I was twelve. I was Bullitt. None of my friends understood why my Halloween costume was a turtleneck and why I wasn't carrying a lightsaber like they all were. Even Mark had one, and he was Chewbacca. But I loved cars and I wanted to be Steve McQueen, so I was Bullitt, and Bullitt was so fucking cool he didn't need a lightsaber. His Mustang was his lightsaber.
But so they screwed off for the cemetery to duel and to smoke the Camels Dustin had found in his mom's purse, and I was left alone with my shoulder-holstered capgun and my grinning pumpkin, half-full of candy. It was all right. We knew this was our last time around the neighborhood together, the last time candy would be our main concern. There was no point in making a big deal out of it.
And I had my own agenda anyway. I wanted an apple with a razor blade in it. Miss Watkins had spent the better part of the week leading up to Halloween lecturing us on the dangers inherent in the combination of candy and strangers; her shrillest tone and most lurid images were reserved for the dreaded Razor-Blade Apple. None of her students had ever had the misfortune of biting into one of these horrors, thank the lord, but a teacher friend of hers in Danville had a cousin whose son didn't let her check his Halloween haul before digging in, and now he has to be fed through tubes. Tubes!
I had to find one. This became my mission. Before I outgrew Halloween, I had to save it. I had to find either A) a childless old crone, B) a quiet loner with a large cellar, or C) the person you'd least suspect; then, having identified the most likely suspect, march up to his/her door (I envisioned a creaking porch and boarded-up windows, unless I landed on choice C, in which case it would be a ranch house just like mine), ring the doorbell, shout "Trick or treat!" while still looking cool in my turtleneck, and receive the doctored apple; and then, finally, gather a crowd to witness as I slice the apple in two and carefully yet triumphantly remove the deadly razor blade. Sirens blare, two uniforms lead the crone/loner/suburban housewife away in cuffs, and Charlie Winter is the savior of Halloween. This is what Bullitt would do. This is what I was going to do.
(Check back tomorrow for Part Two of this Thrilling Halloween Adventure!)