Please have the children leave the room. I don’t want to give them any ideas. This is a story of Halloween mischief.
If you have read many of my personal stories, you know that I was left to raise my self for the most part. That isn’t exactly true, however. My brother, who was six years older than I, was in charge most of the time when my parents were at work. I think my growing up years would make a good television series or dark movie.
In war, there are the generals and the pawns. That is just how it is. And for those of you who want to change the world, you are in for a rude awakening. You are mostly just pawns as well. There are few generals.
Those that came before you generations ago had aspirations like yours but failed as we all do. We all fall short of our desires and lofty goals. Man is an imperfect creature. My brother was a typical general. He had his goals and would use any means possible to achieve them.
This is a halloween story.
My parents worked from morning to early morning the next day for years. How they managed with so little sleep is beyond me.
I was just starting school and was ill equipped to make decisions other than when to go to the bathroom. I was a hyper active child and as I look back, I know that I was frustrating for them sometimes.
So, let us begin.
The front door to our house faced the sidewalk. There was an “L” shaped walkway from our driveway on the left to the front door of the house.
My brother had a plan for this Halloween. It was an offensive maneuver similar to “D Day” but on a smaller scale. It involved a large cash of water balloons and the garden hose. I was the infantry or cannon fodder in this battle.
I sat inside to the left of the front door with a fine view of those “troops” coming up the walk. I could see out into the distance and see the lay of the land. I was the first line of offense. I was the one to send the signal to fire.
My brother had secured the hose in a large rubber plant at the front door and aimed it at the sidewalk at our front door at about four and a half feet off of the ground. The hose had an adjustable nozzle on the end of it set at a hard, thick, stream. We had tested it throughly. The general was very pleased with himself and his troops. We had surprise and the high ground.
I was placed at my post five minutes before sundown. We all know why. It is common and accepted practice not to come to someone’s door early while the sun is still bright on this holiday. How can you scare anyone when the sun is shinning? Darkness is the friend of Halloween and the evil doers that roam the neighborhoods on this night.
And so I sat, not unlike a bombardier in a large plane high above his target, waiting, with a sting in my hand that ran. The string ran through the house to the back yard where my brother stood next to the faucet. He had a limited number of pawns and had to do some of the dirty work, himself, unlike many generals in history before him.
The string had a piece of tin foil hanging from it and would emit a slight noise when the time was right to turn on the faucet on.
The time was right when the child coming to the front door was in line with the hose nozzle. It was good at my job sending that signal. I have guilt about that to this day, but I was a soldier in this drama and was “only following orders.” I had no out. He was my master.
As I pulled the string and watched in horror, the water blasted out of the brass nozzle and hit the target or targets. If there were more than one I might wait a minute and hit the the next child in line in the body and thus spread the water over a wider number of victims. If it was a direct it, and often it was, the child’s plastic mask would be blown off by the impact of the water. The children and their parents would be covered in water and have water blasted into their eyes. I was good at my job.
Some of the children would scream and retreat to the comfort of their parents who might have stayed behind on the sidewalk at the street away from the front door. They were not out of danger as they supposed.
My brother had a dish drain filled with water balloons to attack the retreating mummies, ghosts and cowboys as they made their hasty retreats. It was a hellish plan and very successful, unlike the Maginot Line in France.
The balloons flew out over the roof from the back yard as if they were mortar shells, breaking on the hard sidewalk as the children ran for their families bosom. They were nearly silent as the hit a running vampire or exploded on the walkway and splashed several victims near by.
The parents yelled at the house, as the balloon crashed and exploded around . “We’re calling the police you bastards,” or some such language like that. It brought out the worst in them.
I, of course, was in sheer terror. I was not raised to be a villain. I was drafted into my brothers plans. I was hardly out of the cradle, but isn’t that how wars are fought? With the young children of the citizens and country? Yes.
I could see the damage wrought as masks flew from innocent, fleshy, childish faces. I saw that their eyes filled with cold water and fear. “This is a Halloween they will never forget,” I might have thought if I were not six years old or so.
I knew we would be in trouble. Even as a small child I recognized trouble when I saw it coming my way. I had some expertise at that. This was big trouble. No doubt about it.
We attacked many people as the night passed. A lull in traffic would arrive and we would wait like jackals in the brush. New water balloons would be filled and placed at the ready.
The first group now gone and not interested in warning the following group. We sat waiting to destroy our prey. Each new cadre coming to the field of battle unaware of the dangers lurking in the undergrowth. Little children out for Halloween candy were our targets. A simple but interesting concept arrived at naturally by two young boys with little or no supervision.
I thought for sure our parents would say something the next day and assign great penalties to us when they awoke from their short slumber, but, no.
That as a surprise!
The sidewalks had dried and the bits of colorful, broken, balloons were small and hardly noticeable to them in the house or perhaps they had already blown away. No evidence of a battle, remaining. Like Europe after fifty years had passed.
I expected hordes of neighbors coming to pound on the door, but no. Where they afraid? Had we really defeated them completely, or had we given them the best damn Halloween that they had ever had? I think the latter.
Our parents never said a word to us and we went unpunished for a night that I will never forget. Did we do it again? I don’t think so.
Could the neighbors be fooled more than once? We didn’t try our luck with that. We had to live in that neighborhood, after all.