It was a brisk, autumn day—October 30th— in southeast Texas, the humidity mild after the unbearable summer, and I was out with my wooden walking stick, my red ball cap, my large oval sunglasses, and my light grey, nondescript sweatshirt. For a young man, I pulled off an old man quite well.
The bird lady—so called because she ran a bird sanctuary from her home, with all manner of birds squawking and screeching from her jungle backyard—was outside in her front yard, pretty red hair pulled up tight in a bun, long and lean body stretched out in God’s Glory as she hung a few last minute Halloween decorations and filled her giant orange hollowed out pumpkin with tasty treats for the children. I waved to her as I walked past her home—on the overgrown path between her yard and the drainage ditch—continuing beyond her property toward the sticky woods and the safety of solitude.
Once behind her property and out of sight, I took out the trash back stored underneath my sweater and plopped it behind a large gnarled oak tree. I rummaged through it to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything: rope, spooky goblin mask with green skin and yellow teeth and big ears, large kitchen knife, and duct tape. All was as planned. I stuffed the bag under some dead branches and leaves, concealing it well from anyone that might happen by on their own little adventure, and followed the drainage ditch on its southwest journey a half mile to my home.
I spent the rest of the day masturbating to porn on my computer and preparing some pickled herring—my two favorite hobbies. I took a nap at 4 p.m., woke up at dark, ate the rest of the herring, along with some cottage cheese and brown rice, and settled in for browsing online ads of single women in my area. I look for the redheads—much like the bird lady. I slept well that night, under a bright white moon and stained yellow sheets.
The next morning, I fixed myself a breakfast of scrambled eggs and plain yogurt with a black coffee to wash it down. I took a shower and shaved my body clean of all hair—afterward scrubbing my skin raw with my favorite purple loofah, so as to leave as little evidence of my presence as possible—and then spent the remainder of the day going over my routes of attack and escape, confident I had thought of every scenario.
The evening light came, and I put on the dark pants and sweatshirt I’d bought from the mall the week before. I removed all tags and wiped the clothes down with a lint brush, strapped on my new black boots, and sprinted to the oak tree. Sweat dripped down my underarms with exertion and nerves.
I arrive unseen, using the drainage ditch as cover, and put on my goblin mask. I stuff the rope in my back pocket and my knife in my belt. I shove the duct tape down my pants, next to my engorged penis. I double knot my shoelaces.
The sun finally falls, the excited shrieks of children fill the air, and I quietly approach the shrouded backyard of the bird ladies’ home. I listen to the chaotic chirping of the birds—a desperate plea for their master to heed—and slide open the screen door. It makes a gentle creak.
The house is filled with the calm glow of candles and the sweet scent of apples.
I’ve waited a long time for this. A year, in fact, since my last meal.
I love Halloween.