Home » A Wasted Life » One Halloween Night

One Halloween Night

Halfway down a dark, seldom traveled side street on the poor side of town, stood an old two-story shack.  The paint was peeling off the clapboard siding and a few cracked windows were held together with cardboard and tape.  They seemed to give a death rattle when the wind blew.

It had a wrap around front porch, complete with rocking chairs that looked as though they had been painted a hundred times and were mended with wires and screws.

It was set far back from the street with a long, badly broken walkway leading to the front door.  Two huge oak trees flanked the house on either side.  A few leaves were still clinging to limbs with their last ounce of strength and lent eerie shadows in the moonlight.  It was the perfect setting for a haunted house and Halloween was fast approaching.

The little girl who lived there was excited but at the same time, she was a little frightened.  She had always quietly feared Halloween.  She was afraid of ghosts and goblins who would rise out of their graves and inhabit your body.  She was afraid the Devil would come out, snatch her immortal soul and take her to Hell.

She had heard tales of werewolves and vampires, who would emerge from dungeons and coffins, looking for the blood and brains of easy prey to turn into zombies.  Yet she longed to go trick or treating.

When Halloween arrived, she knew that all the neighborhood children were going to dress up in their costumes, expect treats, and be prepared to get up to mischief, if none were provided.

She also knew that she wouldn’t be one of them as there was no costume for her, nor were there going to be treats to hand out to any children who might come knocking at the door.  Costumes and candy cost money, and money was something that her grandparents didn’t have.

When darkness fell, the little girl hid behind the front door, peering through the glass, watching children walking up and down the street with their trick or treat bags.  They laughed and giggled as they went from house to house.

The soft glow of the street light illuminated clowns, princesses, cowboys and frontiersmen wearing coonskin caps.  Their bags were already heavy laden, and she wondered what scrumptious goodies they might hold.

They would bring their delicacies to school the next day and sneak a piece when the teachers weren’t looking.  It was that way every year.  Sometimes, one of them would offer her a delectable morsel that would delight her beyond measure.  She would be so proud of that piece of candy but she wouldn’t eat it.  She would just hold it tightly in her hand until most often, it melted.

They passed by her house because it was dark, with the exception of the dim flicker of a kerosene lamp in the hallway.
There were no carved pumpkins with candles lighting up scary faces sitting on the front steps, and the spider webs across the front door were not there for decoration.

She found herself looking for the silhouette of a witch against the full moon.  She had always heard that witches were evil.  She heard they made potions from eye of newt, legs of frog, lips of fish and brains of little girls.  She heard that they could at will, cast a spell and make you grow warts or turn you into a toad.

She watched for hours until her grandma told her it was time to go to bed.  She put on her pajamas, but sneaked back to take one last look.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.  As she peeped through the glass, she saw five children standing on the front porch, screaming “trick or treat!”

The little girl didn’t know what to do, so she ran to tell her grandma.  Her grandmas’ eyes were misty as she told her that she didn’t have anything to give to the children…but they kept knocking.

Her grandma went to the kitchen and picked up the only piece of fruit they had, which was an orange.  By the time she made it to the front door, the children had given up and walked away.

The little girl felt so sorry for her grandma.  She never forgot how sad she looked as she stood in the doorway, holding that single orange.


This is a true story.

31 thoughts on “One Halloween Night

  1. Wanting to give and having nothing to give is so heartbreaking. I felt you and your grandma’s pain. This was such a poignant story Laurel and I need to echo some of the other comments here, even though I’ve told you before, you are so wonderfully gifted. 💗


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  3. A beautiful story! One of the saddest and most powerful things is how the people in the story, you and your grandma, if I understand it correctly, want to be part of this particular tradition in the community, but how you are left out because of your financial situation, and perhaps some other factors I do not know about. By the way; There are a lot of very, very great novels actually here in Sweden, from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, that a few people from the working class at that time wrote. I will never forget a “classic” Swedish female writer and how she described the very real hardships in the family, and how she fought against it in every way possible, and then she actually became this great writer and every young Swede who goes through high school has to read her work or at least know something about it. I am telling you this cause this piece of writing of yours had a lot of similarities with hers in style and expression. She is not famous outside Sweden, really, but I guarantee that this is still a great compliment to your piece of writing ! I had her as a role model/ sort of idol, when I was young. Her name is “Moa Martinson”, I will give you a link here for info about her if you should be interested:


    Great writing you posted, my friend! I am still thinking you should write a book about your life… 🙂 ⚘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you ! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I could write several pieces like this. It’s funny…I guess this comes across as a sad memory but I remember her sadness as a good thing. She wasn’t bashing me and telling me I was selfish for wanting to go trick or treating.
      I made sure my children had good Halloweens. I made their costumes and every year, they won for best costume….but having the money and talent to be able to do that….didn’t translate into happiness. Loser never helped…even when I had migraine headaches and could hardly see…he was at the bar.
      I guess it did make me happy to see my children happy, though. But they don’t remember 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Loved the story and hope to see more stories from you. 🙂 I especially love the details. 🙂
        I am sorry for your children not having the sense to appreciate their mother, as you know I think they will come to regret it..💙


          • Both! Dead turkeys? Aren’t basically all turkeys dead on Thanksgiving?!
            (Lol). 😉 I would love to read a spooky story!! Can you make it so that there is a scary old man in the story too? Look how demanding this reader is, it is ridiculous! 😁


              • Good, I do not eat dead turkeys either, they are scary! 😉 Yes, a scary old man would be great, you do describe characters so well, the best character ever was that old man (What was his name? I have such bad memory… ), the one who talked to the little girl (that old man was not scary but he was still the coolest character ever!) With the way he spoke and everything. 🙂 I think the girl was based on you as a child. Great story. Hugs


                • You mean Old Joe? He was based on my grandpa. Most all of my characters are based on my life in some way…except the horse…LOL….but that story was about justice….the kind I’d like to get someday. 😜
                  This always sounds so stupid but I’m not a writer…it is HARD to get my poor little pea-picking brain to come up with an idea! LOL

                  Liked by 1 person

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