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Published by Timothy Noonan

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Published by: Timothy Noonan on Feb 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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LostTim NoonanHe was supposed to like Halloween. All 8 year olds like Halloween; his mother had told him so.But Chris didn¶t like Halloween. Still, his mom had taken him to the store to pick out a costume.He used to go trick-or-treating with Charlie, and it was fun. One time Charlie got a caramel applefrom Mrs. Spenser and it got stuck in his pillow case. It was really funny. But Charlie wasn'taround anymore.His mom pulled out a black shirt with white bones on it. ³Ooh, a skeleton. You¶d look cute as askeleton. Or this, it says µpoltergeist.¶ Scary!´Last year, his dad had taken him trick-or-treating, and it wasn¶t fun at all. His dad kept staring atthe older kids, and a couple of times his dad had forgotten where they were. Chris really liked thefake tombstones on the O¶Hare¶s lawn, they were creepy, but when he stopped to look at themhis dad said, ³Come on, Charlie.´ Then he made a funny screwed up face, like when he wasdrinking his beer, and started walking home. Chris had to run to catch up and his dad didn¶t sayanything else for the rest of the night.Chris shook his head. He didn¶t want to be a skeleton or a ghost, they were too babyish. ³Fine!´she threw the costume back, sending a plastic witch¶s cauldron to the floor. She started shakingher head and walked ahead of him.His mom and dad started yelling more and more after last Halloween. Now his dad wasn¶taround to take him trick-or-treating this year and his mom said he was probably old enough to goalone with Matthew and Greg. But he didn¶t want to, he didn¶t like Halloween.³I¶ll be the skeleton,´ Chris offered. But she kept walking. ³Please, Mom.´After he left, his mom started acting more and more like his dad did after Charlie went away. Shecried a lot and sometimes stared at things that Chris couldn¶t see.She stopped and reached into her purse. ³Here, I need to go outside. Just pick out whichever oneyou like best.´ She handed him two $20 bills. ³It¶s okay, I¶ll be right out front.´ She smiled andwalked out.He missed his dad, but mostly he missed Charlie, because his dad would call sometimes, but hecould only see Charlie when his mom took them to the cemetery. Charlie played with him all thetime up until he died, but his mom and dad didn¶t play with Chris that much anymore.Chris went back and picked up the crumpled skeleton shirt. He picked up a mask and the GrimReaper stick. He put the cauldron back in its spot next to a package of purple goo. He saw hismother look over her shoulder once and then pull out a pack of cigarettes. She didn¶t smoke infront of him. She always told him how bad smoking was for your lungs, so she must beembarrassed.
³I¶m sorry, Honey,´ the woman behind the register said through a mouthful of brownie. ³Youdon¶t have enough for all of these; you can get the shirt and the mask, or the shirt and the sickle, but not all of them.´Chris stood thinking. ³Do you want to go ask your mom? I¶ll keep these right here.´ She slid the pile to the side reassuringly.His mom was on the phone again. He was about to call to her but she seemed more upset. ³Idon¶t know, Julie. I¶m losing it«. We¶re broke« I miss Charlie.´ She took a long drag. ³Hell, Ieven miss Frank. And Chris, poor thing, I just keep snapping at him. It¶s not his fault. I just feelso«´Chris slipped away. He had learned it best not to interrupt his mom when she was on the phone.She¶d get mad and yell at him. Then later she¶d cry and hug him. He liked the hugs, but he didn¶tfeel right when she was crying when she was doing it.He opened the door to the office supply store. The bell jingled. He held his breath as he lookedover at his mom, but she didn¶t notice, she was rubbing her forehead. Nobody saw Chris take a Sharpie marker from the shelf and put it in his pocket. He walked upand down the aisles until he found one that was empty. He pulled the marker out and looked at it,a bright fluorescent orange.He took the cap off and looked over his shoulder to make sure he was alone. He crouched downon the floor and started to draw.³Christopher!´ his mother was red faced as she stormed down the aisle. ³How dare you leavethat store without telling me!´He panicked and fumbled to replace the cap on the marker.³What are you doing!? Did you steal that marker!?´ she grabbed it out of the hand.³Orange is your favorite and it¶s a Halloween color«´ he stammered. ³Mrs. Hamilton wouldn¶tlet me take the markers home from school«´³Are you drawing on the floor!?´ her voice was starting to attract attention. Chris¶s eyes began towell up.³No, I«´ he put his hand on his jacket.³When did you start stealing!?´He shook his head, unable to respond. She knocked his hand away and went into his pocket. ³Ican¶t believe you«´

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