Walking for Treats
Mrs. Greene took out her old black witch hat, satin elbow gloves and black robe. For over 50 years she had been dressing up for the children of Main Street. As long as she was still standing, it would be her legacy.
Her wraparound porch was ready—decorated with webs and spiders. Orange icicle lights hung from the gingerbread molding of her Victorian home.
She had her wicker basket full with candy treat bags. The children all hit her house first.
Mrs. Greene looked forward to seeing the children and grandchildren of neighbors return for one night. She took pictures of the little witches and monsters every year. She had her photo albums out on the table for display. She had no children of her own, but the neighborhood kids were hers.
The last few years, the older teens had become bolder. Coming to her door after their practice, it was always well after ten pm. Dressed only in face masks, jeans and flannel shirts. No creativity in costuming. She tried to judge their age by the size of them, but some of the kids were just grown big. She would gently chastise them every year about wearing no costume and being too old to go trick or treating. They would just laugh at the old spinster, grab a handful of treats, and then run off. She thought that it was a good thing that she couldn’t see their face or she would have a thing or two to discuss with their father. She told herself she did it for the little ones. It was a holiday for the ones who were still innocent and believed in magic.
It got dark early this year. It was drizzly, gray and cold. She felt bad for the little angels, fairies and princesses in their thin gauzy cheap costumes. She made a big thermos of hot cocoa, and put it out on the card table next to the festive cookies she made. She prided herself on having the best porch display for Halloween. She knew kids from all over the town came to her neighborhood just for the experience. Her treat bags were legendary on Main Street.
At five pm the doorbell rang. The littlest trick or treaters usually came out before their dinner. She offered them sugar cookies, and hot cocoa. She held up her basket of goodies to choose from. She said hello to parents, and talked about how much their little one had grown. She snapped pictures on her camera for prosperity sake.
There was a steady stream of witches, fairies, princesses, ghosts, and monsters until nine pm. She sipped her coffee on the porch in her rocker in between guests. She knew the big kids would be out late. She always shut her light off at ten pm. No child should be out tricking past ten. Anyone out that late was just looking for trouble.
At quarter to ten, she started bringing in the cocoa and cookies. She left the treat basket on her rocker, and the screen door ajar as she cleaned up. She left her witch hat on the chair.
She heard heavy footsteps on the porch.”Who’s there” she yelled. No answer, just heavy boots on the planks of her porch. “Take your candy and go.” she scolded. “Damn punky teens”… she muttered aloud. She heard a low grunt. “I said… take the treats and go” she yelled towards the screen door, getting annoyed at the rude interruption. “Don’t make me call your Father.” She grabbed her broom and headed toward the screen door. “I swear…” she muttered as her boots stamped as she walked.
The large figure at the door shifted. Peering in, he grunted. His big muddy feet were heavy on her welcome mat. She gripped her broom tightly and hastily made her way with it to the door frame. She figured it was one of those high school football guys playing a prank on her. Wait until she saw his face, he would learn not to cross her. She knew everyone in this town.
As she neared the door, he rattled the screen. “You had better hope that I don’t know your Father boy…” she scolded. She reached the door as he was pounding at it. A foul smell hit her nostrils as she covered her nose with her black satin gloved hand. “Take your treat. And take a damn shower will you? Damn sweaty teen boys.”
He shifted and banged harder on the frame, grunting and growling at her. His face was a mess of torn bloody flesh and gaping oozing scars. His mummified clothing tattered, as if he Hulked from a smaller frame. “Nice make up job” She whispered appreciatively. She snapped a few pictures for prosperity. “You had your scare, now go. It’s late boy. Stop wasting my time. I’m over due for bed.” She stomped her boot for emphasis.
He lunged at the storm door, ripping the screen from it. “Now you are in trouble Boy!”She yelled, hands on her hips. He reached through the frame and grabbed her by her long slender neck. With one swift step, he was through the broken country door frame. He squeezed the life from her frail four foot 10 inch form, as he leaned in for his holiday treat. Her bony shoulder crunched as he ripped through its tender meat.
Her screams went unheard. It was Halloween. He was just another walker grabbing a trick and treat.