By Jesse V Coffey
I hate Halloween. I seriously hate this shit. All the Halloweenies running around begging for candy. And if you don’t fork it over, they egg your house. If you don’t give the little shits the right candy, they toilet paper your lawn, and your trees and shrubs, and your goddamn car. Two years ago, I had some little juvenile delinquent dump vinegar over the hood of my brand new Ford pickup and that shit ate the paint right the fuck off. I had to cough up $600 to repaint the front end. You know how hard it is to match paint? It’s a bitch, that’s what it is.
Legalized extortion, that’s what it is. Because if you don’t cough up the sweets, man, they make you pay in other ways. And what’s even worse, is not putting any candy out. Last year, I didn’t answer my fucking door, didn’t put bowls of sugar filled crap on my porch, and the next thing I knew, I had a brick flying through my living room window. That’s right. Some little shit threw a brick through my window. I had glass everywhere and another $150 bill to replace it. I hate Halloween. I hate rug rats and the older JDs who help ‘em rob everyone blind. Have fun? We’re supposed to be having fun? Well, I ain’t having fun!
So, I’m ready for this year. I’m so ready. I got a couple boxes of shotgun shells loaded with rock salt. I got my trusty twelve gauge cleaned, oiled, and ready. I plan on sitting on my damn front porch and guarding what’s mine. Let’s see if those little robbers think they’re going to come into my yard and vandalize my home. Nope, not going to happen. Unless Mommy and Daddy plan on escorting the rotten little monsters to the hospital to pick rock salt out of Junior’s fat ass. Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.
Got myself a decent rocker for the front porch. Set up my little TV. It’s okay, I got one of them streaming services, see. I can watch my favorite John Wayne movies. I hate these new movies. They’re all sex and foul mouthed sluts with big tits and no clothes. Give me a good cowboy movie any day of the week. Give me the Duke. He wouldn’t take this candy begging shit from these little twerps. Oh hell no. Not John fucking Wayne. He’d shoot ‘em right off his lawn.
I hear ‘em. I hear ‘em giggling and thinking they’re funny with that damn, “trick or treat, smell my feet, gimme something good to eat!” Lots and lots of giggles. Must be giggling from the street behind me too. I can hear the fucking giggles all over the place. It’s echoing against the houses and the trees behind ‘em.
“Shut the fuck up!” I scream.
But they don’t. Still giggling. Like they don’t care they might be making someone crazy with the bullshit. I’m about ready to fire a shot in the air, that’s how much the little shits bug me. But, it’s not like there’s a lot of ‘em out here. Small groups of twos and threes, going up to the houses. Yelling to each other. Yelling to parents.
“Look what I got.”
“Can I have some now, Mommy?”
“Why’s that man sitting there? Is that his costume?”
Yeah, you little scrounging fucks. That’s my costume.
I see ‘em walking on the other side of the street, zombies and ghosts and shit. Sun is setting behind the houses and trees. They’re turning into shadows against the row of white houses and front porch lights. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear it was a weird vibe. Like fog rolling in. But that ain’t possible. There’s no water around here. Humidity is bad, but not like this. I rub my eyes. Feels like I got Vaseline or something in my eyes. Gun oil. That’s what it is. Got some of that gun oil on my fingers and when I scratched my eyelid, I got some of that shit in my eye. That’s what it is.
Giggles from the trees on the left side of my house. I step down off the porch, looking in those trees. For a moment, I could almost swear that I see eyes watching me. Red glowing eyes. Deep in the trees. But that can’t be. The monsters are across the street. I look to be sure; yes, they are. Eyes like glowing lights in black heads watch me. I can’t worry about them. Not right now. Let ‘em laugh. Let ‘em giggle. I turn back to the trees. There. Glowing red eyes. I see them Someone is watching me.
