sounded the gong. It was time. The air rang with screeching sounds as fingernails from all over the world scraped on chalkboards.
My imaginary skin that I kept to avoid boredom in the living world had vanished. I was among my people!