One blustery fall afternoon, when I was in high school, a fellow student with whom I worked at a local stable snuck up behind me in the barns, put his hands around my throat, and “strangled” me. From his perspective it was a joke, and he may have even had a crush on me, so it may also have been a bid for my attention.
My attention he got. I very nearly killed him with a pitchfork, but I realized at the last possible second he was friend not foe. My pitchfork went instead into thick hay bale, right beside his bicep, stopping only as the tines hit the wall behind it with a violent thunk.
Needless to say, he ended up the more terrified of the two of us. He asked for my forgiveness. I slapped him so hard his glasses flew off.
We never really spoke after that incident. But, one never truly forgets the first man one slaps. So I think of him every October though, when people put out hay bales for Halloween as part of a “scary” tableux.
I’d like to say I’ve changed since high school. But I haven’t. It’s simply not possible.
It’s all down to my mum. She’s always been an exceptionally fearful person. By age three, I was so used to her being afraid over nothing, I lost the ability to be afraid. In place of fear, I experience rage.
Apparently, my subconscious mind is filled with anger toward people who try to instill fear in others because I’ve lived with the reality of a family member crippled by it. I’ve seen fear’s awful consequences. I’ve had my life impacted even by another’s fear. But what goes around, comes around.
When I greet you at the door dressed as the innocent farmer’s daughter and carrying a pitchfork, don’t be foolish. Choose to take the candy corn treat I offer. Otherwise . . . the trick will be on you, dearie.