My First Job - A Halloween Story

by Chris James

I had no idea how much things cost, especially the things I wanted so badly. Ever since I was a little kid my parents had provided me with the things I needed. Clothes for school, books to read, and even the laptop I was using to finish my schoolwork.

"You're addicted to things, and you don't need all that stuff," my Mother said. "You may want those shoes but you don't need them. Just wait, Christmas is coming and perhaps Santa will provide."

Yeah, Santa…like I still believed in that jolly fat man who always gave me socks and underwear. No, I needed those shoes now. Everyone was wearing them and I felt like I was an outsider. Couldn't she see that?

"Maybe you should get a job over the holidays," my father suggested.

At least that was a worthy idea. I could work on weekends, let the cash pile up, and buy my own shoes. They were bound to need help for the holiday season over at the mall, but would they hire a fifteen-year-old? I could at least ask.

"Oh come on, Zack…you really want to give up all your free time like that? Hell, Man, we've only been in school for a month," Dereck said.

He was probably right and I usually listened to his advice. Isn't that what best friends were for? I'd known him since first grade and we were like brothers. Both of us had older sisters, a fact that brought us closer together.

"Don't you have any money saved up?" Dereck asked.

"I checked and there's three dollars in my piggy bank."

"Damn, what do you spend your allowance on?"


We didn't do drugs or drink like some of the boys at our school. Dereck spent his allowance on candy and movies. He could have become a serious couch potato except he weighed one hundred fifty pounds soaking wet and had the metabolism of a frantic squirrel.

I didn't eat candy or drink soda. One look at my father told me I had fat genes stashed away somewhere in my body and I was not about to give into that family trait. The 'things' I bought these days were toys, and I had an expansive collection.

I had gone from matchbox cars in first grade all the way to the elaborate bits and pieces of magic gear I'd begun to accumulate by sixth grade. None of that rabbit from a hat stuff, or cups and balls, I was more into the ghoulish phase of my life.

There were fake knives that dripped blood, masks and vests that hid small exploding blood capsules. No, not real explosions, it was all powered by compressed air, and thus safe in the eyes of my parents. Dereck might have been enamored of the action stars on the movie screen but I only had eyes for the stunt men and their special effects.

Most of that stuff was in the nature of computer graphics these days but there were still some honest to God stunt men who risked life and limb just to give the audience a thrill. That would be me in about ten years, I was sure of it.

Friday was my first chance to cruise the mall in search of a job. We were out of school all day for a teacher's meeting. I won't disparage the fact that they spent a lot of time having all these meetings…at least they weren't talking about me.

Dereck and I had most of our classes together so we did the same homework, and shared pretty much the same grades. We had decided that top of the honor roll was a little too much exposure and would only attract the wrong elements in our ninth grade world. By that I meant Terry Oswald and his ilk. If they were talking about someone at that teacher's meeting it would be him.

The bane of everyone's existence since sixth grade, it could easily be said he was at least consistent, he bullied everyone. Dereck and I had enjoyed a final year in middle school without him, but now that we were at the high school it was back to the surveillance tactics we had developed to keep Terry off our backs.

Step One: drive him insane. The graffiti on the bathroom walls included his home phone number as the best drug dealer in school. I could only imagine the calls his family had to answer, and it made me smile. Step Two…no wait, why give away all of my best tricks and spoil this story. We will get back to Terry.

The mall was crowded with kids, most of them too young to hold a job. I hit the gift store, the shoe stores, and even the coffee kitchen. I couldn't imagine that making coffee was anywhere near rocket science, but they seemed to have a full staff.

Dereck met me in the food court for an early lunch. He had a hamburger and I took a salad since the weight thing was always on my mind.

"Any luck?" Dereck asked.

"Nope. The stores all seem geared up with their holiday staff already in place. I waited too long."

"You ought to go ask Mr. Collins since you spend most of your money in his place. At least he knows you."

"You have a point."

'Insane costumes for Halloween', the sign read across the top of the display window. 'Collins Magic Emporium…we have your every need', it said over the door. I would amend that and say they had everything and some of it you didn't need but just wanted. That reflected my thoughts every time I set foot in the place.

The emporium was not attached to the mall in any physical way, and instead occupied a large warehouse looking building on the edge of the parking lot. Collins had the building painted black but when the sun was at the right angle you could still see the painted lettering underneath that said Sears & Roebuck Outlet Store.

