My son is afraid of zombies. He runs into my room at night. They're going to eat my brains! They’ll come in through the windows while we’re sleeping and eat our brains!
My mom says not to fall in love with a car. She coughs up into a tissue wrinkled in her hand. There’s blood in it. It’s dark and I’ve committed myself to going to bed at the drop of the hat of darkness. But I want to finish watching the movie with my mom. The red car, full of sex, runs over a greaser. We don’t see it but it’s implied.
As I sit here at my computer writing this story, I don’t see any fiery sunrises or dark clouds looming, or sense some aura about me, and I didn’t wake up trembling when the alarm went off or any of that nonsense. I am up early, as usual, after one of “those” dreams, of which I’ve had so many over the years. The same dream.
Even now in the dawn of the seventh grade, you know that you’re taking a risk. But this is Hannah Jordan’s Halloween sleepover, and she’s popular and lives in one of those neighborhoods with its very own sign: Chestnut Ridge. The streets over there are like little poems, invoking stately places with equestrian flair: Ford’s Carriage Path, Abbott’s Arbor Run, Rock Ridge Trail. The streets in her neighborhood are gently curved, and lined with large colonial homes that rise from manicured lawns with kidney-shaped flower beds hugging all the trees.
The three of us—me and Cassie and our ten-year-old daughter, Luanne—were carving pumpkins at the kitchen table when Lu announced that her favorite movie of all time was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
“I want to be Leatherface for Halloween,” she said.
“Leatherface?” Cassie said.
“He makes masks,” Lu said, “from the flesh of the dead.”
“The ingenuity!” Cassie said. “The resourcefulness!”