Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week, I’m switching to my yearly Halloween-themed snippets, in a section from the book formerly known as The Very Next. This is my chronological second Atlantic City book, set from March–December 1939.

During breakfast, antagonistic, longterm houseguests Urma and Samantha Smart had some very choice words for the Halloween costumes and decorations on display, and the holiday itself. Now Sam has gone out to the bus stop, and stands out like a sore thumb among all the other kids.

This has been modified somewhat to fit ten lines, and been given more paragraph breaks. Gyll is pronounced like Gil, not Jill. Like his oldest sister Liylah, I was too used to the alternate spelling to want to change it after my kreatyv spylyngz phase ended. Cinnimin’s name was an honest misspelling, not an attempt at creativity, but I kept it for the same reason.

Cinni had dressed as a devil, Sparky was a dog, Babs was a friendly witch, Stacy was a wizard, and Elmira was a princess.  Barry and Gary, standing off to the side, hadn’t worn costumes, though they could use the excuse of being too old and boys besides.  Babs was now in eighth grade, and in a minority coming to school in costume.  She got away with it for one more year because she was a girl.

Violet and Mandy came out to the bus in their own Halloween costumes, an angel and an antebellum girl, respectively, while Tina and Gyll came dressed as pirates.  Terri and John, like Barry and Gary, were too old to come to school in costume, though that hadn’t stopped John from dressing up as a dapper ringmaster.

The Valli children from next door, fifteen-year-old Lotta and thirteen-year-old twins Robert and Jane, had also flouted the unspoken rule against older students coming to school in costume.  Lotta was a ballerina with a little too much skin showing, Jane was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and Robert was the Cowardly Lion.

“The holy roller didn’t dress up, I see,” Lotta said. “I don’t know how anyone could possibly shun Halloween, since you get free candy and money for doing nothing, you get to wear a costume all day long, and the parties are always fun.”

14 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Halloween costumes at the bus stop

  1. Sounds like quite the variety of costumes. Though it would be hard to be in the minority without a costume at her age.


  2. Great descriptions of all the costumes. I’d love to have a picture of them all at the bus stop–sounds like a Halloween party right there on the street. 🙂 Your vintage pictures are wonderful!


  3. Love your blog’s Halloween theme. I also love the vintage illustrations. The top one sent me back to my childhood. I swear it was in my first grade reading book.
    Nice snippet! I feel like I’m in the crowd at the bus stop, checking out each costume. Love it!


    1. Nobody likes Sam or her mother! There are times when Sam shows glimmers of wanting and trying to be more like other kids instead of a fundamentalist, but her fear of her mother holds her back for a long time.


  4. The meanness of children never fails to amaze me (and doesn’t seem to change with the passage of the decades). Lotta should show a little less skin and a little more compassion!


  5. I’m in my mid-40s and I’m still dressing up at Halloween. I don’t even need the money and candy. 😉 Great snippet, Carrie-Anne. 🙂


  6. I always enjoy the costumes kids wear for Halloween, esp. the home-made ones. Very clever. Love the vintage photos/drawings.


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