Taking over the old department store building gave Collins the room he needed to display his wares…and what a huge display it was. The store was the size of several basketball courts and his inventory ran from little kiddie costumes in a bag for $7.99 all the way up to the most realistic fantasy monster outfits for only $499.00.

There were walls covered in bins and shelves, all of them loaded with items to attract every possible taste and age group. I was in love with the place and had spent hours looking at everything. To be fair, not everything had my attraction to the macabre. Collins also catered to the normal people who desired to dress up as a sweet princess or a pirate.

Mayfield might be one of the typically boring bedroom communities on the outskirts of a major Midwestern city but I was convinced that Collins Magical Emporium had put us on the map.

Dereck and I left the mall and walked across the parking lot to the emporium. In just under four weeks it would be Halloween and I had yet to figure out what I was going to wear to the dance at school. Dereck had his old standby pirate's costume, the same one he had worn for the past four years. Did I say he was frugal? The boy had an outlandish personality but he never dressed to be presumptuous and I found that endearing.

Mr. Collins ran the store with three ladies who clerked for him and served the customers with a smile. This had to be the happiest business in town, and yet I always wondered how they managed to be successful with such a small niche market.

"Oh look," Dereck said, pointing at the display windows that ran all along the front wall of the store. "Halloween time is here."

Collins loved his displays and must have spent considerable time thinking up the themes for his store windows. At the moment there were a few bales of straw, some pumpkins and a stack of raw wood surrounding a half-dozen un-costumed manikins. But there was Mr. Collins with a step ladder and a roll of bailing wire hard at work behind the glass.

He looked up as we approached and gave us a wave, then he seemed to pause for a moment and a smile spread across his face. He motioned for us to come inside and pointed at the pile of lumber. As yet I had no idea what he was thinking, but I soon found out.

"Zachery…Dereck…just the young men I wanted to see," Collins said when we stepped through the doors. "Are you busy this weekend?"

"Um…not exactly, Mr. Collins," I said. "I'm out looking for a part-time job and the mall seems hopeless."

"Ah ha…would you be willing to give me a hand here in the store? I can only pay a minimum wage but you can work eight or ten hours a day on the weekends."

Dereck gave me a dig in the ribs and a nod. "Would you need the both of us?" He asked.

"Yes, for a while at least…are you interested?"

"You know, Mr. Collins, this is my favorite store…if I could I would pay you to work here," Zack said.

We all laughed at that and Collins looked relieved. "Thank you," he said. "You know I think I went a little crazy this past summer and ordered too much stuff. The warehouse is nearly filled with boxes I have yet to open, and as you can see I need to get this display set up real fast."

"We're here for you," Dereck said. "What do you need us to do?"

Collins nodded. "I have these drawings I made and if we can get anywhere close to what they look like I'll be happy…let me show you."

It was almost five o'clock when I realized how fast the day had gone. My mother would expect me to be home for dinner by six, but I hated to leave now. The display window was fifty feet long and we had strung wires from the overhead track down to cleats on the floor. This held up the elements of the 'backyard fence' we had attached, complete with cutouts of trash cans, black cats and jack-o-lanterns.

Overall, once the manikins were dressed and set in place amidst the bales of straw and stacks of pumpkins, I thought the display would be a knockout. I was tired, Dereck was tired, and so was Mr. Collins. He had allowed us to do most of the work as he had customers throughout the day, but he had a gleam in his eye at the accomplishment.

"Enough for one day," he said.

"It really is starting to look like something," Dereck said. "What time do you need us tomorrow?"

"Is eight o'clock too early?" Collins asked.

"No, Sir…we'll be here," I said.

"We'll set the manikins in place and dress them. Wait until you see the new costumes I ordered…this is going to be fantastic. You boys worked very hard today, and first thing tomorrow we'll discuss how I plan to pay you. But off you go, see you in the morning."

The store opened at ten in the morning and closed at eight six days a week. The sign in the window said that Sunday hours began this weekend through Halloween which was on a Saturday this year. In all we would have nine days of paid work, and to me that meant an astronomical amount of money.

Dereck and I walked back towards the mall since we both lived less than a mile away on the other side.

"What do you think he means about how he plans to pay us?" Dereck asked.

"Not sure, don't we have to pay taxes or something?"

"Good question. What is minimum wage anyways?"

"Like seven-fifty an hour, isn't it?" I asked.

"My father will know. I will have to tell him where I was all day and what kind of commitment I've made for the next few weekends. I hope he's positive about all this because I won't be home to do any chores."

