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Trick or Treat?

strangedesire Nov 1st, 2015 35 Never
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  1. "Trick or treat!"
  2.  
  3. "Aaaggh!"
  4.  
  5. One hand clutches at my chest while the other supports a heavy bowl of chocolaty goodness.
  6.  
  7. "Jeez! What are you all supposed to be?" I ask in earnest curiosity.
  8.  
  9. "I'm an orc!" says the first boy. Orcs are a little different than I remember, it seems. He bares his plastic teeth and growls as menacingly as a human being aged in the single digits can be. The man standing behind them smiles proudly.
  10.  
  11. "Ooh, and you're a nasty one!" I say. "If I give you some gold, will you spare my house?"
  12.  
  13. "Yeah!" he says.
  14.  
  15. I dig a handful of chocolate golden coins from the bowl and toss them into his heavy-looking bag. He smile-growls again and looks down into his pumpkin bag greedily.
  16.  
  17. "And what are you?" I ask, turning to the middle boy.
  18.  
  19. "Ninja turtle!" he says.
  20.  
  21. Oh. Hey, it is! I knew that. I should have known that. It's Donatello, damn it! Just goes to show, the good stuff just never really goes out of style. His candy bucket is even a turtle shell, duh. And here I thought it was a Mario Kart thing.
  22.  
  23. "I ain't got any pizza left, but how about a couple gummy burgers, dude?" I ask.
  24.  
  25. He thrusts his candy shell up eagerly and the man nods, so I toss in the burgers that I can find. They bounce as they land atop the spoils of a very lucrative night.
  26.  
  27. "And how about you-u-u-u?" I ask, turning to the littlest one. She's some kind of warrior princess, I think? Something from a Disney movie?
  28.  
  29. My scary-ish voice doesn't faze her as she looks up at me with the biggest doe eyes this side of the state. They'll kill me before her tiny sword does.
  30.  
  31. "Abigail, tell Mrs. Harris who you are, please," their chaperon says.
  32.  
  33. "Fair Marin," the girl says with a smile.
  34.  
  35. I have exactly no clue who that is. It deserves candy, though. Everything deserves candy tonight.
  36.  
  37. "Are you going to protect me from the scary orc?" I ask.
  38.  
  39. She smiles and shakes her head, opening her candy sack wide.
  40.  
  41. Kids. Their loyalty goes as far as their stomachs. Gotta love 'em.
  42.  
  43. "Then take the treasure and begone with ye!" I moan, tossing a handful of bite-size bars into her gaping bag.
  44.  
  45. "Thank you," she says sweetly.
  46.  
  47. "Boys?" the man says.
  48.  
  49. "Thank you, Mrs. Harris!" they say.
  50.  
  51. "Be safe! Stay out of trouble!" I tell them.
  52.  
  53. "We will!"
  54.  
  55. The three little monsters dash away from the porch with Mr. Chaperon hot on their heels, waving goodbye. Cute kids.
  56.  
  57. I can see the headlights of their truck at the end of the road. The cabin lights are on and Mom is keeping watch on everyone from the driver seat. She waves, and as they all climb into the spacious backseat, I wave goodbye under the porch light.
  58.  
  59. Closing the door, I set the candy bowl aside for the next batch of frighteners. There should be at least a couple more coming: the Davidsons and the Enwrights. There's usually a few surprises later, as well. Oh, little Samuel lost a tooth, so I'd better remember to give him the little toothbrush with his candy. His mom should get a kick out of it, and the look on his face will be priceless. Until then, I settle back into my book while I wait.
  60.  
  61. A knock on the door surprises me after only a couple pages.
  62.  
  63. Jumping back up, I grab the bowl, remember the toothbrush, and open the door to find--woah! Cat eye contact lenses. Damn, kid. That's dedication.
  64.  
  65. Sure enough, there's... one kid on the porch. Just one little girl I don't recognize. She has a cool costume, though. Is that Link? Looks like Link... wrong hat, though. Maybe it's from one of the newer ones that I haven't played. Or is it a double costume? Cat Link? Link with cat ears? And a tail? I'll ask.
  66.  
  67. "And just who are you supposed to--"
  68.  
  69. Twitch. They twitched. The ears twitched. They move.
  70.  
  71. The little girl smiles, and her eyes widen--her pupils widen. She takes a step forward and--Jesus Christ, what's wrong with her legs? They bend backwards! She takes another step and the tail, she has a tail, it moves.
  72.  
  73. She's right up to the door now. She looks up at me with those big eyes with weird pupils and smiles even wider. No, faces aren't shaped like that, they're not put together like that... It's almost right, but it's wrong.
