I recently won the www.shortbreadstories.co.uk Halloween Formula 500 competition with a story called Trick or Treat. Most of the feedback on it has been pretty positive however, more than a few readers suggested that the story could be improved by changing the viewpoint to the First Person so I’ve gone back and re-edited the story. The finished results are posted below for your enjoyement…
The first children would be arriving soon. Outside, the early evening sky was already inky black, punctuated only by the two rows of glowing streetlights lining either side of the street. The cloudless sky held a hint of the coming November frost.
I filled the first bowl with a selection of chocolates – I’d mixed in all the popular treat sized ones that everyone seems to love these days; Miniature Heroes, Celebrations as well as old favourites like Roses and Quality Street – a little something for everyone. I couldn’t wait to see the kids faces light up when they got the chance to dip their little hands into the bowl and scoop out a fistful.
Marshmallows and other soft sweets next, the floury coating misted the side of the glass bowl. I gave them a stir around with a spoon to mix. I had to be careful not to get any of the stuff on my dark costume. The Grim Reaper costume I’d chosen was a pretty good one. It was amazing what you could pick up at the supermarket
I nipped through to the kitchen and brought the jugs of juice out of the fridge. There was strawberry for blood and lime for evil potion. A little cube of dry ice popped in each gave the appropriate smoky effect.
I dimmed the lights, satisfied I had everything just right. The glow from the candles and pumpkin lanterns lit the living room with their flickering flames and cast shadows on the walls. I could hear the sound of children’s voices coming down the street. I peeped through the curtains and saw a witch, a zombie and what I supposed was Harry Potter coming up the driveway. I slipped on my mask and waited for the bell to ring.
‘Good evening,’ I said in my best Alfred Hitchcock presents voice.
‘Hiya Mister – Trick or Treat,’ the kids all said almost in unison.
‘Oh Treat, most definitely’ I said and stepped back. ‘Come in,’ I said, laying the Hitchcock on extra thick.
The kids giggled and piled through the door.
‘Help yourselves kids.’ I pulled the little treat bags I’d bought out my pockets and gave them one each.
‘My pleasure,’ I said. ‘I love Halloween.’
Moments later, they were off back out the door and onto their next house. I shut the door behind me. Time had changed. When I was a kid, you had to sing or tell a joke. Nowadays kids just wanted something for nothing. I wondered how long it would take the LSD in the juice to kick in. Did any of them get the chocolates I had injected with strychnine or would they get the marshmallows with the needles to chew on once they got through the powdered glass? I would have to have a listen to the news tomorrow. By that time of course, I would be far away from here.
‘Trick or Treat,’ I said to the empty room and sighed.