“I’m out of candy, now scram!” Walter yelled at the boys
“What do you mean you’re out of candy, it’s only 7 o’clock!” said the tall boy in his basketball warm-ups and a plastic axe sticking out of his head. “Every year you run out and then start yelling at us. Getting kinda old ole’ man!”
“Deal with it, punk. Now beat it!”
“Why you yelling at us? Why’d you even open the door if you ain’t got candy? That’s what normal people around here do.” said axe boy to a chorus of ‘That’s right’ and ‘yeah’s’ from his cohorts.
“What you gonna do about it? You kids ain’t nothing but trouble any way. Go home to your mommies!” Walter proclaimed with an evil grin on his face.
“This is trick or treat ole man, no treats, guess that means tricks for you!”
Walter slammed the door as the boys walked away laughing, he watched through the little window on the door as the tall boy, the leader he guessed, got to the end of his walkway, turned around and stared back at the house. He then took his index and middle finger on his right hand, pointed them at his eyes, and then directly back at Walter and smiled. He then turned and ran after his friends as Walter could feel his blood boiling.
“What are you doing, dear?” asked Marie, Walter’s wife of 40 years.
“Them boys just threatened me! They are gonna do something to the house tonight, I can feel it. But I ain’t gonna let them, they’ll be in for it if they try anything. I’ll be ready for ’em”
“Which boys?” Marie asked “and why would they wanna get back at you? Are you giving out the candy like I asked you to?”
“We’re out! And it is that tall kid from next door, the one always out in his driveway bouncing that damn basketball at all hours of the night.” Walter responded.
“You mean Billy? He’s such a sweetheart. You know that he stops playing ball by 9 o’clock ever since you complained.” She then walked to the front door and saw her huge Tupperware bowl still overflowing with candy. “And why aren’t you giving out any candy? The bowl is still full”
“Them boys don’t deserve any, now leave me be”
Marie just shrugged her shoulders, shook her head and walked back into the kitchen. Walter stayed at the front door, just waiting for anything suspicious to happen. He’d watch the kids walk by the house, knowing that the neighbor kid was going to come back and do something to his house. Throw eggs or tomatoes at it, put toilet paper all over the trees or something. He just knew it. He had turned the lights out on the porch so not too many kids came to the door, most of them knew that Walter was especially grumpy on Halloween for some reason and didn’t want to feel his wrath over a miniature snickers bar.
So Walter stood at the door with the lights off, listening and watching. At one point he swore that he heard a ball bouncing next door and flung open the door and went to his driveway as fast as he could to try to catch that boy out there, but there was no one there. Walter stood in the cold, biting wind with no coat on, shivering while trying to figure out where those boys were, and what they were going to do. A young couple walked by with their daughter dressed in a little red devil costume. They waved at Walter, but he ignored them. He was looking for his suspects, the ones that were coming to get his house.
After ten minutes or so, Marie came to the front door which had been left open and called for him to come back inside. “At least come in and get a coat, you ole fool! I’m going to bed, are you coming?”
Walter just waved her off and made his way to the backyard, maybe that’s where they were going to come. Dogs were barking throughout the neighborhood, the wind was howling, trees and bushes were shaking and at every noise, Walter was sure that it was “those boys” coming to play a prank on him. “Ain’t no one gonna get me tonight!”
The night went on, Walter was in and out of the house, watching and waiting. He knew it was coming it was just a matter of when. And even worse, it was a Friday night so “them boys” didn’t have school tomorrow, they might attack late, real late. Walter was shivering now, even when he was in the house. That wind was a cold one, an early arctic blast as the weatherman on channel 13 said. But it didn’t matter, he was not going to give in, even if it meant getting sick, he was not going to let anyone threaten his home and get away with it.
He had pulled his chair over in front of the big bay window in the living room so that he could see the entire front yard, and it was positioned so that all he had to do was turn around to see the window in the dining room looking into the backyard. By now he had turned all of his outside lights on, he had it all covered. Suddenly there was a loud noise from inside the garage, sounded like one of his paint cans had been knocked to the ground. Walter got to his feet and made for the garage door, wondering how they might have gotten inside the garage without him hearing anything. He flung open the door, reached around and turned on the light.
“A-Ha” he yelled, then “Aahhh!” as the cat jumped off of the shelf next to the door and ran in through the house. “Damn cat!” He picked up the paint can that the cat had knocked off the shelf when he heard it. There was a loud banging against the aluminum siding on the side of the house.
“They are hitting my house on the side. Damn kids, I’ll show them that they better not mess with me.” Walter got to the front door as fast as he could, slammed it open, knocking all of Marie’s decorations off it, and made his way to the side of the house. “I got you now Billy!”
As Walter turned the corner, he slipped on something in the grass and went down hard. He laid there for a minute gathering himself back together. Didn’t feel like anything was hurt, he reached down to his slipper and felt something warm and squishy, bringing his fingers to his nose he stopped when he recognized the undeniable smell of dog poop.
“Dammit!” Walter yelled. “I bet they put that there on purpose!” The noise from the side of the house continued, were they throwing eggs at his house? What was that noise? He got himself up to his feet, his pants now soaked from the early morning frost as well as the streak of poop running up his leg, and limped to the side of the house where he saw the large oak tree, swaying in the wind, hitting against the siding with each strong gust.
Walter walked to the back yard and was checking behind every bush and shrub that he had to make sure that no kids were hiding. Getting his arms and faced scratched up as he went, he was surprised to notice that the first light of morning was showing in the eastern sky. He walked back to the front door, his pride swelling in his chest, knowing that he did not let “those boys” get the best of him tonight. “No one outsmarts ole Walter here” he thought as he reached the front door, which had been blown shut by one of the strong wind gusts. He reached for the door knob and tried to turn it, only to find that it was locked. Reaching in his pockets and realizing that he did not have his house keys, he started ringing the doorbell for Marie to come let him in.
After a few minutes, she arrived at the door and opened it.
“I did it. I beat them kids. I won, they did not get me!”
As Marie looked at her husband standing there with scratches all up and down his arms and face, shivering in the morning cold, pants wet and covered in dog crap, his hair windblown and sticking straight up out of his head, she said “Are you sure about that Walter?”