When i was ten years old i moved into a real house, in a real neighborhood. Before that i’d only ever lived in apartments. It was a pretty mixed neighborhood with poor people and rich people in it. I remember thinking that some of the houses out here looked like castles. Not th’ one we lived in, of course, but some of them.
Soon after we moved in there i made friends with Mikey Burke. Mikey Burke was th’ best white basketball player in Atascocita. He also lived in one of th’ castles. So one day, just before Halloween, Mikey got this idea to make a scarecrow and see if we could actually scare people with it. We raided Mikey’s dad’s closet and found a pair of overalls (which i never saw him wear, he only ever wore suits as far as i knew) and a red plaid shirt. ‘My dad doesn’t wear these’ Mikey said, ‘he’ll never miss ’em.’
We got a bunch of newspapers and shredded them and stuffed the overalls and th’ plaid shirt. We got a pair of old boots we found in th’ hall closet, and a black felt hat too. It was perfect. All we needed was their jack o lantern for th’ head, and we’d made ourselves a fine scarecrow, or scareperson, we hoped.
We waited til twilight. Then we laid th’ body down in th’ street. We covered th’ pumpkin head real good with th’ hat so it would look more real. We got a bottle of ketchup and dumped it all over and around our scarecrow and on th’ street. Then we simply hid in th’ bushes and tried to watch people reactions to th’ dead guy laying in th’ street.
Lots of cars honked. Some knew it was a gag, of course. Some people freaked out and got out of their car to check on th’ guy, then looked around all embarrassed when they realized he was fake. We covered our mouth’s and giggled in th’ bushes. ‘This isn’t funny’ one lady yelled, ‘I’m calling th’ cops!’ We left th’ guy there. We didn’t believe her.
Another car pulled up and stopped, a man got out and looked at th’ guy in th’ street. Mikey stiffened up, it was his dad. His dad got back into his car and burned rubber into th’ driveway, slammed on th’ brakes and got out yelling ‘Mikey Burke! Where th’ hell are you!’ I grabbed Mikey’s arm and made a shh sign, but he jumped right outta th’ bushes and said ‘here i am.’ Dang.
‘What th’ hell is that?’ Mikey’s dad yelled, ‘Get that thing outta th’ road right now. And those are my clothes!’ I don’t remember everything his dad said, but he was really mad. I crawled outta th’ bushes too and helped Mikey drag th’ scarecrow over to th’ porch, take all th’ stuffing out of him, and return th’ clothes to his dad. Mikey didn’t speak th’ whole time. He was terrified.
He went inside and i heard some yelling and screaming for a bit, then it got quiet. I was supposed to be spending th’ night at Mikey’s house, so i went inside to see what was up. ‘Mikey’s in his room’ his mom said. I went to th’ door and could hear him in there crying. I sat on th’ couch and watched some tv with his mom for a bit. But Mikey never came back out of his room. His mom told me that he probably wasn’t coming back out and that maybe i should just go home. So that’s what i did.
I was really surprised, because i’d never seen Mikey cry before, or even get upset. He always acted like th’ coolest kid in school, and i thought he was. I couldn’t figure out what th’ big deal was, i mean sure we got in trouble, but i got in trouble all th’ time, it was no big deal. And we scared a lot of people first. Surely we both knew th’ gag wouldn’t last forever. I figured it was a success. Mikey obviously thought different. When i got home i told Mom and Pat what happened and they said i shouldn’t have done that but didn’t really act like it was much of a deal.
Th’ next day, when i went over to Mikey’s house his mom said i wasn’t allowed to see him anymore because i was a bad influence. I almost told her that it was his idea, but thought she probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, and dropped it. After that, when i saw Mikey at school he acted like he didn’t know me. I tried to talk to him a few times but realized it was pointless. Oh well, we’d only been friends for a short time. That was fun though, making that scarecrow. Good idea, Mikey.