Halloween Candy Thief Revenge

It’s Halloween night and your son is out trick or treating with friends. They return to your house upset. When you ask what’s wrong, they confide in you that a person dressed in a (fill in the blank) costume stole all of their candy. Instead of simply confronting the thief, you have a better plan of revenge. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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189 thoughts on “Halloween Candy Thief Revenge

  1. WriterBella

    “Mom!!”
    I turned my head as my son Jake with my daughter Janet and his two friends burst into the room. Janet’s face was red showing she was crying before.
    “What happened?”
    I asked.
    “Some mean older kids stole are candy!”
    Jake yelled his tiny hands in fist. His friends looked just as mad, while Janet shrunk back unwilling to speak. I narrowed my eyes.
    “Wait here.”
    I walked up the stairs and opened my closet door to grab four large nerf guns and headed back downstairs. Jakes face lit up when I gave him one of the guns. Then he tilted his head.
    “Aren’t theses the nerf guns that really hurt when you are hit?”
    Jake asked. I loaded mine and gave the other two to his friends.
    “That’s the point. We are getting that candy back.”
    Jake’s face lit up as he held his captains hat and jumped up and down. He and his friends seemed to like the idea as much as I did. Janet seemed not so sure.
    “Janet you can stay home with your father. Come on gang lets go!”

    We headed out nerf gun loaded and Jake stoped and pointed to a group of teenagers. I saw they had Jake and Janet’s candy bags. I hid in the bushes and aimed I nodded to my son.
    “There they be! Fire away!”
    Jake said in a pirate tone. We all started blasting are bullets. The teenagers let out a quick scream and dropped there bags and ran off. I grabbed Jake and Janet’s bags.
    “Mission complete! Back to the base!”
    Jake and his friends ran back to my house as I walked along following them. That will teach those teenagers not to mess with my kids.

  2. Ysalvatore

    As soon as I heard what my son had told me, I quickly ran to my car to chase the man in the Spider Man costume. I quickly found him and got out of the car. I confronted him and asked him nicely at first to give the candy back and we can all have a happy Halloween. He refused and tried to attack me. I quickly dodged his attack and as no one was nearby, I sink my teeth into his neck. Sucking all his blood out, that’s right I’m a Vampire. 
    ” I got your candy back” I said to my son as he was crying while his mother tries to comfort him.
    “Thank you dad, you’re the best” Said Stefan as I hand him his bag full of candies
    My wife KB confronted me, “Hey, a word please?”
    “Yes what’s up?” I asked
    “How long are you going to keep your secret from Stefan?” KB asked.
    “Don’t worry about it” I said
    After that we went home and I tucked Stefan in bed after he ate some enormous amount of candies. Shorty after that, there was a knocking at our door. It was the police.
    “Hello officer, I think trick or treating is done.” I said
    “Oh you got jokes” Said one of the officers.
    “We were told that someone spotted you at a crime scene earlier tonight” Said a officer.

  3. 1985_CarbStang

    “Daaaaaaad, some dude dressed like an alien stole my candy!” Jonathan said.
    Great, I thought. I haven’t been home long enough to change out of my clothes and here I am faced with the prospect of saving Halloween for my 10 year old son. But on second thought, this could be a lot of fun.
    “Which way did he go?” I ask while grabbing my car keys off the counter and heading out into the garage.
    “Towards the school”, Jonathan yells after me, “but what are you going to do dad?”
    “Just stay here” I tell him, “I’ll be back in a couple minutes. Tell your mom I’m just down the street if she gets home.”
    Pulling out of the driveway in my jet black Audi, I start towards the local elementary school. It should be fairly easy to get there and scan the area for the extra-terrestrial scumbag.
    No sooner than I turn the corner off of Pleasant Street on to Concord and here he is. Of course I’m completely guessing that the alien figure is a young adult, but I also remember when I was a teenager, and this is totally something I would have done. Pick the smallest kid, scare him, and take his candy. None of the work and all of the reward. I bet I can do some of the same back to him, but in Grand fashion.
    After pulling about 30 yards ahead of the squid like lifeform, I come to a stop and wait, while calmly throwing on my sunglasses and grabbing my Mont Blanc from my suit pocket.
    20 yards.
    15 yards.
    10 yards.
    15 feet.
    10 feet.
    Bingo.
    Kicking open my door I yell, “Stop!”
    Sliding to a halt the alien looks at me and knows the jig is up. Slowly he begins to drop his bags of candy to the concrete and apologize. Apparently this turd has been busy tonight.
    I put my arm up with my pen in it, scoop up all of the candy into my arms, and calmly state, “You never saw me. I do not exist. I am here solely to keep alien life forms in check. You will go back to your planet, and never speak of this again. I am a Man In Black.” Holding my pen vertically while slightly below eye level, I make an electronic noise with my mouth, and ask, “Do you understand?”
    “Ye…Ye…Yes sir!” he stammers.
    Diving back into my vehicle I take off for the house, leaving a stunned ET standing there on the sidewalk.
    The reason I tell you all of this though, is because I really need bail money. Apparently the police officer who saw me rip this kid off didn’t think this was as funny as I did. I’m in jail now for theft and impeding traffic. And that little piece of space trash is probably laughing his ass off. Jokes on him though, I’m just a salesman.

      1. 1985_CarbStang

        More than anything that was a product of being up all night working a spare job. I would say though, he is just a man with an exceedingly bizarre sense of humor.

  4. Silver Sister

    Ok, so this completely hokey (and a little long) but I promised myself I’d actually submit something this time.

    I try hard not to be a clingy, overprotective mother. Honest. But Noah is my only child. He’s trick-or-treated with buddies since he was six, but I’ve always taken them. I ensure Noah wears his coat and reflective tape. I prevent him from sneaking treats before I inspect them. And I only take the boys to neighborhoods I trust. This year, they wanted to attend a haunted hayride near their friend Cody’s house. So his mom volunteered to take the boys trick-or-treating afterwards.

    My husband seized the idea of us having a ‘grown-up’ Halloween. Adam streamed movies I’d never let play while our son was in the house. He even whipped up a batch of his famous whiskey sours. I tried to get in the spirit of things. I relaxed fully once my freckled Jedi finally walked into the family room. I resisted the urge to ambush him for a hug. Instead, I beamed at him. “Did you have fun?”

    “It was the coolest!” He excitedly launched into the story of his night.

    Adam laughed. “Sounds awesome, buddy. Did you get a lot candy?”

    “Yeah, I did, but . . .”

    I noted his missing Halloween bag. “Where’s your candy?”

    “I don’t have it anymore.”

    I straightened away from Adam. “What do you mean? What happened to your candy?”

    “Quentin Blout stole it.” My son explained how they met Quentin at the last house they trick-or-treated. While they were leaving, Cody had tripped on crack in the sidewalk. He fell and his mom and their two other friends hurried to help him. Meanwhile, Quentin blocked Noah’s path and – after a standoff – stole his candy.

    Seething, I snatched my phone from the coffee table. First, I’d call this little hellion’s parents and set that straight. Then I’d call Cody’s mom and let her know what I thought of her allowing my son to be robbed and victimized on her watch. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. I can fix this with-”

    “Mom, don’t.”

    I stilled. He hadn’t spoken loudly just . . . urgently. “You don’t have to be embarrassed to stand up for yourself.”

    “I’m not.”

    Adam put his hand on mine. “Trust me, Wendy. If he has problems with this kid, a phone call from his mommy will just intensify it.”

    “I don’t have problems with him,” Noah piped up. “Not usually, anyway.” He shrugged. “Besides, it’s okay if he wants to keep my candy. It’s not a big deal.” He must’ve seen that I wasn’t about to just let this go because he continued, “Look, Quentin doesn’t have the greatest life. His parents are divorcing. I think because his dad is kinda mean.” Noah toyed with the belt of his costume. “Anyway, Quentin didn’t get to start trick-or-treating until late because his mother worked late. He can only go to a few houses, so he won’t get much candy. So . . . .”

    “He decided to take yours?”

    Noah nodded. “But it’s not a big deal. I figured we’d have leftover candy here.” He looked serious. “Besides, I was out with Cody, Zachary and Gavin. He was just . . . alone. He can have the candy.”

    I studied my son. Suddenly, I didn’t see a victim who needed to be protected. His decency and maturity humbled me. He looked older than he had moments ago.

    “The candy bowl is in the foyer.”

    Noah and Adam exchanged looks. I know they had been expecting me to morph into ‘mama bear’ mode. This reaction clearly surprised them. “Yesssss!” Noah scampered in search of the candy.

    I snuggled back into Adam’s side. Halloween can try its best, but nothing is scarier than parenting!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        HI-O Silver, There’s nothing hokey about this. Who wouldn’t want a son like this? Sometimes straight to the heart stories are remembered more than fantasy.

    1. gamingtheblues

      I found this neither hokey nor long. I enjoy slice of life stories. Not every story has to have a murder, or crazy action fights. Family stories remind us of our own families and create more smiles than the silliest comedies. I enjoyed your story a lot, and found it rather believable.

    2. Silver Sister

      Charkhanolakha, Kerry, gamingtheblues and Critique – Thank you for your kind words! I’m a little rusty at these prompts, so I appreciate the positive feedback.

  5. Priya

    Wendy gave the kids some chocolate and candy and asked them to stay put in the house. She grabbed her long black coat and was about to slam the door shut when she stopped, turned on her heels and hurried to the kitchen, opened the drawer and put something under her coat.

    “No one steals from my child,” she thought.

    She ran to the door and yelled at the kids

    “Be good. I’ll be back in a minute”

    Wendy ran downwards the street, looking furtively left and right for the skeleton that had robbed the children. After a few minutes she had the skeleton in sight, sneeking behind a few kids. Judging by its appearance, it was probably a teenage boy. She decided right then what she would do with him.

    “Stop,” she yelled. Her voice disappeared amidst the noise the children were making.

    She held the stuff under her coat firmly and ran toward the skeleton, pushed it over in one quick movement. For the first time in her life, she was grateful that she was built big and strongly.

    She dragged the resisting skeleton at its feet behind a car and sat down on its belly, causing the skeleton to sprawl its legs and arms and trying to push her away, but she trumped him.

    Her hunch was right, it was a young boy.

    “Stealing from kids, huh. Where is the bag?” she asked.

    “It fell on the ground when you grabbed me.” he said.

    “Open your mouth,” she ordered.

    He refused.

    She grabbed his throat and said, “Open it, damn it”

    The skeleton opened his mouth.

    A bottle appeared from under her coat.

    “Drink this”

    She poured a liquid in his mouth, holding his resisting jaw open with her strong hands.

    She emptied a bottle in his mouth and hurled it into the bushes when she was finished.

    “That will teach you.”

    The boy wanted to puke, but she pushed his jaw shut. After a minute, she let him loose and got up.

    “You’re crazy. What was it? Did you poison me,” he yelled.

    He looked at her furiously. Anger was firing from his eyes.

    Wendy didn’t answer.

    The boy jumped to his feet and dived into the bushed to get the bottle.

    “You’ll know when you badly need the toilet,” she said and laughed viciously, ambling to the bag with candy.

    1. gamingtheblues

      She definitely gave him a laxative. She is also definitely insane. I liked the way the tone mirrored her own straightforward and aggressive nature. Without a care of consequence I might add. That is one rough punishment!

  6. ajhaughee83

    I could feel the vibrations already racking my body as I walked down the shaded pathway to the town center. I would find Hallen and make him pay for the hurt I saw in my boys’ eyes. I don’t care if he’s only sixteen. The boys get so few chances for a night of lighthearted fun. They are always plagued by the injustices to our people.

    My muscles were expanding and contracting involuntarily. I took a deep breath to refocus myself so I could deliver retribution to Hallen. There he was, leaning casually on a tree next to the market square, surrounded by his adoring pack of supporters. He of course had on long pants, long sleeves, and a hooded jacket. I even saw a glint of a stone amulet hanging around his neck. Chuckling I wondered what inane item the humans would try as a talisman next. Whoever came up with these ideas must have a lot of coin because they seem to catch on like wildfire.

    “Having a fun night?” I asked as I approached him. The other kids scattered.

    Hallen must have seen the steely glint in my eye because he immediately stiffened.

    “Yes, sir.” Hallen took a few steps forward. “It’s getting late. I think I will head home now.”

    “I think that’s a great idea.” I looked carefully, scanning him up and down as he started to pass by me. There it was. A small patch of skin showing where his sleeve had been slightly pushed up. It was all the window I needed.

    My hand flew out to grab Hallen firmly by the wrist. His eyes widened in panic and he instantly clutched the amulet around his neck.

    “You should get your money back,” I said with a wicked grin.

    Closing my eyes I let the vibrations grow stronger and more violent until my entire body was shaking. Hallen tried desperately to wrench his arm away but it was locked in the vice of my grip. Then came the inevitable burst as my entire body broke into billions of particles and rushed through the thin layer of Hallen’s skin. I felt myself spread out inside his shell, taking over his arms, heart, legs, all the way down to his toes. I saw the market square through his eyes and smiled the sixteen-year-old’s smile.

