Halloween Vengeance title image

Halloween Vengeance

by Cole Parker


“What are you going to go as?”

John didn’t answer.

“Come on?  What are you going to be?”

John turned a page and didn’t answer.

“Hey!  I’m asking you?  What are you going as?”

John turned on his side on the bed so his back was to Tim.  He didn’t answer.

“What’s wrong with you?  You suddenly go deaf or something?”

John didn’t answer.

Tim stood up and walked over to the bed and looked down on John.  “This isn’t about last year, is it?  We talked about that.  I even apologized, though I didn’t need to.  It was funny!”

John didn’t answer.

“Look.  You have to be over it by now.  That was a year ago.  So what are you going to go as this year.  I heard Chucky was going to go as Wonder Woman.  Now that takes guts.  I’m thinking we could go as Zack and Cody from The Suite Life.  You know, on Nickelodian.  I figure I could be Cody, the smart one.  You can be Zack and pretend to be girl-crazy.  It’s a stretch, but you might be able to pull it off.  Just don’t stare at me too much.”

John rolled over and looked at Tim.  “You’re nuts” he said.  “They’re identical twins.  We don’t look alike at all.  I’m handsome and you’re ugly.” 

“So what are you going as?  We need to coordinate our costumes.”

“The hell we do!  Not again.”

“Aha!  It is about last year!  Come on!  It was a year ago, and it was funny anyway, so, what’s your problem?”

John didn’t answer.  He rolled back over and opened his book again.

“You’re being an asshole, you know that?  How can you hold a grudge for an entire year about something that was funny?  And how mature is it that you won’t even talk about it?  Huh?  Huh?”

John didn’t answer.

Tim turned around and headed toward the door.  There he stopped.  “Well, you better make up your mind.  I’ll be by tomorrow at six.  That’s the time most kids start.  Be ready by then.”

John didn’t answer.  Tim waited, and John didn’t answer.  Finally, he left, and on the stairs going down said, loudly, “ASSHOLE!”

John didn’t answer.

«»  «»  «»

John answered the phone.  It was Tim.

“Why now?”  Tim asked.  “It was a year ago!  Dammit.  You’ve been fine, after you got over it, which took too long, in my opinion.  You’ve been fine.  Why now?”

John hesitated.  He knew he should hang up.  But Tim was his best friend, and they were going trick or treating tonight.  So, reluctantly, he said, “Anniversary.  It brings it all back.”  Then he shut up.

“Well, no point in hashing it over again.  I’ll be there at six.  What are you going as?”

“See you at six,” John said, and gently replaced the receiver in its cradle.  He desperately wanted a cellphone, but his mom was adamant.  ‘Not till you’re 13.’  He could hear it in his head.  Another year!  He’d be the last one in his class to get one.

He had dinner, then went up to his room and took his costume out of the bag he was keeping it in, hidden in the back of his closet.  He couldn’t help but giggle when he saw in.  All that black fur.  And just the right amount of white, too.  Great, great costume.  He’d got it months ago, a little too big because he knew he’d be growing.  It fit him perfectly now.  He’d tried it on last week when Tim was at basketball practice.  Perfect.

His mother had asked why that costume, and since she was paying for it, he’d had to tell her.

“Last year, remember, Tim and I had a horse costume, one of those where we both fit in the costume.  I only agreed because I was going to be the front end.  But at the last minute, he said he’d wrenched his back playing basketball.  He’s always been nuts about basketball!  Anyway, we had that costume and nothing else to wear, so I had to be the back end, stooping over all night.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” she’d said.

“Well, it wouldn’t have been, except . . .”

“Except what?”

John had gritted his teeth.  “He sabotaged me!  I talked to his mother and found out.  All night long, I was right behind him, crouched over, and he was farting.  He kept apologizing, but he kept farting, too.  No place to hide.  It was right in my face.  He never let on, just kept farting.”

“What do mean, let on?”

“I found out from his mother.  All he’d eaten all day was baked beans.  All day!”


She’d been going to laugh, John could tell, but one look at his face solved that.  She swallowed the laugh, then asked, “But why this costume?”


He slipped on the costume, then waited by the door.  Tim showed up right on time dressed—and John couldn’t believe it—as a French bulldog.   John could understand why: Tim’s family had one they’d named Frenchy, and he was incredibly cute.  But, of course, Frenchy had the problem all French bulldogs had.  It was the most flatulent breed of dog in existence.

Tim took one look at John and started laughing.  John did too.  For entirely different reasons.  John had a hard time stopping.

They took off; at the first house they came to, when the door opened, John unobtrusively took his can of skunk spray,  pointed it at Tim, stepped back a ways and let loose.

“What the hell?” the man at the door said, sniffing and then holding his nose.  “Hey, the skunk smells fine; you’re the stinky one,” he said, looking at Tim.  “You, get the hell out of here!  Now!  I don’t want that smell in the house.  Pheww!”

John got a double share of treats.  Tim didn’t get anything.  That repeated itself at every door they came to.  Till the spray can ran dry.


The End

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Happy Halloween, everyone.  And don’t skimp on the candy handouts to the kids!