“Neat! You girls wanna trick-or-treat this one?” Sheri’s question was met with shouts of enthusiasm. “Go on then, but remember to say thank you, and only one apiece! You hear me Riley? I said you may take one!”
Sheri shook her head and laughed as the kids ignored her and ran to the porch, jostling for position. “TRICK OR TREAT!!!” At least they did that in unison.
This was her favorite holiday, and agreeing to bring the Watson twins with them had been a stroke of genius. Riley didn’t terrorize her little sister nearly as much when there were other children around. Not that Maggie let herself get stomped on, but the rivalry between her two girls was always a source of stress for Sheri. She just wanted their relationship to turn out differently than hers with her own sister.
Surprised screams turned Sheri’s attention back to the porch, but the shrieks quickly gave way to laughter as the girls realized a guy dressed as the grim reaper had jumped at them from behind a bush.
“Oh my gosh!” “We didn’t see you!” “I knew he was there all along!” “You did not! You screamed the loudest of all of us!”
“What lovely costumes you girls have! Come closer so I can admire them…” The older lady on the porch wearing a witch’s hat rallied the girl’s attention back to her. “You must be Hermione, and your Dorothy, you are… Elizabeth Proctor? And I can’t figure out our yellow friend here…. An Angry Bird, you say! How imaginative! Now, who’s ready for their treat?” The woman reached for a large bowl behind her.
“Oh, me, me, me!” “Yes please!”
Smart woman, Sheri thought. If you don’t keep those four focused, you’ll have anarchy in two minutes flat.
Sheri heard a ding by her waist and looked down at her phone. Jason had finally finished work and was heading out to meet them.
A fresh round of shrieks drew Sheri’s eyes quickly back to the porch.
“Gross! What’s in there!?!”
“Emma, it’s okay, it’s just peeled grapes.”
“Hush, Maggie! You’re ruining the fun!”
“Riley, remember what we talked about at the house!”
“Sorry Mom!” Riley called back, then turned to Emma. “Maggie’s right. It’s just peeled grapes, but it feels gross like eyeballs…Oh, the candy bowl!”
A smile played at Sheri’s face as the woman brought the real candy bowl out. Even from the drive she could tell this house sprung for the good stuff. Another ding brought her attention back to her phone.
Sheri glanced back to the girls, chatting and laughing with the guy in the Grim Reaper outfit.
“Girls! Let’s get going!” Sheri wasn’t sure what Jason’s problem was, but she would ask questions later. Maybe he was confused about what road they were on? “Now girls! Thank the nice people!”
“Okay Mom, just one more second! They have zombie boogers!”
Sheri stared at the words popping onto her phone and Maggie’s voice from a few minutes ago came back to her. Mom! Look at the window glowing with the guy up there! It’s like someone’s trapped! See? He’s spelled ‘HELP’!
A chill travelled down the back of her neck and she realized she could no longer hear the prattling chatter of the girls. She jerked her head back up from the phone and looked around. There was nothing.
No girls. No woman. No grim reaper. No farmhouse.
“Riley! Maggie! Emma! Taylor!” Panicking, she ran forward until she was standing in the middle of where the farmhouse used to be. “Riley! Maggie!”