The scariest Halloween costume of all time

Since starting my blog, Shallow Reflections, I have written at least one Halloween post each year and published two spooky guest essays courtesy the terrific writer, John Cobb. This year, however, I focused so much on the release of my book, Boomer on the Ledge™, I even neglected to retrieve my Halloween decorations. I told myself, There’s always next year.

The Halloween spirits were unnerved, however, and created a scenario that made me heed their demands. They further humiliated me by sending hurricane force winds and a power outage, preventing me from publishing this until the day after Halloween, which makes me look like a slacker, unlike the organized bloggers who have their Halloween posts ready before you can say pumpkin spice. 

But this is a true story, and I must share it for fear of evil consequences from these revengeful demons.

I noticed a floppy piece of skin on my chest but didn’t think much of it because as your skin ages it sprouts skin tags and moles helter-skelter. When the surrounding skin turned an angry red, I assumed I had scratched it.

The lesion was in an awkward position to assess, and when it felt sore, I had a fleeting thought about applying a band-aid. But I was busy and didn’t bother.

The night before the Boomer on the Ledge launch party, I awoke and acknowledged a painful throbbing. Irrational worries haunted me as they often do at three o’clock in the morning.

What if it’s cancer and the tumor broke through the surface of the skin? I thought. I palpated around the tender spot and didn’t feel any lumps.

It could be a cancerous mole, I speculated. I promised I’d google ‘bleeding moles’ after the party to see if I could find one resembling my gory atrocity.

I’ll snip it off. I imagined sterilizing a carving knife and biting on a wooden stake to suppress my screams. I reasoned I’d wait until after the party because dripping blood on my books as I was signing them might turn people off. Even the weekend before Halloween.

In the light of day, I cast my anxiety aside but swore I’d call the doctor Monday morning.

Preparing for the launch party, I jumped into the shower. I looked down, and suddenly the growth emerging from my chest appeared crystal clear. I saw a hair about the length of an eyelash beside the skin tag. I thought It must be an infected ingrown hair.

Really? On my chest? If it was my chin I could see how this could happen, but my chest?

When I noticed a matching ‘hair’ on the other side of the ‘skin tag,’ awareness of my situation washed over me, and despite the warm shower, my blood ran cold.

I howled, “Patrick! I have an alien eating my chest, and I think it’s a tick!”

He googled ‘how to remove a tick while your wife is freaking out’ and approached me with tweezers and a steady hand, removing the wriggling parasite from my body.

I stopped hyperventilating by the time I spoke to the doctor and agreed to take a dose of doxycycline to prevent Lyme disease. He had no treatment suggestions for my emotional state.

Being an opportunist like my enemy, the tick, I decided I could use my horrific experience to make the scariest Halloween costume of all time. A giant tick attached to my chest could even terrify Stephen King, don’t you think?

Tick or Treat!


Now available on Amazon my book about the antics of an aging boomer: Boomer on the Ledge™
©2017, Stevens. All rights reserved.

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42 thoughts on “The scariest Halloween costume of all time

  1. O.M.G. This sent chills through me worse than any horror film! I had cold prickles all over when I read what it was. Still shuddering at the thought.

  2. If you were a slacker by not getting your Halloween post up prior to the 31st, I’m several years away from reaching slacker status. Congrats on publishing your book! and of course, for surviving the holidays;)

    • Thank you, Gabe. I don’t know which thing I was happiest about – publishing the book or removing the tick. You can be sure I’ll be contacting my exorcist well in advance of next year’s Halloween season to avoid being possessed by evil insects. Great to have you stop by!

  3. OMG!! I HATE ticks, black widows and ants! I just get chills thinking you had a live tick chomping away at you (I’d rather be bitten by a whale shark…LOL). I had a tick attach itself under my arm, and I also thought it was a skin tag (need readers to see it). We were at the delta in our trailer (tick city in April), and I asked hubby to look at the skin tag…when he said it had legs I almost fainted. Boy was I ticked (har har). He pulled it off successfully (said no one ever). I still feel icky thinking about this 4 years later. Smart to check for lyme disease in your neck of the ticky woods, Molly. Yes, I agree, this story for scare factor is right up there with the original movie The Exorcist!

    • Ewwww! Isn’t it creepy to have one of these nasty little insects attached to you? Your husband did a good job rescuing you from this six-legged monster. I’m not sure if I’ll ever recover from my ordeal, but I now know if four years from now I’m still creeped out I’m in good company. Lyme disease is endemic in our area and I knew it was a bad idea for those deer to frolic on our lawn! And I agree about black widows (which we don’t have here) and ants. It was a scary experience for sure!

