Zeke Williams dragged his foot as he walked. The bloody bandages he had himself wrapped up in clung to his sweaty forehead. His black hair hung out from under the bandages. His best friend Robert Fulton wore Khaki shorts, and a striped shirt rolled up at the elbows. His safari hat was cocked to one side. Laughter filled the night. There were also screams as well. A blue jack-o-lantern leered at both boys as they climbed up the stairs. The light on the porch was not very bright; it seemed a bit dim to Zeke. Robert reached out a hand and rang the doorbell. Robert clenched the pillowcase in his fist, waiting for the familiar form of Mrs. White to appear in the doorway. She had a thin build with long arms and legs, and a pointy turned down the nose.
“Do you think she’ll have that old lady candy, as usual?” Robert asked. Zeke nodded.
“Most likely.” Robert’s eyebrows raised.
“So why do we bother coming to Mrs. White’s house?’
“She was my mom’s piano teacher as a kid,” Zeke explained. “She’s been alone for a long time and she enjoys seeing our costumes.
Seems she’s taking a long time answering the door,” Robert said, growing impatient. He began spinning his pillowcase in his hand. Zeke rang the doorbell.
“She probably just didn’t hear the bell.” They waited awhile before heading to the next house.
“We’ll come back later,” stated Zeke.
“Way later,” responded Robert, rolling his eyes.
The yellow moon hung overhead in the sky. Orange lights hung from the rooftops of a few houses. One house, in particular, caught Zeke and Robert’s eyes. Fog spilled over plastic tombstones, while canned screams, thunder and lighting, and witches cackling sounded over the speakers. Purple lights illuminated the pathway for the trick or treaters. A man in a blood-splattered trench coat passed out candy. His green eyes fell upon Zeke and Robert, his lips curled back over his teeth, causing an unnatural wolf-like smile to form on the man’s face.
“Evening boys,” said the man.
“Trick or treat,” Zeke replied.
“Ditto,” answered Robert.
“Pretty nice set up you’ve got here,” Zeke said.
“No fooling,” replied Robert eyeing the candy. Taking notice of this, the man said
“I got good treats. None of those old lady candies, here.”
“Did you recently move in?” Zeke asked. “This is Ben Taylor’s house. Robert and I have never seen you here before.”
Robert and Zeke studied the man’s face; he was a strong-jawed fella with a dark suntan. He looked like a nineteen seventies-era movie star. There was something in his eyes, body language, and face that suggested an underlying propensity for violence.
“My name is Morgan and I am Ben’s brother. I am house-sitting for Ben while he is away for a few days,” the man said. Then he reached into the candy dish and gave each boy a piece of sugary delight. His green eyes focused on each boy. Suddenly Morgan began to growl. It started low at first. Zeke leaned in for a closer listen.
“Is he growling?” Zeke wondered to himself.
“Happy Halloween,” Morgan said.
The boys turned, and walked off, continuing their journey for treats.
“This certainly has been an interesting night,” Zeke said.
“I’ll say,” Robert replied. “That Morgan was creepy.” Zeke nodded.
“Ben never said anything about having a brother.”
“I don’t know,” answered Robert, shrugging. “This is our last year trick or treating. I don’t want to let anything ruin our final night of trick or treating,” Zeke looked at his candy.
“I suppose you’re right.” “Of course I am,” Robert replied. “We’re almost teenagers. Soon we’ll have to worry about being cool and which girl we want to date.”
“Being a teen is going to be so lame,” Zeke groaned.
“Maybe so,” stated Robert. “But we won’t think so once we are teenagers.” Zeke nodded.
They went around and got their candy; before too long they had full bags. They went by Mrs. White’s house again; this time the door was open. The jack-o-lantern was gone and it was dark inside. Next, a flashlight lit up and illuminated Mrs. White’s face! Startled, Zeke jumped back, Robert stumbled, and he landed on his butt hard. Dark bags hung under Mrs. White’s eyes. Her face seemed pale and gaunt.
“I didn’t mean to scare you boys,” said Mrs. White. “I’m afraid that I can’t help it.” Zeke reached out his hand and then grabbed Robert’s hand. Zeke gave him a firm tug and helped him up to his feet.
“What do you mean?” Zeke asked Mrs. White.
“I’m a ghost,” Mrs. White whispered. Zeke chuckled.
“Yeah right.” Robert looked down at Mrs. White’s feet and gasped; his mouth was contorting into a mask of panic.
“What’s the matter, Robert?” Zeke asked. “What’s wrong?”
“F-feet,” Robert stammered. “L-look at her feet!” Zeke looked downward and was shocked. He discovered that Mrs. White had no feet. She hovered off the ground; she let out a scream. Her hair slid off the head, and her face split open, exposing a grinning skull.
“Happy Halloween boys!” Mrs. White said.
Frantically they threw their candy up in the air; both boys took off sprinting down the street. Even though Robert’s hat fell off his head, he did not go back to retrieve it. Zeke’s bloody bandages came off while he was running. They did not dare stop running until they arrived at Robert’s house. Zeke and Robert hurried inside. They locked themselves in Robert’s bedroom and panted, trying to catch their breath.
“I’m getting too old for Halloween!” declared Zeke.
“Ditto!” replied Robert.
© 2020 Doug robbins