The giggle is more of a laugh now. A deep throaty raspy laugh. The red eyes seem to have a Cheshire Cat grin below them now. I know white glowing from that grin. Teeth? Laughing harder now. The little fuck turds across the street are laughing now too. They stop, no longer worried about candy. I can’t see faces anymore; the light is gone from the sky. What the fuck? What is this? And they stay far from me now. None of them have crossed the street to see if I have candy. But then my twelve gauge has pretty much assured them of a not so lovely outcome on that venture. But I step back closer to my porch. Holding out my gun, pointing it at them. Just to make sure the point is pressed in those pissy little heads. Thieves. Robbers. Fuck ‘em.
But those eyes. They burn. Oh, how they burn. Like the coals in the fire of my smoker. The tips of the cigarettes I smoke. Hiding in the trees. What the fuck is that? Holy shit, an animal? A wild animal? Has to be. Whatever it is parts those teeth and I hear a low moan of an animal stalking prey. I hear the scream of a cat in heat, but not just any cat. A wild cat of sorts. Mountain lions? No, we don’t have any packs of mountain lions anymore.
Bobcats? Oh yeah. Bobcats are thick as thieves around here. And they’re ugly. They hunt and take you down while you’re still alive. Like lions, they suffocate you first. I’ve heard stories though. Stories of bobcats eating you while you’re still alive.
I fire off a shot at the eyes. Something screams, the screeching of a wounded animal. God, I just wanted to scare it off. That’s all. I swear. The giggles cease. As I stand there, I hear the brief silence. Did I kill it? No. The screaming begins again. The sound of nails against a chalk board and a really pissed off bobcat. But more than that. Oh fuck, it’s more than that. The little shits across the street aren’t there anymore. They’re coming at me. They’re coming for me. Oh fuck. I hate Halloween.
The eyes in the trees are back and I realize they’re not low to the ground. The eyes are high in the trees. The height of a man. No, taller. The steps. I hear steps. Heavy thudding across the fallen twigs and limbs, the duff and detritus. It’s growling now. Oh fuck. I’ve pissed it off now. I’ve shot a wild animal and it’s standing on its back legs and I am so fucking dead.
I make a frenzied dash into the house, fuck the TV. Let ‘em have it. All I need is my damn shotgun and the boxes of shells. I’ve locked the door, but I’ve grabbed furniture to barricade myself in. Every light in the house is out. I want to see what’s coming before it sees me. The giggles have started again, outside my door. The glowing white eyes. Oh fuck, I forgot the damn porch light. I flip that switch then step back. Watching. Just as expected, the eyes are gone. I knew it. Nothing ghostly, no monsters. Just brats. Just teenage extortionists. Well, they won’t come in here. I’ll kill the little fuckers. Every goddamn one of them.
Still, they giggle and laugh as if they share a joke I’ll never know. Never understand. I’ll show these little shits a joke. I’ll show them. Let ‘em try. Try anything they want. Let ‘em. I’ll fucking show ‘em a joke. I make sure the twelve gauge is loaded in both barrels and ready. I’ll fix their little red wagons. “I’ll get you fucks. I will. I’ll fucking fill you full o’ rock salt. Get away. Go home. I ain’t got no goddamn candy. Go away! Go the fuck away!”
The screaming of that animal. God, it’s so loud. So damn loud. Screaming and roaring in my head. A barrage of eggs hits my windows and door. The smell of rot and sulfur fills the house and I think I’m going to puke. I fire two warning shots, shattering those windows. Why aren’t they coming closer? I reload and fire again. I’ll kill the little fucks. The windows are completely gone, glass exploding outward.
I feel the breath on my shoulder, hot and wet. Something drips on my face and I reach up to see blood and snot on my fingers as I wipe it away. The growl in my ears. How the fuck did it get in here? How? Oh God, what do I do?
“I fucking hate Hallo—”
Jesse V Coffey lives and writes in Lexington, KY. She currently has three books available for sale – A Wager of Blood, Illusions & Reality, and The Savior. She can be found on Facebook at (20+) Jesse’s Coffeyhouse | Facebook and on her blog at http://www.jessevcoffey.com