The Six-Year-Old Werewolf

By Allen Butler 

I loved Halloween when I was a child. Every year my parents would take my brother and I out shopping for our costumes a couple of weeks before. In those days I rarely had plans of what I wanted to dress up as on Halloween. I would wait until I got to the costume store and pick the one that seemed right.

When I was six, I really had no idea what I wanted to be. Not even an inkling of an idea. Walking down the aisle, my mother in tow (although I was pretending desperately she wasn’t there) I looked at the Halloween masks, trying to decide which one was right for me.

Then I saw it. The most perfect Halloween mask I’d ever seen. Wild furry hair. Snarling rubber face staring at you, the eyes empty where my eyes would go. A werewolf mask, the coolest werewolf mask ever.

I picked it up and showed it to my mom. She asked me what I’d wear with it, since all I could get for a costume was the mask. It was too expensive to buy anything else with it. I wasn’t sure but I knew I’d think of something, all I knew was I wanted the mask. She said I could have it. I was the happiest little six year old boy in the store that day.

It was the first time I’d ever had an actual Halloween mask. I loved it. No one would know who I was on Halloween. Everyone would be scared of me. Who wasn’t scared of a werewolf? Halloween wasn’t just about the candy this year, it was about showing off.

School was the place to start showing off my mask. All the children were invited to wear their costumes to school on Halloween, as part of the general Halloween celebrations. I had moved into town that summer and it was my first Halloween there. I was going to make the biggest impression ever.

So on the morning of Halloween I dressed up in the little outfit I thought would be befitting a werewolf: all grey to look like wolf’s hair with coarse gloves, my attempt at werewolf hands. I knew the rest of the costume wasn’t the greatest, but it was the mask that made it. I had everything ready to go off to school.

“What are you doing Allen?” asked my Mom. I hadn’t mentioned to her the fact I would be wearing my costume to school today.

“Everyone’s dressing up in their costumes at school.”

“You aren’t taking that mask. It’s expensive and you’ll lose it or someone will take it. The mask stays here until tonight.”

And that was that. All of a sudden I wasn’t taking the mask to school anymore. I wasn’t going to be able to impress anyone with my awesome Halloween mask. I tried whining. “But everyone else is going to be dressed up. Why can’t I wear my costume?”

“You can wear your costume. I’ll make you a mask to wear to school today.” And that she did. Out of paper plates using crayons to draw. I tried to help make it as cool as I could, but to no avail. But I wore the mask. Maybe I could impress the other kids. But all they did was laugh. They didn’t even know I was a werewolf, they all thought I was a rat. I told them I had a way better mask at home, but it didn’t matter.

I went home depressed. I hadn’t wowed everyone with my Halloween mask. I’d made them all laugh with a grey paper plate. But at least now it was over and time for trick-or-treating. I got a good haul, but some of the magic was gone. My Halloween mask didn’t seem as cool any more. It was just another mask.