by John Chabot
Here is yet another fun Halloween short story!
The doorbell chimes.
Before Marcie can move, I say, “I’ll get it.”
She gives me her disbelief look, but says nothing as I put down my crossword puzzle, get up and go to the door. Marcie had turned on the front porch light earlier. When I open the door I see pretty much what I’d expected: a princess and a pirate. The young royal, maybe nine or ten years old, is all in filmy pink lace with a sparkling tiara in her dark hair. The pirate, younger by a year or so, has a stuffed parrot on his shoulder that’s having a hard time staying erect.
The pirate yells, “Trick or treat!” The princess smiles; each holds a paper bag, partly filled with goodies. I put on my most serious face and ask, “Are you aware of what you’re doing here?” The pirate looks as if he’s been caught at something naughty. The princess’s expression is harder to read.
“Do you realize where Halloween and all this trick or treat nonsense comes from? Do you? Well, I’ll tell you. Thousands of years ago, the Druids celebrated Samhain, a day devoted to ghosts and demons. That’s where Halloween comes from. And do you know who the Druids were?”
Two heads shake back and forth.
“They were evil people who lived on the heath and they were called heathens. They were wizards and witches and did all kinds of nasty things–worshippers of Satan. They were the Celts. You know who the Celts were, don’t you?”
Two more head shakes.
“Well, they were the ancestors of the Scots and the Irish, and we all know what kind of people they are, don’t we? Are you Christian?”
That gets me two emphatic nods.
“That’s very good to hear. In that case, I’m sure you won’t want to get drawn into this demonic practice of greed and idolatry. The devil is watching, and so are the angels. So which is it to be?” I hold the bowl of miniature candy bars before them. The pirate seems unsure of what to do. The princess doesn’t. She gives me a narrow-eyed look, reaches into the dish, takes out a Snickers bar and drops it into the pirate’s paper bag. Then, looking me straight in the eyes, she reaches in again and takes a Mars bar for herself. The pirate takes off quickly. Her Royal Highness gives me a thin smile, says “Thank you,” turns and walks regally down the steps. Well, it was worth a try.
Back in the house, Marcie says, “Didn’t work, huh?”
“Maybe if you did a little more research. I’ve never heard such a blatant twisting of ancient history.”
“So who can be sure what things were really like that long ago? Besides, that wasn’t what it was about.”
“Of course not. We all know about the latest scourge this country is heading into. Obesity! Too much sugar leads to diabetes and heart attacks and who knows what else. Health insurance premiums go up and the entire economy is harmed. Pretty soon there won’t be room on the sidewalks; people will all be so big. I’m trying to save the kids from that. Just doing my part, that’s all.”
Marcie gives me her wife look. “Bull. You’re afraid the kids will take all the snacks and there won’t be any left for you.”
“Yeah, well, that too.”
“Shame on you. Besides, it’s not necessary.”
“All this. Knowing you, I bought extra.”
The doorbell chimes again.
Marcie says, “I’ll get this one.” I hear her open the door and a bunch of kids yelling “Trick or treat!” I get up and look into the foyer. Beyond Marcie are a milling gang of ghosts and ghouls and such, and what is she doing? I can hardly believe it. She’s holding the bowl in front of them, pushing it toward them, saying nothing but inviting them to take seconds. And they are.
All my good work for nothing.
You can check out even more Halloween short stories both mystery, pet and more in our Terrific Tales section!