“The Late, Great Halloween Costume Massacre” By Maria Alexander

September 1976

Los Angeles, CA

 

“Sit down, girls. We’ve got something serious to talk about.”

My younger sister and I sit cross-legged on the scratchy brown carpet of our tiny apartment as Mom and Dad sit on the couch. Barely four years old, my sister Danielle yanks on the hair of her doll as she alternately slams it against the floor to what is surely the dismay of our new downstairs neighbors. I sit upright and listen. My mom’s normally moon-like face darkens as she speaks. My father slumps backward, reading his newspaper. I’m just grateful he isn’t screaming, …