We were all sitting in Tim Corcoran’s basement playing Dreamcast. Tim, Daniel Bond, Peter Jackson, Franco Samuels, Allan Lee, and myself. Tim and Daniel had the sticks and were playing a basketball game. I was never big on sports games, unless that sport was skateboarding.
A thirty-pack of Milwaukee’s Best sat in the middle of the carpeted floor next to a mini keg of Heineken. We were divvying up the beers and putting them in our backpacks. Next to the beers were cartons of eggs and toilet paper. It was Halloween.
None of us was actually wearing costumes. Franco was wearing a pig tail wig made of yellow yarn. His face was painted white with red circles on his cheek. I think he was supposed to be some kind of girl doll. He had brought some oversized dress with him but he decided not to wear it.
Alan, Tim, Daniel, and Peter all had generic Halloween masks. Alan was a werewolf. Tim had the ghost face mask the killer wore in the movie Scream. Daniel had a hockey mask like Jason in Friday the 13th. Peter was wearing a Scream mask like Tim’s.
My own outfit was marginally more creative. I was Ghostface Killah from the Wu Tang Clan. I wore a gray hooded sweatshirt with a blue Wu symbol I had made myself out of blue fabric and safety-pinned to the back of the sweat shirt. I was wearing a woman’s nylon stocking as a hat. It doubled as a mask when I pulled it down over my face. Just like the Wu on the cover of Enter The 36 Chambers. I could see out the mask, barely.
“Yo, guys, check this shit out!” said Allan.
He pulled a paintball gun out of his backpack. It was nothing fancy. One of the cheap plastic paintball guns they sold in the sporting goods section of Fred Meyers.
“That shit is sick! Let me see that shit,” said Tim.
Tim grabbed the paintball gun out of Allan’s hands.
“HEY,” said Allan.
Tim ignored Allan and did a commando roll over the couch. He poked his head up over the top of the couch and pretended to spray us with machine gun fire from the paintball gun.
“Byat, Byat, Byat!!! Got you fuckers.”
“Anyone that tries to fuck with us tonight is gonna get it!” said Daniel.
“Shibbity Shabbity Shibbity OH YEAH!! Lemme see that baby!” said Peter.
Tim handed the paintball gun to Peter, who held it for a minute, posturing, before handing it Daniel, who then handed it to Franco. I was the last person who got to touch the paintball gun. It felt hefty in my hand. I pointed it at an imaginary enemy and closed one eye.
I gave the gun back to Allan. Tim called some Catholic school girls he had known since elementary school.
“Yo, whats up?”
“Why don’t you meet us by the abandoned Albertsons?”
“Ok that’s cool, stop jogging by my house to get my attention, it’s hella creepy.”
“Ha ha ha, fa sho, alright, see you in a minute.”
Tim had been expelled for a multitude of offenses from the private Catholic school he had gone to since kindergarten and had joined us in public school in the 8th grade where he had made new friends fast. He was the most popular boy in my class. He had dark brown eyes and dark brown hair with bleach streaked through it. He smoked marijuana heavily. He didn’t respect anyone. Teachers. Parents. Anyone. One day when he didn’t feel like going to school he simply locked himself in his room all day and didn’t come out until his dad got home from work and took the door knob off his door with a power drill. It never went back on. He had lost the privilege of having a lock on his door. Clothes were strewn across his room. The floor was covered with loose bits of school paper, Swisher tobacco, torn up magazines, and dirty sneakers. He had moved his bed into the walk-in closet so the room looked abandoned. The walls were covered in paint pen tags and gangsta rap posters. Tupac and Snoop Dog throwing up the “westside” hand sign wearing suits and huge gold chains.
We finished loading up our backpacks with beer and implements of mischief and left Tim’s house. His mom called after us,
“You guys be safe, stay out of trouble.”
“MOM, SHUT UP, WE”RE NOT GOING TO GET IN ANY TROUBLE!”
The night air was cold and the ground was wet from a brief rain shower earlier. We hadn’t made it a block before Tim smashed an egg on the hood of a BMW. Peter ran up on the porch of a house grabbed a pumpkin and smashed it in the middle of the road. It was around 8:30 pm and the youngest trick or treaters were mostly clear of the streets by this point. Now it was mostly older kids unaccompanied by parents.
“I ended that shit, BITCH!”
We kept walking. Making our way to the parking lot of the abandoned Albertson’s. Smashing eggs on the hoods of expensive cars and pounding beers as we walked. Pumpkins left outside were smashed.
