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The Halloween Project 2019 Story 13: Trunk or Treat

Children squealed as they bounced from car to car jacked by both excitement and sugar. Little goblins, scarecrows, a variety of Disney princesses and some eight year old ghosts in hastily converted sheets grabbed into the trunks of Subarus, Toyotas, Chevys and Fords, sedans, station wagons and a host of S.U.V.s of every make and model. More than a 100 cars packed the cement lot 40 yards from the school that provided the venue. Parents had gone all out. Music blared from various speakers. Toddlers held the hands of parents trundling to each stop, not quite understanding the revelry. The adults used the occasion to socialize. It was a Halloween that fell on a Friday night. More than a few toted Yeti cups filled with more than ice water. Several sounded like the cocktail hour had begun quite a few hours earlier but there were no worries since their spouses would be driving the little ones home. Laughter erupted as the crowd grew. Some wore costumes, not so much scary as festive although there was the occasional grown-up vampire or werewolf that made a few children hide behind their parents' legs. The large school parking lot, not well lit by the old pole lights, scattered lengthy shadows among the narrow pools of brightness. Kids darted from car to car in playful packs. A group of teens using the opportunity to hang together, checked their phones, shared photos and laughed incessantly. A few had brought their own cars, but the trunks weren't open. No more running from house to house. No ringing doorbells. No tripping over yards plants or decorative fences. No challenging each other to go up the sidewalk and knock on the door of the old and semi-dilapidated Victorian in town that supposedly contained a witch and a haunted basement. No older kids stealing candy. No antics with toilet paper and eggs. No costumes that bordered on the perverse or risque. No more older, lost version of Halloween. This was the modern, safer world. Mason Campbell drove away as the festivities began to dwindle. In his overstuffed trunk rested the remnants of a treasure trove of candy. Milky Way, Baby Ruth, 3 Musketeers, Almond Joy, 100 Grand Bar, Heath Bars, Clark Bars, Krackle, 5th Avenue, Snickers, Mr. Goodbar, Dove Bars, Twix, Charleston Chews, Smarties, Nerds, Tootsie Rolls, Kit Kats, M & M's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfingers, Twizzlers, Skittles, Starburst, Air Heads, Sour Patch Kids. A scattered pile six inches deep across the trunk bed. Beneath it all, beneath the treacly smell of chocolate and sugar, next to the grease laden tire iron and a backpack filled with utensils lay eight year old, Bobby Trainer, trying to scream through the securely tightened duct tape covering his mouth.

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