Stars insisted on pushing pinpoints of white at the periphery of an inky sky.
The air encouraged everyone to come out and play.
Flashes of red danced like a moody disco ball over yellow tufts, as passing headlights hit a young woman’s dress.
She called out “Hold on a sec” and reached up for her friend’s shoulder to hold, noticing it was still warm from the glue gun, as she slid the silky strap of a platform shoe back into place with an elegantly gloved hand.
When they arrived at the bus stop, it was busy with good humor and disguise.
Neither a closed subway line nor a chilly wait for the city bus could dampen their spirits.
Not that night.
Wine had humorously loosened her red lips, making her long quirky friend throw back her plumed head in laughter.
The bus moaned to a stop, hissed and invited them up. She tossed her long unfamiliar hair over a shoulder and paid the fare. At the back of the bus, a young man with a painted face drunkenly began to croon “Heeeeeere she cooomes…”, drawing a cheeky smile and practiced wave from her, which elicited snickers as she strode to an empty seat.
She pulled her skirt and sash aside to make room for her feathery friend, who was politely muttering to an old woman beside them, “I am NOT Big Bird.”
They chattered during the long ride downtown about who would be at the party, while pointing out amazing costumes they saw along the route. Their anticipation itched more than their headwear. They grinned at each other when their stop finally came.
Back on the cool grey sidewalk, a mirror was pulled from a tiny purse. With thick lashes, she scanned her precise makeup, adjusted her crown and tucked a boyish strand of hair back under a golden wig as her avian friend confirmed their destination.
Music rubbed the doorframe as they entered the party, causing them to shimmy in.
At first glance, strangers couldn’t help but smile with recognition, were compelled to comment on their creativity, were drawn in by their friendly banter.
That Halloween, they easily tricked their new city to swirl around and suck them in as two of its own, all by wrapping their first big adventure in sequins and feathers.
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This post was written for Write on Edge’s RemembeRED memoir writing prompt.
The prompt went like this:
Reach back to a costume that made an impression. Show it to us with your words, draw us into the emotions it evoked at the time. Word limit is 400.
In 1999, my friend from this previous (and short) memoir post and I decided it was time to introduce ourselves to NYC.
On our first night out to meet new people, my accomplice was a 6’3″ bright yellow chicken. Her date was Miss America.
Did you see what our costumes were before I told you here? Concrit is always welcome.
What was your most memorable Halloween costume?
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