Since I knew he would be home, I therefore called him on my cellphone on Halloween night as Votania and Nephew and I chilled in the parking lot while Uncle Alan tended to some business at his college before heading out to the party. "Is Darkside in?" I asked his mom.
"Well, I'm not too sure about that," she said, "but there is something dead on my porch. I'll see if he's alive enough to talk to you."
I waited, and then I heard a voice from beyond the grave speak to me. "You...wanted.....to.... talk?"
We chatted for a few minutes about the beauty of the night and the fun of scaring small children, and the costume I was wearing, the costume Votania was wearing, the Power Rangers suit Nephew was wearing (Darkside still swears up and down that Nephew should have been the Evil Green ranger) and how Darkside had to get off the phone, as dead guys didn't talk on the phone.
I called him back the next night to see how things had gone, with the whole scaring sort of thing.
He could hear conversations, he said, between kids and parents and other kids in the trick-or-treating group, way down at the end of the driveway.
"Look, it's just a dummy."
"I saw him moving! I saw him moving!" (It's very hard to breathe and not move.)
"No, it was your imagination." (This, from the parent. The kid had been right.)
"I swear, I saw him move!"
"It's a dummy." (Not with Darkside's GPA....)
"I saw him move!"
"I'm not going up there."
"Yes you are."
"Am not. He was moving. There! Just now!"
"Honey, it was the wind..."
....and after they work up the nerve, and after Darkside's parents open the door....
...Darkside does a very good "beyond the grave" sort of voice.
The parents who insisted that the dead guy was only a dummy do very good screams.
Darkside turned out to have the second scariest house on the block. The porch decorations included a pumpkin, I believe, a cardboard tombstone, and Darkside. I wouldn't consider that particularly scary....
...but then, I know where to tickle him.