"Same for me," I said. "So…thanks to you we have jobs. I'd kiss you but you slapped me the last time I did that."

"And I will slap you again if you try. No matter what we used to do together I am not gay so you'll have to get over it."

"Too bad, we were just starting to get good at it."

Dereck chased me the last block before laughing as he headed up the sidewalk to his front door. "See ya in the morning…sweetheart."

See, there he was again with the suggestive endearment…it only served to confuse. I guess you could say we'd been in a relationship since first grade, although it only turned sexual when I told him I was gay.

"You're twelve without any experience, how could you know?" He'd asked.

"Drop you pants and I'll show you."

I didn't expect he would but his jeans hit the floor and I had to do something…so I did. It wasn't difficult and I had thought a lot about what it would be like as I perfected my solo practice. It was the beginning of a nearly three-year exploration of the male body and what we could do to one another.

After he slapped me and said he wasn't doing that stuff anymore I did a thorough analysis of what had happened. The friendship didn't end, just the sex. I was still gay but he was not. There was no girl in his life to take my place, not that one could at this point. It was sad…and then life went on.

I suppose I should be grateful that my yearnings didn't wreck our friendship because Dereck was like a brother to me. I bounded up the front steps to tell my mother I was working.

"Good, that should keep you out of trouble for a while," she said. "Eric Collins used to be quite the magician I was told."

"He was? How did you find out?" I asked.

"Mrs. Dobbs at the market knew his wife."

"I don't know anything about his family life…I never asked."

"She passed away years ago and he raised his son and daughter all by himself. He retired from the stage when she died and started a small magic shop outside of Cleveland. Loretta said when the family grew up and left home he moved here about six years ago and started the emporium."

Count on my mother and her gossip club to know about such things. "So I work until Halloween," I said. "Then we'll see if he keeps me on until Christmas."

"Zack, do you have homework this weekend?"

"A little, but most of it I did in school."

"Good man. Your father will be home soon so go wash up and get ready for dinner."

I took a shower considering how dirty we had become over the course of the day. So Collins was a magician…something I should have figured out for myself. Maybe he would teach me a few tricks after the work was done. I could always ask.

The evening was dinner and then off to bed to read, or at least I tried. I was tired and set my alarm for six o'clock. I would need a good breakfast to get through a full day of work.

The store was dark when Dereck and I arrived just before eight, but Mr. Collins' car was parked at the side of the building. "Zack & Dereck, please come to the rear door beside the loading dock," said the sign taped to the inside of the front door.

"Have you even been in the warehouse?" Dereck asked.

"Nope, but I got a look through the door last year. All I saw was this pile of boxes."

We walked around the building and climbed the steps onto the loading dock. The single roll up door was open but the warehouse lights were not on. A narrow corridor led towards the front of the store between rows of boxes stacked about six feet high.

"Hello?" Dereck called out, but there was no answer.

The gloom of the warehouse was a little spooky although there was a little light coming in from the skylights in the roof over our heads.

"Hello…Mr. Collins?" I called out, and that's when a ball of light appeared. It seemed to float in the aisle about twenty feet away and slowly rose higher as it approached us. It was the size of a basketball and seemed to crackle with blue and orange flashes of lightning.

The ball rose until it was almost eight feet off the ground and then all of a sudden it glowed brighter, revealing the claw of a hand that held it aloft. When a horrible scaly face appeared beneath the ball I heard Dereck gasp, but it only made me smile.

All of a sudden the ball seemed to tumble towards the floor and I heard the popping sound of a balloon as it exploded.

"Damn…you clumsy oaf." The voice of Mr. Collins. The face disappeared and the warehouse lights snapped on revealing the man standing there in a dark scaly costume that matched the horrid face. "Sorry…I dropped it."

I heard Dereck gasp for air and I laughed, he had actually been scared. I raised my hands and applauded. "Wonderful…a valiant effort."

"Thank you," Collins said as he removed the rubber mask. "My hands are not as much in control as they used to be. The balloon lights up with static electricity…only $39.95 this year…did you like it?"

"That was great," Dereck finally said. "You scared me for a moment."

"Glad to please an audience," Collins said. "I used to perform on the stage but we never had cool stuff like this to use. So about all these boxes…"

He had an inventory of what was in each box and the first thing we were tasked to do was organize them into piles and check off the numbers.

