Trick or Treat? A Spooky Halloween Story
When I was little, parents could still send their kids into their neighborhoods without fear of child abduction. The big deal back then was checking to make sure apples didn’t have razor blades. No need to worry about that, what kid wants apples? Otherwise, be home by nine.
One year when I was around six or seven, my parents let me go trick-or-treating without them, but made my big brother take me with him. He abandoned me for his friends in the first ten minutes. I was a lonely little ladybug on her own. For a time, I felt brave, and had collected a decent amount of candy going door to door. And I should have been happy with that and headed home, but I ventured over to the connecting neighborhood, and what happened there shook me to the core, forever altering my relationship with Halloween.
The other neighborhood wasn’t as nice as the one we lived in, but I was too young to understand the socio-economical differences between the two, I only noticed less decorations and more dark houses. Feeling brave, I ventured on. I soon came up on a group of older kids, basic hoodlums with a car, scaring and taunting some of the kids. I couldn’t move, too busy watching their next move, making sure it wasn’t toward me.
Their black, shiny car pulled in front of a house two homes away from where I stood. Three kids got out, the driver stayed in, and they poured stuff all around and placed a small package on their doorstep. Then they rang the doorbell, struck a match and ran. There was a whoosh and the package burst into flames. I could smell something like burnt tar. The boys hopped into their car and waited. I expected them to drive away, but they didn’t and that scared me more. The front door opened and someone screamed. Others on the street ran over to help, stomping on the flames. A grown up ghost yelled for everyone to stay back, gun powder had been dumped on the walkway. The car peeled away, wicked laughter trailing behind.
I dropped my plastic pumpkin of candy and ran as fast as I could, worried the entire house was going to explode. I wanted to find my brother, tell him what had happened, then punch him in the gut for ditching me. As I turned down my street I had to stop. My chest heaved as I bent over, trying for a moment to catch my breath. When I looked up, the black car with the mean kids was headed my way. Suddenly the car’s lights turned off and slowed. I hid behind a tree, scared out of my little ladybug mind, certain I was about to die. The car stopped. I scanned the area, looking for safety. I ran to the closest house and started banging on the front door, but nothing. I banged a second time, realizing finally the house was completely dark. Then I heard footsteps. Backed into the corner, I scrunched down and tried to make myself invisible.
“Hey, aren’t you that kid Mike’s little sis?”
I looked up into the dark, hollow eyes of a skeleton. I couldn’t speak or move.
“Here you go,” he held out my plastic pumpkin candy holder and chuckled. “Sorry if we scared you.”
The skeleton ran off, but I still couldn’t move so I sat there, cross legged, eating candy, reflecting on my scary Halloween. And formulating a plan. I was going to hang out past my curfew and get my brother into trouble. That’s what he gets for ditching me. (Insert evil laugh.)