One family had been smart and put their pumpkin on a bookshelf in their living room facing out a large picture window. You could see a lady watching TV in a recliner. She got up to use the bathroom. I knew this was my chance to look savage in the eyes of my friends. I ran up her front steps. The door was unlocked. I opened it slowly. Reached in and grabbed the pumpkin then closed the door slowly. I smashed it on the lady’s front steps.
“Oh shit, savving out,” said Tim.
We quickened our pace.
“That shit was sick, fool!” said Daniel.
“That lady is going to be so bummed when she comes back from the bathroom!” said Allan.
I felt good that my friends thought so highly of me. Part of me felt bad for the lady and her pumpkin. I tried not to think about it. I chugged a beer.
The abandoned Albertson’s grocery store was a beige monolith in a sea of residential houses. The parking lot was filled with cobbled together skateboard ramps and obstacles. Two blondes sat huddled on a painted yellow club in the front of the store. They were wearing Abercrombie sweat pants and black North Face fleeces. They hadn’t dressed up for Halloween. They got up and started to scream when they saw us. One of them ran and jumped into Tim’s arms.
“OH MY GOD, TIIIIIIMMMMMMM!!!”
We walked over to a picnic table next to the Burke-Gilman trail which passed by the far side of the parking lot. We all took turns drinking from the tap of the Heineken mini-keg.
“So what’s going on with you and Cadence?” one of the girls asked Tim.
“That girl’s pyscho, I don’t know why everyone is always asking me about her.”
Tim had been dating Cadence off and on since the 5th grade. The girls we were with had gone to a different Catholic school than Tim had. All Catholic school kids seemed to know each other though. One of the girls spoke
“You know there’s a haunted house at Villa? I think they’re serving pizza and pop too.”
“Oh, word?” said Tim.
“We should definitely go crash that,” said Daniel.
“Down,” said Franco.
“Me too,” I said.
“Oh, don’t be lame guys. I can’t go to Laurelhurst. We promised my parents we’d stay at home and hand out candy,” said one of the blondes.
“You’re not handing out candy right now are you?” said Tim.
“This is different. My house is like two blocks away, Tim.”
“Villa’s only like a twenty minute walk from here.”
“We can’t go to Villa, we don’t even have costumes!”
“Fine. You guys can stay at home and be wack. We’re going.”
“We’re doing it. Your not going to stop us.”
Daniel Bond snickered.
“Well can you guys at least walk us back to my house?”
“We can do that.”
We all got up from the picnic table and walked to one of the blonde’s house. Tim and one of the girls stood on the street corner by her house. They were pressed close together like they were about kiss. The girl looking up into Tim’s eyes. hurt. She begged,
“Tim, don’t go!”
“Sorry, babe. I got’s to do what I got’s to do.”
A gold colored 4Runner screeched to a halt in the street in front of us. A carload of older kids started throwing eggs at us from the car. One of the eggs hit Tim in the face.
Tim ran at the driver side window wiping the egg off his face as he ran. He grabbed the driver by the collar with both his hands. The older boy grabbed Tim’s arms in attempt to free himself from Tim’s grip. The boy sitting shotgun hit Tim in the head with a mini baseball bat. The kind they sell as souvenirs at Mariner’s games. Tim fell back from the car. The 4Runner peeled out and sped off up the hill towards 35th.
The girls were screaming. They swarmed Tim, who was getting up off the ground rubbing his forehead with one hand.
“OH MY GOD! TIM! ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”
“I’m fine. That pussy mothafucka didn’t even hit me that hard. FUCK. What a bunch of FAGS.”
“Who were those guys?” asked Franco.
“I don’t even know,” said Tim.
“They looked like some corny private school kids. Hella preppy and shit. Blanchet or something,” I said.
“Well fuck those guys!” said Tim.
“You cool?” asked Peter.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Let’s dip to that Villa shit.”
We walked away. The girls standing in front of the house, looking dejected. We walked down to the Burke-Gilman trail. We walked along the trail in the dark. The trail was covered in dead fall leaves. The tree branches stood out against the night sky in the moonlight. I didn’t like walking on the Burke-Gilman at night. I was afraid of getting kidnapped by a child molester. I was 14 years old and terrified of the dark. I still slept with the light on. I had horrible nightmares. If I wasn’t with all my friends I wouldn’t even be walking there right then. I would have taken Sand Point Way.
We walked in silence in the darkness. The crack of a beer can opening broke the silence. It was contagious. All of us cracked open new beers and drank them as we walked. Dead leaves crunching under our feet. The beer was cold in my mouth. It went down smooth. Light shone through a break in the trees from a streetlight on Sand Point Way, illuminating us, our breath visible like cigarette smoke in the cold.
