You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living until the escape becomes the habit. David Ryan
Sugar and spice and everything nice that's what little girls are made of. Houston, we have a problem with this anatomy and physiology theory. The problem arises when a sweet heart with a sweet tooth and a double X chromosome falls into the pit of despair clinging to the last link on the DNA chain, screaming, pleading and begging for the snips and snails and puppy dog tails gene. I know of such a woman.
The October morning sunshine illuminated the beauty of the perfect autumn day. The trees were at their peak in color and the weather was crisp and invigorating. For Isabella this was the most wonderful time of the year, not Christmas. She whistled and hummed while she dressed with care. After squeezing into her girdle she chose her prettiest dress, a
black A-line trimmed with orange. She looked like a reversed pumpkin, but it represented Halloween and her yearly guilt free shopping trip. A slow twirl in front of the mirror and she
was ready to go. If she could kick up her heels in celebration she would, but her knees bothered her. Instead she fantasized about the long, lean aisles filled with candy in super sized packages at the warehouse store outside of town. This brought a smile to her face and a lightness to her heart. Unfortunately, her light heart slowed down every time she had an affair with her first and only love. Chocolate.
The drive to the store was perfect. Isabella revelled in the beauty of her town. The tree lined streets were ablaze with color. Homes were decorated with pumpkins, bales of hay and scarecrows. Other houses decided to go the haunted house route then decorated with jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, and witches. Isabella decorated her home like a grave yard with head stones sporting funny sayings revealing how the corpse died. Her favorite was the classic, rest in peace. It's not scary but it's a soothing thought. Peaceful rest alluded her. There were spider webs strewn all around her porch and a gigantic black spider hovered above the door. She considered the black widow as her guardian angel of sorts. All of these sights reminded her of her fantasy becoming reality. She could go on her annual shopping trip and stock up on as much chocolate as she wanted without judgement or question. Halloween represented treats, and with this trick of buying in bulk nobody knew of her illicit affair.
Her mood was so light that the horrific parking situation didn't bother her. She even parked in the furthest spot to get in a little exercise, another annual event. She took in a deep, long breath when she arrived at the door for a couple of reasons. One, because she wanted to savor the moment and two, she needed to catch her breath from the long trek to the store. She flashed her membership card along with a sneaky grin at the greeter then headed for the candy aisle. If she wasn't self-conscience and out of shape she would have skipped. Once she arrived at the back of the store she gasped in horror then her heart went into rapid palpations. The candy wasn't there. It seemed they rearranged the store. Again, she took in deep breaths to regain her composure. To soothe herself she decided this wasn't a problem but would only add to the anticipation. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Right? In her case absence would make the heart grow stronger. When she regained her composure she resumed her quest to find her lover's new home.
Time stopped while she searched the store for candy. After ten minutes of frantic searching and avoiding the crowds in front of the sample booths she found it. She started singing Amazing Grace and how it saved a wretch like her, because right next to the produce was her idea of heaven. Candy bars, lots and lots of candy bars. There were many to choose from and there were at least thirty bars to a box. She took her time shopping and allowed her king sized tootsie roll fingers to trace the brand names of the candy. Each kind meant something to her. They were all special. After she delighted in smelling each type she began the process of choosing her mates. Tenderness radiated through her every time she chose a box and placed it into the cart with care. Where to begin? Mounds, Reese's, M&M's, Hershey Bars, Almond Joys, Kit Kat bars, because they needed a break, all held a place in her heart as well as her stomach. They all were coming home with her. Every last one of them would be devoured with lust.
After foreplay she headed for the checkout counter. If she was in town this might bother her, but because she only came to this warehouse store once a year at Halloween she didn't give buying this much candy a second thought. Nobody knew her. It's kind of like when you go to a dirty motel on the edge of town which has hourly rates for the rooms, even the VIP room. It's seedy, skanky and adds to the thrill because she is out in broad day light indulging her vice while remaining anonymous.
She placed her membership card on top of the first boxes of candy while she unloaded the rest. This would speed up the checking out process. Even though she loved the freedom and liberation of shopping unrecognized the shame began to infiltrate her. Getting home with this care package safe and fast was the most important thing to her. When she put the last of the boxes on the conveyor belt and walked to the register she looked into the eyes of a young girl who lived on her street, Katie.
