Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Ideal Costume

Sam breathed deeply, filling his chest with pride as he carried his bag into the bathroom. Below the shiny red paper the bag held a greater treasure than the Christmas present it once contained. Glancing around shyly, he determined he was best off stepping into a stall to effect his transformation. Not impressive if he did it in front of the other boys, he concluded, closing the door behind him. Slowly, with reverence, he extracted the two pieces of black clothing. Stepping carefully on the tops of his sneakers, he wiggled out of his blue jeans and slipped into the black cotton pants. He shed his t-shirt and struggled with the buttons as he closed the black shirt. The outfit was a little larger than he'd hoped, but he knew he still looked like his brother's magazine. Sam had only snuck glances at the forbidden pages, contraband even for his older brother to hold, but he had seen enough to both fall in love and know how to mimic it.

He pulled the black hat down over his head and carefully, balancing, he stepped into the black shoes usually reserved for church. Satisfied with his transformation (even if he wished the hat had a brim going all the way around his head, like the picture), he smushed his Sam Clothes into the bag and strode out of the stall. Seeing the bathroom empty, he panicked and hurried to find his class.

Sam found the tail end of his class's column, and wedged himself in place next to Geena, the witch, and Darius, Spiderman. Darius gave him an appraising glance and whispered, "Cool costume! You're a ninja, right? Where are your, uh, nunchucks?"

Sam's eyes widened with horror. "No! I'm a spy!" He hissed. "Like Spy vs. Spy, you know!"

Darius shrugged and turned his attention to the front, as the march had started. They shuffled down the hallway and out the front doors, blue paint peeling, into the cool, damp day. Sam nudged his way past Darius and Geena, looking for Jimmy. Jimmy would know who he was.

The parents lining their parade route cheered and clapped for the shuffling feet, many of which were trying not to slip on the wet leaves in their unusual shoes. Sam scanned the crowd, but saw no familiar faces. He reached out and tapped a green shoulder.

"Jimmy!" He exclaimed. "You're Frankenstein, right?"

"You bet," his friend confirmed, eyes gleaming through the tiny holes in his plastic mask. "And you're ... Wait, I can't see with this thing on. Uh, a man witch?"

"No!" Sam pouted. "A spy!"

As they walked, Sam's ears caught whispers from the sidelines ... "Look at the Frankenstein! And the ninja!" "Well, what's that one, a ninja?" "Ninja," "Warlock ..." Blushing, angry and embarrassed, he turned his eyes to his shoes. Black, shiny, they kicked up clumps of brown leaves.

Suddenly, he smiled. He squared his shoulders, looked up, and smiled at the crowd. He almost waved, like a beauty queen, but caught himself. That's right, Sam thought. A ninja, a witch. You'll never know what I really am, and that's how I like it. Only I know who I am.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Well done. I like the way you twisted the ending around and made it a happy story!

Princess Nijma

Princess Nijma