Wednesday, October 31, 2012

20 years ago, on a day much like today . . .

The date was October 31, 1992. A young, mysterious family of six pulled up to the new house on Cortez Drive in their white station wagon. No one knew where these strangers had come from, but judging by the constant stream of moving vans it was clear they intended to stay.

Just before twilight, a couple of the children, cleverly disguised as pigs and bunnies, emerged from the house and set out on their reconnaissance mission. At house after house they stopped, gathering intel and dangerous amounts of sugar along the way. (The parents would expect payment, after all.)

Meanwhile, back at the newly occupied house, swarms of children pressed their sticky fingers against the pristine doorbell, ignoring the "There's no candy here" sign. The woman inside occasionally appeared at the window, the dull glow of the incandescent light inside casting shadows across her unfamiliar face. But mostly the woman ignored the children, focusing on unpacking box after box of curious artifacts.

As the years passed, the neighbors suspected that something was slightly amiss at this new place. Alarming sounds were constantly being emitted from the yellow-hued structure: loud laughter, pitiful wailing, echoing booms, elephantine nose-blowing, thunderous stomping, and random bursts of operatic noise-making.

The sights were rather curious as well. A young girl (sometimes two) regularly climbed out her window after dark with a towel on her head. The boy seemed to have an unruly fascination with throwing rocks and knives. Sometimes the children chased each other around the house in crazed fury, sometimes in wild delight. And as if to throw invisible spies off their trail, these strange human beings left the house in a variety of costumes, from softball uniforms to princess dresses, at odd times.

Those who watched this house over the years, looking for suspicious activity, never found proof that the residents were particularly harmful. But as the house paint faded and the trees grew taller, one thing became increasingly clear: this 20-year-old structure has indeed housed a host of strange people over the years, but there's no doubt that the people there lived.


  1. This is quite possibly one of the most adorable things I have ever seen. I really want to know why the girl went out after dark with a towel on her head.

  2. Because she was weird. :) And she had a strange fascination with going for walks in the dark after taking a shower.

  3. Wow, I suddenly feel so much more... accomplished.