Halloween Stories: One Halloween Night
By: Alecia Dixon
One Halloween Night
It was a warm Halloween night. Five boys hurriedly put on their Halloween costumes while chattering away with delight in anticipation of one of their favorite holidays. There will be friends, filled with giggles and smiles, and parents holding on tight to little hands. Uncertain tots approaching neighbors doors will eagerly hold out their bags and nervously say, "trick-or-treat" for the first time.
These five boys, were far from tots...Logan, Kyle, Skyler, Colby and Conner were all eight, and couldn't wait for the festivities of the evening, to begin. Tonight they would trick-or-treat to their hearts' content, raking in the goodies. Then they would all go back to Logan's home. His mom and dad would inspect their goods. Then they would gobble up their candy, with a tall glass of milk by their sides, and a bowl of freshly made carmel popcorn in the middle of their loot.
The boy's parents had decided it was alright for the boys to trick-or-treat on three well known streets in their friendly neighborhood, without their parents standing by their sides. They would leave at 7:00PM and were expected to be back promptly at 8:00.
Logan was dressed as Dracula with a long flowing black cape, lined with red satin. Kyle donned a Larry Boy outfit, Skyler wore his Spiderman suit, Colby transformed into Wolverine from the X-Men and Conner became Batman. The clock struck 7, as the boys whooped with loud hollers and shouts and headed out the door. Logan's parents stood in the doorway, watching the kids run down the street. Little did the boys know, Logan's dad would not be far behind them. After all, these were five, mischievous eight year olds on the loose. Somebody had to be nearby to protect the neighbors.
Just before the boys turned onto Angela street they eagerly approached the first door of many they would knock on that night. Crashing into each other, as they made their way up the walk, they knocked on the door and waited. Little old Mrs. Jenkins hobbled to the door with a big grin on her sweet, weathered, face.
"Good Evening boys", she said as she generously scooped candy into their bags.
The boys replied, "Good Evening Mrs. Jenkins" in their sing-song, eight year old, voices. Followed by, "Thank you Mrs. Jenkins".
"Happy Halloween", she shouted as the boys scurried down her walk and turned out of sight.
Up the street they went, back down the other side, over onto Hideaway Place, and then finally Story Lane. The boys looked at their watches, right on time. Mom and dad will be so proud! Then, all of a sudden, a gust of wind kicked up causing all five boys to shiver a bit. Only three houses left and they would be on their way back to Logan's. It was pretty dark outside, but the street was well lit, and they could see lots of other children and parents walking about. Next they would knock on the Butcherites door, then the Klefbecks, and then the Wells.
There was another house on that street too. It wasn't like the others, well kept with a manicured lawn and cute Halloween decorations outside. It was the Johnson place. The door looked like it was ready to fall off, and the whole house was sorely in need of some paint. It was legend that the house was haunted, but the boys didn't believe in that spooky stuff. They did, however, agree that old Mr. Johnson, who lived in the place, was as mean as they came. Mr. Johnson was known for grumping and grouching at anyone that looked twice at him. Someone once said he ate worm sandwiches for lunch and frog legs for dinner. YUCK! That's one door they wouldn't be knocking on tonight.
The wind kicked up again, this time it took Conner's mask with it. The boys ran after the mask as it skidded across the sidewalk, tumbled over the bushes, and floated through the air. Before they knew it, they were standing in the yard of the old Johnson Place. Conner's mask had become stuck on a nail that protruded from the window frame and was dangling, limply, there.
The boys were all thinking the same thing, but no one said it, 'who was going to walk up there and get it'?
Finally, Skyler spoke up, "Conner you better go get your mask".
"I don't really need it", Conner replied in his most grown up voice.
Kyle whispered, "Why don't we all go get it together"?
The boys looked at the mask, then at each other. "Let's do it", they all said, in unison, and began to slowly move toward the porch.
The boys could see a dim light, from a distant room, within the house. They were at ease with the thought Mr. Johnson was probably in bed for the night. Upon approaching the window frame, Conner plucked the mask from off the nail. All five boys let out a sigh of relief at having accomplished their task.
Suddenly, the light inside the house flickered and went out. A long, whiny, squeaking sound, to their right, drew their attention to the front door, blown open and now flapping in the wind. Their hearts were racing and their feet felt heavy, as if they were stuck in cement. From inside the house they could here someone moaning, almost as if they were in pain.
"Do you think it's Mr. Johnson", said Skyler.
"What should we do"?, croaked Conner. "Mean as they say he is, we can't just let him suffer."
"We'll just all stick together and we'll be okay, after all there's five of us", said Logan.
Quietly the boys slipped in though the door.