  74.  
  75. She tilts her head as her tail swishes behind her. She does a little spin that doesn't go well because of the bag she's holding and nearly bats her tail against the door frame. My God, it's an actual tail. Do I hear a bell?
  76.  
  77. "I'm Peter Pan!" the cat girl says.
  78.  
  79. She smiles like she's going to explode into a little girl rainbow or something, as if this is just the happiest little statement that has ever left a little girl's mouth, while her ears turn and pivot on top of her head.
  80.  
  81. "O-Oh, I see..." I say.
  82.  
  83. We stare at each other for God knows how long while the only thoughts going through my head are that yep, that's Peter Pan, not Link, and yep, I'm very definitely, really, truly looking at an actual girl with actual cat parts. No, less than that... I think she really is a cat.
  84.  
  85. There's a monster at my door.
  86.  
  87. "Trick or treat," it says, spreading the bag open towards me.
  88.  
  89. Trick or treat. Trick or treat. Trick or treat?
  90.  
  91. I look at the candy bowl in my hand, waiting to dispense candy. I look at the open bag, ready to receive candy. I look at the cat girl, the little monster girl, as the smile on her face slowly falls along with her ears. That... that seems bad.
  92.  
  93. Something moves at the edge of the porch light. A figure steps forward in the darkness. Is that a pirate?
  94.  
  95. The little cat girl looks over her shoulder with perked ears, then spins her head back to me and then I'm captured in her eyes again. Her smile has been replaced with an open mouth of worry, or maybe something else that I can't tell because her eyes are just different.
  96.  
  97. Trick or treat.
  98.  
  99. I look into the candy bowl again. I've got treats. No tricks, but at least I've got some treats. Can they eat chocolate? I don't know. What else is there? Gummy bears, lollipops, a few--Aha! Swedish fish, perfect! I grab the little bag of fish-shaped candies and a bag of gumballs because Hell yeah, gumballs, am I right? Hell yeah, cat people...?
  100.  
  101. The girl's eyes widen into tall black ovals as I hold out my hand and then let go. The candy falls like everything's in slow motion as the girl follows its descent. It makes a soft plastic sound as it hits the bottom of the bag.
  102.  
  103. She looks up at me like she's received a revelation. She smiles. God damn, that smile.
  104.  
  105. "Sylvie..." someone says beyond the porch.
  106.  
  107. The other figure steps into the porch light and the little cat girl turns and dashes to it. It's a pirate all right, with ears and a tail and weird legs. Do I hear a bell?
  108.  
  109. "Mommy, look! Candy!" the little girl says, brandishing the bag. "I told you! See?"
  110.  
  111. Just before she reaches the arms of the pirate woman cat girl person monster, the little girl stops, turns, and then dashes back to me. The bell--she has a bell tied to her wrist, just like I used to do with my son...
  112.  
  113. She stops in front of me again and grabs my free hand.
  114.  
  115. "Sylvie!" the woman says, stepping closer.
  116.  
  117. This is bad, isn't it? The girl tugs down on my arm and all I can do it kneel because my brain sure isn't helping me answer why a cat girl and a larger, approaching cat girl are at my front porch or where either of them came from.
  118.  
  119. I drop onto one knee and then the little smiling girl reaches for my face. Before I can react beyond confused staring, the girl brings her face close to mine, closes her eyes, and rubs her cheek against mine. First the left, then the right, I feel her soft, warm cheek rub against me. Then she lets go and steps back.
  120.  
  121. "Thank you," she says.
  122.  
  123. The pirate cat reaches the porch and wraps the little girl in her arms. Her eyes are trained on me, and me alone. Her oval pupils widen as she watches me on my knee. I know that look. It's a look that I'm well aware of. I've used it before.
  124.  
  125. The woman walks away from the porch with her little girl held in the safest place she could be right now. When they reach the edge of the porch light, the girl reaches around her mother and waves, jingling her bell.
  126.  
  127. "Bye-bye!" she says.
  128.  
  129. The woman pauses and turns back to me. I, uh... I guess I should wave, and stuff.
  130.  
  131. "Be s-safe out there," I say.
  132.  
  133. "We will!" the girl says with a giggle. Her mother keeps watching me, and then...
  134.  
  135. "Happy Halloween," the woman says.
  136.  
  137. "You too," I say on reflex.
  138.  
  139. A moment later, they turn and vanish into the night. I catch the faint sound of the little bell jingling away into the distance, and then everything is quiet.
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