Young Albert Spinner is the son of Cloverdale's Jewish Cantor, Moses Spinner. The Spinners live on Clover Lane.
Albert loves Halloween.
"Halloween's almost here," Albert said to village Constable Willard after school last Monday. Albert was hiding under a row of shrubs owned by 82 year old Selma Thorn. Selma thought she heard something outside her front window during her afternoon nap. She struggled to her feet, rocked back and forth to the window and peered out. A moment later she was on the phone to the village Constabulary.
"Something ungodly is thrashing about in my front shrub," Selma said excitedly to the Constable.
The Constabulary is on her speed dial
Ten minutes later Constable Willard arrived by bicycle. Selma intercepted him on her front porch. She pointed toward the street where a row of waist high shrubs marked the boundary between her front lawn and the sidewalk. Something black with bits of silver could be seen crouched under several branches of yellow, red and orange leaves. The Constable suggested she go in and make herself a cup of tea to calm her nerves. He stepped down from the porch, paused, then walked toward a pair of frightened eyes peering out at him from under the shrub.
"Albert, come on out from under there." The constable recognized Albert from the costume he was wearing. He'd seen it on a previous call the night before. Albert was out well past his bed time, wandering about his neighbor's back garden - flashing his scissor hands. The neighbor mistook them for knives and called the Constable.
Albert struggled to crawl out from under the shrub, a task made more difficult because of the scissors tied to his fingers.
"What did I tell you yesterday?" Constable Willard was wearing his unhappy face, exaggerated because of his youthful offender.
"Not to wear my costume outside until Halloween," Albert answered.
"Why did I tell you that?"
"Because it scares people."
"That's right, because it scares people." The Constable was prepared to go into a lengthy explanation but was interrupted by Albert.
"But its suppose to scare people. Its Halloween!" Albert thought his logic was sound.
"Its not Halloween yet." Constable Willard took Albert by his left scissorhand. Together they walked toward the sidewalk and the Constable's bicycle. "Let's get you home before you frightened another old lady."
"I was only being nice," Albert explained. "She needed those shrubs cut." The Constable ignored him.
Up and down Clover Lane Selma's neighbors were out on their front lawns and porches watching for young Albert and Constable Willard. Selma was on her speed dial, spreading the news while she waited for her kettle to boil.
Albert was happy to show off his costume. Constable Willard was ready for his shift to end.