Colby called out, "Mr. Johnson, can we help you"?
Kyle tried the light switch but it didn't work. He stepped in something mushy, that let off a horrible stench.
"Smells like someone died".
The boys felt their way around, grabbing on to furniture and walls as they groped about and called out to Mr. Johnson. SPLAT!
"What is it"?
"I don't know feels like worms"
"Hey, you think the thing about the worm sandwiches is true"? asked Conner.
"Let's just find Mr. Johnson and get out of here, everybody stay focused", said Skyler.
Just then Skyler stepped on something. He leaned over and picked it up. It was cold as ice, upon feeling around, it seemed to have a thumb and four fingers, but no arm...
"YIKES" choked out Skyler, "I think I'm holding onto someone's hand but there's no arm... this is getting freaky!"
A second later, Colby blurted out, "It feels like I picked up someone's eyeballs but I dropped them and they're rolling around on the floor. Let's get out of here"!
As he turned a tray clattered to the floor and the sounds of plink, plink, plink echoed through the house. Scrambling to pick up what was beneath him, he was just sure they were bones, probably belonged to some poor, helpful, unsuspecting soul. 'Would they be next'?
As the boys turned to run Logan slipped on something wet, he strained to peer through the darkness, there was blood on his pants and now on his hands.
"AHHHHH, blood", he screamed and dove for the door. Just then the lights came on, the boys froze, and there in the doorway was Logan's dad.
"What are you boys doing"? The boys all tried to talk at once, each one breathing heavily, gulping down air, with every word they tried desperately to get out.
In the background, they heard laughing. It started out small, like a hee, hee, hee, then got bigger like a HA, HA, HA, then it was all out laughing hysteria! Who could be laughing at a time like this? The boys turned and there was Mr. Johnson laughing his guts out! His house was a shambles with all the running and diving that had just taken place and there was stuff all over the floor. The boys began to point and jump around excitedly until they realized just what was all over the floor. Spaghetti! Meatballs! Peeled grapes! A rubber latex glove filled with ice, now lay melting in the middle of the hardwood floor.
The boys looked at Mr. Johnson, they looked at each other, then they looked at Logan's dad, who was also laughing. As they put it all together, they realized what had happened. In the few minutes they were in the Johnson place they had completely destroyed Mr. Johnson's dinner. They also noted that Mr. Johnson was walking with a cane.
He pointed to his knee and amid his laughter squealed out, "the frozen glove's for my bum knee, hurt it yesterday trying to fix the door".
"But the moaning", cried Skyler, "we heard someone moaning".
"That would be Fritz, my dog, he just hate's it when I chain him up, especially when he knows there's a can of wet dog food with his name on it".
There smeared across the hardwood floor, near the door, was the wet dog food.
"Why do you peel your grapes", asked Colby.
"Never did like the way the skins would get caught in my dentures", replied Mr. Johnson, still laughing.
"But what about the blood?", cried Logan.
"You mean the spaghetti sauce that was sitting in that bowl"?
Logan looked over and saw the bowl, half full of sauce, lying upside down on the floor oozing out everywhere.
One thing nagged at Logan 'till he just couldn't help but ask, "Why didn't you come when we called"?
"When the lights went out, I had to go down to the basement to flip the switch, takes me awhile to get around with the knee. While I was down there I heard a bunch of stuff falling over, muffled voices, thought it was a robber, but by the time I got up the stairs and saw all of you, and your dad there, I started putting it all together, you think I don't know that my house is legend to be 'haunted'"?
Speechless, the boys stared at Mr. Johnson, until Logan said, "Gee, we're sorry Mr. Johnson, we thought you were hurt and we wanted to help you".
"That was awfully kind of you boys".
"You know though", said Logan's dad, "You should have come and got me, you know better than to enter a house alone, what if something had been amiss"?
"We've learned our lesson dad, we promise."
"Yeah, scouts honor", the boys proclaimed. "Well let's help Mr. Johnson clean up".
After all was clean the boys invited Mr. Johnson to come back to their house and share in the festivities. That weekend the boys and their parents, got the neighborhood together to help Mr. Johnson with the repairs around his house. Some of the fathers and sons painted the outside of the house while others saw to the yard. There were cookies and milk after all was done.
Every year, thereafter, the boys would end their trick-or-treating at Mr. Johnson's place. Then he'd walk them home and tell ghost stories while they dug into their candy and hung on his every word. All because of one Halloween night.
Peeled Grapes - eyeballs
Spaghetti and Meatballs with Sauce - worms, guts, blood
Rubber latex glove, filled with water, frozen - dead hand
Can of wet dog or cat food - just plain gross and smelly
Dry Chicken Bones - skeleton fingers