    Hallen’s body obediently marched down the forest pathway toward the river’s edge where all the other kids had recongregated. Let’s see if a bit of humiliation would knock him down a peg or two.

    (sorry – pressed for time this week!)

    1. gamingtheblues

      I love sci-fi and I found your extra-terrestrial species interesting. I kept wondering just what kind of injustices could be done to a species with such power.

  7. Craig the Editor

    It’s In The Bag

    It was after ten when Tommy came stumbling through the door. His face was covered in bruises, blood and tears. He clutched his side and collapsed on the couch. His bag of goodies was no where in sight.

    His mother rushed over to make a fuss over him. If kept it up she was going to make him weak and useless to me.

    “Hey, don’t bleed all over the couch, your mother just had it cleaned. What the hell happened to you?”

    “What do you think? I wanted to go out as a zombie or something cool but you made me go out dressed as Barney, the dinosaur. It was like I was a target for the Linoleum brothers. They jumped me near the abandoned garage on Maple.”

    The three Linoleum brothers ran Pinewood Elementary like their own person fiefdom. Nothing happened without them getting a cut of the action. Halloween was no different. It had been the same when I went to school with their old man and his brothers. But this time it would be different. Times were changing.

    “Are you sure it was them?”

    “Of course I am sure. They tried to fool me with their Sponge Bob Square Pants disguises but the blackjacks and brass knuckles gave them away.”

    “What happened?”

    “There’s not much to tell. I had a bag full of candy and I was headed home when I came across them. I think they were waiting for me. The next thing I knew I had a new costume. The Human Punching Bag. I tried my best but I was outnumbered. When I came around, the bag and all my goodies were gone.”

    “I think it’s time we taught the Linoleoum brothers a lesson they won’t soon forget.”

    “Are you and mom going to pay them a visit?” Tommy asked hopefully.

    “No, they deserve more than a good spanking. I had a feeling something like this would happen, so I planted a tracking device in your goodie bag.” he replied with a smirk.

    “And you didn’t bother to tell me?” Tommy asked incredulously

    “No, because I figured you would ask too many damn questions. I wanted it to be a surprise. And not only was there a tracker in your bag, I had your mother sew a bag of “nose candy” into the bottom of the bag.”

    “I don’t understand”

    “It’s simple. I had your mother drop some hints at the local nail salon that you would be carrying something “special” in your bag tonight, knowing it would get back to their mother.”

    “So you set me up on purpose? You’re not exactly father of the year material.”

    “If I called the police over some stolen candy, the Linoleum brothers get a slap on the wrist and you get to be the Human Punching Bag again. But if the police find something more than a few “fun sized” candy bars, well that’s a different story. Now get me one of the disposable cell phones from the closet.”

    Tommy skipped with glee to get the cell phone. With the Linoleum brothers out of the way, Pinewood Elementry would be open territory once again.

    1. gamingtheblues

      Ahh the little Mafioso about to become the Don of the Elementary school it would appear. I enjoyed this story. Allow me to add some constructive criticism if you will. The tone of Tommy felt inconsistent a bit. With the more mature emotion driven dialogue given to his father, I would have expected more description or emotion about the fight…either swagger or anger. Then skipping with glee…I felt the swing from kid to older attitude to kid again a little distracting.

      The story and the ideas show promise and I find the idea of a elementary school crime syndicate amusing in a grim way.

  8. regisundertow

    Moving out of my comfort zone again by trying to write something with an actual plot rather than a vibe.
    Hope you enjoy.

    *******************

    THE DROP THAT EATS THE ROCK

    It only takes one glance at my son’s averted gaze and the overflowing bag of candy to realize what he’s done. I know him better than anyone else in the world, I can tell when he’s about to break my heart. What do you have in there, I ask. Just stuff, he mumbles on his way to his room. Candy. From the neighbours. I watch him close the door behind him and debate with myself whether I have the energy to do what’s necessary.

    I shut the hedge trimmer manual I’m reading, close my eyes and rub them until spots explode behind my eyelids. I never thought he’d be one of those kids. Problem children. I steered clear of them when I was his age. Now, I’m responsible for one and some days I’m wondering where the will to deal with him comes from. And he’s barely a teenager…

    He curses when I enter his bedroom. Knock on the fucking door, Dad! The candy is neatly laid out on his bed, grouped by brand and sorted by size. Farthest from him sits a small anarchic pile of liquorice and jawbreakers. Fernando, I tell him for the hundredth time, you use that language again, I swear I’ll throw your stupid ass out of the house. He glowers at me, then looks away. It’s not your house…

    I ignore him. I have no patience for this. Out for barely half an hour, no costume, and he returns with a full bag? I know my own son. Who did you take this from? I demand. As good as he is at pushing other kids around, his poker face needs work. His voice gets all monotone-like and he doesn’t look at me in the eyes. Sometimes I’m tempted to call him out on it, but I’ll use any dirty trick I can.

    He eventually breaks, more out of frustration than guilt. The Davenport kids. I know them. They’re both younger than him. Smaller, scrawny. I hope he didn’t rough them up. I’ve worked for their father two autumns in a row, when their trees needed pruning and the fallen leaves had to be removed. Fernando has to be smarter than that. He thinks his size makes him a goddamn king, but that’s not how the world works. We can’t afford to be losing work because he doesn’t think things through. We can’t afford to be black-listed in this community.

    He objects and throws a tantrum as I thought he would, claiming he did nothing wrong. They can buy all the candy they want, we ain’t got shit in this place. I grab him by the nape and lean in. Keep cussing, little man, I growl. See what happens.

    I force-march him out of the guest house bungalow, thankful that my brother-in-law isn’t home to see us. We step out on the cul-de-sac and we’re greeted by a horde of wizards, superheroes, and princesses. How many of those kids has he hurt? How many of them will hold a grudge against him when he comes begging for work and a chance to be his own man? Instead of welcoming him like one of their own, they’ll humiliate him, they’ll grab the opportunity to show him his place, make him small. He doesn’t understand his luck, the opportunity he’s given to go to school with the families of powerful folk. He doesn’t appreciate the opportunity I am given for a clean start.

    We reach the Davenport house. Two stories of colonial brick and wood, probably hundreds of years old. The red maples will soon be in need of trimming. The hedges shouldn’t be touched until spring, but Mr. Davenport don’t know none of that. Trimming them in November is good for the roots, I told him, which is not exactly a lie.

    Which ones are they, I nod at a throng of kids sitting on the curb going over their loot. He points at the two younger ones, dressed up as characters I don’t recognize. I lower myself down on one knee, clenching my teeth as the joint shoots pain up my leg. This is important, so pay attention, I tell him as I place my hands on his shoulders, trying to drill every word into his brain. What you did was wrong and doing the wrong thing will get you into trouble I can’t get you out of, understand? These people are important. You don’t look like them, you can’t go around being a villain on top of it! You throw your weight around, they ain’t ever gonna let you forget. They’ll never let you be your own man. They’ll keep you down and there won’t be a goddamn thing you’ll be able to do about it. Do you understand? Go make amends. Tell them you’re sorry. I’ll wait for you here.

    If looks could kill, I’d be dead twenty times over, but we’re not leaving until he’s done what needs doing. He shuffles over, the stolen bag by his side. It only lasts a few seconds. He hands the spoils back, muttering with his head down as his victims listen with blank stares. On his way back, he looks like he wants to break into a sprint and he pretends there’s something in his eye. I can’t hear what the other kids say to each other from this distance, but I bet he can. He walks past me and marches home. We don’t say a word to each other on the way back.

    He runs straight into his room when we arrive, slamming the door. I’ve told him a hundred times not to do that, but I say nothing this time. Slumping into my chair, I notice a red dot blinking on the answering machine. I hesitate checking it. I don’t have the energy to deal with people right now. Still, it could be about work…

    The message plays. Hi Mr. Herrera, this is Jay Davenport.

    My knees go cold when he cancels our deal and I barely catch the rest of the message. 100, 99, 98…Keep breathing. It don’t work and my molars are grinding themselves to dust. My fist goes through the wall as if it’s nothing. When I pull it out, the knuckles are smeared with blood. The next thing I know, I’m standing beside red maples and my nails have dug tracks into my palms.

    1. Beebles

      Come out … come out of the comfort zone Regis. That was excellent. The relationship well protrayed: ‘We don’t say a word to each other on the way home.’ The ending was understated and yet unsettling. Good job.

    2. Nicki EagerReader

      I concur with Beebles, regis- this was quite different from what you usually craft, but none the less powerful. I’m normally not a fan of dialogue that’s “immersed” in the text, but that style fit perfectly here. A beautiful, multilayered story. Good job!

      1. rle

        I couldn’t agree more with Beebles and Nicki. Maybe you should consider switching comfort zones. I could really feel the MC’s turmoil and thought the dialogue made the whole thing seem more real. I thoroughly enjoyed this Regis

        1. regisundertow

          It’s forced evolution. Learning how to tone down stuff to let prose shine when it should. It’s a huge exercise in restraint for me, something I got issues with, but hopefully one that will lead to more nuanced writing. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Rle.

    3. ReathaThomasOakley

      Interesting to use the word “comfort” here, regis. Your stories make me feel your people deeply, so many are flawed, but uncomfortably real. I think about your stories for a long time after I read them. Wonderful.

      1. regisundertow

        We’re all walking contradictions, showcases of complexes and neuroses, and writing certainly beats therapy 🙂
        Of all the great things people have said in this forum, I count this as one of the loveliest. Thank you, Reatha.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Whoe, that was a powerful, hearbreaing story of life. You dd it well letting the reader know what traveled trough the fathers mind. The situation the father finds himsel, is the real tragedy here..

          1. regisundertow

            Thank’s, Kerry. Some people just can’t catch a break, it unfortunately happens more often than it has any right.

        2. PatDatMann

          I concur with all the comments. The gravity of the characters’ actions become more and more palpable with each sentence. So much so that by the end I had little to no doubt that the protagonist and his son would be facing the night’s ramifications head on.

    4. Critique

      I really enjoyed this Regis – excellent work on characterization and setting. One step forward trying to do the right thing then two steps back – I fear the outcome of this story.

    5. gamingtheblues

      What more can I say that has not been said by the multitude already? This was powerful, with difficult life lessons and harsh reality wrapped in a story that feels ripe for tragedy.

  9. PatDatMann

    Daddy! What we gon do about our candy?! Candy! Daddy!” said the forceful sixty-inch fifth grader, who was clearly the foreman for his younger twin brothers, standing over me looking like a baby gap bar graph that peaks in the middle. As expected I replied -“You gon stop yelling about it is what you gon do, and act like you got some sense.” I had just begun to doze off and was approaching end of Mike Jack’s Thriller album in my headphones (as I do every Halloween) when I was rudely awaken by the fondles of some of the stickiest little hands I’ve ever felt in my life on my face. Honestly I forgot I had kids and was ready to go to war with these face eating zombies- but low and behold they were just the privacy invading gremlins that I helped usher in this world, back from trick or treating. “As sticky as your hands are, it looks like you ate it all already. I’m not going to get up and get ya’ll some more.” – I told them. Thats when they went on to explain to me about how some high school kids each wearing identical President Obama masks, snatched their candy out their hands and rode away when they were on their way home. Naturally I began to laugh- it was hysterical, my twin boys are usually always on the same page and they’ll never do anything if they don’t both agree and my oldest boy is never this vocal about anything unless he knows he’s to blame for whatever happened and he was in full damage control. Climaxing from my fit of laughter I notice that the six eyes peering out at me were welling up with tears- “Stop laughing at us Daddy!” “Yea Stop!” “Stop.” each boy said respectively. Wiping the fluids from my face I reply- “You boys are acting like the proverbial babies who’ve gotten their candy stolen”; they didn’t understand how hilarious it was at the time but eventually they will. On condition that they stop crying and get over the candy, I told them that I would give them something better than candy: retribution. Given the tight knit neighborhood we live in, kids couldn’t do anything with anonymity- mask or no mask, I knew which bad ass little pre-teens snatched my boys bags so I took this opportunity to teach them their first lesson in pranking. Armed with a bottle of crazy glue I loaded the boys up into the car and drove to where they said their candy was stolen and soon after found the pilferer’s bikes strewn across the lawn in font of the house at the other end of the block. Per my instructions, the boys excitedly jumped out the backseat as soon as the car stopped and hurriedly applied glue to the handle bars and seats of each bike- brimming with a rush that no amount of candy could provide.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Interesting take on the prompt, Pat. I’ll add what I’ve seen others write in the past, some of us with older eyes would appreciate you putting some paragraph breaks in your story.

    2. gamingtheblues

      There are a lot of deep undercurrents hiding in here. The protagonist’s childish retribution prank to the disconnect with his own family. As mentioned editing would help flesh out the thought patterns of both the author and the story itself.

