”You have to take her with you.” Our mother uttered those horrifying words and my sister Gail and I looked at each other in terror. Not that our little sister, Sandy, was anyone to be afraid of, with her red-gold curls and big blue eyes, but she was only six and we were so much older at seven and eight.
We had been planning our outfits for weeks and now mom wanted Sandy to tag along while we went in search of Halloween candy? Sandy didn’t even have a costume. We’d have to explain “Trick or Treat” to her. Although, to be fair, we’d only had to do a trick once in our vast experience. As part of a pack of neighborhood kids, we’d built a human pyramid.
It was too late for a fancy costume. Everyone would be heading out in another half hour. I eyed our sister’s petite frame.
Gail walked around Sandy as if searching for inspiration. “We could paint her face and give her a blanket as a cape.”
“It would take too long.”
“I want to be a princess.” Sandy peered up at us hopefully.
“You can’t. You don’t have a dress.” There was only one solution. “We’ll make her a ghost.”
“Then we won’t. We’ll lead her around.”
“But I don’t want to be a ghost.” Sandy’s words were somewhat muffled as I’d grabbed a sheet and thrown it over her head.
My sister’s hands stretched out in front of her, making her look like a sleep-walking spirit. “I can’t see.”
“Don’t worry. We’ll make sure you don’t trip over anything.” Although, I was being a bit optimistic as the sheet already dragged on the ground.
We joined the neighborhood kids, our plastic bags clutched in one hand, while Sandy stumbled along between us, “ET” style. We had her bag and as we traveled the rows of well-lit homes, our sacks of candy were growing heavier.
Until it rained.
One, by one, the other kids left, not willing to brave the storm, but we continued, traipsing down the street, promising Sandy, “Just one more house.”
By then her sheet hung in wet folds and sniffles could be heard from under the dripping mess, along with mumbled words that sounded like, “I want to go home.”
Eventually, even our stamina came to an end and we went back to the house. In the living room we dumped the piles of candy on the floor and Sandy’s wet face brightened. However, to this day, her view of sheets is very different from most people.