“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can't rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.” I repeated the quote from the The Crow as I rummaged through my candy bag.
“You are weird.” Lucero sat next to me, holding a bag labeled sweet body parts.
“The Crow has to be one of my favorite All Hallow's Eve movies.” I munched on a skull.
“I don’t know,” said Lucero, sucking on an eyeball. “I think I prefer the gorier themes. Movies that embrace the macabre spirits of Halloween, you know?”
“That’s the thing.” I tried stuffing one of Lucero’s eyeballs in my skull. “Most Halloween movies are filled with blood and guts, ghoulish guys running around with ginormous knifes, and busty girls screaming so loud that you have to wonder how they don’t pop a boob. But The Crow treats The Day of the Dead differently; in a kind of realistic way.” Lucero’s eyeball was too big for my skull so I gave it back.
“You sound as ancient as my mother.” She took a bite from a crooked finger. “Remember how she said her favorite part of the movie was when the old woman called Brandon Lee ‘santa muerte’ in the church? I think it reminds my mom of the graveyard parties her family used to have when she lived in Mexico.”
“I’m sure it does.” I spread our Halloween DVD collection on the coffee table. “What do you want to watch next?”
“Dracula!” Lucero bared sharp fangs, jumped backwards, and landed on the back of the couch.
I inserted Dracula in the DVD player, hovered to my friend’s side, and handed her a pair of sunglasses. “Put this on. I sensed a few trick-or-treaters walking this way. It’s your turn to hand out candy, and the glow of your eyes might be scarier than what their little minds can bare.”
“Let me! Let me!” said the voice of Lucero’s mother.
“Oh Mami!” Lucero looked toward the seemingly empty kitchen and smiled. “You are still immaterial. It’s only 8:15pm.”
“I never get to have any fun!” said the voice.
“Of course you'll get to have fun.” I focused my intent on the DVD player and the movie started playing. “We’ll go out with you at midnight, and you can spook the crap out of anyone one wearing those stupid hats and uncomfortable shoes, that make my kind look so unfashionable.”
The three of us laughed and our mirth was shaking the house when the bell ranged. Lucero popped herself next to the door, opened it, and a bunch of kids yelled, “Trick-or-treat!”
And then they ran away screaming.
“You didn’t wear the sunglasses, did you?” I scolded Lucero.
“I did,” my friend glowered at me. “They freaked out because you are still sitting in midair.”
This was not my original All Hallow’s Eve post. I’ll share that one next week. Today, I wanted to write something for a dear friend who breathed her last assisted earthly breath. She was shot while attending a funeral, some time ago, and this morning her father honored her last wish and took her off life support.
I’m very proud of her dad for making the tough decision. I know the gesture made his daughter very happy.
I never met my friend’s mother, but I fell in love with her Calaveras de azucar, which her daughter prepared every All Hallow’s Eve. If we were together, we would gather all our scary movies and pick what to watch that night. In truth, we always watch the same movies: The Crow (my choice), Dracula (her favorite), and a random ghost movie to honor our departed. The last ghost movie we watch together was Just Like Heaven, and we laughed until our bellies hurt when it was over, and we realized the main character was not really dead. A couple of trick-or-treaters came to the door while we were laughing, and although they didn’t run away (like in my story), their parents looked like they really wanted to bolt.
Think of my friend when you light your candles tonight. And if a gorgeous 30-something-year-old girl, with crimson tipped spiked up jet black hair, tries to spook you tonight, make her happy by pretending to be terrified, remember that this is her first All Hallow's Eve as a ghost.
Blessed All Hallow’s Eve, my Wicked Darlings!