"Ms. Gamble! Hi, it's nice to see you. I just started working here last week." Katie said.
Isabella stared in shock at the bubbly, tall, skinny red head who grew up. She's not five anymore. How did this happen? What is going on? The sweat seeped out of her forehead and above her upper lip. She licked her lips in a nervous reaction and tasted the sweat. It was salty, not sweet. Is this how the saying, pouring salt in wound came about? Her heart for the second time in the store, third time if you count the long hike from the car to the entrance of the store went into tachycardia. She knows this term because it was the word of the day at dictionary.com. The ironic thing was the day after learning this word the next word was, thanatopsis. The definition of this word is a view or contemplation of death. Isabella now was afflicted with two t-word ailments. She now has to dig up some dignity and grace to get through this transaction.
"Katie, is that you all grown up? I can't believe you are old enough to have a job. It's lovely to see you." She shoved her Visa at Katie to get the ball rolling.
"Ms. Gamble, you sure have a lot of candy here. Are you going to be the cool lady on the block who gives out the big candy bars? My little brother and his friends will be stoked.
I think it's cool for you to spend all this money for Halloween. Most people don't even pass out candy anymore. All the porch lights are off. You are going to make a lot of kids happy."
She talked fast and non-stop. It took a minute for the words to strike a blow.
"No! No that's not..." she stopped when she saw the confusion and fear on Katie's face because her voice rose and teetered on hysteria. "Oh Katie, you found me out. Let's keep this a secret so I can surprise the trick or treaters. It's more fun when they aren't expecting it. Don't you think?" Her legs trembled. Katie's smile returned then she handed her the receipt, "Your secret's safe with me Ms. Gamble."
Isabella left the store and started her long walk to the car. The sun was still shining and the temperatures were warm, but she was chilled to the bone. Her legs shook and now her hands joined in. Her happy holiday was turning into a nightmare. She needed to pacify herself. Deep breaths, deep breaths Katie said my secret was safe. While she was unloading the candy she brainstormed. If I set aside one box of candy for the trick or treaters it will be alright. If Katie doesn't say anything then I hand out the lollipops as planned. Everyone will be happy. I will just turn my porch light off the second the candy bars are gone, if I even have to use them. All the boxes were loaded into the car except for one, a box of Three Musketeers. It rode shotgun. With her problem solved her happiness returned. She looked down at her precious cargo, unwrapped one and took a bite. The chocolate hit her bloodstream and her heart slowed down. The tune she loved raced into her mind and she sang it with glee, It's the most wonderful time of the year.
The bewitching hour arrived. It was Halloween night. Isabella filled her plastic bowl with the lollipops. In the corner hidden under a towel was one box of candy bars she would hand out just in case. It was hard picking out which one to give away, but when done she was proud of her new found strength. This might be a fun night after all. When the trick or treaters were done she would settle in for a marathon of Top Chef: Just Desserts.
When it was still light out the toddlers and preschoolers started trick-or-treating. Isabella ewwwwwed and ahhhhhd at the princess's, firemen and kitty cats. They were all precious and delighted to get lollipops. At dusk the parade stopped for awhile and the transition from light to dark began. This is when the older trick-or-treaters came out. There was nothing to worry about because she had plenty of lollipops left.
The doorbell rang and she opened the door. "Trick or Treat!!" She stumbled back a bit from the volume of the chant. There must have been twenty kids shoving pillowcases at her. She filled them up and noticed a bunch of other groups each with a minimum of twelve kids. The neighborhood was invaded by kids eager for their sugar fix. Vans pulled up and parked and more kids spilled out to go door to door. Isabella's heart began to beat fast when she saw Katie dressed as the devil walk up with a big smile, a pitch fork and a plastic pumpkin.
"Ms. Gamble you inspired me. I went home after work the day I saw you. I told my mom how you were going to pass out the big candy bars and suggested she and the other neighbors do the same. We wanted to bring back the glory days of Halloween. Well, word got out and all the kids are coming to our street. Isn't that amazing?" then she held out her pumpkin.
The sweat began again. She thought well, o.k. I was prepared for this. She uncovered the big candy bars and put one in Katie's pumpkin. Well, just like a dog can smell fear, the kids could smell candy. Children of all ages kept coming while chanting trick or treat, then hooting and hollering about the jackpot they received bringing more kids to her house. Isabella was on auto-pilot and she passed out candy bar after candy bar, and kept opening more boxes. The children were cheering and clapping. Once the wave of kids left she turned off her porch light hoping to keep them away. She went to her stash and although she suffered a big loss there were still some left.
