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First Halloween Costume

Don ignored the accusation that he wasn’t paying enough attention to his wife and simply stated, “You dreamed it, that’s all. You went to sleep with Hallowe’en on the brain, and you dreamed about kids in costumes.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s possible. . . I guess it must’ve been,” she signed, picking at her breakfast disinterestedly.

Don folded his newspaper and stuck it under his arm as he stood up. “Gotta run,” he said, “See ya tonight, Hon.” He kissed her on the cheek and hurried out of the kitchen. She cleared the table and glanced at the clock on the wall, noticing it was nearly time for her to head out to work herself.

The poor night’s sleep took its toll on Susan at the office that morning, a fact that didn’t escape the attention of her fellow wage slave Maude. Susan yawned as she stood behind Maude at the copy machine waiting her turn.

“You look beat, Sue,” Maude informed her without looking up from the copier.

“I’m a little out of it today, I guess. . . Couldn’t sleep so good last night,” Susan responded.

“Try putting eyedrops in your eyes, offered Maude. “That always helps me wake up.”

“Maude,” asked Susan, “do you still get into Hallowe’en? I mean, dressing up and all?”

Maude picked up her stack of papers from the copier. “When you’re as fat and scary as me, Sweetie, you don’t need a mask to spook people,” she laughed.

“No really,” Susan persisted, “do you remember what it was like when you were a kid? Didn’t you love to go trick-or-treating, and everything?”

Maude laughed again. “Well, sure,” she replied, “just look at me. . . You can tell I always got my share of candy, can’t you?”

At that point Susan was reminded of how difficult it was to have any sort of conversation with Maude that didn’t involve Maude’s weight problem. She forced a smile and said, “But. . . you’re looking good these days, Maude. You’re clearly losing weight, and–”

Their boss, Mr. Fraser, suddenly appeared behind them, loudly interrupting the conversation, as usual. “Susan?”, he barked, “Can I get you to stick around late tonight, and finish typing these accounts up? I know it’s short notice, but you work so fast I’m sure it won’t take you long.”

Susan swallowed. “Well, I hadn’t planned on. . .uhh. . .but, I guess. . . I. . . could. . .”

“Good girl!” said Mr. Fraser with a smile. “You’re a lifesaver. You know how to lock up when you’re the last one out for the night?”

“Yes, sir, no problem,” she replied as Mr. Fraser pushed his stack of folders into her arms. “Excellent,” he said as he walked back toward his office.


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