"I have decided to pay you each under the table. That means no taxes, which are silly for boys your age since if you did file a tax return they would give it all back to you anyways. As I figure you each made forty dollars yesterday."

"Thank you, Mr. Collins," I said.

"Okay…let the work begin," and with that he handed me a clipboard filled with papers. The costumes would be unpacked first, allowing time for the wrinkles to hang out. One section of the store held dozens of costumes arranged on poles and set on what could only be described as bleachers. There were two rows now but Collins said we would be adding a third at the top.

To accomplish that he had a box of metal pipe flanges which needed to be screwed in place. Then a seven-foot-long pipe would be threaded into that with a cross bar about six feet off the floor. A hard foam ball was set on the one-foot extension at the top to hold the mask. This section of the store was always a little creepy with the dozens of costumes lining the walls like an army of ghouls.

The risers of each bleacher concealed storage space for the costumes on display above. Instead of pulling a costume off the pipe the clerk would just slide a box out from underneath and check the inventory number to get the right costume.

As I mentioned, some of them were pretty ghoulish, and to further that idea the room had dark walls and dim lighting to accompany the fright music being played over the sound system. Collins once told me that little kids would get scared and have nightmares just from taking a walk through the room. Thus there was a sign at the entrance warning parents about the display.

The flanges had to be screwed down to the floor and to make that happen the four holes had to be drilled in advance. Collins suggested we drill all the holes now so the sound of the drill would not disturb the customers once the store opened. I immediately started marking off the holes while Dereck followed me with the drill.

We were adding thirty-six new poles so all the marking and drilling took us right up to opening time. I was handed a screwdriver and a box of screws while Dereck followed Collins back into the warehouse to begin mounting the costumes.

After attaching the first flange I realized how tiring it was on my hand. One down, thirty-five to go, this was not going to be fun. I tried it with my left hand and realized how terminally un-coordinated that was. By the third flange I was on my knees hoping to find a better angle on the job.

I could hear customers wandering the store, and then out of nowhere came a voice I recognized. "Up there, that third skylight from the end," Terry Oswald said.

I cringed, and then realized he couldn't see me here on the floor behind two rows of costumes. Who was he talking to?

"How do you know it's loose?" A voice responded. That would be his idiot younger brother, Jeremy.

"A little birdie told me. We can pull it open and climb down inside."

"Isn't there an alarm?" Jeremy asked.

"Yeah, but it just covers the doors and windows. No one expects us to drop in from the roof."

"Drop is right, it must be twenty or thirty feet up to that ceiling. How do we accomplish that?"

"A rope, dumbass. Then when we're done we just push open a door and run for it. Gonna take the cops twenty minutes to respond to the alarm. A piece of cake."

"All this just to steal a few costumes?" Jeremy said.

"There might be some cash in that back office if we come in on a Friday night. Banks are closed on Saturday, nowhere to take a bag of money."

"Right, they should have a lot of customers the day before Halloween."

"Exactly. You know that has to be a busy day in this store. Oops…" Terry said.

"Hello, boys, can I help you with anything?" Collins said.

"No, Sir…just looking."

"You should come back in a few days and see the new costumes we just got in. I'm sure we can find something to fit your budget."

Collins moved away and headed back towards the warehouse. Damn, I just hoped he wouldn't send Dereck out here while Terry was in the store. But things got real quiet once again and I stood up to discover they had left.

So they were planning to break in and steal from Mr. Collins. No, that won't happen…I was going to make sure it didn't happen.

* * * * * *

I was spending the night at Dereck's house and he was spending the night at mine. You know how the game works when parents trust you. In fact, we would be spending the night in the emporium waiting for Terry to arrive.

It had been three and a half weeks since I had overheard Terry and his brother planning the break-in. I had immediately told Dereck and we considered telling Mr. Collins…but then we didn't. Getting Terry a slap on the wrist for planning a break-in would mean nothing, we needed to catch him in the act.

The store had security cameras and so Dereck was assigned the task of learning how they worked and what they covered. The break-in might not be obvious unless they messed things up but a video of them in the store ought to do the trick. So Dereck had his assignment, and I set myself another task.

We resumed work and within a day the storefront display looked wonderful and all the new costumes had been unpacked. Collins was more than pleased at the way we worked on the window and so the second weekend we went about rearranging the interior displays.

