Standing on the sidewalk, warding off the cold, Amon’s mother crossed her arms over her chest, she watched and listened.
Six o’clock, the lights flipped on and joined the moon and stars lighting up the darkening streets. Bowls filled to the brim with Snickers, Red hots, and bubble gum sat on sidebars.
Pumpkins named Jack sat on top of low tables inside entryways. In the kitchens, seedy entrails tangled up in the garbage. Triangular holes in orange skin: Two eyes and a nose—open wedges with a couple of teeth, his heart, the flickering candle inside.
Front yards turned into graveyards with grey Styrofoam tombstones. Cobwebs of angel hair laced entryways. Skeletons made of cardboard swung from overhangs.
Children carried plastic pumpkins and bags crisscrossing streets. Echoing voices rang out on Spooky Lane. “Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat.”
Four-year-old Amon had on red pants, a matching cape, and rubber horns. He raced across the lawn and stood on the porch, yelling, “Trick or treat.”
A woman in a long black dress and witch’s hat answered the call. “Who are you, pray tell?”
“The devil.” He held out his bag.
“A cute one for sure.” She offered him candy. “Take only one piece.”
He took two: a pair of mini boxes—inside, round cinnamon candies.
“What do you say?” the woman asked and pulled back the bowl. She looked down at the boy.
Amon knitted his brow. “Do you ride a broom?”
“I ride a bicycle,” said the woman with a laugh.
“In the sky? My mother said that witches ride brooms, and they boil naughty boys in big pots.”
“I’m a forgiving witch. I like little boys.”
Just then, a cat darted out from under the boxwoods in front of the house. It arched its back and hissed.
Amon jumped back. “No, you don’t. You eat kids.” He turned crying and ran to his mother.
“What did you say to my poor little boy?” the mother screamed.
The woman stepped out of the house. “It’s not what I said, lady. It’s what you told your kid.”
Amon’s mother grabbed her son’s hand. Dragging him down the street, she glanced back. “Witch.”
Irked, the blond-haired woman, with the black pointed hat in her hand, watched the figures of the boy and his mother slowly disappear into the night.
Phyllis Souza lives in Northern California and is retired from a long real estate career. After taking several on-line writing classes, she started writing flash fiction and short stories. Her stories have been published in Café Lit, Spillwords, Scarlet Leaf, and Friday Flash Fiction.