Choose just one striking Halloween memory? Should it be of my practical joker stepfather pranking unsuspecting neighbor children with his “Ghost in a Box” invention? Or should I pick the Halloween my preschooler discovered sugar and after five M&Ms, morphed into a meltdown version of Fred Astaire performing his famous ceiling dance?
Two years after my daughter’s wall-walking feat, our family was plunged into crisis. I had not gone into remission after eighteen months on a drug that had been successful in Japan, but not in the United States. The medicine had been a last ditch attempt to avoid the inevitable cure—radioactive iodine.
Did I mention I am deadly allergic to iodine?
As Halloween loomed, the air grew crisp and a brisk breeze scattered leaves throughout our suburban neighborhood. I was sent to confer with the heads of nuclear medicine at two different hospitals. Both solemn-faced doctors tried to convince me that radioactive iodine wouldn’t kill me.
Sure it wouldn’t.
I would be quarantined in the master bedroom and bathroom for three days while I was radioactive. I would not be allowed to touch or prepare any food for others. So I bought advance bags of Kit Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. We assured our neighbors I would be sequestered, far from the candy.
On Halloween, I trailed the head of nuclear medicine down the hospital corridor as though shuffling to the gallows. After consulting my file, which I noticed had ATTORNEY stamped in red block letters across every page, the doctor extracted with three foot tongs the radioactive vial from a thick, lead-lined canister. “Swallow this.”
He was not amused.
That night, my then-husband placed the candy bowl on a stool on the front porch, and took our daughter trick-or-treating. Quarantined in the back, I had a vision of a giant nuclear symbol on our front door. Others must have sensed the invisible sign too, because not a single piece of candy was taken. After my husband returned and brought in the bowl, our doorbell never rang. Not once.
Years later, Halloween became the “ticking clock” in SPELL CHECK, and I wrote the porch scene into SPELL STRUCK, Books 1 and 2, in the Teen Wytche Saga.
The kindle edition of SPELL CHECK is on sale for $0.99 through October 14, 2018.
Happy reading, and happy Halloween!
Bullies. A secret crush. A traitorous friend.
Halloween looms, and so does the anniversary of Evie’s father’s death. She needs to pull herself together or she’ll lose her position as Yearbook Photo Editor. Even worse, Evie will lose Jordan, her secret crush, if she can’t stop her friend Parvani from casting a love spell on him. Despite a falling out, Evie never forgot Jordan. Now they are lab partners, and the chemistry between them definitely sparks.
The clock is ticking. Can Evie get her mojo back in time to check this spell?