Spider-man and Dracula stepped off the porch.
“What did she give us? I can’t see.” Dave pulled his Spider-man mask to adjust the eye holes.
“Take your stupid mask off, we’re not even at the door anymore.” Twin lines of spit dribbled down Rob’s chin from where his plastic fangs poked out past his lips.
Dave shook his head emphatically. “Sorry dude, with great power comes great responsibility.”
Rob raised his arms and looked around with exaggerated movements. “There aren’t even anymore house on this street.”
Behind them, two Batmans, a Transformer and Princess Bubblegum ran up to the steps.
The pair walked to the edge of the sidewalk and stopped.
“Where to now?” Rob glanced to where the street ended at a large woods, then back up the newly built road. Only one house was finished on their path back out, the owners opting to move in after Halloween. There were three muddy pits dug for future houses, but no other prospects for candy.
“This area’s tapped out. We can check out the action on the other side of the bush.” Dave slung his pillowcase over his shoulder.
“I don’t want to go all the way around. It’s already getting dark; by the time we get there all the candy’ll be gone.” Rob wiped his chin, taking off some of the white makeup. “We’ve got a lot already man.”
“Blasphemy!” Dave made his best Spidy pose, almost knocking over Princess Bubblegum, who was trying to get to the sidewalk. He adjusted his mask again. “Sorry kid.” He shifted the sack and moved out of the way of the other kids. “This is the last year we’re gonna get to go trick-or-treating. I’m not going home until we’ve knocked on every door in town.”Peering out of the one hole he managed to align with his eyes, he pointed at the mass of bare trees separating the neighbourhood from the older ones on the other side. “Let’s just cut through the woods.”
“You’re nuts man. I ain’t going though there.” Rob slurped then spat when he tasted the grease paint.
“No, that’s fine. We just won’t get any more candy because you’re a big baby.”
“Dude, the big kids hide in there, and do weird stuff, and beat up tricker-treaters. I’d rather keep the candy we have.”
Rob walked towards the leaf covered path at the end of the pavement. “I’m going for it man. Stay here with the babies – baby.”
“You can’t even see in the streetlights. How are you going to get through with your mask on idiot?”
“I’ll make it. Spider-man ain’t afraid of nothing.” Dave did a spin kick, his leg getting just above his waste. He stumbled when he landed and karate chopped at a skeleton that someone had hung from a tree. “Wooo!”
“You’re a dick!” Rob jogged over and caught up with Dave as he was about to step off the pavement. They kicked their way through crunchy dead leaves, the bare branches overhead giving them intermittent views of the sky. The sun was too low for them to see anymore. The haze from it setting behind them was fading.
They walked deeper into the forest, their legs tired from the trek. There wasn’t any sign of other people. Most were handing out candy or taking their kids door-to-door. Moonlight leaked though the branches above, but the forest floor was dark and hard to negotiate.
“This is going to take forever.” Rob dragged his candy sack behind him. He kept an eye on Dave and gave the back of his costume a tug whenever he was in danger of running off the path.
“Just think of all those sweet treats we’re going to get.” Dave grabbed a stick and swung it against a tree. “Yeah!”
“We’re not even half way though.” Somewhere along the path Rob had slurped and lost his plastic fangs.
“Baby wanna go back?”
“I do actually.”
“Oooh. Baby’s afraid of running into scary big kids in the woods.”
“That’s still a possibility.” Rob heaved his pillow case up on his shoulder.
“Oh no!” Dave stopped and spun around, dropping his candy. He brought his hands up to his face. “Did you hear that? It’s a bunch of scary teenagers hiding in the bushes. We’d better get baby back home before he wets his pants.” Picking up his bag of candy, Dave kicked his leg and continued down the path.
“Come on. I’m just kidding around.”
“No, really. Stop.” Rob tried to be as quiet and forceful as he could. “Do you hear that?”
“Ugh. What?” Dave dropped his shoulders and pulled his mask to try and see where Rob was looking. A rustling of leaves was getting louder behind them on the path.
“Get off the path.” Rob pushed through low branches and hid behind a large tree.
“No. I’m not afraid. I’m Spider-man!”
“Get off the path moron. I’m not gonna get beat up for you.”
Dave made a karate stance, waiting for whoever was approaching.
“Doesn’t Spider-man climb things and hide?” The sound was getting louder and Rob was able to hear several people’s steps.
“No, but you gave me and idea!” Dave tossed his candy to the side of the path and tried to scurry up a tree. He slid down the first one and found a lower branch, pulling himself up over the path.
“What the hell are you doing?” Rob kept his voice low. The sound of crunching of leaves was clear behind them.
“I’m gonna drop down on them.”
“Don’t.” Large shadows lumbered towards them. A beam of moonlight temporarily shon on one of them, showing a hulking, furry creature, a little too big and ugly to be a teenager. Two figures followed behind the first one. Rob held his breath.
They were going to pass the spot where the trick-or-treaters were hiding, but the third one stopped directly under Dave. Rob could see his friend dangling from a branch above the path. He seemed to have seen the creatures, like himself, and aborted his jump mid fall.
The third creature sniffed wildly and grunted to its companions. They converged under the helpless Spider-man. Rob found a sturdy stick and was about to charge in, hoping to make an opening for Dave to drop so the two of them could run, but one of them held up Dave’s discarded pillow case. The creatures sniffed its contents and Rob thought he could see them drooling. A big, furry hand with long broken claws reached in and pulled out a hand full of the treats and shoved it in its fanged mouth. The other two joined in and all three tussled for the candy.
“Hey! That’s mine!”
The things looked up to see Dave’s feet dangling above them and let out growls and roars.
“Aahh!” Rob charged, swinging wildly. “Jump you idiot!”
Amazingly the creatures recoiled from Dracula and his club. Dave dropped to the path and Rob grabbed hold of his costume and ran.
“They’re eating my candy!” Dave couidn’t do much more than stumble along behind Rob.
“Did you see those things?” Rob led his friend as quickly as he could thought the woods. The boys kicked up leaves as they ran.
“I could’ve taken them.”
“I’d be running away with your bag of candy if you tried. Shit.”
“What?” They were both breathing heavily and slowing down.
“I left my candy back there too!”
Through the bare branches, they spotted the yellow colour of streetlights. The boys broke free of the forest and onto muddy asphalt, knocking aside a plastic skeleton hanging from a low branch. The row of houses, on the one side, were dark, and the street was empty.
“We made it.” Rob dropped down on the curb.
“Made it? We lost all our candy. There is no way we can get to the other houses before they stop giving out any. This sucks.” Dave kicked a pumpkin, sending yellow and orange bits flying.
“Shut up.” Rob used his Dracula cape to block the pieces of pumpkin.
“What? Do you hear them again?”
“No. I’m just sick of hearing the stuff that comes out of your mouth.” Rob stood up. “This was our last year to get candy and we lost it all to something in the woods. Our last year Dave”
“Yeah, but next year we’ll be the big kids. We’ll get all the candy we want!”