      A suggestion, every time your story or characters have a new thought, create a new paragraph. It will be a little rough and dirty, but it will give your readers more to chew on, so to speak.

      I think the backstory of your main character is rather dark, and full of loss and resentment.

  10. Critique

    Revenge of the Green Superheroes

    Leon Mason heard voices and was ready for the trick or treaters with the candies left in the plastic Jack-O-Lantern. He stuck his head out the front door and saw three green superheroes charging up the walkway. His son Adam – Green Lantern, followed by his buddies Sam – Hulk, and Forester – The Green Hornet were – empty handed.

    “Whatcha gonna do Adam?” Hulk’s face paint had smeared into a ghoulish mess.

    “We gotta tell your Dad.” The Green Hornet wheezed, his green eye mask perched rakishly on his forehead.

    “My Dad will know what to do.” Green Lantern said in a wobbly voice, suspicious green streaks running from his painted eye mask down each cheek.

    Leon said. “Hey, guys. Where’s the loot?”

    A chilling tale emerged.

    The three superheroes were approached by two older boys wearing balaclavas and army fatigues who demanded they hand over their candy. The three resisted but it was useless. One older boy grabbed The Green Hornet’s arm, threw him to the ground and wrested the pillow case out of his hand. The other one locked his arm around Green Lantern’s neck and squeezed. When Hulk saw what was happening he swung his bulging pillow case at a balaclava and the boy stumbled backwards letting go of Green Lantern’s neck. Enraged, the balaclava duo swore and came at them with their fists. Terrified the little boys fled to Adam’s house.

    Leon recalled big kids that fit that description stopping by and anger welled in his chest. He thought the neighbourhood safe for nine year old Adam and his friends to go together.

    “I’m pretty sure it was Hayden and his twin brother Hunter.” Adam said and his friends nodded. “His sister is in our class at school. She says they’re mean sometimes.”

    Taking stock of the disheveled demoralized trio, Leon knew he had to find a way to redeem the situation.

    “Okay guys. Here’s what we’re going to do.” He said.

    Leon made a few calls to Adam’s friends parents to tell them the story and get their permission. Then he called his police partner Dwayne Fraser and within minutes a squad car pulled up to the house.

    “Alright men are we ready?” Leon said. The subdued superheroes nodded.

    The boy’s eyes were wide with excitement as they climbed into the back of the squad car.

    Lights flashed blue and red and the siren wailed as the squad car pulled into Hayden and Hunter’s driveway.

    Leon and Dwayne talked with the twin’s mother. The father was away serving in Afghanistan. When a white-faced Hayden and Hunter dressed in their fatigues were summoned to the front steps by a very angry mother and confronted by the officer, they tried to deny the charges but the emboldened green superheroes identified them.

    The twins confessed, said they were sorry for the trouble they had caused, and apologized to the boys.

    Following a stern talk from Dwayne about bullying, he recommended the twins – with the consent of their mother – attend a course on bullying at the police station.

    Three pillow cases mysteriously appeared topped up with candy and returned to the elated superheroes.

    When the squad car pulled away Adam said, “Thanks Dad. Mr. Fraser.”

    Forester and Sam chimed in their thanks too.

    The crackle of candy wrappers and conversation in the back seat had Leon and Dwayne grinning as they drove the boys to their respective homes.

    Adam looked over at Sam. “You were a totally awesome Hulk, swinging your sack like that.”

    “You WERE a real superhero.” Forester agreed.

    Sam’s green face was buried in his pillow case. “Wow this is awesome.”

    Gleefully the fearless superheroes held their booty aloft and laughed.

    1. gamingtheblues

      As I mentioned to another of the more “real” prompt writers this week, a story does not need excitement to be well written or interesting and compelling. Many of us take opportunities to indulge in the fantasies of passion or revenge that in our darkest dreams we would contemplate.

      But in reality, that is easy. It is MUCH MUCH MUCH harder to write a scene that might actually happen and make it believable. There is a reason that writers like Steinbeck were so lauded and praised. Writing believable reality is incredibly difficult, especially in dialogue. Something ALWAYS seems a little off, partly from our own experiences and whispers in our brains about what would ACTUALLY have happened “in real life.”

      And so, you should be proud that you not only were able to pull off believable dialogue but a story that could very much have happened exactly as you described.

  11. Kerry Charlton

    BEWARE THE WHITE WOLF OF HALLOWEEN NIGHT

    A Halloween moon had risen to the darkening sky in an orange-yellow ball aflame with mystic power, as Jack-O-Lantern had open his front door to the forest of non-believers of the power of his presence. His three pumpkin daughters rolled through the fresh fallen leaves, coated in an early Irish frost, in search of goodies to eat for the occasion.

    Innocence of the young gourds spread through the early evening as they rolled from door to door seeking treats. From butterscotch candied apples to fresh baked cookies, ginger punch, maple fudge hot from the pan and fresh saltwater taffy and cotton candy, they loaded the small sled they struggled to pull behind them.

    In the shadows of the woods, baby squirrel, fawn, sleepy toads, chipmunk and baby robin watched from safe cover as the sled grew heavy from treats. But also in the dark was Credence Clearwater, a wolf in sheep’s clothing watching and waiting. for the young, pretty gourds to finish their journey.

    The woods had turned frightening black as the creatures of the night and the risen tread aimlessly looking for any trouble they could find. Creedence felt comfortable wrapped in sheep’s s wool as protection . However the risen knew and somehow Creedence was aware of it.

    Jack’s girls, Katie, Josie and Aubrey completed their pathway and started home with their wagon full of goodies to share with their father and cousins at the pumpkin patch. A mild looking lamb strolled to the pathway as the girls pulled their wagon near. He threw off the sheep’s clothing and pounced on the girls,

    I’ll eat you, I will unless I have all you goodies.”

    The girls cried like little pumpkins do with tears running down their ridges. In their fear they abandoned their wagon and waddled home in great disarray. When Jack heard their story, he calmed their fears, went to his barn and saddled Thunder Hooves, his ancient horse and galloped to the forest. He approached the risen,
    “Are any of you headless by chance?“
    Two wandered over and nodded their necks in approval.
    “Mount,” Jack said, for I have business with Frederick, the wolf.
    Both mounted Thunder and one carried Jack under his arm.
    “Now light me,“ he said.
    Through the forest they rode and came across Frederick laying on the leavers in a candy stupor.
    “Throw me hard” Jack said, “at the wolf’s body“.
    Frederick caught Jack and hurtled him back.
    Then the risen descended from Thunder, one was headless, the other placed Jack atop his neck. The risen with Jack’s head spoke in an eerie whisper,

    “Wolf, known as Frederick, you shall burn in hell if your ways are not changed. We know, we know, we are from the underworld and walk the earth on Halloween night.

    The wolf listened intently and as he did so, his coat turned to a dead white as snow. And the legend of the white wolf has spread throughout the Killarney Forest even today . For on Halloween night, if one should see the white wolf, let it known that he also is walking the wrong path.. Take heed lads and lasses.

    1. cosi van tutte

      HI, Kerry!

      I really liked this story. It had a feel of an old tale and had a lot of great lines in it. I especially liked:
      “The girls cried like little pumpkins do with tears running down their ridges. In their fear they abandoned their wagon and waddled home in great disarray.” Such great visuals. 😀

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Amaria. That’s what it’s all about, trying to write something for somebody to enjoy. The only part that’s easy for me, is opeing the computer.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Funny you should ask. The grand children do like these sories, my daughters like them better.I ‘m glad you had a good ime with it. I certainly did.

    2. Beebles

      Kerry, I’m a big fan of this grand storytelling style. It embues such a sense of authority and cultural legitimacy and I think you captured this so well. I particularly liked the lists of goods and animals, delivering a punch and a rhythm.

  12. cosi van tutte

    This is a total change of pace for me and may not be quite sticking with the prompt, but what can I say? The first line of Amaria’s story inspired me to take this in a different direction.

    It was Halloween night and the angel sat on the street corner all alone.

    Crowds of costumed kids and their parental retinue walked past her. Each child had an angel at their side, guiding them, protecting them.

    The angel on the street corner did not have a child.

    She had one before.

    Dolores.

    Dark hair. Clouded blue eyes. Lovely, gentle soul.

    Lived all of one day and half a night.

    The angel should have gone home to Heaven. She had guided that small soul to God’s home of peace and glory. Her earthly mission was complete.

    Yet, she lingered and she couldn’t understand why.

    She sat on the street corner and lost herself deep in her thoughts.

    A little girl hobbled by. Her ghost costume did a good job hiding her leg braces, but her stuttered gait attracted a black-eyed hoodlum dressed as a pirate. He strutted over to her.

    The angel could see his wicked intentions. They were black steam rising off his body, twirling around his throat, binding his wrists. His angel stood a long distance away, her beautiful face wrecked with sorrow and pain.

    The little girl was alone. Her parents had wandered off to talk to other parents.

    Her angel saw the boy coming and pulled out her sword. She was ready.

    “Hey, slowpoke.” He stopped in front of the little girl. “Aww, look. It’s a cripple.”

    “Please leave me alone.”

    He laughed, a hard, coarse laugh. “Why don’t you make me?” He reached for her.

    The angel on the corner didn’t wait for the other angels to make their move. She flew at him with the speed of a thought and the violence of a scream. She stabbed his heart with her dagger.

    His eyes widened in shock and fear as he saw her pull the dagger out of his chest. He saw all of them. “What? What?”

    He saw his angel’s anguished face and he knew the reasons for her sorrow. He dropped to his knees and sat there, unable to speak, unable to defend himself.

    The little girl’s parents came back to her. “Kelly! ” They swooped down to hug her. “Are you all right?”

    “Yes, that pretty lady with a sword saved me.”

    The boy’s angel helped him up and spoke gentle words of admonishment to him. Tears ran down his face as he let her guide him away.

    The childless angel looked at Kelly’s angel and shared a smile. She was finally ready to go home.

      1. cosi van tutte

        Thanks, Amaria! It was this line in particular that inspired me: “But she was not those meek angels you see in Christmas plays.” It got me thinking about angels with swords. 🙂

    1. charkhanolakha

      I loved this, Cosi.What an interesting take on the prompt! Especially liked this line “They were black steam rising off his body, twirling around his throat, binding his wrists. “

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Dead on Cosi for a halloween post.I had some of the same thoughts as you and was really surprised to see your post right mine. I aimed for a child’s heart and I think you did also. What a charm of a story you have. I really loved it.

  13. Amaria

    I had so much fun reading other stories I decided to give this prompt a try.

    “The Angel”

    He saw her from the across the room. She stood out from all the other coeds in her angel costume. But she was not those meek angels you see in Christmas plays. No, she was a Victoria’s Secret angel, with soft white wings and long legs that got every guy’s attention. In his Jack Sparrow costume, he made his way across the room. He was a bit surprised that she accepted his offer to dance, but was glad she did. Her moves on the dance floor was anything but angelic. After a few songs and grinding, they made their way to the refreshments table and began to have a few drinks.

    Later that night the pirate and the angel found themselves outside, looking up at the stars. He was starting to feel a bit woozy from the countless drinks he had. She, on the other hand, was still nursing her first spiked punch.

    Looking up the stars the girl said, “Halloween was always a favorite holiday. I loved dressing up as different characters and then go out trick-or-treating with my friends from the neighborhood. Then I would come home and watched scary movies while gorging on candy.” She then turned to the guy. “I didn’t think I would enjoy Halloween again after what happen last year.”

    The guy asked, “Why? What happen?”

    “Some asshole frat guys dressed up like Zorro robbed my brother Toby and his friends all of their candy.”

    The guy stopped sipping his drink. His mind flashed back to the year before. He and his friends decided to dress up as Zorro, complete with masks and fake swords. They all got incredible drunk and did things he was ashamed to admit. “That really sucks.”

    The girl sighed. “Yeah. Toby always had problems socializing with other people, but he was getting better. That was until last year. Now he’s back to square one.”

    The guy shifted nervously on his feet. “I imagine you would want to punch those guys out if you ever found them.”

    The girl looked the guy straight in the eye and answered, “Yes I would.” She stared at him intensely, making him wonder if she knew he was involved.

    “Why are you staring at me like that?” he asked.

    “Don’t play coy with me Captain Jack Sparrow. I know you were one of them.” She glanced down at his drink. “You should enjoy that drink. It will be your last for a while.”

    When the guy looked down at his cup, everything began to spin. Trying to regain his balance, he reached out and found a bench. He sat down hoping the spinning sensation would stop, but everything kept spinning.

    As the girl sat down next to him, he asked her “What’s happening to me?” She leaned over to his ear and whispered, “Relax. You and me are going to have so much fun tonight.”

  14. igonzales81

    “They got it all?”

    “Every last chocolate bar.”

    “And you’re sure he was wearing a King Kong mask and a black robe?”

    My son and his friends nodded in unison.

    I cast a glance heavenward and sighed, placing my hands on my hips. Every Halloween, it was the same thing. “You kids wait here. Bob for apples or carve a pumpkin. I’ll be back soon.”

