It was a 1�-inch
Macao Black Cat firecracker, but Greggie Dewey held it like a hand grenade.
Twin headlight beams poked around the coiner, wavering as the car turned and
proceeded toward where we were hidden in the long-weeded field. Goblins, ghosts
and pirates rustled in the brush. Greggie Dewey squeezed the firecracker.
"Let loose, idiot," a cowboy hissed. "You're squishing it to
death." The yellow beams continued down the dark road, unaware of the
Halloween Night adventure being prepared in the field ahead.
Sweat was in my
eyes. "Now!" Greggie whispered vehemently. "No, wait!" I said.
The car was illuminating the road immediately in front of us.
Now!" chorused the dozen other costumed trick-or-treaters hiding like rats
in the grass.
it...." I whispered. The auto was 100 feet away. Eighty, 70, 50—a big car
with whitewall tires and an immense chrome grille.
gasped and lit the match. Greggie threw beautifully, the orange sparks
outlining a half-circle against the black sky. A perfect throw. Too perfect.
The firecracker landed like an insect on the car's grille. There was a short
Hash of light and a sound like someone hitting sheet metal with a ball peen
hammer. Very ominous. Then there was the screech of tires and the sound of a
door being thrown violently open.
of Jesus! I'm going to twist someone's neck off!" yelled an adult
"Aieeeee!" screeched a weakhearted goblin. And the chase was on.
There is no way I
can tell if this was the first serious chase I was involved in because chase
episodes have a way of contorting and expanding until they blot out the element
of time. That it was momentous I am certain. That it was Halloween I am also
sure because I distinctly remember my Dracula mask catching on a tree limb and
nearly decapitating me. But whether the adventure sticks in my mind because it
was original or because it was stimulating, I don't know.
We ran with the