We hid our mayhem-filled backpacks in a bush by Villa. We walked through the gates of the wall around the prestigious private school. Another blonde catholic school girl spotted us and hurried over. She was dressed like a semi-slutty angel with a white miniskirt, angel wings and a glittery halo.
“Oh my god! Tim! What are you guys doing here?”
“Thought we’d come see what this haunted house shit was all about and grub some pizza.”
“It’s for kids who go to Villa only. Quick put your masks on.”
We all put on our masks. She took Tim by the hand and led us into the Gymnasium. It was decorated for Halloween. Orange Streamers. Fake flaming cauldrons hanging from the ceiling. Folding tables with orange and black paper tablecloths loaded down with Domino’s pizza and 2-liters of pop. A cock-eyed brunette (who was actually pretty hot besides her eyes) saw us and lit up.
“OH MY GOD!!! WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING HERE!!!”
“Shut up ass-eyes, you’ll blow our cover,” said Tim.
She winced then went back to smiling.
“Don’t worry, I won’t blow your guys’ cover!”
A locker room had been converted into a haunted house. It was pretty cheesy but someone had obviously put a lot of effort into it. We ran into some douchey Villa dudes we knew.
“What’s up guys, you guys are fucking BAD-ASS. You could get in SO much trouble for being here.”
Our masks were obviously not the most effective disguises.
“What are they going to do? Kick us out? Big deal,” said Tim.
Once we had made our way through the lackluster haunted house we descended like a pack of wolves onto the pizza. Pulling our masks up far enough for us to eat. Cramming slices into our mouths two at a time. Eating like pigs on purpose. A chaperone noticed us.
“Hey, you kids don’t go to school here!”
That was our cue to leave. We pulled our masks back down over our mouths. We started walking towards the exit.
We walked faster. Out the doors onto the concrete playfield. The chaperone followed us out. We started to run.
“YOU KIDS BETTER STOP!! WE’RE CALLING THE COPS! THE GATE’S LOCKED. YOU CAN’T GET OUT THAT WAY! STOP!!!”
We were already at the end of the playfield. We climbed up and over the fence, slowing down to navigate the two thin lines of barb wire. We were all on the other side of the fence. The chaperone stood, powerless, on the other side of the fence from us.
“THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE! STOP NOW!”
“FUCK YOU FAGGOT!” Tim screamed before pulling up his mask halfway and hawking a loogie through the fence onto the chaperone’s face. His face a mask of impotent rage as the mucus slid down his cheek. We all turned and ran.
We spent the next hour or so egging younger kids, smashing pumpkins, TPing stuff, and getting chased. One older kid was posted up on the pedestrian footbridge between Laurelhurst park and Laurelhurst Elementary sniping kids and cars with a high end paintball gun. It was bedlam. We were not the only group of hooligans afoot that night. We were one of many.
Daniel Bond had just tipped over a Port-a-Potty on the front lawn of a house being renovated. We were walking on the sidewalk drinking beers. The gold 4Runner rolled up on us suddenly.
“IT’S THOSE KIDS AGAIN!! GET THEM!!”
They began pelting us with eggs from their car. Allan Lee pulled his paintball gun from his backpack.
“OH SHIT!! ROLL THE WINDOWS UP! ROLL THE WINDOWS UP!!
The boy driving was frozen with fear. He didn’t get the windows up fast enough. Allan fired six or seven shots at point blank range through the driver’s side window before the paintballs began hitting the window of the car as it rolled up. Allan was working the pump on the paintball gun like the Terminator. The older boys were screaming in pain. Allan yelled,
“TAKE THAT YOU FUCKERS!”
“FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. ROLL ‘EM UP. DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE.”
The car sped off. Allan stood there breathing heavily holding the paintball gun. The rest of us stood there staring. Tim broke the silence,
“MY FUCKING BOY ALLAN RIGHT HERE! YOU FUCKING SHOWED THOSE FAGS!”
We all chimed in, agreeing.
“YOU”RE A FUCKING SAV! DUDE!”
“POP POP PIBBBITY POP POP, POPPING CAPS ON THOSE SUCKERS.”
“We should probably bounce,” I said.
“Quit being a pussy, Joe,” said Daniel.
“Nah, he’s probably right. Those bitch asses’ parents might call the cops on us if we actually hurt them. Let’s shake the spot,” Tim said.
So we left.