2008 Halloween Story Contest : Showcase : The Dark Street
Halloween Creative Writing Story Showcase
The Dark Street
By Linda Ash
There we were, my friend, Martha, and I, two ten year old girls out trick-or-treating on Halloween night. We stuck to the familiar neighborhood streets with porch lights and jack-o-lanterns aglow, and gas lampposts driving away the darkness. We had just finished our usual trick-or-treat circuit, but remained unsatisfied. The night was still young. We looked up the street, and then at each other in soundless accord.
Martha's house lay near the last on her street, but the street itself didn't end there. It continued up a slight hill, running past feral plots choked with remnants of old forest. If you followed this untamed part of the road, you eventually came upon another street. A single lane branching off to the right; a street apart from all others.
It was older, placed there long before Martha's neighborhood came into being. Large trees overhung it, hiding much older homes which sat further back than those on Martha's street. The porch lights did not glow happily, illuminating house and yard. Their pale light could be glimpsed only from a distance, often peeking meekly out from between trees and branches. It was to this darksome lane that we silently determined to go.
We left behind the happy noise and chatter of fellow trick-or-treaters as we marched up the hill into the darkness. No other ghosts, witches, or goblins made the trek with us. We were alone, and glad of each other's company, which was understood by the way our shoulders and elbows touched now often as we walked. Then we came upon it, the lonely lane slicing its way through the trees. It was deserted. Houselights dotted the darkness here and there in a lonely, spooky sort of way. We laughed, joking nervously that no one else was here, but our laughter was swallowed by the trees.
We walked, a little less sure of ourselves, until we came to the first house; an old, rambling ranch to our right with a small jack-o-lantern flickering, barely alight, on the porch. We approached, up a winding drive, then along a walkway scattered with sticks and leaves, to the door. We rang the bell. The door opened. We were greeted by a man of indeterminate age, thin, with a younger face, but mousy, slightly graying, long and frizzy hair. He had round glasses. Old hippie and drugs came to our minds. We said, "Trick or treat."
He said, "Happy Halloween! Come in!"
Martha and I looked at each other. Martha's eyes were wide. We heard another voice, the man's wife, inside, "Come in! Come choose your candy!"
We saw her, behind the man, holding a tray with treats. We went in. The man shut the door behind us.
"Choose your candy!" the woman crooned. She looked a lot like her husband, something old hippie-ish about her.
Martha and I looked at the tray. It was full of nothing but those little candy-corn pumpkins, unwrapped. Again Martha and I glanced at each other, then dutifully chose our pumpkins and placed them in our bags. The old hippie couple beamed.
We said our thank you's and Happy Halloweens while slowly backing toward the door. We breathed a sigh of relief when it opened.
We fled straight back to Martha's, where, upon inspection under bright lights, we could swear that there were little needle holes in the bottom of each candy pumpkin. We shrieked and threw them out.
Of course now I realize that those little candy-corn pumpkins always look like they have little needle holes in them. But back then, it was all pure Halloween adventure. •
© 2008 Linda Ash, storytimebreak.blogspot.com