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Halloween Eve

It was a dark and beautiful night. The temperature lingered at a brisk yet comfortable 65 degrees. Clouds scudded across the sky and the dog whined at the back door - bladder full, appetite fierce. She paced restlessly between the stove and the glowing laptop. The computer's empty screen mocked her worry. There was something more required, something yet left to be done.

"Mom, what's for dinner!"

The shrill cry startled her revere. "I have no idea! Don't ask me," she yelled back. Her heart flibberty-gibbeted in her chest. What was wrong? A frantic run through her schedule revealed nothing. She snatched at the pantry door but the handle slipped from her clawed grasp. No! The answer lie behind the paneled portal.

"We're HUNGRY!"

She cringed. The voices tugged at her inner soul. To  deny them was to deny her own being. "I know," she called back to them. "I'm hungry too. There's just something, something behind this door. Something I've yet to do!" Footsteps echoed along the barren wooden floor. They were coming.

The children crowd about her. Their fingers plucking at her sleeves and pant legs like ducks at a loaf of bread. "I can't get it opened," she murmured .  Small hands reached for the cold iron knob. Her hand closed over theirs.

"Together," she said. "We'll face what we find there together."

Their heads nodded, causing their blond curls to dance.

"One," she said.

"Two," the children chorused.

"THREE," they cried together.

The metal handle yielded to the pressure and squealed under the force of eight hands. With a mighty yank the pantry door jerked open. There, on the exposed back wall, a calendar lay bare to all eyes. A black asterisk perched upon October 30th, demanding attention, demanding action. A hurried hand had jaggedly written within the blank box.

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She screamed!


Sorry everybody. I would have posted sooner, but. . . . well . . . . you get the idea.