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Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Blogfest Anna Kittrell


Twin robots. My sister and I walked straddle-legged through the dark streets, moaning like ghosts over our tender thighs, rubbed raw by foil-covered cardboard boxes. It was our final pilgrimage through the neighborhood in homemade Halloween costumes. We’d be thirteen next year—too old for trick or treating.

Later, Kelly and I bandaged our blisters and glared at our parents as they picked the good chocolate from our overstuffed sacks. As if the week they’d spent manipulating aluminum foil into robot appendages gave them the right.

At bedtime, we trudged to our room and plunked our treat bags on the floor between the beds, remembering not to brush our teeth because it made the candy taste bad. We’d survived another Halloween in homemade costumes. Time to reflect and enjoy, one last time, the sticky JuJuFruit of our labor.

Kelly and I were friends before we were sisters. Her mother and my father started dating when we were six. One day at a picnic table in the park, my dad popped the question—to us. “Do you want to be sisters?” After emitting a simultaneous, earsplitting, “Yes!” we ran hand-in-hand to the merry-go-round calling one another “sissy.”

A short time later, in the appropriate month of October, our parents married. Kelly and I now shared the same last name as well as the same skin tone and hairstyle. Kids at school asked if we were twins—and if I’d flunked Kindergarten, since I was a grade behind. We didn’t look enough alike to pull off the old trading places routine, but never again would I watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, alone or wear an over-the-top handmade Halloween costume by myself.
On October 31, 1977, Kelly and I celebrated our first Halloween as sisters. As Dad cinched the bottom of Morticia Addams’ dress so tightly my ankles ground together, I scowled at Kelly—severe arched eyebrows, platinum hair standing on end, ridiculously long cigarette holder between her fingers. She was Phyllis Diller.

I wanted that cigarette holder.

Over the years, I’d won a ten dollar bill, a Mr. Potato Head, and the coveted Ballerina Barbie in local costume contests. By age seven, I was a seasoned veteran in the battle of Halloween dress up, and had the scars to prove it. Kelly was a just a beginner. I deserved that cigarette holder made of drinking straws and contact paper. It would be mine.

It didn’t happen.

But, as usual, our costumes brought in a huge haul, and the buzz of too much sugar quickly overrode my costume envy. That night, long after our parents went to sleep, Kelly and I giggled in the dark, treat bags between our beds. We chewed with grossed-out faces, swearing never to brush our teeth again on Halloween.

Sadly to say, I did not inherit the homemade costume knack enjoyed by my father. I don’t create unbelievable costumes, but do enjoy writing believable characters. One lucky commenter will have the chance to meet—free of charge—the characters in my brand new romantic suspense, Skinbound. The story features identical twins, Darcy and Scarlett, whose deep-seated issues make Phyllis Diller’s quellazaire look like a candy cigarette.

Thank you for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing. I’m looking forward to your comments. Have a safe and happy Halloween.

About the Author: Anna Kittrell has written stories for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftovers she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.

Growing up in small town Oklahoma, Anna spent many a summer day on the lakeshores she often writes about. Today, she works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim, and their two practically grown children, Evan and Brandilyn. She still loves visiting those muddy red lakeshores of her childhood, when she’s not too busy writing about them instead.

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Twitter user name: @KittrellAnna

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Skinbound is available at: and


Jean MP said...

Wow those were pretty impressive costumes you had as a kid for your trick or treating.
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Debby said...

I used to make my kid's costumes. We had a lot of fun. Great memories.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Mountain Laurel said...

I remember the days of costume design in my youth as well. Even helped my own kids with a costume or two. Both of my babies are grown and married and have families of their own now...and this past weekend I watched my daughter and her husband making costumes for this Halloween. I guess some things will never change! LOL

Anna said...

Some of my best memories involve those homemade costumes. My best friend was Medusa, back in the fifth grade. Her mother skewered rubber fishing worms with wire to make snakes! So fun.

Thank you all so much for commenting. Good luck in the drawing!