Diary, Photo, Prince Edward Island

Hallowe’en in Charlottetown

The jack-o-lantern shone out from the sun porch window with beneficence. The first set of trick-or-treaters came at a quarter to 5. Four kids of about 12 or 13, angel, devil, ballerina, Jedi. I held out my bowl of candy: butter caramels, chocolate caramels, nougats, boxed raisins, mints, and butterscotches. I told the kids to take what they wanted. The first three chose nougat and the last, a boy, took a mixed handful. I liked that he did that. My boyfriend napped on the sofa while I made supper and talked to my parents on the phone. More trick-or-treaters came as it started to get dark. In all, I counted 16 kids this year. Not so many. There was a little girl who said reproachfully to J, who had answered the door, “You didn’t hear the bell”, and he explained that he was trying to get to it but it took a moment or two. We laughed over this as we ate supper. The last group came close to 8 pm, just before curfew. They were a little older, and I gave them generous handfuls of candy. Around 9 pm, we extinguished the pumpkin, turned out the lights, and went for a walk. It was a balmy night with an almost-full moon and a gusty wind. We walked down Pownal to the yacht club (I wanted to see the moonlight on the harbour) as I relayed a dream I’d had which ended with a young man playing guitar using my left muddy boot as a slide. At the boat launch, the waves crashed in with exhilarating vigour. A multitude of seagulls gathered on the empty floating docks. Walking back, up Queen Street, we saw four costumed women approaching the Confederation Centre. Two with capes went down the steps, heading, I’m sure, for the Lovely Witches Ball, but the other two, one with little fluffy cat ears, hesitated and turned back up Grafton. We kept going toward Fitzroy to see the jack-o-lanterns in the architects’ office windows. They were numbered for public voting, an annual tradition. I liked the ones with small gourds and corn cobs used for props: cigars, noses, ears, hands, and warts. A pen and pad of paper were taped to the front door and a blueprint tube was stuffed with paper votes. I wrote my choice and put it in the almost full tube. Later that night, we heard revellers coming home from the bars—I went to the window and saw a figure in mummified white with a white skull mask—walking under the window with three female figures. And so Hallowe’en passed and I went back to my dreams.

Simple Jack-o-Lantern

My Simple Jack

Standard

2 thoughts on “Hallowe’en in Charlottetown

  1. What a beautiful Jack 0′ Lantern! And an exquisite account of your evening. When my son was younger, we had a rise in trick or treating, with several groups of his schoolfriends setting off in costume. Now, things have gone quiet again and although we had sweets, only two groups passed the door. I love the way you weave your dreams into the surreality of the Halloween evening. They fit in so well.

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