Halloween was an incredibly magical time of year when I was growing up. The news stories were full of apples filled with razor blades and unwrapped candy sending children into comas. And somehow, the lure of free candy allayed our fears and we busily set about buying or creating our costume.

It was a simpler time in that store bought costumes were quick, easy, and cheap. Nearly every Saturday morning cartoon character was adequately represented on the shelf in a box containing a plastic mask, meant to pinch every last hair on your head (not to mention make you gasp for air), and a plastic suit with a “likeness” to the character, meant to be worn over your clothes.

I wore my share of masks and plastic suits stretched over my winter coat at my mother’s insistance. But Halloween was never as magical as when we made our own costumes.

One particular year, perhaps it was 1980, I had the idea of dressing as a crayon. I can’t remember if it was a book than inspired me or just the box of Crayola 64 with the built-in crayon sharpener.

We chose blue for the color. Perhaps it was my favorite color or perhaps it was the only posterboard available at the store. On the light blue posterboard, my mother sketched the label and together we painted the Crayola markings in black. With the dark blue posterboard, she created and fastened two shoulder straps to the top of the label and we made the perfect cone for the top of my head.

It was perfect. For the Halloween parade.

Even in creativity, there is competition. This year was going to be my year. I wanted to win. Not because I simply wanted to be the winner but because I thought I was the best.

We marched down to the tennis courts where we paraded in front of the judges. However, I discovered a major flaw in my costume. The posterboard, while the appropriate size to represent a crayon label, was too long for my body. The length hit me somewhere below the knees making it nearly impossible for me to walk.

I did my best penguin shuffle past the judges and that crayon won. I won.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

This was my first attempt at joining in the RemembeRED meme for Write on Edge. The prompt: Reach back to a costume that made an impression. Show it to us with your words, draw us into the emotions it evoked at the time. (limit 400 words). 

I welcome any constructive feedback for this memoir inspired post!

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