By Jim Freeze
I have many memories, mostly good and from childhood. You may not agree with my assessment but my memories, however, may be different than yours on the same occasion. That is the memory holder’s prerogative. For example, I thought the possibility of going to hell was something to worry about.
I have a special uncle who went out of his way to make sure my birthdays were unforgettable. He said since my birthday fell on October 31, Halloween, he wanted to separate it from all the chaos of that day. My tenth birthday stands out particularly.
The autumn’s quiet arrival seemed to deceive that year. But as I remember when I looked closely I could see a bit of orange on the Maple leaves, a touch of red on the Oak and the Poplars were turning more and more golden by the day.
I remember expressing to my uncle that year and hoping that he would come up with some ideas that would go beyond the common celebration. He told me that nothing he and I could do would be considered common by the people around me.
There were always fireworks on my birthday but this time with a proud, yet melancholy fervor, my uncle almost cried out loud that this year would be the best yet.
I remember trembling like a leaf as the appointed hour drew near. It seemed the hours dragged by slowly. A murmur ran through the crowd as all the children made ready to trick or treat. My uncle made a special point to tell me not to pet the bunny rabbit. I had learned not to question him so I just made sure to do as he requested.
My first stop was at the house occupied by what was known as the Rose lady who now and then added a touch of home- grown tomatoes to her rose garden. I rung the doorbell and she opened the door.
“My, you are a cute little devil,” she said with a smile. I responded with, “Trick or Treat?”
She looked at me with her wandering blue eyes which were miraculously darkened, and there appeared in them a murderous fire.
“Remember,’ she said, ‘don’t pet the bunny rabbit,”as she handed me a chocolate covered stick of licorice.
As I was leaving the Rose lady, a kid was coming up the walkway and had stopped to pet the cute little bunny rabbit. I thought to myself, this can’t be good. Just then, the sky lit up over the city about 20 miles east of our bedroom community. A missile had hit directly in the center of the town. The shock wave rolled in all directions. We had been warned, but there is always someone who ignores the warnings.
I called my uncle, Lucifer, and told him I believed he may have gone too far with the fireworks this year. My uncle responded, “The happy birthday is over and the sinner takes all.”
Author Bio: Jim Freeze is seventy- one years old and retired. He has been happily married for fifty-two years and has two grown sons along with two grandchildren. He began writing in early 2012 to have something to do or to fool his wife into thinking he’s too busy to help her. His short stories have been featured in several publications including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Calliope Magazine, and The Original Writer.