A few minutes later her doorbell rang and more trick-or-treaters were outside her door chanting the worst words she will ever hear in her life. Her porch light was on a sensor and she forgot to turn off the main switch. Another dozen or so kids came up celebrating and high-fiving each other after getting the big candy bar. The neighborhood was like Mardi Gras! She looked like a zombie as she went for more boxes of candy and passed them out. The color drained from her face, her eyes were blank and when she went to protest no sound came from her mouth. After the box she handed out was gone she looked into her kitchen and noticed all the candy was gone. The frenzy began. The umbrella next to the front door came in handy as she smashed her porch light to smithereens. At first the kids thought it was a show, but soon realized the lady with the big candy bars was going mad and they ran screaming down the road.
Inside her house she panicked. There must be more candy bars here. I always have some stashed just in case. She ran to the book case where she had one of those fake books that holds things inside. Where is it? She methodically began to check every book. She grabbed Eat, Pray, Love and threw it on the ground, pushed passed Dr. Phil's ultimate Weight Solutions book which was right next to the South Beach Diet. She shoved When food is Love and The 7 habits of highly effective people on the ground. Next with one big sweep of her arm she wiped out a whole shelf of books except for one, Women, Food and God. For a moment she stood holding the book and sighed. Hmmm. I always meant to read this. The next instant she threw the book through the front window sending glass shards everywhere.
Where is that book!? The book shelf also held movies. The books and DVD's were mixed up. This was a catastrophe of epic proportions. Like a woman searching for her lost baby she started throwing movies, book and CD's in the air. Then she came across the movie, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This stopped her. She looked at the cover then hugged it tightly to her chest." Oh Willy I need you. I need you. I need you." Tears ran down her cheeks so fast it blinded her. She stumbled to the couch and sat down then began to sing the Willy Wonka song.
Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three.
Come with me
And you'll be in a world of pure imagination. Take a look and you'll see into your imagination...
The song lulled her into a trance until she remembered the part where the boat started spinning and spinning. It was exactly what was happening in her head.
She released a primal yell and stomped on the movie. She kept screaming until she found one of the fake books. She ripped it opened with shaky hands only to find it didn't have any candy bars in it, but it did have a Smith and Wesson revolver for the just in case moments of life. Well, it was that moment in her life. She grabbed the gun and headed for the kitchen.
I have to have some in here. She ran to the drawers and found a big frying pan. It reminded her of Nancy Regans, "just say no" ads in the 80's. She then started to chant. This is my brain, this is my brain in pain. Where the hell is my candy!! Drawer after drawer was pulled out and thrown onto the ground looking for a fix. Nothing. There was nothing. Then she looked to the freezer. Sometimes she would freeze her York Peppermint patties to get that extra blast of cool air. She opened the freezer door using the revolver. The revolver morphed into her new hand. She used it to throw the frozen vegetables and ice trays out of the way. Nestled in the back was an old Klondike bar with the wrapper half-way torn off. "Ice cream, What the hell? I hate ice cream. Then another little jingle went through her brain on pain. "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" Her heart was going as fast as a Maserati now. Her brain was in pain. Her hands shook and her knees buckled. The salty sweat and tears mocked her as the Klondike jingle played over and over in her head. "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" She pierced the freezer burned ice cream with the revolver and walked away from the freezer.
Pain seared her brain. Her ears were ringing. Her revolver hand was experiencing numbness and tingling. Knocks on her door echoed through the house with more chants of trick or treat mingling with the evil mocking ice cream jingle. She used the revolver as a fork and shoved the Klondike bar in her mouth. The first bite gave her brain freeze, but it was nothing compared to the brain on pain scenario. "Ugh..Ice cream. I hate ice cream" she mumbled with a mouthful. She ate another bite of the old cracked ice cream bar and it wasn't 'till the third bite she tasted chocolate. The ecstasy filled her soul. Her heart slowed. Her knees stopped buckling. The tears stopped flowing. The room stopped spinning and her brain didn't hurt anymore. Her revolver hand took charge and she mumbled one last word before her shaky fingers assisted her to a peaceful rest.