  4. Apparently, quite a crop of tics! My husband was inflicted with two of the scary, ugly little creatures this fall. Thankfully, you & Patrick knew what to do! Thank you for providing an education on how to deal with what can be a very serious health issue. And of course for somehow making us laugh at the same time 🙂

    • That was exactly my intent, Sharon – to educate and entertain based on my experience. This was my first tick bite ever and I have a new awareness of how sneaky these critters can be. It nearly fooled me but I’m thankful I recognized it for what it was – a monster!

  5. To me, true stories ARE the scariest, and this one freaked me out. Ticks are BAD. Ticks are MEAN. And ticks cause a lot of problems. I have several friends who live with tick-born disease (it was treated too late) and live with a lot of physical problems. That said, YAY that you figured out who/what the alien was on your chest. Now, you deserve a lot of treats!

  6. Loved the post, Molly! I know ticks are no laughing matter–in fact, Hubby has been bitten by these tiny beasts several times in the past year, once with a bulls-eye rash, and taken antibiotics, which his PCP assures us will take care of Lyme. Hopefully no more ticks for you, but lots of treats when it comes to your new book1 <3 xo

    • I knew it was bad news having that family of deer living in our backyard, Bette. Thanks for the good wishes regarding my book. Going great so far! Having a much better time than I did when I recognized a ‘skin tag’ with six legs!! EWWWWW!

    • I’m laughing but it’s always been debatable as to whether I’m ‘ok.’ I’ll leave that assessment to the professionals. LOL. Thanks for leaving a comment and sharing a laugh with me today.

    • If you would have seen me, Brigid, you would not have thought me brave. LOL! I am not a big fan of bugs of any size, but having a tiny one imbedded in my skin for nearly a week has confirmed my status as an indoor person.

  7. Hi Molly, your book should arrive this week and looking forward to reading about us BOOMERS. Thanks for the laughs as we can relate to all your stories. Most of us have had a few ticks embedded in a body part. We have lots of deer ticks. Keep the stories coming. Hope all is well and I am sure you are enjoying semi retirement and writing more.

    • I do love semi-retirement, Jane, and am anxious for Boomer on the Ledge to arrive in your neighborhood. I’m sure she will have a grand time with you in California! We have so many deer ticks, too, and the deer have been in our back yard so much this past year. I can’t believe I didn’t clue in to what it was until it had its way with me for almost a week! Yikes! Love to hear from you. XO

      • I wish Boomer was much longer but Loved all the pic and comments. Now you will have time to work on more fun articles or stories. There is no end to your humor about baby boomers……..Love the doll. She seems so real to me know. Keep tickling us with your Humor and deep Reflections. Keep in touch.

        Party on GF……..

        • I envision the next boomer book to be longer, Jane. She is out there now as a concept and as you say, there is no end to the antics she can get into! She is real now because of her owners’ personalities and pranks. And I’m excited about her future. Love getting your comments. XOXO

  8. Well, Molly, ticks are better than cancer… just sayin’. But Ack! I don’t like them. When I lived in CT, we had tons of them, and we all came down with Lyme disease at one time or another. You’re so funny about the less pleasant aspects of aging. I too have considered biting down on a wooden spoon and conducting my own surgery! Ha ha ha. It’s that Yankee ingenuity and grit. 😀 Thanks for the morning laugh and stop crawling around in the backyard.

    • You bring up an excellent point, Diana, but at the moment I realized my skin tag had legs, I was not thinking about how grateful I was that it was no cancer. I have a skin tag I am planning to cut off. I just haven’t worked up the courage to do it yet. I’ll let you know how it goes. The ironic thing about me picking up the tick is I am not much of an outdoor person, but I did have a great time cleaning out the flower garden and I’m sure that’s when the evil tick made its move. Yikes! Thanks for stopping by for a laugh with me today.

    • Thank you, Michele. I was ready to take antibiotics for as long as it took, believe me! I’m glad I was able to get the right dose in within 72 hours as I feel assured I have done what I can to avoid getting the dreaded Lyme disease. The next morning after my ordeal I awoke with a spider bite on my hand. What am I? A creepy insect magnet?? LOL.

  9. A sure sign of a great writer is someone who can turn a horrific experience into a laughable one. This will go down as a Halloween classic! (So glad you’re okay.)

    • Thank you, Sharon. As I was freaking out, I knew I had fodder for a blog post, and that it would practically write itself. Then the power went out and trees started falling all around us. What a crazy week! Whether I’m ‘okay’ is always debatable. Haha!

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