Monday, November 01, 2004

Halloween Hijinks

The eastern border of Maple City is a ridge of glaciated hills that runs north to south. There is a road that cuts through a pass in the ridge that continues east for a couple of miles to another tiny town called Cedar. There is a two-track road you can access as you drive through the pass. It goes up steeply and at the summit is a dying cherry orchard that the former owner is allowed to harvest but not to maintain. Once the tree go wild and are no longer profitable the land will become part of the national park system. The orchard sits at the highest point in Leelanau County.

We were squatting in some woods near the bottom of the ridge on the outside edge of a curve that is the beginning of a nasty S-curve that emptied into the flashing light at the town's crossroads. It was Halloween night and it was dark and it cold. We had cartons full of eggs at our feet. We were outside the reach of any street lights. Across the curve from us we could see the small wooden Catholic church nuzzled into the steep knob the road curves around.

With me was Tony and Tony's cousin, Ray and a couple other neighborhood kids. The reason we were squatting in those woods next to the road is because we had already egged a few cars near the center of the village. We had moved to the outskirts because we were afraid the cops might show up.

Over the top of the pass a glow of oncoming headlights started to show. Some hissed "Car!" and we grab eggs. I had two eggs in my right hand and one in my throwing hand. When the car approached our position at the center of the turn we step out poised to nail this slow-moving vehicle. The car stops and a spotlight comes on. It's a fucking cop. We scatter. He hollered something like, "Hey, you kids!" I had no intention of allowing this guy to take me home to my step-father so I bolted across the road with Tony next to me. We split up when we hit the church grounds. Ray, who hadn't fully emerged from the woods, hit the deck and froze.

As I was flying through woods, dodging branches and hurdling fallen trees I had no idea if that cop was behind me or if I was a mile ahead. All I know is that I got to the point where if he hadn't caught me by then I was free so I stopped. When Tony, Ray and I met up a little later at Tony's trailer Ray said that the cop had stopped his car and got out but the rest of us scattered so quickly that he shined his light around for a couple of minutes and drove off. Ray couldn't stop laughing about how everyone bolted like cockroaches. "That cop stepped out of his car expecting to catch a bunch of dumb kids but as soon as he stepped out you were all fucking gone! God, that was funny." Ray was almost busted in his hiding place because he was having trouble with suppressing his laughter.

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