It was a cold night and the streets were gloomy, which made her think that there weren’t going to be many kids in costumes begging for Halloween candy. Betty had only one bag of goodies left, as she had finished the rest of the candy while watching a horror movie. She was alone, in charge of the house, because her parents had left the city as a result of a romantic trip they had organized for the weekend.
She gave each child who passed by her home one or two sweets, so that she could ration the portions and have enough for everyone who showed up. However, she ran out of sweets when it was only a few minutes to midnight. She turned off the lights to make it appear that no one was in the house and thus prevent the kids from asking.
But, suddenly, someone knocked on the door, despite Betty’s attempts to dissuade them. She tried not to pay attention to it, and she kept watching television, but someone knocked a second time and with more force. She stood up indignantly and opened with a serious face. A boy disguised as a skeleton appeared at the entrance, with his candy bag full and without any company next to him.
“Trick or treat?” the little one asks her; she was unable to make out his face because the mask covered it.
“I’m sorry, buddy, but I have no sweets left,” she apologized, closing the door with regret.
When she was about to return to the couch, somebody called again, which made her immediately furious. She went to the door to yell at the person who appeared in front of her, although no one appeared. She closed the door, and after walking two steps, the doorbell of the house rang once more. The sound made her despair. The noises took over her mind and stunned her greatly, but when she tried to find someone to blame, the person just vanished into thin air.
Betty preferred to stay outside, hidden in the bushes of her porch, to be able to capture the mischievous one that was bothering her, although with how dark it was outside the house, it was difficult to distinguish someone from the shadows. Suddenly, the bell rang again, and she jumped quickly onto the wooden boards at the entrance, but there was not a single soul in sight. Her heart began to race, and the air became thin, when, suddenly, the bell button began to rumble, without anyone pressing it.
The horror of what she had observed led her to take her keys and drive as fast as possible, without any direction, driven by the only desire to escape. However, while she was driving, the horn began to buzz with the same intensity as that of her home, and the speed of the car began to slow down without her having anything to do. She was trying to accelerate, but the car just stopped in the middle of the road. The music from the radio began to rise increasingly, causing Betty to rest her head in distress on the steering wheel as she covered her ears with her hands.
“Stop, please!” she begged, with a shudder.
When she looked up, suddenly, she felt paralyzed, her skin crawl and cold seized her from head to toe. In front of her car appeared the same little man disguised as a skeleton, to whom she had not been able to deliver candy.
“Trick or treat?” he asked again in a sinister tone, while a dense black cloud emanated around him in a chilling fashion.
Betty stared at him perplexed, with a terror that was slowly drowning her. She did not know what to do until, suddenly, she remembered that she had left a bar of chocolate in the glove compartment that a school teacher had given her at the end of the class. She got out of the car and showed it to him fearfully. With her shaking hands, she held it out and placed it in his bag while she tried not to look him in the eyes because of the fear it caused her. The instant the chocolate bar fell into the basket, the boy evaporated in the wind, leaving Betty walking away in fear.
Fernanda Poblete is a junior English Literature- Creative writing student with a minor in History. Her first novel was inspired by the Covid pandemic. One of her pieces was published in 2020 in Lindenwood’s Creepy Campfire Stories. Fernanda is from Chile and came to Lindenwood thanks to a tennis scholarship.