    I picked up my car keys and headed for the front door. I had no intention of simply walking up to this punk and delivering a beating. No, that would have been letting him off easy. I was going to give him a Halloween he wouldn’t forget.

    There were a few preparations to be made but they didn’t take too long. Soon I was cruising slowly through the neighborhood, keeping my eyes open for a familiar figure. He wasn’t hard to find; all I had to do was follow the anguished cries of children.

    I spotted him on the corner of Fifth and Beech, carrying a large sack bulging with purloined treats. Maybe he was on his way to find more victims, maybe he was finished for the night and was on his way home. It didn’t matter to me. It was time to end this.

    Tires screeched as I pulled to a sharp stop right in front of him and surged out of the car. He saw me, of course, but he was a bully and a coward, and his mind froze for that critical second I needed to close the gap. Then I was on him, knocking him to the ground, pulling his arms behind his back and tying his wrists together. I yanked him to his feet, stuffed a rag in his mouth to stifle the squeals he was making, and threw him into my trunk.

    When I reached my destination and opened the trunk again, I could tell by the sharp stench of urine that he was properly scared. It would get worse for him; I’d made sure of that. He was making pathetic mewling noises against the gag as I dragged him across the ground. When he saw the freshly dug grave, his cries became hysterical. Call me a bad man, but I was really enjoying myself.

    He’d gone limp with terror by the time we reached the hole, and didn’t give me any trouble as I rolled him into it. I could see the whites of his eyes as he stared up at me pleadingly. I picked up the shovel that stood nearby.

    Without a word, I started filling in the grave, ignoring his frantic, muffled shrieks. Finished, I tossed the shovel aside and returned to my car.

    He’d eventually work the gag out of his mouth, and realize that he was buried under a few inches of M&Ms and Skittles. He could eat his way out if he had a mind to.

    I smiled as I drove away. Justice was always sweet.

    1. charkhanolakha

      This was both twisted and funny Igonzales! Also loved the attention to detail e.g. mentioning the sharp stench of urine, the whites of his eyes. The details make your descriptions really powerful.

  15. charkhanolakha

    Word of warning :p: I was cranky when I wrote this; so it is much darker than the prompt justifies. Also, I’m sleepy now that I’m editing it, so it might not make much sense.
    ——————————————–
    For Javed drinking means reacquainting himself with his memories: they are old friends, friends he both loathes and cherishes. Every time they meet; they end up grappling together: trying to reconcile a traumatic past with a peaceful present: sometimes reconciliation occurs. Sometimes they remain estranged. Javed cannot stay away, however. When he has the bottle, he cannot let them go.

    When Javed visits his memories: he always begins in one specific place. Hiding behind his mom’s sari as the khaki-wearing police beat his father with dandas (sticks), his father being dragged out of the house. White kurta (shirt) smeared with bright red blood; dust from the ground. Intellect versus brute force. He does not see his father again: Professor Rizvi has become another name on the list of missing political activists in his country.

    He greets this memory like an old friend that has hurt him: questions it. “Why?” he always asks.

    He flips the page, next memory.

    He stands outside, hand clasped in Amma’s (mother’s) looking at their house. Peeling paint on the walls. He hears his memories call out to him: there’s Abu’s laughter. The sound of Amma singing. His friend Ranvir playfully accusing him of cheating at Ludo. He has another question now.
    “Where are we going, amma?”
    “Bahar” (abroad) Amma says. “Bahar, where we’ll be safe”.
    Here is another loss: the loss of a friend, the loss of a childhood home, the loss of a country; the loss of an identity.

    He moves on then to the next memory: a coffin, open to reveal a youthful face. Brown hair, still glossy, lips, still red. His wife. Marium. Death had stolen her away; and death is accountable to no one. He can ask Death no questions. He has also long stopped expecting answers. She has left him with Ali, a frail wailing child, one day old. Ali, who is all he has now.

    Since then Javed has worked with everything he is worth to ensure that Ali does not know any more loss: the type of loss that Javed has known.
    ——————————————-
    Ali is walking home with Mathew and Jenna. His knees are scratched: one is bleeding slightly. Matt and Jenna are okay, if a little ruffled from their run in with Robby, the neighborhood bully. The pumpkin shaped bag in Ali’s hand is torn: empty.

    Ali is unsure if going home is a good idea: Abu (dad) has been in one of his moods. The moods Ali associates with the green bottle. The green bottle that makes Abu alternately angry; and sad. But he walks on anyway: he has been pushed in the dirt; he is a little hurt, a little scared. Robby has taken his Halloween candy. He wants to be home; safe with his father. Maybe Abu will make it better. Ali has not yet lost hope in parental wisdom.

    Ali pulls the key out from under the mat; unlocks the door.

    Javed is sitting in front of the loudly blaring T.V. His bath robe hangs open to reveal a hairy chest and day old boxers. Beer in an unwashed mug in his large hands. He looks up; looks at Ali. Looks at his knees: the slight trickle of red blood; visible through the covering of brown mud.
    “What happened, Ali?”
    “Abuuu…Bobby and his friends! They took our candy! They pushed us! Look, they even stole our Skittles.”
    Javed stares at Ali: tries to comprehend what he is hearing.

    Words mix in his drunken mind, a morbid jumble: took, stole, pushed! Images superimpose on each other: Mud on a knee. Mud mixed with Blood. Drops of blood, seeping into the brown earth. Blood on a muddy white kurta. Took, stole, snatched.

    Then and now merge into one: he is the scared boy whose father had been taken away; he is the lost boy driven from his home by a broken system. The man death had tricked. The alcohol is not just numbing him anymore; it is erasing all sense of context; of time and place.

    They are starting to steal from Ali now, as they had stolen from him. Father, house, wife. Oh, it is starting small, but it would build. It always builds.

    He knows where this Bobby lives. He knows what he has to do. He has to stop this: stop the injustice before it escalates. He has to protect them: Ali, Ali’s friends, himself.

    He pushes his son out of the way, runs into the garage. A couple of cans of gasoline. Perfect.

    He is at Bobby’s house. He sneaks in under the hedge, ignoring its thorny efforts to keep him out. Walks to the wooden building, quietly trailing gasoline around its four walls. Ducks under windows, keeps out of sight. The last can is almost empty, he takes a step back, and lights a match.

    There is a quick spark. The lit match makes a pretty, ruby arc as it spins through the dark night and lands on the dry grass: igniting the brown liquid.

    The gasoline burns with a vengeance. There is a blast: a trail of fire that begins to crawl its way up the walls, devouring them hungrily. The fire twists; turns; makes its way into crevices; expanding them; it is alive now: and searching for sustenance. Screams begin to emanate from inside the house: a fire alarm pierces the air.

    Javed stands there; mouth agape, face lit red from the glow of the angry fire; can of gasoline in his hand, a steady drip, drip of the liquid landing next to his feet. Realization of what he has just done is beginning to dawn: and he is standing too close to the fire.

    1. Beebles

      i know i commented on this before but it doesnt seem to have appeared. thats my rubbish phone for you. it deserves more than one comment anyway as i shall be reading it several times. dark or no i thought it was beautiful charkha. rich and immerssive.

  16. Beebles

    Pretty standard fare I’m afraid but I hope it pleases – I really must get out of this real life rut! And thanks to Cosi for reminding me how a crying child speaks!

    NOT HERE. NOT NOW.

    I stare at the envelope on the kitchen table for many minutes before opening it. I have waited until Simon is out trick or treating with his friends. I didn’t want him to witness. I know what it says. I think it ironic they want to repossess this house anyway; I’ve had no money to do any repairs in the past few years and sometimes it feel as if the ice has prised apart the timber cladding to let the winter wind in.

    No boy of ten should see hisfather cry.

    At least he will be at his mother’s for Thanksgiving and I can post-pone the news.

    I must pull myself together in time to pick him up from the party at the Jefferson’s. I hate meeting other parents now. I never know what to say. They talk about their jobs, meetings, cars. While I …

    The front door bursts open and it’s Simon. He deposits himself at the bottom of the stairs. Great sobs wrack him.

    ‘What an earth is the matter?’ I ask, drying the last of my own tears as I join him.

    ‘S…s…some b… big kids took all our stuff.’

    Instantly there is a knot in my stomach. I feel the fear and injustice in every bone. I embrace him.

    ‘I…I’m sorry, Simon.’

    ‘They t…took everything we had. It’s not fair.’

    I tell myself that it’s only sweets and yet his pain is tearing at me, mauling me. I know I could call the police, but … but its only sweets. If I had the courage I would go out and confront them. The idea scares me. Even kids. I’m not good at confrontation.

    ‘What did they look like?’

    Simon wipes his face. ‘One was dressed as that evil Iraq bloke.’

    ‘What, George Bush?!’

    ‘No, Sodom H….’

    ‘Ah, Saddam Hussain…’

    ‘… and the other was Obama …’

    ‘Osama bin laden, yep.’ Such innocence. I can’t bear his tears anymore. ‘Don’t worry,’ I say slowly, as if it will all have gone away by the time I’ve said it, hoping he’ll say no, ‘I’ll go and get your sweets back.’

    Simon picks himself up limply and starts up the stairs. ‘It doesn’t matter,’ he mumbles.

    Those words cut me more than any I have heard this year; more than the store manager’s bawling or the customers’ snide comments. I can’t lose him as well.

    ********

    I am walking the orange street, amongst ghouls and vampires, looking for the ghosts of two former dictators. My heart beats out the soundtrack to the night’s horrors. I have no idea what I’ll do if I find them. Perhaps I will think of something witty and derogatory that will make them hand over the goods and run away.

    I see them at the corner of a side street. They are bigger than I expected.

    I have always believed in being polite, so I will start off this way: I would look foolish shouting if it wasn’t them. I approach, sweating under my quilted coat.

    ‘Excuse me, but did you steal my son’s candy?’

    *********

    I open one painful eye to see the shape of the woman in a red haze.

    ‘Oh my God, are you ok?’ Her voice is high and sweet.

    ‘Yeah, I think … can you help me get up?’

    ‘Jesus, Daniel! Is it? … yes, it is you. Christ what are the chances. What happened?’

    This is the last thing I want. The woman is Janet, my boss and owner of the company I left to forge out on my own. I explain.

    ‘What are you doing here, Janet?’

    ‘I relocated the company three months ago. I wondered if I would see you. We miss you in the office Dan. Your humour. Your imagination. God you look awful. Do you live close?’

    ‘Just up the road.’ I point vaguely. I really don’t want her to see the state of my house.

    ‘Come on,’ she says, ‘let’s get you back to Margery.’

    ‘Oh … Margery’s not there. She le … we split up …’

    Janet just says ‘Oh.’

    It is a funny sound. It is not the normal sound of condolence. The intonation does not go down as one might expect. It goes up. Strangely, it gives me courage.

    ‘So what about you?’ I ask. ‘Did you find that someone you always spoke of?’

    She rocks her head, one arm around my back, the other on my arm.

    ‘Maybe. I’ll tell you later,’ she says, ‘but first, let’s go and get your boy some candy.’

    1. charkhanolakha

      I don’t know, Beebles..real life can have some pretty revealing moments as well! I really liked how you equated Simon saying ‘It doesn’t matter,’ in a disheartened tone with his dad losing him.
      I really enjoyed reading this, thank you!

    2. regisundertow

      So few words, but so many emotions on display. I actually liked the positive ending. It could have been cheesy at the hands of another writer, but it never felt like it. Loved loved loved the characterization, as always, so much being said between the lines.

      1. Beebles

        Why, thank you indeed Regis. You certainly know how to make an old hand at caseiculture (yes i looked that up) feel special. So pleased you saw what I saw.

  17. Pete

    I pull up at the house a few minutes before nine. Just as I was told. Emma asked me to come Sunday but it’s my weekend. So here I am, staring at the immaculately carved pumpkins. After the festivities, after the fun. The street is clear. The door opens and Emma kisses Trenton on the cheek without a wave.

    He skulks to the car. No doubt dreading his night with Dad. Even though it’s my weekend. He’s still wearing his pirate hat. The jacket with the sashes that I bought for him.

    He hops in the backseat and I try to keep it upbeat. “Hey, where’s the booty?”

    “The what?”

    “You call yourself a pirate, matey? The booty. The treasure. The candy.”

    “Oh, Logan took it all.”

    “What?” I say, breaking from my horrendous pirate accent.

    “Can we just go, Dad?”

    I pull off, trying to drop it. Really trying, but I know he’s back there, near tears. The kid is so sensitive, after all he’s been through.

    At the light I can’t hold back. “He took your candy?”

    “Yes,” Trenton hisses, and I don’t have to see him to know he’s rolling his eyes. Misty eyes of a fragile kid who’s seen a courtroom. A kid with two homes, two stepbrothers, and three parents.

    “What did your mother say? Or Dave? What did Dave say about it?”

    “Da—Dave said ‘Give it back’. But he’d already taken all the good candy. Mom said she’d buy some for me.”

