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Give Me Something Good To Eat
Pamela K. Kinney
“Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”
Halloween time again, when all those damn kids knock on his door and asked, no, demanded, candy, money, and other assorted treats. But he’d be double-damned if he’d break down and give the little hellions anything. In his opinion, these days the only thing the brats deserved was nothing. Nothing at all.
The knocking at his door escalated, becoming a persistent pounding. Jonas Perkins flung open the door and found two small children, maybe five or six, standing on his porch. One dressed as a witch, the other a Power Ranger. Their loud, obnoxious father, Pete Quarters from next door, had been the one who pounded on the door. He inched closer so that Jonas and he stood practically nose to nose.
“Hey, Perkins!” said Quarters. “Didn’t you hear Jenny and Parker knock? It’s Halloween, you know.””
Jonas snorted and glared at Quarters from under his bushy eyebrows. “Yeah, I heard. But I decided not to give out candy to any kids this year. I thought the Dental Association would have one less idiot handing out sugar products and causing cavities. Felt it was my civic duty.”
Quarters’ piggish eyes narrowed. “Are you going highbrow on me, Perkins? It’s Halloween and I’m sure that my kids’ dentist won’t mind them having some candy. I should know, as he gave them a couple Snickers bars each when we stopped at his place, so why should he care if you give them something?”
“Well, I didn’t get any candy so I am not giving them, or any other little monster, anything tonight. And that’s that. So no one better play a trick on me either, or I’ll call the cops. Understand?”
Jonas slammed the door shut on Quarters and his kids, locking it.
“Stupid idiots and their brats,” he muttered, as he stalked into the living room and thumped down in his favorite chair in front of the television set. Picking up the remote, he surfed through endless channel after channel, but could only find monster movies, how to make Halloween treats on the Cooking Channel and the history of Halloween on the History Channel.
With a click, he turned the TV off and tossed the remote onto the end table with disgust.
“Nothing but Halloween crap on tonight.”
And nothing but Halloween crap to his thinking as the door bell kept ringing and he answered it. Kids dressed in costumes of all types, from vampires and werewolves to ghosts, super heroes, and silly princesses stood with their bags held up, the light spilling onto their masked or made up faces. Their parents waited just outside the reach of the porch light, hidden in the shadows of the night. He screamed at the little monsters, making them run and their mothers or fathers curse him, but he’d just slammed the doors on them all. After a while he sat in the darkened living room, ignoring the persistent bell. Finally, the door bell quit ringing and he relaxed in his chair.
He jumped up when instead of the bell ringing a loud knocking sounded at his door. At first he felt a flash of anger and wasn’t going to answer the door, but when he spied something on a table near him a nasty grin shaped his lips. He picked up a horn that he kept to bugle at birds in the spring that tried to get the grass seed that he seeded his front lawn with. Now, with his fingers curled around the horn, he strolled to the door.
“I’ll give you a treat!” he yelled as he flung open the door with a laugh.
His fingers pressed the button on the horn and a loud high-pitched sound screamed out of it. He stopped, as he faced a trick-or-treater about his height. With another press of the button, he shut off the horn.
Dumbfounded at first, his face took on a dark, angry glower. “Aren’t you a little old to be trick-or-treating, you stupid nitwit?” he snarled.
The costumed figure just stood there, silent. Jonas’ gaze took in the costume and how well done it was. Tall and gaunt, threadbare iron gray pants hung loosely from its hips and it also wore a shirt rotted away in places, leaving dirt crusted holes. Dust covered most of the clothing and the large shoes on the feet looked like those that a clown would wear.
The skin gleam the same pale, chalky color as the crescent moon that hung in the night sky above. Long hands ended in long black nails, sharp like claws, and they grasped an extra large bag, like the kind that held grain or seed in the grain stores. But it was the make up job that impressed him the most. The flesh masked over the skull like a second skin. Not a speck of color touched its lips or cheeks, except a light gray color.
And the eyes! They dominated the features, like large black holes, with no consciousness peeping out of them.
Must be FX contact lenses, thought Jonas.
The lips parted in a dark smile, revealing a mouthful of cannibal-sharp fangs.
Jonas shivered, but not from the cool autumn breeze that drifted in from the outside. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to shut this door now. And no tricks, because you’re not getting any damn treats from me.”
He slammed the door shut on the figure’s face.
In a turnabout he found himself eye to eye with the strange trick-or-treater from outside. It stood there, blocking Jonas from the living room. Not one peep did it utter.
“What the hell?" Jonas retreated back a couple of steps. “How did you get inside?”
The figure silently held up its opened bag.
Suddenly angry, Jonas snarled. “You want a treat, do you? Well, I’ll give you a treat. A treat like the smack from this horn I’m still gripping.”
He raised the horn up and brought it down. With no warning, the trick-or-treater grabbed the arm holding the horn and with a twist, broke it. The horn dropped to the floor, making a loud clatter. The trick-or-treater kicked it to the side.
Pain lanced through Jonas’ arm and he cradled it. Fear flitted across his face as he stared at the other.
“Oh, dear God,” he said. “What do you want?”
The other spoke for the first time. “You.”
It grabbed him quickly, not giving him time to escape, and after snapping a few bones to bend the body easier, shoved a dying Jonas into the bag.
The ghoul gave a nasty cackle and flung open the door, stepping outside into the cool night air. The pungent odors from candle-lit Jack-O-Lanterns on door steps and half-eaten candies thrown to the ground from costumed children wafted to its nostrils. But it didn’t think of those things, only of the meal it would enjoy tonight in its home in the mausoleum. Nowadays, Halloween made it so easy to hunt humans. They just thought of it as another costumed trick-or-treater.
It left the door open and skipped down the street to its home in the town cemetery. It sang, swinging the heavily loaded bag at its side.
“Trick or treat, smell my feet, and give me something good to eat!”