Halloween Rolled Around

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This isn't your normal Halloween story. But what is normal on Halloween?

Aside from the occasional, "Hello", nobody paid much attention to old man Barley, or his stupid old house, well, until Halloween rolled around. And the only reason every kid in the neighborhood paid Barley any mind on Halloween was 'cause they knew that the Old Man gave away full sized candy bars, and each one was wrapped in a brand new dollar bill. Really, no lie, one whole dollar.

And just for you knowing, this was back in the day when a dollar would get you a hamburger, fries, and a malted-milk shake at your local Mom and Pop Burger joint; there were no McDonald's back then. And not only that, you'd have enough left over to buy a comic book.

Well, it just so happened that some kid would try to grab two candy bars, or they would change their disguise and try to visit his front door twice. But somehow, that bent and twisted old man always knew what they were up to. He would say, "No double dip-in, taint fit-tin." Then he would raise his Cain in the air as if he was gonna bop-um on the head, but he never did; maybe because they would skedaddle from the porch before he had a chance, either that, or he never intended to.

 

The House was built, like, centuries ago; you know, before my parents were born. And there were trellises and vines covering most of the front porch, on both sides of the front door.

It was a real "Herman Munster", haunted house, looking place.

 

My brother always wants to go to Barley's house, but I don't. Dollar or no dollar, I saw no reason to tempt fate in such a manner.

You see, Old Man Barley moved into the house right after his mother died, that was a tad less than three years ago. And ever since he moved in, strange sounds have been coming from the house.

I heard my my Mom-ma tell Widow Jenkins that the sounds always start in early November, and they seem to disappear a week or so after.

Deputy Flowchart has investigated and has reassured everyone concerned, namely, my Mom-ma, that the sounds are just the sounds of the house's heating system expanding and contracting after being started up after the Summer shutdown. But I don't think Mom-ma is buying that story.

The sounds weren't any concern to me, but that is not why I wanted nothin' to do with Barley, or his Halloween candy-money. It is because kids are disappearing on Halloween, and the disappearances started the first year Barley moved into that house.

Yep, any kid that goes to that house for Old Man Barley's candy is on the list to be taken; at least, that is what I've concluded.

I have a Detective Extraordinaire Certificate from "True Detective Magazine's School of Investigation." And let me tell you that I've been checking my facts and going over the details for a considerable amount of time.

Let me explain.

Mr. Gilroy Barley moved into his mother's house on the twenty-second of December, almost three years ago. And every Halloween after that some kid has disappeared on the same night.

Now it is true, the kids have not disappeared while on Barley's property, but soon after. And I was sure that those kids were the kids that tried to Double-Dip from the one dollar wrapped candy bar basket.

It is also true that Barley was seen giving out candy, at his front door, during the time of said disappearances. But that is just here-say.

Yes sir, I was convinced that there was a connection, and that was why I didn't want nothin' to do with Barley, or his dollar-wrapped chocolate.

Heck, I don't eat milk-chocolate, like Barley's candy bars are made of, they'll give me the hives if I do.

But my older brother, Butch, he don't have my problem with milk chocolate, Besides, he is a greedy cuss and he loves those large candy bars; so he says we go. And after we visit Barley's porch, Butch trades me something he has for the chocolate bar I got. it's a win, win.

However, if I don't go to Barley's porch and get a chocolate bar for Butch, he calls me a "Plucked Sissy-chicken", or "Scared-e Cat All Wrapped in Fat," and even worse is, "Mom-ma's Sissy-Baby." Oh, I hate "Mom-ma's Sissy-Baby!" --- So what can I do? --- I go.

Well it just so happened that Halloween fell on Sunday this year, "The Lord's Day", and it just so happened that my Mom-ma has a superstition about that sort of thing, you know, the living meeting death head on. Mom-ma says, "Bad things will fall away when the Day of death meets the living, and then normal will replace the disturbances that have plagued our lives." Anyway, that's what she says.

 

Well Sunday rolled around, and after breakfast going to church was the morning's order of business.

After church, and a change of clothes, there were chores to do. Next came lunch with Nana and Papa, and then time to lay around reading the Newspaper's Sunday Comics; My favorites are, "The Far Side" and "Garfield".

Late afternoon, we dawned our costumes and paraded around the front room so all the adults could tell us how great we looked; like we didn't already know.

At our ages, we don't go Trick-or-Treating with adults anymore. No sir-re. We've reached that age where we're not willing to give up the goodies, but too old to want Mom or Dad tagging along. So off we go into the early evening twilight.

Old Man Barley's house is across the flood-channel from ours, and since there is water in the flood channel from last week's rain, we gotta walk six blocks up, and two blocks over, and across the walking bridge, then six blocks back to get to Barley's place. So as you might guess, if it has rained then his house is never our first stop while on our candy raids.

We are the Billings Street Raiders, just me and Butch, Harry and his brother Sam, Marissa and her brother Marvin, and then there is Brad, the next door neighbor kid that Butch is supposed to watch after on nights like this.

Anyway, off we went to visit each house that was lined up along our side of the flood channel. Stopping along the way, house after house, door bell after doorbell, "Trick-or-Treat" after "Trick-or-Treat", we ventured until we reach the walking bridge.

"I don't wanna go across the bridge," Brad whimpered, "it's dark underneath and I heard about Trolls, ya know."

Butch reassured Brad that six kids could easily overpower any old troll, so Brad had nothing to worry about. Then Butch grabbed the kid by the hand and ran across the bridge so fast that Brad was half running, and half being dragged as they went.

