The music piped up---Madonna's "Like a Virgin"---as we walked in a circle in front of the judges. I grinned, hearing the music forbidden in my home, and then remembered who I was.
I was Lady Liberty. A statue. And statues do not smile.
I paced, holding my flashlight torch aloft, resting my foil-covered dictionary just so. The green makeup itched, but I did not scratch.
I had this. My competition was a handful of punk rockers---Melissa, Jennifer, and Tiffany, all wearing the same costume, purchased at Smitty's, along with a can of pink glitter hairspray. Throw in Mike as a Ghostbuster, Joseph as Han Solo, and Amanda as an old lady, and the Best Costume ribbon was mine.
The music stopped. Mrs. Weimann, the PE teacher, thanked us all for attending the Halloween carnival. The muscles twitched in my upraised arm. I glanced at the blue ribbon resting on the table, pictured it on the bulletin board in my bedroom.
"In third place, the award for best costume goes to Melissa the punk rocker!" My head turned as Melissa squealed, running to collect her award. Tiffany and Jennifer exchanged looks. She would pay for this later.
"In second place, the award goes to...The Statue of Liberty!" My arm crumpled down, and the blood pumped to my starving hand. I collected my prize; the red ribbon drooped in my grip.
"In first place, the award goes to....The Where's the Beef lady!" Amanda jumped up and down, a smile cracking her artificial wrinkles and age spots. She held a styrofoam plate with a large hamburger bun and tiny foam burger in the middle.
She collected her ribbon, and grinned as Mrs. Weimann said, "We all agreed that this was the most creative idea!"
Sure. Wearing a dress is really creative. Copying a commercial is so original.
I walked past her, as the punk rock girls cooed, "Amanda, this is so cool. You are so funny."
I wanted to cry, but I did not. Because I was Lady Liberty. And statues do not cry.