It had been two hours of endless screeching, crying and laughing, there stood the five-year old Elsa before me, who had chocolate milk spilled on her silky blue frock. The whole room was filled with dresses, plastic crowns, some old pieces of leather, wigs, bags and a lot of dust. At the corner, a huge brown trunk was sitting with its contents thrown across the floor. The clock on the table read 6:32 p.m. A small plastic jack-o-lantern, which was kept near the door, beamed its toothless, wicked smile at me. “Smile!” I heard my sister, Rosy say. Ellie beamed a smile at my sister’s phone, when the doorbell rang. “Don’t tell me we’re late again!” The words were barely out of my mouth when the doorbell rang again. As soon as I opened the door, I was met by at least half a dozen kids dressed as pirates, mummies and cops. “Twick or Tweat!”, said a little witch, who was standing to my right. “Hurry up Rosy! Get Ellie down. Don’t forget her jack-o-lantern!” I said, as I handed small packets of sour-gummies and candies to the kids.
“Should I really come?” My sister, said for what seemed to be the twentieth time that day. Neither of us were really keen on spending our holiday going to every house in the street with Ellie tugging at our legs. Little did I know, that when Mrs. Robinson, the landlady called me for a favor, my whole half-day break from school would be occupied with me going to every doorstep asking for candies. I had pictured myself in the library, engrossed in a book with my cup of coffee by my side. I was hoping that I would be disturbed only by the librarian reminding me of the closing time.
We walked past the creaky gate when a couple of autumnal leaves blew at our feet. The air was misty and cold, filled with the scent of dry leaves. The whole street was filled with kids dressed as princesses, pirates and mummies. We passed a couple of witches on our right and went to the first house, which was decorated with a huge pumpkin patch. The patch took up about three-fourth area of the front yard. The lawn wasn’t mowed, and as I stepped on the wet grass, a chill went down my spine. Something about those eerie-looking pumpkins made me want to get out of the place. The fact that the front door was covered in cobwebs didn’t help either. Suddenly something caught my ears. A small purring noise, as though made by a cat or a small animal came from my left. Before I had the chance to inspect the source of the noise, Ellie shouted “Twickkk or Tweeaattt!!!” at the top of her lungs.
I turned around and gave her an alarmed look. “Why did you shout like that?!”, I said. My sister was a few yards behind us, when she heard me yell at Ellie. She quickly came and gave me an angry look. ‘What are you doing!? Are you mad?!’ Her look spoke to me. ‘Okay, I am sorry’ I returned back an apologetic, yet an unconvinced look.
Right then the door to the house opened and a middle-aged woman walked out. Her hand towel on her waist looked like it was the only thing that belonged to this century. She wore a dull purple dress, which had grease stains on the sleeve. Her hair was tied into a wispy bun at the back with a few strands loose. After I returned from the temporary shock after looking at her state, I lifted my gaze upwards and met her emerald eyes. Like gems sitting on the snow, her eyes stood up because of her pale, almost translucent skin. All the time I was absorbed in observing her, I didn’t realize that her gaze never left mine. When I realized this, I was little startled and took a step behind. A single leaf crunched under my foot, right when she spoke, “I don’t have the patience to wait until you smile your silly smile and then ask me for sweets!” This sure came as a surprise for Ellie whose face was frozen with her innocent, toothless smile.
“Umm, sorry to bother you then. Have a good day.” My sister said, her voice trembling. It was no surprise that she too had freaked out at the sight of this lady. Her voice also had a tone, which was very familiar to me: clearly, she was a little annoyed. She was the one that ran behind Ellie, showing Ellie countless images of little girls dressed up in various Halloween costumes from Pinterest. When a huge gulp of chocolate milk came flying at her face directly from Ellie’s mouth due to a temper tantrum, rosy had not flared up like she usually would have. At the end of two hours, she finally got Ellie to decide between a witch and Elsa. The old lady cleared her throat, and a voice, very different from the one she had spoken earlier came out. “Well, what a pity! Isn’t it awful that you’re here cleaning chocolate milk off the little girl’s Halloween costume, when you would have been cleaning the dust off old, rusty books?” She paused here, to look at me in the eye. “I know your fingers must be numb with all that scrolling of images dear. And I’m surprised you yourself didn’t puke out your evening’s oats when that milk came flying at you!” The old lady said. I didn’t even have time to ponder on what she said when a small pack of Reese’s came flying at my feet. Amazed, I turned to look at my sister, and I found her on her feet, grabbing colored skittles that were scattered on the floor. The door jerked shut with a loud thud and that was the last I saw of that old lady. I quickly turned to my sister and when she spoke, her teeth were multicolored from the skittles that she just ate.
Her look explained all that she had to say. Being temporarily distracted from her skittles, she spoke with her mouth full. “Who wap that lady!!!?? How did she know that I hap oats today!!?? Hap she dressed up for Halloween too?” She shouted. “I really don’t know! She seemed like a witch herself! The mere presence of her sends shivers down my spine! Let’s just get out of here I said. It was starting to get cold and a breeze flew which made the hair on my neck stand. I looked back at the place where she stood.
This was enough for one experience of trick or treating. I never imagined that my evening would be as interesting as this. All this time, we were too busy thinking about the mysterious antics of the lady, that we forgot Ellie was here. She made sure to remind us by letting out a loud scream followed by buckets of tears.The rest of the evening was spent in calming Ellie down, giving her some of our own candy and persuading her to go to at least a few more houses for trick or treating!