TRICK OR TREAT
By Stacy McKitrick
Joey Ferraro manned the house while his wife, Corinne, braved the streets with their son, Frankie. This was their first Halloween in the neighborhood and Joey had wanted to go, too, but Corinne insisted someone stay home and hand out the candy. “Someone would toilet paper the house if no one was home,” she said. Pointing out that they didn’t own any trees hadn’t swayed her fear.
The doorbell rang for the umpteenth time. Wondering if he’d get a chance to watch any of his hockey game, he opened the door to the sounds of “Trick or Treat.” Little ballerinas, princesses and comic book heroes jumped up and down, begging for candy. He dropped one piece into each bag. After a chorus of thank yous, they raced off to the next house, leaving one familiar beggar holding out his bag.
“Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat.”
Joey shook his head and stared at the chubby Chewbacca. At least he assumed that was what the kid was dressed as. “Listen, you might have gotten seconds from me, but you’re not about to get thirds.”
“I haven’t been here before.”
“Uh, yes you have. I don’t know of any Wookiee that would be caught dead carrying around a pink My Little Pony bag. Now scram.” Joey pushed the door shut, but the kid wedged one pudgy leg inside.
“If you don’t give me a treat, I’ll have to trick you.”
The kid couldn’t be any older than ten. Joey searched his yard. The next batch of beggars were two doors down and not a parent lingered in front of his house. “Where’s your mother?”
Chewbacca held out his bulging candy bag.
Joey clenched his jaw. The kid was determined, he’d give him that, but then so was he. “No,” Joey said as he kicked the kid’s leg aside and shut the door before the little bugger could stop him. He slid the bolt locked.
This was the thanks he got for passing out candy? The kids in this neighborhood were greedy little gremlins. Most of them could stand to be on a diet, too. Next year he’d accompany Frankie, and Corinne could hand out candy and watch for any would-be toilet paperers.
Before he could return to his hockey game, the doorbell rang. He peeked through the side window. Surrounded by a new group of children was Chewie. Joey no sooner opened the door than the chubby beggar stiff-armed his way to the front.
“Kids, if you ever want to know what kind of behavior will not get you candy, follow this kid’s example.” Joey then gave everyone candy except the Wookiee.
He shut the door as the kid pounded on it. “This is your last chance!” Chewie cried.
“I’m shaking in my boots,” Joey yelled back. Yeah, he probably should have taken the high road and kept quiet, but the brat brought out the beast in him.
When the next round of beggars appeared, there wasn’t any sign of the creature from hell, thank goodness. But just as the last beggar trotted away, he got hit in the chest with an egg. Goo splattered everywhere, leaving a sickly stench.
“Oh gross!” Joey fought to keep his dinner down and couldn’t dispose of his shirt fast enough while the chubby Chewbacca cackled from the safety of the sidewalk. By the time Joey got his queasiness under control, the Wookiee had disappeared. Good thing, too. Who knew what he would have done with the little monster?
He slammed the door shut. That was it. Halloween was over as far as he was concerned. Kids wouldn’t miss one piece of candy, like they needed it at all. And if they got toilet-papered, so be it. He turned off the porch light and cleaned up before settling in to watch his hockey game.
The doorbell rang. He ignored it.
Someone knocked. He ignored it.
Minutes later, the set went dark. What the? He pushed the guide button, the power button. Nothing.
Laughter came from the front of the house.
Joey threw open the door. “What the hell did you do to my cable?”
“Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat.” Chubby Chewbacca held out his bag.
“You have got to be kidding me!”
“Don’t you get it? I don’t kid.”
Joey grabbed the bowl. “Fine. Here.” He dumped the candy into the kid’s bag. A few Snickers and Kit Kats tumbled to the ground. “Have it all, you big pig. Now go.”
“What did you call me?”
“You heard me. Now get out of here before I call the cops.” Joey slammed the door in the kid’s face. Now he had to figure out what the monster did to his cable. Armed with a flashlight he marched to the box on the side of his house.
The cable lay curled in the grass. He was re-attaching the connector when that familiar voice echoed between the houses.
“That’s him, Daddy. He’s the one who called me a pig.”
Joey rose past muddy boots fit for Shaquille O’Neal and a pair of ham hock thighs that could probably crush a walnut, and no amount of standing on Joey’s part would make him taller than this dude. Frankenstein, anyone?
“Pick on someone your own age, jerk.” A massive fist collided with Joey’s chin.
Trick or treat, indeed.