Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008


Watch your kids, Parents. Don't let them wander around without you being there, or a responsible adult nearby and alert. It gets dark pretty early on October 31. No matter how powerful the headlights on a car or truck, kids in costumes can be hard, if not impossible, to see. Can you think of anything more sad than having a child injured or even killed while 'Trick or Treating'?

Watch your kids! If you're out there and see kids without supervision, you watch them, too! Yes, it is, too, your responsibility as a member of the community, as an adult, as a fellow American. Do it! This is supposed to be a fun evening for the kids. Make sure it stays that way!

Just to drive home the point, my friends, here's a repost of a short story I posted in October of 2006. It makes the point even if a fictional event. Happy Halloween!

"The Dark Road"
by benning (10/03)

Leaves skitter along the road in the chill autumn breeze. The road is a dark and quiet place.

The boy is eight years old. Dressed in a brand-new Batman costume, the cape a swirling dull sheen in the twilight, he skips along the dark road. He carries an empty sack in his hand. Halloween is just beginning. The mask he wears limits his vision, and he watches the roadway a few feet ahead to avoid holes and roadkill. He doesn't want to ruin his new costume.

He can hear his breath echoing in his ears and thinks of Darth Vader.

"Luke, I am your father," he intones in his best grown-up voice. He giggles and tries it again.

Light streams around him from behind, his shadow suddenly appearing ahead of his skipping form.

"I'm the Batman," he whispers.

Too late, he realizes something is different. The road ahead is filled with light and the elongated shadow of Batman.

He stops. A horn blares close behind. He turns, his eyes widening in shock, then fear.

He has no time to even scream before the huge truck strikes him.

The red taillights fade into the distance; leaves skitter along the road in the chill autumn breeze. The road is a dark and quiet place.


* * * * *


Howard and June pulled off the road and stared into the dark night. They sat in the car, silent, as they had done each Halloween for the past ten years.

Howard glanced at his wife, saw the tears glistening on her cheeks in the dashboard light. He took her hand and gently squeezed it. She squeezed his in return, her eyes never straying from the dark road ahead.

"We should've been with him," she murmured.

Howard said nothing. They'd been over this before. Many times. Everything that could've been said had been.

"He shouldn't've been out here alone," she whispered.

Howard turned away, stared out the windshield. "He couldn't wait, June. We told him to wait for us. You know that." His voice was quiet, gentling.

"We should've been with him," she whispered again.

Howard watched the dark, windy road and sighed.

At last, June sniffled, patted his hand, and scrabbled through her purse for her hanky. It was her signal that it was time to go. Over until the next Halloween.

Howard started the car, glanced in the mirrors, and pulled out. The headlights illuminated the road, and the swirling leaves ahead. He drove slowly and carefully.

* * * * *


The red taillights fade into the distance; leaves skitter along the road in the chill autumn breeze. The road is a dark and quiet place.

The boy is eight years old. Dressed in a brand-new Batman costume, the cape a swirling dull sheen in the twilight, he skips along the dark road. He carries an empty sack in his hand. Halloween is just beginning. The mask he wears limits his vision, and he watches the roadway a few feet ahead to avoid holes and roadkill. He doesn't want to ruin his new costume.


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5 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Very effective, Benning!

As a driver, I've come quite close to running down children who refuse to carry any lighting with them because they don't want to ruin the evening's spookiness. For the life of me, I don't understand why parents don't escort their children nowadays on trick-or-treat night.

benning said...

Probably because it's someone else's problem, and it eats into thier TV time.

A lot of useless parents out there!

shoprat said...

There was a time when a child anywhere in their neighborhood was surrounded by responsible adults called friends and neighbors. Sadly that is no longer the case.

camojack said...

Dark tale...

Brooke said...

I remember this from last year; it is just as impactive.

Nice to hear from you again, Benning! I was starting to think that you'd fallen into a vortex! ;)