The State Theater in downtown Woodbridge
was a 20 minute walk from our street and since
Bobby and I wanted to see House on Haunted Hill
we went down Albert St. to Fulton St., across New St.,
over to Eleanor Pl., on to Berry St., up the block to Main St.,
and finally arrived at the box office where we bought
under age 12 tickets for 50 cents each. The film was creepy
and terrifying so we loved it but soon realized the thunder
we thought was on Haunted Hill was actually right outside
the State Theater followed by rain sounding like skeletons
square dancing on the roof while on the screen Vincent Price
was deciding which house guest he would murder next.
Screaming inside the theater – thunder and rain outside,
Edgar Allan Poe would have loved it but Bobby and I worried
about walking home in the storm, imagining Count Dracula
and the Wolfman lurking in every Woodbridge shadow.
We stalled after the movie until the usher told us
to leave so we trudged outside dreading the long walk
back but under the marquee, like a mirage, stood Penny,
my sister, holding an umbrella she’d brought all the way
from Albert St. We left behind the fright of Haunted Hill
to walk with our personal Mary Poppins who’d braved
the storm with her umbrella opened wide as her heart
to lead us home in the growling thunder and the blinding rain.