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My Halloween Story

It’s been fifty-seven years since I last went trick-or-treating. I was fourteen. My father accompanied me, as usual; to make sure I wasn’t kidnapped by a gremlin or kicked in the nuts by the other kids, as was the custom in my town to pick on the little guy. And I’m pretty sure that’s actually a universal custom. But nobody bothered me when I had my father with me. He was part giant, or so I told myself. My mother told me he was part idiot.

I met an old man who made skeleton decorations for Halloween. I went to his house for a simple piece of candy but left knowing I had a new friend. I went to his house often after school and we made more skeletons for next Halloween. We grabbed ox bones from his freezer and scraped the sinew off of them and drilled miniature holes through the ends in which we strung thick fishing line through. I mostly watched the old man do this because he was so good at it. He never told me where he got the skull for the body, but I thought I knew where. Although morbid and disturbing, the skeletons were oddly fascinating for me.

On the sixth day that I went to visit the old man I walked into his house as usual. We had developed a great bond. I found him sleeping soundlessly in his chair. I went over to shake him and he never moved. He was dead. It was unnerving to see him in that state. He was usually so full of life. He had left the fishing line and some cleaning instruments out. He had expected me to come. After all, I came almost everyday. I was sure we had made ten skeletons together. What we would do with them I didn’t know but surely there was room for one more.

I grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and began carving the old man up. Blood squirted everywhere. The knife slipped from my hands a few times because of the lubrication from the blood. I cleaned bone after bone until my hands were raw. I drilled shaky holes and strung up the masterpiece. The old man would never die. He now hangs from my veranda for all the little kids to see on Halloween. And if you’ll excuse me someone’s ringing the doorbell.

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