Meg Loved Halloween

Meg loved Halloween.

Every year she bought whole sized candy bars to give to the kids, which always made her the neighborhood favorite.

Ding Dong. “Trick or treat!”

“Oh, my! What a scary vampire. Here’s your candy!”

She loved to see how creative the kids got with their costumes. Every year she thought “That was the best Halloween ever! How can next year’s possibly measure up?” But somehow, someway, the costumes became more elaborate, more exciting, and the day outdid itself yet again.

“Trick or treat” were her three favorite words.

Ding Dong. “Trick or treat!”

“Oh, my! The Fantastic Four, my heroes! Here’s your candy!”

Meg would curl up on the sofa in front of the fire with a good scary book, maybe Dracula, maybe The Werewolf of Paris, or maybe just a book of short stories by Poe. She’d snack on popcorn and wait for the doorbell to ring. She’d leap up to see what scary costume awaited her behind the door.

Ding Dong. “Trick or treat!”

“Oh, my! A Christmas tree and a clown! Here’s your candy!”

As the sun went down, Meg would open up a bottle of wine. The kids would get a little older, and the costumes more elaborate and gory.

Ding Dong. “Trick or treat!”

“Oh, my! A murderous troll with a severed head! Here’s your candy!”

She enjoyed it all so much. No other holiday brought neighborhoods together like Halloween. It was her favorite day of the year.

Ding Dong. “Trick or treat!”

“Oh, my! A devil in a black suit! Here’s your candy!”

“I’m not here for candy.”

“Excuse me?”

The man said nothing further, but stood there in his neatly pressed pin-stripped black suit. The edges of his red lips turned up just slightly as if her were smirking, but his serious penetrating red eyes belied that possibility.

“Would you like a candy bar?” Meg was little confused. Tricksters were uncommon in this neighborhood; though, not unheard of. She hadn’t run across any today.

The man continued to stand there silently, unmoving. Meg began to doubt he had even spoken at all.

“Well, if you don’t want candy, then you best run along.” She stepped slowly backwards, paused for what seemed like an eternity, and slowly closed the door. She shivered, grabbed an afghan off the back of the couch, wrapped herself and sat back down with her book.

She must have fallen asleep, as she awoke with a start.

Ding Dong.

“Oh my! …”

But there was no one at the door. She checked her watch. It was almost midnight. The wine and the fire had made sleep irresistible, apparently. Even now she had trouble shaking it off as she stared out the door. Not sure how long she’d been standing there, she resolved to go bed. She closed and locked the door for the night and began poking away the last remnants of the fire.

“I’m not here for candy.”

Meg jumped and turned around, but saw no one behind her. Her eyes searched her dimly lit room, but saw nothing. Perhaps she imagined it. “Yes,” she thought “I must have.” Another Halloween outdid itself, she thought.

Slowly she stood up, and walked to her bedroom. Creaking the door handle open, she stepped inside, closing the door firmly behind her. A thin layer of light slipped beneath her bedroom door and illuminated the floor of her living room with a puddle of unbroken light.

The shape of a foot stepped into the light, but made no ripples. Another step waded closer to the door, and as the third began to fall, the light went out leaving blackness behind.

A door handle creaked.

“I’m not here for candy.”

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