    I shake my head. Typical shit, Emma. Just buy the kid candy and everyone’s happy. But this isn’t about candy. Or that chubby little snot, Logan. It’s about Dave, the cable salesmen who took my wife, my house, and even my dog. That guy took my life.

    “Green light, Dad.”

    I unclench my death grip on the wheel. Turn left. Towards my apartment. Away from my house with the colorful trees along the sidewalk. Away from the urge to pull over and cuddle up my son who would only brush me off. Away from Dave, and his fake smile that I want to kick in like a jack ‘o lantern. Then it hits me.

    “Hey Trenton, want to have some fun?”

    “I don’t care.”

    I pull the car over into a pile of leaves. Turn around and face him. A sliver of the streetlight hits his sharp cheekbones, his mother’s delicate features, and I realize how quickly our lives have untangled into parallel, but widely spaced routes.

    “So you went trick or treating, right?”

    “Uh, yeah.”

    “But your treats are gone.”

    He glances out the window, at nothing. Nothing is better than facing me. Nothing beats having to make eye contact with the guy who picks him up every other weekend.

    I touch his knee. “So we pull some tricks!”

    That gets him back. He looks at me, ready to listen.

    I turn the car off and we hop out. We slink down the dark street, the fragile pirate and I, on a Halloween mission. It’s cheap and petty and horrible parenting. Yet it feels wonderful.

    Trenton waits behind a tree while I sneak up and gather three of the four pumpkins from the porch. I leave Trenton’s, which is the old school, traditional style. Just like I always carved.

    I know the Patriots’ pumpkin is Dave’s so I call dibs on that one. The meticulously etched Steelers is all Logan’s. I set that one on the sidewalk. A small smile emerges. I tell Trenton to give it a kick. To get him started I bash Dave’s pumpkin on the walkway—a little more violently than intended but releasing some highly-charged anger nonetheless.

    With that he gets to work, kicking with such vengeance that I second guess my fears of his getting bullied. The kid is thrashing, muttering under his breath when the porch lights come on. Shit. I grab him, still flailing at the pumpkin on the sidewalk. We flee into the cover of night, leaves crunching beneath our less than stealthy footsteps. Max is out there barking his head off. Trenton can’t stop giggling.

    It’s like a drug, his laugh. So I take him trick-or-treating. Again. Banging on doors and pissing people off. But you know what? So be it. The kid is having a good time. Me too. Even if there’s hell to pay. My phone is full of text messages and voicemails.

    GROW UP

    I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU.

    SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR SON

    I turn it off. Save the fight for later. Probably in front of the kid. He’ll grow up getting jerked around and dragged through it all. And that sucks. But tonight we’ll gorge on candy and watch black and white movies. He’s got candy in his lap and a full moon smile on his delicate little face.

    So be it.

    1. charkhanolakha

      Really got drawn into this, Pete! The build up from frustration to relief,to happiness and then to putting off the consequences is so perfectly done!

  18. rle

    Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted and this doesn’t follow the prompt, but it’s just what popped into my head. Hope I’m not too rusty.

    ____________________________________________

    Harvey McClelland couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fall evening. The sun had just dipped below the horizon and now it’s waning light painted a breathtaking kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, and purples on a canvas of thin wispy clouds that had risen in the western sky. The air was cool, calm and filled with the aroma of colorful leaves that gently danced from the treetops and landed gracefully on the landscape below. Soon, the wicked winds of winter would blast the neighborhood with frigid rain then eventually snow which would bludgeon the final few unnoticed leaves of autumn from their branches and swiftly wash them down the storm drains never to be seen again. This evening though, was a sight to behold.

    Harvey sat patiently under the dim front porch light on the weathered glider he and his wife of nearly fifty years had shared on many an evening such as this. Beside him, sat a large bowl nearly overflowing with home made caramels, each one carefully crafted and individually wrapped, just like Glenda had done on so many Halloween nights before her passing. For several years after she’d gone, Harvey had opted out of the neighborhood beggars night festivities. He’d become reclusive and withdrawn, the butt of an array of pranks pulled by many of the kids up and down the street. He’d become bitter in those later years, but this year something had changed and for the better part of an entire day he had painstakingly followed Glenda’s recipe for those mouthwatering treats, making sure each on was perfect and neatly wrapped in wax paper. For years, the McClelland home had been the most popular stop on the street and Harvey had finally decided to resurrect that once treasured tradition.

    As the sun continued to sink and usher in dusk, Harvey sat in giddy anticipation, awaiting the arrival of the first ghosts, ghouls, princesses and super hero’s . Then they came. It was only a trickle at first, but once word spread about the home made caramels, they came in droves.

    Harvey saw many unfamiliar faces, but then there were the ones he knew all too well, like Travis Miller. He was the one that Harvey knew for certain had pissed on Glenda’s favorite rose bush every day on the way to school. Two caramels for Travis; one from the bowl and another from Harvey’s breast pocket. Soon, along came Mikey Simmons, the little rat bastard who had toilet papered every tree in Harvey’s yard. Two caramels. Then there was Kevin Quinn, the boy who found it amusing to light fire to paper bags full of dog feces on Harvey’s porch. Harvey swore that one day he’d force feed that boy one of those bags of dog shit, but not tonight. Tonight it was two caramels.

    As quickly as it had began, it was all over , the streets and sidewalks returned to silence. Harvey looked up and down the street and all was somber under the shadowy street light glow. He looked down at the bowl at his side and the last caramel that remained there. He savored the sticky sweetness as it melted on his tongue, while recalling a lifetime of memories. As the first ambulance sped by, piercing the silence with it’s shrill sirens and bright flashing lights, Harvey plucked the last caramel from his shirt pocket. This morsel too was creamy and sweet, but also with a hint of something else. As another ambulance raced up the street, Harvey felt a tear leak from the corner of his eye. He buried his chin in his chest and drew a ragged final breath. Yes, Harvey McClelland couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fall evening.

    1. gamingtheblues

      I had to re-read that to fully…take it in… so to speak. This was a mesmerizing story, and haunting…oh so haunting in its finale. I am a skim reader…where I read fast and hard but have to re-read a paragraph a few times to fully take in its meaning. Each re-read of the last paragraph brought a creeping horror and suspense to my thoughts. I will remember this one.

      At FIRST I was going to caution going to “purple” in the beginning if you know the writing trope…. but once the last line fell, it seemed to be fitting in a weird way. Well done indeed, and welcome back. I remember you from before.

    2. charkhanolakha

      oh my god! This was so beautiful, and the ending so neat, and so complete. I also really enjoyed reading your descriptions. I agree with GTB, this will stay with me.

  19. jhowe

    They had left the Almond Joys. Everything else was gone. Joey’s trick or treat bag, the one showing Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice, was practically empty. Joey tried to act nonchalant in front of his friend, and failed.

    “I told you they shouldn’t go out alone,” my wife Melody said, attempting a frown with her glossy pursed lips.

    I gave her a look. Not in front of the boys, I implied. “Joey, who did it?” I said.

    “It was a bunch of big kids,” he said with a sniff. His friend agreed. They thought it was Billy Green and his network, dressed as Ninjas. They wore cloth masks but they recognized his demeanor and the subservient actions of his followers.

    “Melody, put a movie on for the boys,” I said. “I’ll be back soon.” Ninjas huh, I thought. Let’s see what they got. From a false bottom in my sock drawer, I removed a cigar box that contained my great grandfather’s antique straight razor collection. I chose my favorite, the one with the ivory handle. I unfolded it and tested the edge with my thumb; sharp as ever. I flipped it closed and slipped it into my back pocket.

    The kids were gathered at the television, the opening scene of Hocus Pokus played. “What way?” I said to Joey. He nodded to the left and winked.

    It didn’t take long. The ninjas held bags of candy over the heads of much smaller kids, taunting and jeering. I followed as they moved on, in search of more victims. One of them removed his mask and laughed. He tore open a Milky Way and bit into it, throwing the remainder into the street. It was Billy Green. My stomach tingled with anticipation, my hands steady. When they rounded the corner of a vacant lot choked with brown saplings, I approached.

    ***

    Sarah Jessica Parker rode her broomstick, her voice dripping with sexuality when I came in. I dropped a large bag filled with candy on the coffee table. The boys squealed with delight and began to divvy it up.

    In the laundry room, Melody came in as I stripped out of my clothes. She put her arms around me and purred, “anyone left for me?”

    “Not this time baby.”

    “Aw Jack, you get to have all the fun.” She pouted and then her face lit up. “What about Joey’s friend? He knows you were upset with Billy Green.”

    I thought about this and nodded. “It is Halloween,” I said and handed her the razor.

    She washed the razor in the sink and used it to open a cloth bag from a high cupboard. She emptied the contents into a large pot on the stove that already held a simmering concoction. It smelled of apples and cinnamon.

    “Dried changa root,” she said. “He won’t remember a thing come morning.”

  20. Observer Tim

    BOB

    She looked out over the town, watching the parade of candles and mummers as the locals celebrated the Danse Macabre. Eight years, she thought: it’s really been eight years since that night…

    She glanced at her little brother in his Frankenstein costume, and again at the group of teenagers in their pirate costumes. Each held a cluster of repurposed pillowcases with candy from any number of kids. This had to end.

    She whispered to her brother, “Don’t worry, Toby. I’ll make this right.”

    His six-year old eyes looked into hers, bonds of family closing the nine year gap in their ages. Nobody picks on my brother but me, she thought.

    She tossed back her head and brandished her great-grandfather’s cavalry sabre. “Stand and deliver!”

    The lead pirate gave her a contemptuous look. “What are you supposed to be?”

    “I’m a highwayman, and this is payback! Shall I beat you here, or will we go up to the Highway?”

    “Don’t make me laugh, girl.” He drew a wicked-looking knife of his own.

    Jen gulped. Things had just gotten real. All she could count on now was skill with a cheerleading baton and experience watching swashbuckling movies.

    But Jen knew how to handle fear: straight on. She lunged at the pirate sword first; he stepped back, giving her the initiative.

    He dropped the sacks and concentrated on defending himself with the knife. His friends turned and ran while he desperately parried her blows. She gave no quarter, and he quickly showed her his back as well.

    Her cheer of victory was cut short when the sabre started ringing. She looked at the blade; a tiny drop of blood was inching down from the tip, leaving a red glowing trail behind it. She tried to drop the sword but it wouldn’t leave her hand.

    “Jen, stop it! You’re scaring me!”

    “I can’t! I can’t let go, Toby!”

    The sword drew her arm in a wide circle; in a flash of red light she was somewhere else. Somewhere loud and smoky and violent.

    Swords clashed and bodies jumped; airborne flagons sprayed beer around the room. She ducked just as a flash of steel went by. Men in pirate costumes were fighting all through the place.

    She ducked and ran, looking for an exit while defending herself as best she could. As she ducked under a table there was a man with a knife to a barmaid’s throat and her skirt… Jen was very glad to be dressed as a man.

    A quick rush broke her into the dark night of a dirt street in a backwater town. It was like the set of a pirate movie, only smellier. As she picked herself off the ground someone spoke.

    “Who be ye, lad?”

    Lad? Doesn’t that mean boy? Her thoughts returned to the girl in the bar. Maybe it’s better to be a boy for now.

    “I’m…” Jennifer Roberta Brown wasn’t going to fly as a name. “…Bob. Call me Bob.”

    She went back into the inn room. Tomorrow it was off to sea again. She picked up the polished skull and kissed it on the forehead.

    “Thanks for being here, Smilin’ Pete.”

    1. gamingtheblues

      Ohhhh Tim Tim…. you still do not disappoint. This was engrossing. I would definitely read this story! In my mind I see two different movies. One a Disney Movie filled with psuedo action and somewhat caricature pirates, and the other much much darker.

    2. regisundertow

      I’m not much for YA fiction, mostly because you rarely find anything decent these days, but holy smokes does this deliver. Would totally read it. Good job connecting Smilin’ Pete to the modern era.

  21. Reaper

    Part 32

    In the Beginning – Man Lessons

    After six years, Jack still had occasion to wonder if he was a bad parent. There were moments where he even wondered if he was a bad person. Those always brought back memories of his closeted youth. No boy should have to live in fear and shame. Thomas would learn that.

    The boy returned home crying. He was surrounded by other boys. Somehow he always seemed to attract these other children. Boys flocked to him and accepted the slightly undersized young man as a leader. The caliber of Thomas’s friends worried Jack. Their character was exemplified by their costume choices. There was a Manson, a couple of Nazis, and a questionable ghost amongst others. Thomas stood in the middle of them dressed as Lincoln.

    Also fitting.

    “What’s the problem?”

    Jack asked the question despite his detective nature answering half of it. The other boys look upset and nobody had any bags. They had been trick or treating, so they should have candy. The lack spoke of bullies. Jack hated bullies, but he was determined to teach his stolen son to grow up to be a man who took care of himself. To hell with modern sensitivity.

    “A girl!” Thomas let it out between sobs. “Dressed as Eve. She came along and stole all our candy.”

