The story so far:
It was halloween. A night of costumes and candy, a night of ghosts and goblins, a night where kids could be anything they wanted to be and gorge themselves upon immense amounts of sugar, in a variety of different forms.
I was gorging myself as well. I sat on the couch, facing the tv, basket full of candy in my lap, remote in my left hand, jack daniels on the rocks in my right. Images were flashing on the tv, but I wasn't really watching. I unwrapped another milky way, helped it down with a sip of whiskey, and sighed. Milky ways were Jake's favorites. Had been.
I gulped down the rest of the glass, forcing back the tears. Halloween was always harsh.
There was a knock at the door. I shuddered, dropped the remote on the couch, stood up, and walked towards the door. Placing my glass down, I put my hand on the doorknob. I hesitated, breathed in deeply, and opened the door with a smile.
I was greeted with three little white bags, held in front of three little boys, all grinning widely. One had a little cowboy hat and matching cowboy boots. Cowboy. Another wore a bandits mask, and black clothing. Bandit. The third wore a white sheet over his body except fot his head. Ghost.
"Trick or treat!" They said in unison, with their high-pitched squeeky voices. I gulped, barely managing to keep the fake smile on, and placed a milky way in each of their bags.
"Alrighty boys, say thank you and lets move on to the next house." A mother stood behind the kids, gesturing for them to move on. I nodded at her and she nodded back. The boys each said thank you and hurried off, ready to get their hands on more candy.
I was shaking as I closed the door. The smile was gone, as was the happy facade. I pressed fingers to my eyes as I felt the tears coming.
I took a couple deep breaths to get a hold of myself. I grabbed my glass and went into the kitchen. I set the basket down on the table, grabbed the jack daniels on the counter and refilled my glass. I wiped my eyes. Perhaps a meal consisting of candy and whiskey was not a good idea. I shrugged my shoulders. I didn't care.
The phone rang. I realized I had forgotten to unplug it, as I usually did on Halloween. I was not in the mood to talk. I picked up the phone anyways.
"Yes?" I asked abruptly. I realized it was a little rude, but oh well. I expected Martha, worried about me, or perhaps Dan, wanting to get a couple drinks or something, old friends who I had not seen in awhile, nor did I want to see.
"You've made a mess of yourself." The voice was direct, commanding. Such a different tone then he had used only the other day, when he invited himself in and questioned me. The preacher. "You're useless. You bring nothing to this world anymore."
I was taken aback. His tone was demanding, nearly angry. Angry at me? He invited himself into my home, drank my tea, questioned me about my dead family, and he was angry at me?
"I know more then you think. Six months. Its been six months. You've done nothing. You sit in your home, and you sulk. You've destroyed your relationships with friends and family. You're a waste of life. You're pathetic."
I couldn't respond. The anger in the preachers voice was evident now. I didn't know what to say. He was telling the truth, but how did he know?
"I'm going to give you a chance, John. A chance to redeem yourself. A chance prove your still worth a damn. I told you this would be a Halloween to remember. I wasn't lying."
The line went dead. I could only stand there in shock, phone still held to my ear. The whiskey glass fell from my hand, bouncing on the linoleum floor, whiskey and ice going everywhere. I looked at the phone, wondering if the conversation I just had was real. The Preacher. I smashed the phone onto the reciever. I did it again. And again. I was pissed.
I ran my hands through my hair, then wiped my face. I was a wreck.
There was a knock on my door. I gulped. Was it him? Why was he here? What was he doing here?
"Trick or treat!" I heard a girls voice through the door faintly, and sighed. It wasn't him. I walked slowly to the door, then realized I had forgotten the basket of candy.
"Hold on!" I called out, going back and grabbing it. I brought it to the door and opened it, only to be faced with nobody on my doorstep. I was confused. Where had the girl gone?
That's when I saw the black van, and a man putting an unconcious young girl in the back. I stood there, not able to move. What the **** was going on? I heard the drivers door close and saw the driver just as the van began driving away.