This story was originally published on October 19, 2020
Trick Or Treat
“They say each Jack O Lantern represents a kid he’s murdered. That’s why there is a new one every year.”
“That can’t be true. How could he have gotten away with that many?”
“He’s a professional serial killer.”
Molly, Teddy, and Ben stood in front of Mr. H’s house. 8 Jack O Lanterns sat lit up on his porch.
“I don’t think that’s true. It sounds like an urban legend to me.” Ben said.
“If you’re so sure,” Teddy said, “why don’t you ring the bell?”
“Yeah.” Molly said. “See what kind of candy scary Mr. H hands out.”
Ben stood there, pillowcase in hand. “His light isn’t on.” He said. “That means he doesn’t want trick or treaters.” Molly and Teddy gave each other a look.
“Okay then.” Molly said. “Let’s go to the next house.”
The kids spent the next few hours filling their pillowcases with candy. Teddy and Ben walked Molly to her house.
“Goodnight! Don’t let the Bed Bugs bite!” They yelled.
“See you Monday. I’m going to go eat my weight in candy.” Molly said, before closing the door.
Teddy’s house was next.
“You wanna call your mom and see if she can pick you up here?” Teddy asked. Ben wasn’t sure if he was poking fun or not.
“Nah.” Ben said. “There’s still a lot of people out, and its not too far.”
“Just cross the street when you get to Mr. H’s place. Wouldn’t want him to see you walking alone.” Ben rolled his eyes.
Ben walked down the steps of the house.
“Hey,” he said, catching Teddy right before he closed the door. “What does the ‘H’ stand for?”
“Horror.” Teddy said, with a knowing smile.
Ben started to laugh.
“You guys almost had me.”
Ben walked home alone – and he had to pass Mr. H’s house to get there. Just like the beginning of the night, he stood and looked at the 8 Jack O Lanterns on his porch. Something was different though. The porch light was on.
Maybe Ben wanted to prove himself.
Maybe he just wanted more candy.
He walked up to the door of Mr. H’s house.
He rang the doorbell.
An old man answered the door.
“Trick or Treat!”
Several hours passed. The streets quiet as most kids had long gone home. It was 11:55PM, still halloween.
Mr. H put a ninth Jack O Lantern on his porch.