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We are the writing collective at the Urban Institute For Contemporary Arts, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We've been at it for over 10 years, and are one of the most published groups in the state.

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Halloween - Roger Meyer

 Trick or treating can lead to unforeseen encounters...

by Roger

      Little Alice was 6-years old and the sparkle in her parent's eyes. As Halloween approached, she asked her parents, "Everyone in my class is going out to Trick or Treat on Halloween. Can I go too?
    "Yes, but one of us must go with you. And you need a costume. What do you want to be?"
    "I don't know. What can I be?"
    "How about that sheep costume you wore in the Christmas play? I think it still fits. Or maybe the ballerina costume you wore when the Miss Nancy's dance studio had that open house."
      "Oh, oh, I want the ballerina costume. It's so pretty."
      Halloween approached and Alice became excited. "Oh, I wish Halloween was today."
      Her Mother said, "It's only two more days, Alice. You can hold on until then."
      Finally, Halloween arrived. It was a nasty, rainy day in Farmington. Alice's mother said, "Maybe we won’t be able to go tonight."
      Alice looked out and said, "Mommy, it's not raining hard. And it might stop by tonight."
      Well, Alice looked out the window every few minutes to check the weather. The rain did stop shortly before her father got home from work.
      "Daddy, hurry up and eat so we can go Trick or Treating."
      Dad laughed. "OK, I'm eating as fast as I can. Get into your costume and get the pumpkin for the candy."
      Alice dashed away to don the costume. In a few minutes, she was back and sat at the kitchen table staring at her father as he finished eating.
      Why can't he eat faster?  Alice fidgeted at the table.
      Finally. Father got up and asked, "OK, all set?"
      "Yes, yes."
      Father and mother grinned at each other. Father and daughter headed toward Blue Point Road. Dad waiting by the sidewalk as Alice rang the doorbells. Alice said, "Trick or treat." It really came out as "Twick or Tweet."
      Most of the people remarked how pretty Alice looked as they dropped candy in the pumpkin. Ringing doorbells, father and daughter walked until they were a few blocks from home on an old cul-de-sac. Because it was out of the way, Dad had ever been on this street.
      They rang a few doorbells, got candy and went to a house that was without any lights. The lawn needed mowing also. Dad was going to say, "Let's skip this one, Alice," but she had already run to the door to ring the bell. 
      The door flung open and someone draped in a sheet costume leaped into the doorway. Alice was startled, screamed and jumped back towards her father. The sheet person shouted, "Go away," and slammed the door.
      Alice's father thought it was a terrible thing to do to a kid just trick or treating.
      Dad said, "Maybe we have enough candy. Let's head home."
      Alice, still shaking and crying a little from the scare, nodded and said, "OK, Daddy."
      As they turned around, they encountered another child and his father heading into the cul-de-sac. Dad said to the other father, "Don't go to that house over there – the one without lights. The guy that lives in it is a jerk. He jumped out in a sheet and scared my daughter."
      "What, are you kidding me?"
      Dad said, "No, I'm not kidding. Just trying to warn you."
      The other man replied, "We were not going to go there anyway. That house has been empty for 2 years. No one lives there."
      "Hey, someone did jump out and scare us."
      "Yeah, right." The other father thought for a moment and said, "You know, we live right over there. We just moved here a few months ago," pointing to a nearby house. "My kid did say he saw someone moving in a window once. We thought it was a trespasser and call the cops."
      "The cops came and didn't find anything. He did say there was a brutal murder in that house a few years ago. He said that every once in a while the police would get a call about a trespasser. The police at first passed the calls off as crank calls, but then, with so many calls from different people, they decided to stake out the place. An officer stayed in the house to catch the trespasser. He heard weird funny noises and finally decided he didn't want any part of staying there any longer. The cop said that some people in the department believe the ghost of the victim is the problem."
      Alice had been partly listening to the conversation and shouted, "Daddy! Is there a ghost in that house! It could be Casper. We read a story about him in school."

About The Author:
Roger Meyer specializes in writing non-fiction, family oriented articles. His articles have appeared in over 70 publications. He's a retired Air Force officer and a retired electronic engineer.

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