An icy wind cut through the fabric of my jeans and numbed my legs as I paused under the streetlight at the end of the block. When had it ever been so cold in October? And where was everybody? Our dark street was as deserted as it might have been on the bitterest winter night. Even the dry and brittle leaves seemed lonely as they scratched along the pavement of the empty road. My gloved fingers fumbled with the pillowcase that contained all that I had to show for the evening, a take that seemed disappointingly modest compared to the great hauls I recalled from Halloweens past.
With every exhalation I could feel my breath condense against my perspiring face, which was concealed behind the stifling latex of a full-head Frankenstein mask. I pushed back the bulky cuff of my heavy coat to reveal my watch. 7:09. Still nearly an hour of trick-or-treating left. As I trudged onward, a rivulet of sweat trickled from the back of my mask and descended between my shoulder blades, causing me to shudder. I let out a short gasp against my unforgiving mask, adding more moisture to the rubbery enclosure that was turning my expedition into an alternating series of smothering heat and quivering chills. Read More