It was the one day when she could roam the neighborhood streets just like any other child with no notice taken of the rags draping her tiny frame; her shoes, much too large, stiff and warped by rain, the laces long gone; her hair, once the color of the sun, now a dirt-encrusted mass of mats and tangles. Bright Eyes, she was called by the others who camped under the bridge at the edge of town and, indeed, her large green eyes shone like those of the cats who kept the river rats at bay. No one knew where she had come from for she did not speak, but she was one of them now and being a child afforded her no special privileges.
She blended in easily with the witches, goblins and zombies who roamed the streets that night – beggars welcomed with a bounty of sweet treats – and eagerly scooped up the unwanted apples thoughtlessly discarded by children who had never felt the painful knots of an empty stomach. These she would devour on the spot, letting the golden juice run down her chin, leaving sticky tracks of sweetness in its wake.
Inside the houses were grownups eager to join in the night’s fun: “Look at this little ragamuffin, honey,” they would say, laughing as they tossed a candy bar – sometimes two – into her outstretched bag.
As the hour grew late, she watched the others return to the safety of their warm, clean homes where, costumes removed, they would once again transform into the children of privilege who would taunt her with words and stones should she emerge from her world and dare to enter theirs.
But for this one night – these few hours – she was one of them.
From the prompt “Costume” at One-Minute Writer.