    Jack looked between the boys. One girl? He wondered if she was a monster. Though, the thought of her dressed as Eve, other than sending a cold shiver down his spine for the correlation, made him think it might have been a stunned by seven year old puppy love thing. Great. He was raising a little heterosexual. Where had he gone wrong?

    “Well, what have I taught you?” Jack ignored the other boys.

    Thomas took calming breathes and squared his shoulders as his tears tapered off. He stood taller and met his father’s eyes.

    “A man stand’s up for himself.”

    “Correct, but he also thinks things through. What do you want to do?”

    “Beat her up!” One of the Nazi’s chimed in.

    “Is that right?” Jack asked.

    “No, sir.” Thomas dropped his eyes and spoke quietly.

    “Good, there is never a reason to hit a girl.” Jack hoped it was a lesson the boy would take with him. However, Jack himself did not know if he could follow the advice if he ever met the boy’s mother again. “There are other options though. How do you think around problems and get your property back?”

    The other boys looked to their leader, their president, their future dictator. Their eyes held wonder and hope. Thomas’s brow furrowed and he chewed his lip for long moments. Finally he smiled and it was one of the darkest things Jack had ever seen. Then the voice was even worse.

    “She has a little brother.”

    Jack knew the lesson had to come in its own way. He sighed as they turned towards the door as one. He had to say something though, just to be sure.

    “Don’t kill him.”

    1. gamingtheblues

      Reaper. I am glad to see you still haunting these shores. Your writing has come a long way since when you first came around, that is for sure. This story has quality, and your father figure is a conflicted, interesting soul.

      Question for you…does the thought about puppy love mean that he is not as good at analyzing a situation or more importantly his son as he thinks… or is he SO jaded that his son’s thoughts of taking revenge on a little brother for puppy love make him in some way self satisfied, while at the same time abhorring it. Perhaps self loathing projected onto his own son?

      The real interest in the story is less the plot, and more the backstory. Great job.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Got cut off for some reason, been on the downside since Saturday, But I would not have missed a chapter. As usual your character play is sharp and penetrating. I still get the chills reading this saga, but do not think forlone moment, I am going to stop

  22. SheepCarrot

    At the sound of the doorbell my son Jake comes running from down the hall, hollow plastic jack-o-lantern in one hand as his cloak flutters behind him. He’s already six, and he looks more like his father every day. “Mommymommymommy! Is it time for trick treating?”

    I can’t help but smile at my little Dracula’s enthusiasm. He grins at me, his plastic fangs in place as I answer the door. His friend Kenny waits on the other side, along with his teenage cousin. She smiles reassuringly at me. “I’ll keep a close eye on them, Mrs. Crane. I’ll have him back by eight and make sure he doesn’t eat any of his candy before you can look it over.”

    My son gives my legs a hug before running out the door, focused on his quest for sugar. I watch from the door until they turn the corner and disappear from sight, my stomach doing acrobatics at his first year out without me. Needing distraction, I pick up a book then set it down and instead settle for my favorite old show on Netflix. I’ve seen it probably hundreds of times, so it doesn’t matter if I pay attention or not. I know it by heart.

    The second episode is just beginning when I get the feeling that something is terribly wrong. I’m just reaching for the phone when there’s a knock at the door. My son bursts in as soon as I open the door, tears streaming down his face. His hands are empty, and his cloak is torn and dirty, splattered with what looks like paint.

    I scoop him up and he cries into my shoulder. Kenny’s cousin appears at the doorway, looking equally distraught. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Crane.”

    “What happened?”

    “There were three high school boys that were shooting kids with paintball guns and stealing their candy. There wasn’t anything I could do. I couldn’t stop them.” Her words are rushed, and I squeeze her shoulder.

    “It’s okay. Get Kenny home. I’ll take care of this.” I close the door behind her and set my son down. I wipe his tears away and kiss his forehead. “It’s okay, baby, I’ll take care of it. Why don’t you go clean up? We’ll watch a movie and eat popcorn when I’m done.”

    He nods and scurries upstairs to change as I dial the nonemergency police line….and get put on hold. I’m still waiting when my son skips down the stairs and hops up onto my lap where I’m sitting on the couch. He’s no longer sad, instead smiling and as happy as he was when he put on his costume.

    “Who are you talking to?”

    “The police,” I reply. Or I would be if they’d take me off hold.

    “You don’t need to,” he says, reaching for the TV remote. “Daddy said he’d take care of it.”

    I still, feeling like I’ve been punched in the stomach. “Jake, Daddy died when you were a baby.”

    He smiles up at me. “He said you’d say that. It’s okay, Mommy. He visits me a lot.”

    “Can….can you tell me what this man looks like?”

    Jake rolls his eyes, hops down and runs over to the photo of my wedding day that sits on the sideboard and points to Scott. “Him! It’s Daddy.”

    ”I’m sorry about the delay, ma’am,” a voice says in my ear. ”How can I help you?”

    I reply slowly, struggling to remember why I called. “Yes, my son and his friend had their candy stolen by a group of teenage boys who were shooting the little kids with paintball guns.”

    ”Was this in the Sandy Heights area?”

    “Yes.”

    ”It’s been taken care of, ma’am. A gentleman just escorted three teens into the station who confessed to the theft and assaults.”

    “Can you tell me what he looked like? The gentleman who brought them in?”

    He rattles off a clinical description that’s typical of police reports or news articles, but with each word I feel my nerves wind a little tighter. He could easily be describing the very picture of my husband that I’m staring at. “Is…is he still there?”

    ”No, ma’am, I’m sorry. He disappeared when they took the kids back for processing.”

    “Thank you,” I reply, ending the call. There’s no way…It couldn’t be him….That’s impossible.

    “Can we watch Hotel Transylvania?” Jake asks once he sees that I’m off the phone.

    I ruffle his hair. “Sure.” At the sound of the doorbell, I get up. “Put it on and I’ll make popcorn,” I tell him as I reach for the doorknob. When I open the door there’s no one there, just Jake’s plastic jack-o-lantern filled to overflowing with candy. As I pick it up I pluck the small sticky note off the handle. I feel as though my world has been turned on its head as I read the words in the bold, familiar handwriting. Scott may have been gone for six years now, but his handwriting is something I’ll never forget.

    I told him I’d handle it.

    1. gamingtheblues

      Interesting take on the prompt. Might be worthwhile exploring this world where the afterlife seems to sit so close to the surface a bit more in the future.

  23. Marie Therese Knepper

    I could feel my face, or so it seemed, congealing into jelly gobs. You know, like when Jim Carrey wore the mask and it would suddenly revolt from its set structure, becoming a splintering mass of mega-emotions.

    So it was when my 9 year old son Alex jumped in front of my death-fight with a mad chain-saw wielding zombie I was trying to crush on the PS4.

    “Say again?” I implored while trying to regroup my scattered brain cells into coherency.

    9 year olds are the most fun. You don’t just get a description; you get all the gestures and emotions, too. Alex stood in front of me, doing various leg twists, torso jerks, arm flailing, and facial contortions of his own. And of course there was the tsk.

    “Dad!” He let out an exasperated gust of air. “Donald Trump stole my candy!”

    I admit that my first thought was ‘what would Hilary say’ but my wit would be lost on Alex and his best pal Zach. Then, uncontrollably, my mind went to ‘that’s because you’re dressed like a minion’ but that also went unsaid, but still shelved.

    I put down my controller to give the boys my full attention. “Donald Trump stole your candy,” I repeated in a calm, rational voice. “Is that right?”

    And then came the arm gestures; palms up and shoulders shrugged. Both Zach and Alex were nodding vigorously.

    “Yes, Dad. Do something!”

    I stood up, grabbed the controller and turned of the game unit, then I reached for the remote and turned off the flat screen. “OK, guys, let’s go.”

    I’m not sure exactly what my halloweeners expected. A fist fight? A yelling contest? But I knew exactly what needed to be done.So when we pulled onto the exit for the Garden Valley Mall, Alex cried out in confusion. “Why are we going to the mall, dad?”

    I briefed him a glance in the rearview mirror. “There is no way Donald Trump is getting away with stealing your candy.”

    I felt peculiarly invincible as I walked into Candies Candy’s, the biggest sweet shop in Vancouver’s suburbs. I was a man on a mission.

    I strode up to the counter and loudly embellished “Donald Trump stole my little boys candy!”

    The fire storm had begun. Garden Valley is rife with liberals. And, as I well knew, the mall was hosting Halloween tonight, and the shoppe was inundated with celebrants, young and old.

    After engaging the store clerk, who followed my instructions and gave my guys each a large plastic bag, I turned away from the counter and loudly ordered “Go ahead, boys, pick out whatever you want. Donald Trump won’t get away with this!”

    As the boys raced to fill their bags, concerned and amused parents and bystanders begged me for more information, which I gladly doled out and unabashedly embellished. As we exchanged political views I grabbed my smart phone to take pics of the boys enjoying their candy spree, then embarked on the social media blitz I concocted earlier while still in my recliner.

    See, some stories just fall in your lap.

  24. JRSimmang

    STITCHES AND CANDY

    I hated my drapes. They’re beige, and they harken back to a time where plates were thrown, skin was cut, and voices echoed off the walls, drowning themselves in the heavy, unsalvageable, selvedge edge of a failed marriage.

    My son and I stared out them every Halloween after he was done trick-or-treating. Then, he’s off the next day to school, and I don’t get to see him again until Thanksgiving.

    “That’s him, father.” He pointed across the street at a young man dressed in jean shorts, wife-beater, and a trucking cap that reads Fuckin’ Donuts. His eyes were obscured by sunglasses… after dark, which is a pet peeve of mine. At his feet sat an overflowing pillowcase of candy.

    I sighed; it was almost too late. But, the boy next to me is my son, and I love him deeply. “Should we teach him a lesson?”

    He turned his cherubic face toward mine and let himself smile. He hardly let himself smile anymore, and I have to keep reminding him that that’s why we have a mouth. Well, for that and eating.

    “Good. Then it’s settled.”

    I got off the couch, went up to my medicine cabinet, pulled out my syringes, and rejoined my son in the dining room. “Chances are, son, that he’ll be out for a little while longer, then he’ll head out with his friends, and finally he’ll head home. It may be daylight by the time he gets in.”

    “I understand. We need to redirect him.” He looked off to the northwest. “The old place?”

    “The old place,” I responded. It’s a small alcove in the bottom floor of a parking garage. He looked homeless enough, and he probably smelled like alcohol, so it wouldn’t be hard to disguise it.

    After thirty minutes, he and his friends grabbed the bags and headed to their cars. He was driving an El Camino from the 80s that spewed black smoke from its tailpipe and screamed at every left turn. It was almost comforting; they were the only sounds that night.

    “Is he evil?” I asked my son.

    “No, father. Evil is a relative assignation, therefor it cannot be truth.”

    “So why must we do this?”

    “To enact justice.”

    “But, isn’t justice also relative?” The man we were pursuing was smoking; the odor was drifting in through our open windows.

    “No, it is not. All things must be in balance, and justice is the weighing of the scales.” He clears his throat. “To take someone’s candy is not in effect what is wrong, but the fact that he had more than anyone else. Fairness is equality. Justice is equality.”

    I couldn’t help but smile. He had learned so much already.

    One red brake light flashed in front of us, a blinker, and he turned into a Conoco. We follow in behind, but he wasn’t getting gas. I assumed he was going in to refill his beer.

    As he got out of his car, my son syringe in hand, sidled up next to him and dropped the needle into the man’s hamstring. I snuck up behind and threw my arm around his shoulder. He looked behind him, looked to me, then sagged into my arms.

    “That’s alright buddy. We can leave your car here. You’re drunk.” It was an old trick, but it still worked. His body was carried to our car. My son grappled the bag of candy from the guy’s backseat.

    The drive to our space was peaceful. My son held his hand out the window. I kept thinking that this is what nights with him should be.

    We pull in, dim the lights, and park in our spot. We’re careful with him. He can’t bruise too much.

    In the trunk are my instruments, my son’s inheritance.

    He fits nicely onto our table.

    The smelling salts do their job and wake him. At first he struggles against his restraints, then he yells into the ball of cloth in his mouth.

    My son chuckles. “He’s a funny one.”

    “Grphrgng!” The table rattles. His legs pump with all his effort against the leather.

    “Your bindings won’t break. They haven’t broken on men larger and stronger than you,” my son mocks, and he fondles the handle to the surgical cleaver.

    I look at the man, whose eyes have started to cloud over, red blood pumping behind the whites, fear starting to eek in and poison his thoughts. “Yes,” I say. “You will die.”

    I grab the local anesthesia and inject it around his abdomen above his navel, below his breastbone, and to the left and right sides. Then, I make my first incision.

    Blood is just like water. It pools where you direct it.

    I apply another round of anesthesia, and he fights the tingling that starts to creep around his stomach and his large intestine. “Sh, sh, sh,” I try to comfort him. “Struggling will only cause me to puncture your stomach. We can’t have that.”

