At the end of the day, have you ever dreamed of horrible retribution towards your darling, loving, cute, sweet children? Before you put your hand over your mouth in shock and look at me as if I just transformed into a hideous monster, relax! We’ve all felt it, we’ve all thought about it, and we have all yearned for it. Just once, you want to see that look of terror you always wear when your teenager walks out the door to “go hang out”.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; Halloween is not merely an ancient pagan practice to celebrate the night the dead wander. It’s also becomes the night you can get your yearly dose of well-earned revenge for all the stomach-churning stunts they have pulled on you simply by being kids.
It has been a few years, but being as this is Halloween, I thought I'd share how I got mine a few years ago! Do you want to know how I did it? (insert evil, cackling laughter)
Okay, first of all, I recommend you wait until they are at least thirteen years old before you attempt this. I was able to hold off until they were fourteen, but it was hard, let me tell you. However, I needed that time to recruit a couple of partners in crime.
I suggested the boys put on a Halloween party, and I would host it. Now, you would think they would be suspicious right then, knowing me so well. But no, their bright, innocent eyes lit up at the thought of junk food, movies, and boisterous fun. The boys immediately started calling friends who already had rings coming out of every orifice in their bodies, and telling them they were having a “goth” party and to dress appropriately, all black with black kohl-rimmed eyes, blood red lips, the whole shebang. I asked, “But this is supposed to be a costume party, isn’t it?” They failed to see the sarcasm.
As those two huddled in the oldest boy room planning totally inappropriate activities for the night, I made my own phone calls. I simply said, “It’s on,” and then hung up to deep laughter coming from the other end of the line. Little did my little darlings know what was in store.
On that fateful night, everything was in place. I set up the mood as soon as they walked into our rural yard. The old, discarded mannequin I had found in a garbage dumpster in back of a city department store, hanging from a tree by its neck. There was a stuffed mask of a dead man lying on a tree stump that we used for a chopping block for firewood, complete with red theatre blood and axe, its blade imbedded deep right by the throat. I had also hidden an ancient cassette player in a tree with pre-recorded cackling laughter noises (which I do naturally, so it wasn’t a stretch when I made it) playing to set the mood. I watched them walk up the drive to the house. It was hard, suppressing my mirth as they stopped dead and then giggled nervously, walking to the back door with caution.
The mood was set. It was time to turn up the heat a little.
As they settled in and sat around, scoffing down the packaged chips, drinking the canned pop and ignoring my carefully prepared homemade food that even hinted at being healthy, I looked out the window to see two large, shadowy figures slink out of the neighbour’s house to the farmer’s field behind my house. I suppressed the smile and turned to announce, “There is a scavenger hunt scheduled in the farmer's field in back, so finish up your food and I’ll explain how it works.”
My youngest was excited as he told everyone, “Yeah, and Mom has great prizes for the winners.” Little did my dearest know that the prizes were simply camouflage; it was a lure. But it worked, teenagers being the greedy little creatures that they are.
I led my unsuspecting victims to the dark field rimmed in bush consisting of spruce trees and popular, forbidding in the dark. I made sure I took them down the pathway closest to the woods as I handed out the slips of paper leading them to further clues. Every once a while creepy sounds emanated from those trees, and glimpses of white could be seen slipping between the spaces of the bare branches.
I noticed the kids were becoming increasingly nervous, to the point of forgetting they hated adults within feet of them and started to huddle close to me.
Screams erupted from all around me as a white-faced man, with one arm gone and dripping blood suddenly broke from the woods and ran right across our path, followed quickly by the startling sound of a chainsaw coming from the forest wall, and then a crazed, heavily jacketed man with a white hockey mask ran after the first one, yelling angrily and brandishing the chainsaw. Two girls and all of the boys turned and fled, running as fast as they could back to the house, but one girl just stood beside me, frozen and whimpering, “I have to pee, I have to pee.”
I hurried the girl back to the house behind the others and she immediately went into the bathroom as the other huddled on the couches. “Was it real, Mom, was it real?” I was so tempted to lead them on, but I reluctantly told them it was part of the fake scavenger hunt. As they all settled down and I put on a movie, (of course, it had to be a Freddy Kruger movie), the next part of the plot was put in motion. Before slipping out of the house, I noticed the boys had happy grins with the girls arm-clinging and head-shoulder-resting to comfort themselves.
I placed the mask inspired by the “Scream” movie on my face and waited. I could just hear the progress of the movie through the window in the livingroom. Thank Heaven it was a warm night. Just at the right moment, I threw myself against the window, the mask plastered against the window in the spare shine of the porch lamp. More shrill cries of horror filled me with joy. The same girl ran to the bathroom again. I couldn’t help think as I wandered back into the house that her mother really should look into that girl’s loose bladder problem.
The kids turned off the movie early, insisting it was old, they had seen it, they knew how it ended, all the excuses that, by mutual silent consent they would all believe, and went down to the basement to the sleeping bags scattered on the floor. I had no worries about anything happening; they were all too scared to be thinking of romance, anyway. They were too busy checking each nook and cranny down there, making sure there were no more surprises waiting for them. Besides, they knew I would be lurking closely.
My husband came in the back door as I poured the tea, traces of white face paint still clinging to his jaw where he had missed washing it off and his miraculously re-generated arm in the bloody sleeve. We settled on the couch and decided to watch TV and relax. After a few minutes, he asked, “So, how did it go?”
A sweet, content smile crossed my lips as I raised my teacup. “Quite gratifying. I see you and Dave managed to get the chainsaw working.”
“Yep. It turned out good, eh?” he grinned.
“Mmmm…” I hummed as I sipped my well-earned, honey-sweetened tea and watched as a lioness crept across the TV screen, teaching her young how to hunt.
“Next year, it’s my turn to watch the fun,” he informed me.