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Tommy placed a bright red X on the calendar square. October 31 was his favorite day of the year. This was the one night he could go outside and mingle with the other kids.

Giddy with delight, Tommy did his chores while whistling his favorite Halloween silly songs.

He carefully brushed his favorite blue fedora hat then tucked a jaunty pheasant feather under the band. He admired his handiwork, pleased that the hat now looked festive for this special night. He ironed his pillowcase for collecting candy.

Tommy then did his chores. He dusted everywhere and made his bed.

He lived alone in an old abandoned Victorian house. It was boarded up, but he could still squeeze out through the plywood sheets that barred the front door whenever he wanted.

By lunch time, he was tired and settled down for a nap. He pulled his soft, wool blanket around his shoulders and fell asleep.

Such wonderful dreams filled his mind.

As always, the dreams took place at his rundown house, but in his dreams, the home was painted in beautiful shades of blue. A wildflower garden surrounded the grassy yard.

There was always his mom, dad and little sister. In his dreams, there was always a best friend nearby.

They would ride their bikes around town, down to the secret fishing hole. Only in his dreams, Tommy and his best buddy would plan and play in their tree fort. Set high in the air, surrounded by leafy boughs, it was the perfect hideout.

Tommy smiled in his sleep as he connected with loved ones once again.

When he woke, the sun was setting.

Smears of a reddish, orange sunset swept across the darkening sky.

From the cracked attic window, Tommy could already see costumed kids milling about. He recognized a few of them and knew their names.

Robert and Jimmy were goofing around like usual, dressed as cowboys. One girl he recalled was named Lisa, danced about dressed as a fairy princess with a green flowing gown and tiara. She was beautiful.

Tommy often watched these kids coming home from school, past his house.

How he envied their lives.

Just knowing their names made him feel like they were his friends.

He picked up his fedora and pillowcase, then made his way down the dark, winding stairs. At the front door, Tommy checked himself in the mirror.


He winked at himself and squeezed through the door and sweet freedom.

The chilled autumn air felt grest and he ran excitedly toward one group of noisy trick or treaters.

Tommy shuffled up to one boy dressed as a ghost.

"Boo," he whispered in his ear.

The boy turned to him and exclaimed,

"Hey, great costume. I love the hat, dude!"

Dude! Tommy relished the word that buddies would use. He tried it out himself and whispered the single word under his breath.

The boy dressed as a ghost was Roger and he asked Tommy so many questions.

Tommy answered the best he could.

Yes, his family had just moved in.

Yes, he was homeschooled.

No, he did not have a dog.

Tommy hated to lie to his new friend, but what else could he say?

That he had once been a happy kid just like him?

That he had drowned one afternoon while on vacation?

That he was stuck between life and death?

No, that would not do.

Tommy wanted a best friend so badly and Roger was perfect. Just to be sure, Tommy punched him playfully on the arm and Roger punched back.

Just like real best buddies, Tommy thought with delight.

They shuttled along, from house to house, yelling trick or treat as each door opened.

" Oh, how scary," one old woman remarked as she opened her door and pretended to be shocked.

She dropped candy into the opened bags until she came to Tommy. With a sharp click of her tongue, she tossed the candy in his opened pillowcase.

Her little dog meanwhile was sniffing at the kids curiously. When he sniffed at Tommy, he gave a scared yelp and scampered down the long hallway.

The kids laughed to watch the dog slipping and sliding on the shiny tiles.

With their bags filling up, they made their way across leaf strewn lawns and carved pumpkins, lit from within.

At the end of the street was a small church glowing in orange lights. Every year the church organized a Halloween party for the kids in town. This year there was a noisy arcade set up.

Tommy and Roger shot at the dented tin ducks, high~fiving when they found their mark with a satisfying ping.

They ran from booth to booth trying out all the games.

A clown with a camera clapped his hands and called the children together.

"Okay, let's do a group photo. It will be on the front page of the gazette tomorrow," he promised them.

Excited and chattering loudly, the kids gathered and posed for the photo.

Tommy and Roger sat front and centre. Like true best friends, they grinned goofy faces, their arms draped around each other's shoulders.

Too soon, the party began to wind down. The revellers mingled in the parking lot, then made their way home in small groups.

Tommy walked home alone in the chilled autumn air. Bright stars peeked out behind gray, wispy clouds.

Squeezing through the front door plywood, Tommy hung up his hat and lay on his bed.

Weary from all the fun, yet happy to have made a friend, Tommy fell asleep as soon as his head touched the pillow.

The next morning dawned clear and bright. Roger sat with his family in the sunny kitchen. A little spot of greasepaint remained on his cheek.

There was a soft scratching noise outside and his mother opened the door to let the dog in. Dutifully, the dog strode to the table and dropped the paper at Roger's feet.

He picked up the paper and snapped it open.

"Now you can see my new friend that I have been talking about," he told his parents happily.

Sure enough, on the front page were the costumed children from the night before.

Roger found himself, then gasped.

In the front page photo, his arm stretched out awkwardly into empty space.

Tommy was nowhere to be seen!

Above Roger's arm, floated the blue fedora hat.

A jaunty pheasant feather tucked under the band.

October 26, 2019 14:02

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1 comment

12:19 Nov 05, 2019

The blue fedora is different and explains of Halloween experiences. A pleasant and an interesting side of this day.


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