    I look over to my son, who I can tell is ready to get his fingers into the action. The man is crying, I think. I offer the scalpel, and my son jumps at the chance.

    “Now remember, m’boy. We don’t want to kill him immediately. We only want to open up the cavity.”

    My son’s careful fingers inscribe a faint line into the stomach, and he cuts an opening just below the pyloric sphincter. I inspect his job, and it’s wonderfully artistic.

    I grab the candy, and I put one piece in, wrapper and all. Then, another. And another, and another, and another, another, another, another, another, another, another, and another, and another, and soon the bag is empty, and the man is screaming, and crying, and his arms and legs aren’t moving any more, and my son is laughing gleefully, and I

    stop.

    And suture.

    And release him.

    He stumbles into my arms, and his knees go weak.

    My son laughs again.

    -JR Simmang
    (Guys and gals, it’s great to be back.)

    1. gamingtheblues

      Jesus…that was intense. One of those moments where you want to look away from the horror movie but you just can’t. Graphic..but not overly so. This is how good horror thrillers are written. I missed any possible writing nit picks because of how engrossed I was in the terror of it. Which is how it should be. Nicely Done.

    2. regisundertow

      Yikes. I don’t know what disturbed be more, the graphic vivisection or the son/father bonding over philosophy and dispensing justice.

      In any case, it’s damn good having you back.

    3. ReathaThomasOakley

      I had to wait a few days before commenting. So many details give clues to the back story, the drapes, the syringes, the “old place” reference. I also think they’ve done things like this before. A horrifyingly excellent story.

  25. cosi van tutte

    I couldn’t resist. 😆

    “And Mad Maiden Maude laughed, ‘Hahahaha! At last the treasure of Felonious Pete is mine! Ahhh-hahaha!’ Felonious Pete wept. ‘No! No! Not my treasure! Please take my life but never my treasure.’ ‘Too late. I already took it. Hahahahaha!’ Felonious Pete wept and wept and wept big messy fountains of weptness everywhere. It was sad and awful and depressing, but Mad Maiden Maude didn’t care. She laughed right in his face and called him a—”

    “Eddie!” His mom’s voice penetrated his thoughts. “Are you going trick or treating or what?”

    Eddie closed his Revenge of the Slime Nerds notebook and stroked the cover. “This will be my masterpiece. One day it will wind up in the hands of a famed Hollywood agent and he’ll see the inherent genius in my words. He’ll tell me—”

    “Eddie! Come on! Your friends are eating all the Fritos!”

    He put his notebook into his Yosemite Sam hope chest, grabbed his cowboy hat, and raced downstairs.

    “Eddie!”

    “I’m coming!”

    ***

    Eddie followed his friends from door-to-door. “Trick or treat!”

    Somewhere between Mrs. Fairstorm’s house and the Davidson’s house, he got to thinking about those words. Trick or treat. Treat or trick. What would he do if someone asked him for a trick? He didn’t know any good tricks. If he failed to give them a trick, would they send him away without any treats?

    This thought deeply worried him.

    He looked at Louie Ferguson, his best friend from pre-school. Now, Louie would be able to give them a trick without any problem. Louie was the grand master of tricks. They would be so impressed with his tricks they’d give Louie all of their candy and probably all of their money too.

    But Eddie would get nothing.

    This thought pushed his worries into deeper territory.

    “Trick or treat!”

    Mr. Davidson silently held out the treat bowl. Eddie and his friends didn’t care if he were a friendly gusher like the other parents on the street. He still had free candy and they still grabbed handfuls of it.

    “Where do we go next?” asked Louie’s kid brother, Mike.

    A voice behind them said, “Well. See here’s the thing. I don’t know where you’re going. Don’t really care. I do know that you’re gonna give me all your candy.”

    Only one kid in town had a smarmy voice like that. Louie, Mike, and Eddie turned around just to be sure.

    Sure enough, Robbie D. Jr., as he called himself, stood before them in a homemade Iron Man costume. He had taken off the mask. So, there was no mistaking him for anyone else. A punk smile spread across his eight year old face. “All right!” He clapped his hands together and rubbed them. “There are two ways we can go about this: One, you little dingbats drop your bags and run home to your mommies. Two, I beat the living crud out of you and run home with your bags of candy.” He shrugged. “Don’t matter to me which one you choose. Either way, I’ll get your candy.”

    Louie stepped forward. “Go get your own candy, jerkface.”

    Robbie shrugged again. “Way #2 for you.” He clenched his left hand into a fist and pulled his arm back.

    Louie shrieked, dropped his bag, and ran away.

    “Looouuie!” Mike raced after his older brother. “Waaaait for meeee!”

    Robbie laughed and picked up Louie’s bag of candy.

    Eddie stood alone and indecisive. He wanted to chase after his friends, but he couldn’t leave Louie’s candy with that bully. It wasn’t right.

    “Ooo, Mary Janes! Love those things.”

    “Put that bag down.”

    Robbie looked up. “Huh? You still here, ya ugly little squid?”

    “I am not an ugly little squid. You are!”

    “Au contraire, mon ami. I am the furthest thing from ugly. Just look at this profile, would ya? I’m sooo good looking I’m gonna be a major movie star when I grow up.”

    Something ticked in Eddie’s little head. “Do you mean that?”

    “Sure do. I’m gonna be big hot stuff on the big silver screen. Just wait and see.”

    Tick. Tick. Tick. He could grab the bag from Robbie, but…Tick. Tick. Tick. “If you become that big of a star, you’ll need someone to be your go-fer guy.”

    Robbie pulled out a Mary Jane and removed the yellow wrapper. “Probably. Getting mobbed by crazy fans at the drugstore would quickly become a drag.” He popped the hard, tacky candy into his mouth.

    Eddie looked at the bag. Grabbing it from the other boy was the right thing to do. He’d probably get a matching pair of black eyes and a couple of missing teeth in the process, but it was the right thing to do. Louie was his absolute best friend.

    Eddie looked up at him. “If I let you keep that bag of candy, would you let me be your go-fer when you get all rich and famous?”

    Robbie stopped in mid-chew and stared at him.

    “Would you?”

    “Hey, if that’s your dream job, sure. Why not?”

    Eddie smiled as he thought about his story being splashed on movie screens all around the world. “Okay. Go ahead and keep Louie’s candy.”

    Robbie smirked. “See? I’m thinking that your best friend won’t like that all that much.”

    Eddie’s smile faded as he thought about Louie. He would be very disappointed. “I’ll go back to the other houses and get extra candy for him.”

    “You’re kind of a crazy kid.” He strolled off with Louie’s bag looped around his arm. “Have fun. I sure will.”

    “Wait! Will you keep your promise?”

    “Probably.”

    1. gamingtheblues

      I don’t know if the writers have gotten better…or if I’ve gotten softer but I loved this story. I WANT…no NEED more revenge of the slime nerds. And I really like Eddie. He is a climber, and still cares about his friends..but on the lookout for himself too. Win Win. I like crazy though.

  26. ReathaThomasOakley

    Halloween, 1961

    (Program notes: Granny is Sarah Carter’s daughter, who was raised by Sarah’s aunts after she disappeared in 1906. I’m hoping the stories will converge soon. Some were asking about The Girl, 1960s version.)

    Granny and Mama’d bin arguin’ ever since we got home. I don’t like arguin’, makes my head hurt. I was countin’ candy out on my bed, so far I had eight Necco Wafers, a buncha Mary Janes…

    “I still ain’t seein’ it, Myrtis,” Granny said, Myrtis, that’s my mama, “why you let her dress up like a fool…”

    “Like a witch, she wanted to be a witch,” Mama said.

    “Well, that’s ’bout the most foolish she coulda done, what with folks talkin’ ’bout her already, after that foolishness in Washington DC last year.”

    “You was the one said for her to go to town, that’s what got it all started.” Seventeen Tootsie Rolls, I don’t much care for Tootsie Rolls, four wax lips, I’ll save ’em for later, to scare Granny. Maybe make her drop her teeth. I laughed out loud.

    “See there, Myrtis,” Granny looked at me and let out one a her big sighs, like she’d been choppin’ wood, only Granny don’t chop wood. “Foolishness. The Girl gotta stop the foolishness.” Me? I’m The Girl.

    “Mama,” my mama started, then looked at me and smiled. “I been thinkin’ some time now, she ain’t so simple, ain’t so foolish.” I smiled big back at Mama, so she could see my extra teeth, then went back to the candy. The Atomic Fire Balls I put in my special box with my pop-it beads.

    “We run into some trouble in town, right before we got to the bus.”

    “Trouble?” Granny was yellin’. “See there, Myrtis, The Girl don’t need to go into town…”

    “Mama, jus’ let me finish. The Girl’d been trick or treatin’…”

    “Foolishness, foolishness, back in my time we didn’t do such things. The aunts told how back in the old country folks might go guisin’, get blessin’ for the dead…”

    “Mama, just hush up now, let me tell this.”

    Granny kinda growled down in her throat, stomped her cane on the floor, but didn’t talk no more.

    “We was ’bout to the bus when some big ole boys…”

    “There was five of ’em, Mama, and they was big.”

    Mama smiled at me again.

    “That’s right, five, and they come right up to us, saw how heavy her pillow case was, started sayin’ they wanted all her candy, that they was gonna take it. We was the only ones on the street and I was afeared they was gonna hurt us… ”

    “Oh, Mama,” I said, “I didn’t like you to be afeared, and I wanted my candy. They wasn’t gonna hurt you or take my candy.”

    “What…” Granny said, then let out a big laugh. “Woowhee, I wish I’da been there. Five big boys, huh, only five?” Her laugh got bigger. “That don’t hardly sound fair.”

    Then Mama started laughin’, too.

    “No, it most likely weren’t fair. And, she’s got a right lotta smarts. I think The Girl kin go back to town agin, real soon.” Mama smiled at me some more. She ain’t got them extra teeth like me and Granny, but we got something else, me and Mama.

    Seven boxes Lemonheads, three packs King candy cigarettes…

    1. cosi van tutte

      And The Girl returns! (If there were a confetti emoji, I’d put it right here.)

      Have I mentioned how much I enjoy your The Girl stories? I love the interactions between the characters and how natural you make the dialect sound.

      As for this story, I don’t know why but I liked that she put the Atomic Fire Balls in with her pop it beads. And I really liked this line: “Granny looked at me and let out one a her big sighs, like she’d been choppin’ wood, only Granny don’t chop wood.” 😀

      The ending left me wondering how Mama and The Girl got out of that scrape, but I have a feeling that the explanation will show up in another story.

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Thanks, Cosi. I had fun bringing her back. She put the Fire Balls with the pop-it beads because they are both really special. If I have time I might do a part two for this one.

    2. gamingtheblues

      This was very well written. The tone, dialect and atmosphere were all consistent throughout. I think I might be a little in love with the character of the girl. As for how she beat those boys, with them extra teeth and a little something else….I am suspecting they are not quite human.

    3. regisundertow

      Makes me think any fight against the Girl would not be a fair one 🙂
      Wonderful reading a continuation of the story, which already has quite a few fans here, myself included.

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Regis, The Girl and I thank you for being a fan. Depending on coming prompts, she might come back more often. I forget, until I’m writing, how much fun I’ve had with her.

  27. gamingtheblues

    My take on the stolen candy =) Hope you Enjoy.

    The black stillness enveloped me, and I felt powerful. It was always like this at night, though I felt especially…delicious… on “this” particular night. No reason why I should really. All Hallows Eve had become a purely commercial enterprise, with little to do with the real darker side of life anymore. Still, I could not deny the feeling. The wind whipped through the trees outside, buffeting the house, and snapping the curtains inward. I had needed to feel…to smell the air outside. It was crisp, almost crackling with energy and carried hints of water and storm. My body shuddered involuntarily as I stretched my back and ribs and I had to clench and extend my fingers almost painfully. It was ecstasy. A whimper behind me; I ignored it.
    All…All, the lights in the house were extinguished, the bulbs removed and shattered. The largest fragments of glass carefully embedded in the pale green walls. I wore all black. Black hood, over black shawl, black charcoal, boots. Black leather gloves. I was a shadow amongst shadows. Eyes closed, I waited.

