”Trick or treat?”
When the doorbell had rung he had had to put down his whiskey on the rocks on the side table (glass against glass, a distinct, crystal clear sound with no echo), together with his reading glasses and the book he was just about to finish. Knees had cracked as he'd risen from his chair and forced his body to stand up straight. As he'd passed the music player he'd turned down the Wagner opera and cleared his throat.
He hadn’t talked to anyone since yesterday, when he’d asked the girl behind the counter at the tobacconist for a tin of McConnell’s. It was needless to say, but he needed to say something.
When he finally got to the door and opened it, there was a 3 feet tall monster staring back at him. Eyes covered with dark sunglasses, teeth long and pointy and a black cape over shoulders, actually just a hood jacket, a couple of sizes too large.
“Trick or treat?”
“Listen, young man… or woman? Are you a boy or a girl?”
“I’m a monster. Trick or treat?”
“Well, I’d like to see you perform the trick. What did you have in mind?”
The monster sucked in and bit its lower lip, forehead frowned under the hood, as if there was no trick prepared.
“Uhmm…. I’m gonna throw a spider at ya.”
“Oh my. Well, go ahead. Take your shot.”
The monster fumbled around and took out a black widow plastic replica from a pocket, aimed and threw. It hit his left knee and landed in front of his checkered slippers.
“Not good enough. You’ll have to practice for next year, ok?”
The monster nodded.
“And that costume, it’s not exactly scary. Let me show you something.”
He crouched down, put his hand over his right eye and took it out.
“See, you want to touch it?”
The monster stood quiet, paralyzed by the eye that was staring at him from the old man’s hand.
“And those fake fangs of yours, I've got something worse than that.”
He grabbed his upper jaw, took it out, and grinned.
“That’s one Halloween costume, or what do you say?”
The monster still didn’t say anything, but an engine was switched off somewhere near.
“What is taking you so long? Who are you talking to?”
The father of the monster walked up the gravel yard, startled when seeing the one-eyed, one-jawed man in the doorway.
“You let go of my kid or I’ll call the police. Come on Robbie, you know you shouldn’t talk to strangers.”
It was him who started it, he thought as he sat down in his chair and put the glass eye and dentures into place again, which could only partly fill the emptiness that was growing inside of him.
Happy Halloween friends!