Contained within are two short stories that will hopefully make you think twice before turning out the lights. In "Are These Eyeballs" a Halloween game threatens to do more than scare the neighbourhood kids. In "The Cubicle" one man revisits his past and has the chance to find closure.
The children stood on the front porch and – as they did every year – waited eagerly with the parents who had come along to keep an eye on them. At least that was the parent’s excuse. If the truth be known they enjoyed this part of Halloween as much, if not more, than the kids.
Fair enough, they had to do the door to door trick or treating, waiting at the end of the gardens as the youngsters went up to the front doors and asked happily for candy. For the adults this was boring, but they did it with a smile. After all Halloween was for the children, not for them.
But this part, the last call of the evening, could be enjoyed by all.
Little Lindsey McGready stepped towards the door and knocked for a second time. She’d waited years for it to be her turn at the front and she was annoyed that her summons hadn’t been answered straight away.
“Now, now, Lindsey, don’t be impatient,” her mother warned from the porch steps.
“But, Mom,” the girl made to answer back.
“No buts,” her mother cut in. “Mr and Mrs Coil will answer when they’re good and ready.”
Every year was the same and every year the child in front would grow tired, wanting only for the door to open and for the fun to begin. Mrs McGready couldn’t blame her daughter for being like all the other children. In fact she was excited herself.
Plus it was cold outside and it would be nice to get inside, to snuggle up in the warmth of the Coil’s living room. The living room that held so many treats and scares for the guests.
Mrs McGready smiled to herself as memories of her own childhood visits to the house swam through her mind. Even back then Mr and Mrs Coil had put on the show for the neighbourhood kids.
How old must they be now?’ she thought to herself. ‘They were old when I was a kid.’ They had to be at least eighty if they were a day and still they found the energy to decorate the house and front yard just for the fun of it.
Young Lindsey turned and saw her mother gazing around the front yard filled with fake tombstones and skeletons. She took her chance. She stepped forward and, stretching on tip toes, grabbed the heavy looking brass knocker. She pulled it outwards as far as her height would allow and then let it fall back against the solid wood of the front door.
Mrs McGready snapped her attention back to her daughter. “What did I tell you?” She tried to keep the telling off low key but the other children giggled and some of the parents hid embarrassed smiles behind gloved hands.
“Sorry,” Lindsey replied with red cheeks.
“There’s no need to apologise,” Old Man Coil said and they all jumped.