Archive for trick-or-treating

The Trick-or-Treaters

Posted in Fiction, Horror with tags , , , , on October 31, 2009 by smilingjacks

Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year. People dress up, go to parties, children go trick-or-treating–it’s one of the few times where the night is truly enjoyed by everyone. It’s ironic that a night devoted to spirits, monsters and terror is the one night where we feel safe in the darkness.

Just think about it: we walk through unfamiliar neighborhoods, visits the homes of strangers, and open our doors for people dressed as monsters and serial killers. Would we do that on any other night? Of course not–it would be far too dangerous. Halloween is just a special exception, isn’t it?

No. The dangers we fear by instinct in the dark are still very much present on this most revered night.

It was last year on Halloween. I was giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, as all good neighbors do. They were showing up pretty regularly throughout the early evening. There were young children accompanied by parents, teenagers enjoying their night of independence, and even a few nostalgic adults. You never know who’s going to show up at your door on Halloween.

Eventually, it got late and things started to die down. I hadn’t received a trick-or-treater in about an hour and I was just about turn my porch light off when there was a knock at the door.

It seemed a little late for children to still be out, but I grabbed my bowl of candy anyway. I opened the door, ready to greet the eager trick-or-treaters, when I saw two children wearing the strangest costumes I had seen all night.

Their skin was pale–ghostly white, in fact. Their eyes were completely black. Not just their pupils or irises; their entire eyes were pitch black. Their teeth were jagged like sharks’ teeth. They looked more monstrous than any trick-or-treaters I had seen before, but their clothes were plain. They wore ordinary t-shirts and shorts–normal attire.

Confused, I asked them, “What are you supposed to be? Some kind of monsters?”

“No,” the trick-or-treaters responded with discomforting smiles. “We’re dressed up as humans.”

Startled, I slammed the door and locked it. The trick-or-treaters stood outside the door for a few terrible minutes, banging on the door and calling for me to let them in. Their knocking caused the whole house to tremble. I could only watch the door as it shook in its frame. I was sure that it would fall off its hinges at any moment and they would be in, and yet I couldn’t find it in myself to do anything. I was paralyzed where I stood and transfixed on the door and the sounds of the trick-or-treaters calling to me.

Suddenly, it stopped. There was no pounding on the door, no voices outside, and when I looked out the window, I saw nothing.

I’m not sure what stopped them from getting in. Maybe they never wanted to. Maybe by closing the door, I chose “trick,” but I don’t really care. I just know that I never want to see those trick-or-treaters again.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not opening my door for strangers anymore–not even on Halloween.

BEK