Witches. Small Ones. Everywhere. Attempting to locate any particular miniature sorcière at the French American Center’s annual Halloween Party was an activity for only the most attentive of parents. However, myself and the thirteen other English teachers and volunteers found ourselves tasked with this ‘amazing opportunity’ Saturday night. And to be honest, it was pretty spectacular.

My first Halloween at the French American Center proved to be an exercise in vigor, flexibility, and stamina. With reflexes finely tuned by a childhood with three younger siblings, I snatched the second apple that whizzed past my head. Having thankfully caught his first two throws, I scooped up the pint-sized pirate that was winding up for his third shot. While I managed to successfully evade his target practice, I wasn’t so lucky escaping from the two wizards that decided—much to my fatigued dismay—to make me ’It’ in an impromptu game of Halloween tag. If it wasn’t for DJ Alex announcing that it was time for the groups to rotate, my demise would have certainly been imminent.

But it wasn’t all death, excitement, and enough physical activity to remind me that I need to visit my local gym. Once the party-goers left, the real kids arrived. At about 9 o’clock, when all broken pieces of pinatas had been picked up and all the wine brought out, a new flurry of costumed trick-or-treaters came through the front-gate. Replacing the witches, pirates and ghosts with flirtatious vampires, eccentric scientists, and a medicine man, the Adults’ party commenced with an ambiance of calm and as much sophistication as a retired teacher dressed as a member of the rock band KISS could muster. Calm, that is, until the adults took their turn to run through the haunted house, bob for apples, and carve jack-o-lanterns. Nearing le fin de la soirée, someone’s firecrackers reminded us all that there were more sights to see out on the streets of Montpellier and thus, the adults trickled onto the streets, lit by the full moon above.

And I, having been totally exhausted by an entire day of setting-up and partying, pocketed one of the un-bobbed apples and headed home.

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