My short-story/poem ‘The Trick-or-Treaters’

the-trick-or-treaters
Just before the sun went down
on October 31st,
on the evening of Halloween,
two brothers, Isaac and Reece,
and their little-sister, Hailie,
left their house to go walking up their street
to go knocking on the doors of their neighbours
and to say in one voice the phrase of the hour:
“trick-or treat”.
Every year, on Halloween, these three siblings
loved getting dressed up from head-to-toe
in costumes of their own choosing –
and this year, like every year,
Hailie was a “ghost”, Reece was a “Vampire”,
and Isaac was a “werewolf”,
and every year when they got home from “trick-or-treating”
they always returned with more candy
than they knew what to do with…
going door-to-door with one-another
was a tradition that these three loved reenacting –
come clouds and rain, or under clear sky and moon-shine;
however, they only went up the street and back again,
and since they lived in a cul-de-sac
the sooner that their trick-or-treating began
in no time at all it soon came to a sad end for another year.

Every year it was all treats and no tricks-
but, since this year there was a new neighbour
that had moved into their road,
Reece in particular hoped that maybe this year
they might return home with more
than just a bag full of sweets.

The new neighbours lived in the house
at the end of the road, up a driveway,
where a lady used to live
who had more cats than could ever be counted –
but who had sadly passed-away;
Reece, Isaac, and Hailie, did not know
the late lady well, only her name:
“Mrs. Leech” – however, word got around
and it was thought that now
her sister had taken on her house
following Mrs. Leech’s passing,
and her name was apparently: “Ms. Beetle” –
“like the car, and not the British band”,
the mailman had recently pointed out.

Hailie, Reece, and Isaac,
knocked on every door of their street…but one…
and all three were carrying a considerable
amount of treats to return home with –
however, they had not yet visited Ms. Beetle’s house,
which they had left until last on purpose…
and the walk up the driveway to Ms. Beetle’s house
at the bottom of the street was done slowly –
and as soon as the trio of siblings walked up
onto the wooden porch of Ms. Beetle’s house,
and they knocked on the front-door,
neither one of them knew what to expect –
however, they certainly didn’t expect
the door to open seemingly on its own…
they most certainly didn’t expect to see
Ms. Beetle dressed all in black
mixing away at a giant cauldron-shaped
black container with bubbles and gases
jetting up from the green mixture…
and they most certainly, definitely,
did not expect Ms. Beetle to look
at all three of them and say:
“so, what will it be? Trick or treat?”
And after Hailie, Reece, and Isaac,
then heard Ms. Beetle cackle at the top of her lungs –
that was when all three of them screamed
and then turned around and jumped off
of Ms. Beetle’s porch and they ran
all the way up the street and all the way home,
leaving behind all their treats
that they had collected from the night.

The next day, their was a knock at the door
of Hailie, Reece, and Isaac’s house –
and when their Mom answered the door
Ms. Beetle was standing there on the other side
and smiling from ear-to-ear
and holding out in front of her
the three bags of candy that the kids had left behind.
Ms. Beetle apologized for the night before,
and she gave the kids their bags of candy
and she told them that she was pleased to meet them,
and that this year she gave them both a trick and a treat –
but she also said that there was no telling
what she was going to do next year,
and the only way they will know
is if they are brave enough to come knocking on her door again,
and if they were to all ask her:
“trick-or-treat”?

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