    An indeterminate time later, the front door opened on the dark house. Footsteps and soft laughter, hushed jeering voices.
    “Did you see the look on…”
    “What a piece of…”
    “Look at this haul!”
    Louder, pleasant and sweet, “MOM! We’re back! What’s with the lights?”
    Footsteps in the entry hallway, closer now, turning the corner into the living room. My room.
    “Mom?”
    I struck a match, the voice stuttering quiet. I lit the small candle on the floor, barely illuminating the form that lay there. Rope, tape, golden curls; matted and sticky.
    The two boys, maybe 15 years of age were dark shapes, outlined in the arching opening. But I could see there eyes. I could see. Their. Eyes.
    “What the hell??”
    “Who the fuck…”
    “MOM!”
    I slipped through the darkness pressing close and fast, a wraith detaching itself from shadows.
    “Don’t, Move. Don’t. Speak.”
    My hands clenched tightly around the front of their costumes, a leering zombie and a laughing, murderous clown. Wrenched them into the living room, off their feet and onto the floor. Yelps of fear, surprise.
    I crouched next to the candle, its flame dancing in the dark, smoky and bright. Their eyes shimmered in and out of focus, breath in short, fast gasps. I couldn’t help it…laughed, as I listened to the gentle hiss of the blade coming free and I held it against the pretty, golden curls on the floor.
    “You…you think that you can do as you wish. That you can take and take and take from the weak and the small and the helpless. The pain and sickness in your hearts, you spread and infect everything and everyone around you. The treats in your hands, the sweet stickiness on your lips and tongues are a poison that was begot from maliciousness and will beget maliciousness. Now see, SEE that that your vileness has spread into your own home, has infected YOUR family, and touched YOUR souls. I take now from you. As you have taken from others this night. And know that THIS is balance.”
    I plunged the blade down fast, deep into the mass of gold underneath my hand. Felt stringy droplets splatter as it went in deep. Viciously I jerked up and out, and down again. Screams and sobs as they rushed forward on hands and knees. I melted back into the shadows kicking the candle towards their eyes, striking them both in the back of the head. Finally wiping my gloves on a discarded mask, quietly bending down, picking up the forgotten candy bags and leaving the house.

    It would be some time before they awoke. Even more time for them to gain the courage, to recover that sick loss, to realize that the shape on the floor was pillows, blankets, a pumpkin and wig. They would find their mother in the back room, unconscious but quite unharmed.

    I took from them. Yes. Time would see if they would ever take from another innocent again.

    I went home to my son, depositing his stolen candy on his lap, his surprised and laughing eyes turned to me. And I smiled.

    1. Alex

      Well, that was dark and fun at the same time. I really liked your description in the first couple of paragraphs. The description pulled me into the story by setting a creepy mood and it made me want to know about the Mom – was she goofing on the kids, or a straight-up killer? Nice work.

  28. Alex

    Harvey Senior drank his coffee and read the paper, listening to the Halloween party raging next door. As the music blared a car screeched down the street. He scratched his tattoo and winced at the loud music. They’re going to call the cops here soon, thought Harvey.

    Harvey Junior slammed the front door open, letting the music into the house. He stumbled into the kitchen, reeking of beer and pot. His Batman costume was half hanging off of his lanky six foot tall body.

    “They took it Daddy, they took it all!”

    Harvey Senior gripped his coffee cup.

    “Took what?” he asked. In his mind he could see the Methamphetamine packets, all wrapped up in Halloween candy wrappers and put into cardboard boxes. It was a million dollars of crank all ready to go to Smith’s tonight.

    “The freaking dope daddy, they took all four boxes” Harvey Junior had a wild look in his eyes. “It was the Turner boys, I saw their purple BMW racing down the street. Ain’t no one got a purple BMW in town except e the Turners” He swayed in the doorway, gripping door frame.

    Harvey Senior gulped down the rest of the coffee.

    “We’ve got two hours before we meet Smith, let’s get our stuff back. Grab the rifles.” Harvey Senior said. He had not moved, but was breathing harder than his son.

    The party music faded as they sped away from their meth lab towards the Turner place. The night air blew on Harvey Seniors face as he loaded the rifle ammunition into the magazines.

    They cut the lights to the car and crept up to the Turner house. The purple BMW was parked out front and the front porch was hidden behind bushes.

    Harvey Senior looked over at his son, who was still buzzing from the beer and weed. “Don’t do anything before I do.” Senior said. “I’ll bust in, shoot up the place bit, and we’ll get the crank and go. OK?”

    Harvey Junior nodded in the affirmative, but his eyes were fixed like jacked-up spotlights on the Turner house. “Let’s do this” Junior whispered.

    The Harvey’s crept onto the Turner driveway. As soon as their feet touched the gravel, the bushes pushed back and the Turner brothers opened fire on the Harvey’s. Bullets flew from the Turners and from the Harvey’s, smashing into cars, bushes and body’s until no one was left alive.

    Smith put his binoculars down and sighed a happy sigh. “I knew they would kill each other.” From up on the ridge, he could see everything unfold at the Turner house. He looked at the boxes of meth in his purple BMW and smiled.

    “Take the wrap off the car and send it back to my cousin Frankie. It’s served it’s purpose.” Smith said.

    Smith’s bodyguard stuck his fingernail under the sprayed on purple plastic wrap on the BMW and peeled the wrap off to reveal a canary yellow BMW.

    Happy Halloween!

      1. Alex

        Thanks, it was fun to write. They’re all villains, but I guess that didn’t come across very well. I also caught a few typos after I hit submit – my apologies to any future readers. Thanks for the comment Reatha.

  29. cosi van tutte

    My little Loki comes down the stairs with his Asgard helmet on his head. He hops down the last three stairs and roars, “I am Loki! All shall kneel before me! RAAAAAHR!”

    I pluck his helmet off.

    “Mom!”

    I smile and kiss his head. “Stay with your friends and stay out of trouble. Don’t do anything that will make me send you or your friends to the Phantom Zone.”

    “Mom! The Phantom Zone is Superman’s thing. ‘sides, Loki is too awesome to stay cooped up in a crummy Phantom Zone. He’d smash the Phantom Zone to smithereens.” He waves his plastic spear-staff thing in broad gestures to demonstrate. “Psssh! Pow! Wooomp! Just like that. Good-bye, Phantom Zone.”

    “Just like that, hmm?” I replace his horned helmet. “All the same, stay out of trouble.”

    “Okay.” He runs to the door, bellowing, “I am Loki of Asgard! Raaaaahr!”

    “Come back before nine o’clock.”

    “RAAAAAAHRR!” I can only hope that is Asgardian for “Okay.”

    ***

    One hour later, three miserable Loki’s show up at my door. Their faces are forlorn and their bags are completely empty. My son rubs his teary eyes.

    “What happened?” I crouch to his level. “Are you hurt? What’s wrong?”

    All three boys talk at once – a maelstrom of tears, sobs, and words. None of it makes any sense. “Hold on! Benjie, hon. Tell me. What happened?”

    “We was ambushed by stupid Thor and his goons.”

    “What?”

    “Yeah.” says Jamie. “He s–s–said that Loki’s the stupidest.” He sniffles a couple of times before bursting into renewed tears. “And he grabbed my bag and he stole my candy and—and—”

    “And he told us that anyone who dresses up like Loki doesn’t deserve any candy.” Having finished his sentence, Steve resumed his crying. “He stole all our candy.”

    My motherly ire prickled. “Did you recognize him?”

    “Y–yeah.” My son rubs his nose into his sleeve. “It was Ugly Bill Frantzski and his two goons.”

    “Bill Frantzski, huh? Boys, come with me.”

    Benjie perks up. “Are you gonna beat up Ugly Bill Frantzski?”

    The other two boys stop their wailing and look equally hopeful.

    “No. I’m going to make you three a round of hot spiced cider.”

    Their hopeful expressions crash and burn in unison.

    “While you drink your cider, I will call Bill’s mother and I will tell her what sort of shenanigans her son has been up to tonight.” I march into the kitchen with the three boys trailing after me.

    “You’re gonna talk to her?” asks Benjie.

    “Don’t do it! She’ll kill you with her flame breath.” says Jamie.

    “She’ll send you back in time and make you repeat high school chemistry and every math class you’ve ever had to do.” says Steve.

    “She’s evil incarnate.”

    “Don’t be silly, boys. She’s one of my best friends.”

    The boys sit at the table with their empty bags and Loki weapons still clutched in their respective grips.

    “I will tell her that if she ever wants me to be her partner in French-style pinochle, she’d better talk to her son and force him to return your candy.”

    Jamie wrinkles his nose. “Aww, that won’t work.”

    I smile. “It will. I guarantee it.”

    ***

    One hour later, a bounty of candy covers my kitchen table. Steve, Jamie, and Benjie are oogling their collective loot and dividing it out as evenly as three young boys can manage.

    Jamie looks at my son – awe plain and clear upon his face. “Benj, your mom is the awesomest.”

    Benjie smiles at me. “Even more awesome than Loki bashing the Phantom Zone to bits.”

    I remove his Loki helmet and kiss the top of his head.

    “Mom!”

    1. gamingtheblues

      This was a sweet, realistic slice of life story. Well written, believable dialogue and little details of emotion and interaction. Very nice. I enjoyed this story immensely.

  30. Trevor

    Word Count: 749

    Halloween Vengeance

    I’ve always had a strong bond with my children, especially my youngest son, Max. Ever since he was in preschool, I could tell he wasn’t going to be a very sociable child. While other kids would play with action figures or toy cars, Max was more intrigued with collecting bugs and reading old books. As he grew older, his intellect and maturity grew beyond his age-which in turn ostracized him from his classmates. But Max was fortunate enough to go through his younger years without any serious hazing….

    When Max was 10, however, things came to a head. It was Halloween and Max was ready to go trick-or-treating. Unlike the other boys in school who were going as werewolves and superheroes, Max dressed up as Sherlock Holmes, his favorite literary character. After dolling himself up in an old fashioned coat and top hat, Max grabbed his plastic Halloween bag, gave me a tender hug, and hurried out the door.

    It was 10:00 when I heard the front door burst open and slam shut. I knew something had to be wrong, as Max was planning to go to walk to our neighboring block, which would’ve taken him much longer than half an hour. I ran to the entrance room-and gasped when I saw what had become of my poor son.

    His top hat was dented, his coat was muddy and torn, and his candy bag lay empty beside him. But what startled me the most was the large, black bruise that appeared on my young child’s right cheek. Max stared up at me, his eyes welled up with tears, as if he were concentrating all his energy into not letting his tears spill out.

    “What happened to you, honey? Who did this?” I asked, my voice a mixture of shock, fear, and a bit of rage at whoever dared to harm my son. Max went on to explain how, while he was making his way to the next block, a group of teenagers surrounded him, attacked him, and stole all his candy. After he had detailed the entire dreadful encounter, I pulled him into my comforting arms and gingerly rubbed his hair as I whispered into his ear.

    “Don’t worry, baby. Mommy and Andrea are going to teach those mean boys a lesson.”

    Andrea was my daughter, who at the time was 16. Andrea, like Max, was different from other girls her age, garnishing a similar isolation from her schoolmates as Max. And like myself, Andrea was very protective over Max. I knew that, the minute I told her what had happened to her brother, she would been onboard with what I had planned for his attackers….
    ***********************************************************************************************************************
    It didn’t take us long to find the boys. Max gave us a very detailed description of all four of his assailants and we found them in the parking lot of a closed down strip mall on the rough side of town. They were sitting on the asphalt, smoking cigarettes and helping themselves to the large mass of candy they had accumulated. Probably all stolen from other innocent children they had heartlessly attacked.

    I honestly tried to be civil. As politely as I could muster, I asked them to return the candy they had taken from my son. The leader of the pack, a lanky boy wearing a cheaply made pirate costume, scoffed at me and told me to get the hell away from them, referring to me by a word beginning with the letter C that I don’t wish to repeat. That’s when I knew there were no words that could help those savages. They had to be punished…
    ************************************************************************************************************************
    The rest of our evening was wonderful. It had been ages since me and my daughter had bonded over our shared pastime. The looks on their faces when Andrea pulled out the knife and stabbed one of the more muscular boys of the group in the throat gave me a surge of motherly pride. We now had the boys’ attention-and their respect. I then pulled out my own knife and joined Andrea in giving those unruly boys the punishment they so richly deserved.

    We were both a mess by the time we were finished, but I had planned ahead and had brought along spare clothing, which we changed into behind the building and out of sight. Before we left that parking lot, I made sure Andrea took a picture of our glorious work of justice.

    That’s another thing Max likes to collect.

    1. gamingtheblues

      Let’s see… As is my wont, when I read a story by someone who obviously knows how to write, and has a good grasp of vocabulary, grammar and more importantly, knows how to craft a “story” and not just words all together, I will put my more critical hat on, in an attempt to be useful with some constructive criticism.

      First, this was an interesting story, and while I expected there to be some murder revenge stories with this prompt, I was not 100% sure this was going that direction till the very end, so nice job on keeping me guessing. As hinted above, you are a good writer.

      The tone of the last paragraph felt a tiny bit off to me. I focus on the phrases “richly deserved and Glorious work of justice.” The emotional investment required for that strong of word choice felt wrong for the almost mild indignation mother-doing-her-duty/hobby most of the piece seemed to have. I “think” you wanted to go with a simmering insanity rage covered up by maternal instinct vibe…but I felt more of a quiet insanity of a mother who just enjoys killing vibe.

      And remember…this is VERY VERY nit-picky purely because I feel you are advanced enough of a writer to look into the deeper under-layers of character motivation vs just a pure story. So..take the criticism with a grain of salt and as you will 😉

      By the way…super creepy kid collecting his mother’s and sister’s kill pictures…. nice.

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