Katy stuck her head in her boss office and told him she was done with her report and would be leaving early. Mr. Madison smiled and asked her what she was in such a hurry for. Katy grinned as she told him she wanted to pick up dinner so she would have time to get home and dress up for the trick or treaters. Bill Madison, her boss told her he tried to avoid at all cost the commotion of the night and was going to make sure he worked as late as possible so his wife, Nellie would have to give out the candy. Katy laughed again and told him she loved the holiday and she would see him bright and early the next morning.
Katy walked to her car contemplating what she would like for dinner. She only had to be concerned with herself since the divorce so the decision was entirely up to her. If she phoned right now to her favorite restaurant it would be ready by the time she reached her town, so Liberino’s it was. They made the best Carbonara with pecorino cheese this side of Italy.
Katy hurried in and picked up her order, she paid on line to expedite the process so she could get home and get ready for her trick or treaters. This year the kids were going to love her outfit. She had purchased a black wig to go with her long black dress embroidered with silk spider webs. Every year she added another spooky item to her collection. The kids loved to come to her house and see the skeletons, ghosts and witches as well as the carved pumpkins and spooky music she always had playing in the background.
After Katy donned her makeup she took her large witches kettle full of sugary treats to the end of her driveway where she sat at the edge of dark to greet all of the neighborhood children. One by one, witches, goblins, princesses, and the latest superheroes walked up and chanted “TRICK OR TREAT’. Seeing all of the amazing costumes made Katy smile as she tried to remember her own trick or treating days after the accident.
“TRICK OR TREAT”, A couple strays showed up after she thought she had seen the last one. “Oh I love your costume,” Katy told the little boy who was dressed as Spiderman while putting candy in his plastic pumpkin. The little boy who was about four decided he didn’t like the candy she chose and took it back out and put it in her kettle. Katy said, “I’m sorry would you like something else.” He looked in her bowl and decided to take all of the Reese cups. His mother apologized and Katy just smiled and told her she was glad he was taking them because they were her favorites too and she had already had five.
A couple more kids showed up and Katy talked to her neighbors and they all decided it was safe to go back inside because the trick or treaters were done.
Katy walked in and went upstairs to get a shower and take off all of the makeup. It was a lot of work for a couple hours but she enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again next year. Against her better judgement after she got out of the shower, she went back downstairs and poured a glass of milk and brought the rest of the candy upstairs. She thought maybe the little boy missed a couple Reese cups.
After finding two more, she picked up a clear bag of candy corn out of her kettle. Where did this come from, she thought. I hate candy corn, I would never buy it. She didn’t know why but she opened the bag and took a big whiff to find out what people saw in the sugary concoction.
Suddenly Katy was seven years again and dressed in a long pink princess dress with a fairy cone hat and flowing veil. She was carrying her Halloween candy while eating Candy corn. Katy had went trick or treating with her brother, Timmy who was two years older than her but his friends talked him into ditching her. When she got home, she knew her Mom and Dad were going to be mad and she was trying her best to beat him so he couldn’t make up a story of why he had left her behind. The Baker’s farm was a short cut they always took to keep from walking around the dirt road but Katy had never went through there after dark and she was starting to feel a little afraid. Her brother was going to be in big trouble she kept thinking and that was the only thing that kept her going.
At a steady pace, she walked across the neighbor’s yard when she heard voices in the barn. They had two children who were older Debbie and their son Beef, she didn’t know what his real name was. As she got closer she heard another boy’s voice talking to Beef. He said, “Did you do it”, and Beef said, “Yes”. Then she heard the other male voice say, “YOU CUT DEBBIE”S HEAD OFF” and Beef said, “I didn’t mean too”.
Katy looked in the barn and saw blond hair and a neck covered in blood and when she was about to scream Beef and the other guy whose name was Mike came around the corner. Beef hollowed “BOO” as Katy took off running and screaming.
Mike and Beef laughed as Mike said, you didn’t even have your mask on and you scared that little girl with your ugly mug. Beef laughed and turned around and picked up his Halloween mask.
Katy continued running and tripped and rolled down a steep embankment until she came to a solid halt against a large boulder that she slammed her little head into.
Katy put down the Candy Corn, she was trying to get a grasp on what she was remembering. She knew that there had been accident because her parents told her that she spent several days in the hospital with a concussion but the Baker’s farm was new information.
Had she witnessed a murder, She never remembered seeing Debbie after that night, Could it be that she walked up on Beef and his friend killing Debbie and why had she never remembered this before.
Katy went to bed with that night 27 years ago still on her mind. How could she have blocked that entire memory out. She knew that she never wanted anything to do with Candy corn and couldn’t even stand the sight of it but someway when the little boy dropped it in her kettle it triggered a lost memory. Now what to do with it.
Katy got up at her usual 6:30 alarm realizing she hadn’t slept much more than a couple hours. Staying awake at work today was going to be difficult. She was thankful that she had such a good relationship with her boss Mr. Madison because she knew she was going to need some library time. With a smile, Katy stopped by his office to ask him if it would be possible to leave early again. He obliged her because she had put in so many long extra hours working on the Franklin Case that she deserved a little R and R.
With a late lunch in hand, Katy took off to the local library to look up some old newspaper articles. She found out that Debbie Baker was reported missing on the day after trick or treat in 1993. She knew what she had to do now.
Katy took off to the local police station to report a murder.
She walked in and talked to the desk clerk who led her to Sergeant Harris’s desk. He was a few years older than Katy but had also grown up in the area. She started to tell him the grisly tale of when she was seven years old. He wrote down all of the information and checked in an old file dated back to 1993 and confirmed that Debbie Baker was reported missing, but had no information on a suspected homicide.
Katy told him that she had buried it many years ago and it had recently come to light and she felt that she had witnessed her demise.
Sergeant Harris took her statement and told her that he needed to further investigate before he went around arresting people. After all, he said, this happened twenty seven years ago and she was only a seven year old child.
Katy said, she agreed that she knew he needed to investigate and she would leave her number if he needed to reach her.
Katy went home glad to get it off her chest and took a long bath trying to clear her head. She would let the law do their job, she thought, she had reported it and there was nothing else she could do.
Two weeks had gone by and Katy had not heard from Sergeant Harris. She figured he just put the file back where he found it and buried her statement in a stack of papers when the phone rang. He asked if she could meet him at the station. She had already got off work and it was on her way home so she agreed.
“Katherine Harper, I would like for you meet someone.” “This is Kevin Baker. “. “You may remember him by his nickname BEEF”. Katherine was a little taken aback because he was one of the killers and here she was face to face with him.
Sergeant Harris noticing her discomfort told her he had something to discuss with her.
Beef started the conversation with pleasantries and asked if she remembered him living across the street from her family. She shook her head in agreement. He told her that he didn’t remember the night that Dewayne, Sergeant Harris, told him about until he thought about it a little while. First of all, he said, Debbie is fine. She ran off and got married twenty seven years ago.
“But, what about you saying that you cut her head off”, Katy asked. Beef laughed and told Katy that to a seven year old it probably sounded gruesome. He told her that Mike and Debbie were eloping and she was underage and he was responsible for getting the fake ID’s. The picture that he had taken accidentally cut Debbie’s head off.
Katy feeling like an idiot for taking it literally now realized that she had been petrified so many years ago by a cropped picture and a Halloween mask.