*This short story first appeared on the now defunct app, The List App. It was written to conform to the app's format restrictions but is still pretty darn cute outside of the app's context, imo. The archived list can be viewed in its original form on li.st.
It was his first year for trick-or-treating
Something always stood in his way in the past. He was almost able to go out last year, but his mom was called-in to work at the last minute. Despite his desire to do so, apparently society frowned upon 9-year olds walking around alone at night. His mom pat him on the head with a "sorry, Tommy. Maybe next year."
This wasn't a 'maybe next year' anymore
It was a 'definitely this year.' And Tommy wanted to make his first real Halloween count. He had been binge watching monster movies and age appropriate scary movies on ABC Family to prepare. The only thing he had left to do was come up with the perfect costume.
"The costume is everything!"
shouted Tommy to his exhausted, but amused mother. He wanted to make sure his costume would be scary. His friends at school were going as pop culture icons like Transformers or Tony Stark's the Iron Man. Apart from the inherent attraction of alliteration in Tommy the Transformer...it was a little too on-the-nose.
Plus, costumes should be scary!
It was his one request. They didn't have a lot of money, so buying a movie-quality spooky costume was out of the question. But, his mom promised she would do her best. When she wasn't at work, she was busy sewing together ACE bandages and mixing face paints to find the perfect blood-red and decaying-flesh-green.
The sun was setting, and it was time to go
Tommy was trying his best to maintain a creepy persona, but his smile kept poking through his makeup caked face. It was Halloween and he was about to go trick-or-treating! This little mummy/Frankenstein's monster/werewolf hybrid was primed and ready to collect his fun-size Snickers and full-size screams. He FELT scary.
Tommy looked at his mom and said
"they're going to scream. I know they're going to scream. They're going to take one look at me and slam the door shut in horror." She tried to temper his expectations, but it was no use. He was a monster. And off they went to find both his candy and his victims.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
As the cobwebbed door opened, he let out in his spookiest voice, "trick-or-treeeeat." "What an adorable little monster" said the unfazed suburban homeowner. Tommy was crushed. He took the Milky Way he was offered and ate it, and his feelings, immediately.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
The next house had a strobe light illuminating its pathway. As they waited for an answer to their knocking, Tommy admitted the strobe light was pretty cool. His mom agreed. He prepared a scary face for when the door swung open, even throwing in a pre-pubescent growl for good measure. The door opened and the words came out like thunder: "you're so cute!"
This was not going according to plan
He again ate his candy and his feelings. The next string of houses were no different. Knock-knock. Adorable. Ding-dong. So cute. On and on. Had the neighborhood parents been desensitized by Hollywood and video games? That must be it, he thought.
His jack-o-lantern candy pail was empty
No matter what he received, it was vanishing into Tommy's vampire teeth lined mouth before reaching the end of the driveway. He even took two Hershey bars from the abandoned bowl with accompanying "please take just one" sign. It was that kind of night. He ate it all. He ate...
Door-to-door he ate it all
The night wasn't turning out at all like he wanted. Nobody was screaming, yelling, or even shrieking at his terrifying costume. He was running out of both doors to knock on and room for candy in his tummy.
They arrived at Mrs. Keller's house
She was such a sweet and innocent older lady. She was known for her sugar cookies and freshly squeezed lemonade. If anyone was going to get scared tonight, it was going to be Mrs. Keller. Tommy knocked a little less confidently than earlier in the night. Exhaustion and disappointment had taken a lot out of him. As the door creaked open, he felt something was wrong.
Before he could say the magic words...
'trick-or-treat?' his laundry list of candy spoils came flooding out of his little monster mouth - all over Mrs Keller who yelled at the top of her lungs and slammed the door closed to go wash the regurgitated candy off.
Tommy's mom was mortified
Tommy was so proud. "Did you hear her scream, mom? Did you hear her?!"
"Yeah buddy, I heard her."
"You're my little monster." He smiled ear to ear and proclaimed it the best Halloween ever. Who was she to argue? It kind of was.
Happy Halloween! 🎃