This is how I learned about all the gadgets that made sounds and produced the spooky images set here and there around the store. Dereck had the best keyboard skills and so Collins let him take over entering the figures for the new stock in the inventory program. The spreadsheets were simple, but Collins' old IBM computer sat on the desk next to the security console.

The store should have had an upgrade on its security. Just alarming the windows and doors wasn't good enough, and if a jerk like Terry could spot that weakness then enough said. The cameras had been added two years ago at the insistence of Collins' insurance company, and Dereck said they were pretty much state of the art.

There were eight cameras turned on twenty-four hours a day which downloaded images at a slow speed to a hard drive in the unit. Images were stored for seven days and then the disk erased and started over unless it was stopped. Dereck said the whole disk could be downloaded to an external drive in a matter of minutes.

Dereck and I began our plan for the defense of the emporium by making a floor plan that included aisles, doors, and the positions of the cameras. But since I was planning to mess with the minds of our erstwhile thieves I also looked at the layout from the standpoint of a stalker.

Terry and Jeremy would be descending into the darkness of the store with larceny in mind, and perhaps a fear of being caught. I planned to ramp up that fear in any way I could, especially with Jeremy, the weaker of the two.

Terry would probably laugh off any halfhearted attempts at scare tactics so I had to plan one or two really bold moves aimed at him. To that end I began to accumulate items from around the store and stash them in a box which I stored beneath the bleachers in the costume hall.

The month of October plodded along and it became evident that the emporium was having a huge season of sales which made me feel good. Collins was happy and that made the rest of his employees feel the joy. Dereck was happy because the lady clerks kept bringing in home baked cookies and bags of candy for the customers. I was still trying to avoid all that sugar but I succumbed to the occasional treat just to keep everyone smiling.

I didn't see Terry or Jeremy in the store for the rest of the month although I was sure they had dropped in at some point during the weeks before Halloween. Dereck confirmed that by spending an hour every Saturday looking that the surveillance videos. Each time Terry showed up it was on the cameras in the costume hall.

By Friday the 30th we were ready to go, and it only remained to be seen where we might hide out once Collins locked the doors for the night. He would be gone by eight-thirty and we would have to wait for Terry to pry open the skylight.

I figured it would take me about thirty minutes to set up my tricks, so I was pretty sure the thieves would not arrive until after eleven, if not later. But Dereck and I ate dinner at five, packed a few snacks, and headed to the back door of the emporium by six. The parking lot around the store was filled with cars which meant Collins would be busy at the front.

Dereck led the way through the back door and straight towards the packing area of the warehouse where we had already arranged a nest of boxes in which we could hide. The warehouse lights back in our corner were bright enough to keep us awake so we reviewed the plans one last time.

We wanted to keep Terry and his brother in the costume hall for as long as possible and that meant blocking the archway into the front of the store. There was a large rolling wall of bins at that end of the front room and so we were going to position it in front of the exit. The plan was to herd them down the hall and out into the warehouse, forcing them to escape out the back door.

At eight-thirty the warehouse was plunged into darkness as Collins left for the day. We could hear him open the back door and set the alarm before the door closed. Only then did I realize we were trapped inside, sitting in the dark, and awaiting the entrance of two idiots who might not show up at all. But I knew they would.

By nine o'clock Dereck and I were in the costume hall laying out extension cords and control wires to run some of the gadgets. My little control nest at the top of the bleachers behind the final row of costumes would be hard to spot, and I could move along the floor when I had to escape into the warehouse.

Dereck only had to trigger two devices and duck through the warehouse door to take his place at the security console. Getting a good video of the event was vital and so he would sit there and manipulate the cameras until the building alarm went off as Terry ran out the back door.

It would only take a few moments to download the video onto the external drive he had plugged into the security console, and once he was done we would be out of there before the cops arrived. Once he took his post the only chore Dereck had was to erase all the images of us from the record. Then wait for Terry.

I rolled the wall of bins in place to block the doorway to the store, set a black box in front of it, and plugged in the trigger cable. There was a fog machine under the bleachers and a box containing three of the static electric balloons. But my favorite piece was the mechanical monster head which scared the hell out of me the first time Collins revealed it to us. Then it was time to don my costume…and wait.

By ten-thirty I didn't think they were coming, by eleven-thirty I was sure of it when I heard a thump up on the roof. "They're here," I said from my position. "I heard that," Dereck said from his. "Let the fun begin," I said, and heard Dereck giggle in response.

