The story so far:
I hear the sound of the doorbell and the cry of, "trick or treat," coming from the front porch. Bill calls out, "don't get up I'll tend to the little goblins." I am suddenly grateful for the help as Halloween is still hard for me. I hear him gasp and exclaim, "Yikes!!!." His voice sounds strange as he calls to me, "hey come in here a minute, would ya. Kid here says he wants to show off his costume to Mr. Knox." I drag myself towards the front door. Probably one of the kids in the neighborhood I used to know so well. Susan always insisted on the kids playing at our house so she could keep an eye on them. I haven't spoken to any of the neighborhood families since the accident. I suspect most mother's in town steer their children the other way when they see me coming. The simple fact is I am living their worst nightmares. Bill looks at me as I approach the front door, his face is white as a sheet. A giggle briefly rises in my throat at the thought of Bill being frightened by a child's costume. I grab the bowl of candy and step outside.
"AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!" A scream of terror escapes from my mouth. There stands a little boy covered in blood with a knife buried in his chest. I look closer and realize it is the knife the preacher handed me that morning. Behind him the preacher and the sheriff I had seen earlier are howling with laughter. The sheriff shakes a billy club at me and with a mocking smile states,
"I believe those are your prints on that knife Mr. Knox. I should take you in but I'll let you off with a warning this time since it is halloween. Just don't let me catch you stabbing young boys again or you'll be doing some time for murder. You hear me Mr Knox?"
The preacher's eyes stare at me sending shivers up my spine. His voice is like frostbite, icy and painful and then numbing as he speaks, "Mr. Knox, I thought it was understood that our conversation was purely confidential. My mistake for not making myself clear. I have taken the liberty of helping you start the process of reuniting your beloved family. There in front of you stands victim number one, my treat. The prints on the knife hold you responsible, congratulations..." He pauses and continues, "you don't have many hours left I suggest you get busy. As he and the officer walk away the preacher turns and whispers, "trick or treat."
The little boy collapses at my feet. I slam the door and crumble to the floor. Bill sticks out a beefy hand and says, "well that was stranger than a snowball fight at a 4th of July picnic. After that trick I'm sure glad you forgot to give the boy candy." My head is swirling as I ask,
"You think that was a t-t-trick?"
"Sure what else could it be. You thought that was for real? Bill let's out a whoop of laughter and adds, "I think you lost your marbles. He opens the front door and says, "see nobody out there. Come on let's eat I am starving. He strides towards kitchen, stops and says, "That's it!"
"I knew I had heard that scenario before," He replies." I stare at him having no idea what he is getting at.
"That whole scene just now. Word for word right out of an old book of halloween tales my great grandmother gave me before she died. She was off her rocker that old bat. Gave it to me like it was a map to buried treasure. Whispered in my ear that I was going to need it someday. Man, she was the craziest old broad." I jump to my feet,
"Where is it? Where is the book?" Bill gives me an irritated look and replies,
"Dunno, buried somewhere in the attic I think. Where's that chow you promised me?" I grab him by the arm,
"let's go find it. I NEED THAT BOOK!."