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May 27, 2024

I Tell Him I Will Never Eat Him

By Kaci Skiles Laws

I can't stop laughing because our witch melted in a box of Halloween decorations. Plastered to the bottom, her face and hat are droopy but visible, and her arms are just beginning to disappear into what is left of her orange dress. My son is one and promptly takes a bite out of her wax head. Ding-dong the witch is dead. Halloween is here.

He loves the mushy guts of our pumpkin, hates the seeds that stick to him and tries to fling them free once he realizes he has become the inside of the pumpkin. He cooks them with a pot and spoon. Pumpkins are for fun.

I dress him as Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss, and it's the last time; I promise I'll never tell him who to be again. I don't. Not on purpose. I make a blue wig out of a feather boa; he wants to eat that too. I let him. He finds feathers are not for tongues.

My son doesn't like dress up. He's aware and being a kid teeters on unacceptable, what he feels comfortable doing when no one is watching, and observing others. Too many eyes on Halloween, disembodied voices, embarrassing moments. Costumes aren't supposed to be cute.

He wants purpose, to be taken seriously. An ensemble that serves the greater good. A super hero cat because he wants a solution for bad things like witches and bad guys and dying. I am to be a Sanderson Sister for Halloween, and he can't understand why I would want to eat children. He doesn't know I want to feel powerful too, beautiful, magical. I tell him I will never eat him because he is special. I want to be good. Halloween is for the child that dies inside us all.

It is slow, everything gradual. Firsts become lasts. Everything grows. It all goes, wiped away by repetition until it's given up for something new. Again and again. I am the child that keeps wanting the witch.

I am a witch to him in glimpses. My hag scars take hold, and I'm evil in those moments with my tone and impatience, petulant and black like a new moon night, angry without knowing why. Pointy-nosed bitches don't need excuses but potions against their own nature.

I can't stop crying because our Jack-o'-lantern is on our front porch and already sags; it's year five. It was easy once; I might have imagined it. I gaslight myself sometimes. I keep waiting to melt myself into something new. My son is waiting, watching to see what I'll do; he wants to take a bite out of my head, and I can't really blame him. The real mommy is in there somewhere, the one that wanted to be the good witch before someone told her she could only ever be the bad one.

Article © Kaci Skiles Laws. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-10-25
Image(s) © Kaci Skiles Laws. All rights reserved.
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