You see, Butch is terrified of bridges and Trolls too, but he figures that any self respecting troll would grab the last kid in the row, so the other kids wouldn't see the attack, and couldn't retaliate. So Butch's solution is to never be the last kid crossing any bridge. You gotta admit, it must be a good strategy 'cause Butch is still with us.

All along the row of houses we stopped, house after house, door bell after doorbell, "Trick-or-Treat" after "Trick-or-Treat", we ventured until we reach the edge of the graveyard.

It is another block from the edge of the graveyard to old Man Barley's property, then 40 paces to the walkway and 13 paces to his front door. Believe me, I know, I've counted them every time Butch makes me go to that front door.

As I counted off the 40 paces I heard, "Ding-Dong!", and I saw Barley's door open.

"That's odd," I thought, "Barley's not using his cane. How's he gonna pretend to Bop someone without the cane?"

And sure enough, just as we were about to step up the steps, some kid in a pirates costume ran down the steps with two of Barley's dollar wrapped candy-bars in his hand.

"That kid is doomed," I thought. Then I murmured, "He's gonna pay the price of greed."

And just as I said that, Old Man Barley yelled, "For two dollars today, you soon will pay!"

But no Cain was there to wave, "No double dip-in, taint fit-tin," was said. Something just wasn't right.

When I reached the front of the line, I carefully reach out, and with a forefinger and thumb I took one dollar-wrapped bar from the basket.

Mr Barley smiled as I said, "Trick-or-Treat", then I skedaddled outta there so Butch could get his.

 

The rest of the evening went smoothly, and the Billings Street Raiders made a killing in candy; in fact, we had bags full and pockets too.

And it wasn't until our return trip across the Walking Bridge did anything go wrong; it was then that trouble raised it's ugly head.

When we got to the Bridge, Butch grabbed Brad by the hand and ran across the bridge, just like before. And as he ran everyone else ran right after, with me sort of walking along behind.

At about halfway across I heard the most frightening growling sound; a sound I have never heard before and don't want to hear again.

And as I turned to understand it better, I saw an honest to goodness Troll hanging from the side of the bridge.

That is when it Growled again, and when it did, the remaining six Billings Street Raiders disappeared into the night.

Alone and frightened to the bone, I just stood there. Not a muscle would work, not a limb would move. I was frozen like a Popsicle on a stick, and I was certain that I was doomed.

As the troll reached out to snatch me from the walkway, it suddenly cried out in pain and fell from the side of the bridge; (SPLASH!), into the water it went.

I could hear water splashing and thrashing down below, and it wasn't long before I was able to creep over to the railing to try and see what was going on.

And when I reach the edge I saw three shadows created by the streetlights. There was a battle going on, that was for sure, but who was winning was still unclear.

I remember my thoughts, "Do I run, or do I wait for the end of it?" But curiosity had hold of me, so I waited, all the while peering into the darkness below.

It wasn't long before the thrashing of the water, and the sounds of combat stopped. And that is when bent and twisted Old Man Barley, and the straight and taller Barley hobbled out from under the bridge.

The twisted Old Man Barley, Complete with a bloodied cane in hand, climbed up the side of the bank and then turned to look at me. His brother soon followed.

And as Barley tossed the Cain onto the bank, he said, "Darn Trolls! My brother and I have been hunt-in this one for two years now.

But these kinds of Trolls can't be seen until they are after a kill. So You are my witness, the Troll has taken the life outta me. But all is as it should be, one life for another. And I suspect that there won't be anymore children go missing after this night.

 

{A Week later.}

My Mamma noted that there were no creepy sounds coming from Barley's place. I guess no-one started up the basement boiler.

Then the house went up for sale soon after that, maybe a week later.

Shortly after that, my Mama heard from the Widow Jenkins that she thought that Barley had moved out. She thought that for the same reason, the lack of noise coming from the house.

But then came the real surprise news. An article in the Sunday paper was about Barley, and a twin brother who had died ten years earlier; his name was Samuel.

The article said that Mr. Gilroy Barley died that past Halloween night, and under suspicious circumstances. You see, his body was found under the bridge. The report also stated that his body had several broken bones and a punctured lung, but there were no skin punctures of any kind. Gilroy's cane was also found. It was alongside the channel's bank and it had animal blood on it, so the police concluded that he was attacked by a wolf.

Yeah, right, like wolves attack in water and don't leave teeth marks.

I could tell the police a thing or two about investigations such as this; after all, I have a Detective Extraordinaire Certificate from True Detective Magazine's School of Investigation. And my two ghostly partners always work under cover.

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

10-30-2021


Submitted: October 30, 2021

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Rob73

A different Halloween story.
Ghosts, and monsters, and old TV horror references.
Great writing.

Sun, October 31st, 2021 5:40am

Author
Reply

Thanks, and thanks for the reply.

Sun, October 31st, 2021 10:48am

Ann Sepino

This is great! I love this old-town, suburb feel. Reminds me so much of the setting for Scream. Plus points for featuring trolls instead of the more popular Halloween ghouls. :)

Tue, November 2nd, 2021 11:57am

Author
Reply

Thanks Ann. :) --- I've always felt that Trolls were the scariest, ever. --- It all started when my Mother read "Billy Goat Gruff" to me as a child. --- What was she thinking? I still visualize that troll, under that bridge, wait to grab me. LOL

Tue, November 2nd, 2021 9:38am

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