The costume hall was awash in a dim blue light which allowed me to see the skylight being lifted open. The coil of rope dropped down and the excess hit the floor with a thud. It figured that Terry would send Jeremy down first and the boy slid most of the way pretty damn fast.

"Ow," Jeremy said when he dropped the last few feet to the floor. I could see him shake his hands and realized he was wearing gloves but still managed to get rope burns. Terry came down slower after dropping a smaller line and shutting the skylight. Once he was on the floor he pulled on the smaller line and the end of the large rope dropped down beside him. Clever, he wasn't going to leave a clue behind for the cops.

"It's dark in here," Jeremy said.

"You have a flashlight, use it," Terry said as he coiled up the rope.

A small beam of light appeared and Terry snorted. "Where's that big flashlight I gave you?" he asked.

"It was too heavy, I brought this one instead," Jeremy said. "Where do we go first?"

"Let's check out the store before we come back here and grab some costumes."

The flashlight beamed up at the rows of costumed figures. "Oh, cool," Jeremy said.

Terry made his way towards the store and stopped when he saw the way was blocked.

"What the hell?" Jeremy said beside him…and that was Dereck's cue to start the sounds.

The squeaking scrabbling sounds of a thousand bats slowly filled the room and I toggled the lid on the black box. Bats…dozens and dozens of black paper bats sprang from the box filling the room with the sounds of their wings and squeaks…all fake, of course.

"What," Jeremy yelled and backed off into the hall and right into a cloud of fog. Then I released the helium filled balloons. Dereck had toggled his last trick and ducked out into the warehouse. I couldn't see him leave but I was sure he was watching on the security console.

"What is this shit?" Terry said, but his voice was a little shaky. Time to bring out the monster.

Terry was almost in front of it when the costume came alive and the head of this horrible looking creature looked down on him. The jaws opened with a hiss and snapped at him as the arms reached out to grab him.

"Look out," Jeremy yelled, and Terry ducked. It was time for me to make my appearance and so I stood up…but I never got a chance to move. There was a loud roar and the room seemed to shake. Jeremy was already headed towards the warehouse where the exit light burned brightly over the rear door.

The roar was repeated and Terry froze in place as this huge creature ducked through the archway from the store and lifted its claws towards the boy. I sure hoped Dereck had the cameras rolling because a wet stain spread across the front of Terry's pants and I could see it clear as day. I almost laughed but then realized I was scared, too…who was inside the creature?

Jeremy had bolted for the rear exit and Terry was right on his heels. The door slammed open and I waited, but there was no alarm. That's when I heard the chuckle which turned into laughter. "Wish I could see your face, Zach…bet I scared you, too," Collins said.

He pulled off the creature's mask as I took off mine. "Mr. Collins?" Dereck said as he walked in from the warehouse.

"Okay, I have a confession to make. I overheard you talking about those boys breaking into the store a couple of weeks ago, and then I found your plans stashed in a box under the bleachers. It was a pretty damn good plan so I thought I might join you. Haven't had this much fun in ages."

"But the alarm…I heard you set it," I said.

"I turned it off when I came back in the front door."

"So they got away," Dereck said.

"Not really," Collins said. "I know you have them on the security system, and besides, they are probably sitting outside in a patrol car at the moment. I called the cops."

"I'm sorry, we should have told you," I said.

"I would have believed you…but this was more fun, wasn't it?"

"Damn right," Dereck said, and we all laughed.

"Now about this mess," Collins said. "We have to get it cleaned up before the store opens tomorrow."

"We can do that now, if you want," I said.

"It's late, come back in the morning. I assume you made a copy of the security tape, what are you going to do with it?"

I grinned. "The school has a closed loop video system in every classroom. I thought we might play it on Monday when we go back. Maybe a little voice over about what happens when you try to rob a store and get caught."

"They'll still be in jail…do you think that's fair?" Collins asked.

"Of course it is, they tried to wreck our Halloween."

"All right, you boys go on home, its late. In fact, Happy Halloween, see you in the morning."

Yes, it was past midnight. The only difficulty in our thinking was that Mr. Parker, the Principal of our school, would not allow us to show the video on the classroom loop. Didn’t matter, it was posted on YouTube by the end of Monday and started a trend that quickly spread.

So it seems that Step Two for Terry was to catch him wetting his pants and post it on the internet. He didn't come back to our school so it seems we had reached our objective. Dereck and I still work weekends at the emporium, and to top it off I now have two pairs of kick ass shoes. I can't wait for Christmas.