“Are you ready, honey?”
William adjusted his tie and smoothed down his hair with one hand. He grimaced at the oily feel of the gel Mary insisted he use.
His wife made her way down the stairs and the top step creaked. A halo of tight black curls surrounded her pale face, and a pair of horn-rimmed glasses balanced on her nose. A string of pearls drew his attention to her neck, that beautiful neck which first attracted him so many years before.
“Sweetheart, you look amazing!”
“Thank you, darling. You look rather handsome yourself. I love that look on you.” Mary smiled at him and twirled, giving him a better look at the pastel pink skirt suit she’d found in a thrift store.
“Then we’re ready?”
“Almost. I just need my treat bag.”
Mary darted into the kitchen, her heels clacking on the wooden floor. She returned carrying two plastic pumpkins with black handles, found in the bargain bin of the 24-hour supermarket over on Eighth Street. Mary handed one to William, and beamed.
Leaving the house, William thought of just how clever their costumes were. 1950s car salesman, and dutiful wife. Such a normal choice, so different from their normal selves. The Pattinsons would simply crack up.
“It’s quiet, isn’t it?” said Mary. She sniffed the cold night air and peered into the gloom ahead.
“Yeah. I thought all the neighbourhood kids would have been out trick or treating, or something,” replied William. Faint footsteps pattered behind them.
“It is late, I suppose. Maybe they’ve all gone home.”
A rustle made William glance at the dark bushes to their right. Four shapes melted out of the shadows, forming into gangly young men in front of them. The tallest, a buck-toothed youth with greasy blond hair and bad acne, stepped forward. He held a flick knife in his badly bandaged left hand.
William and Mary exchanged a glance. The initial surprise on Mary’s face morphed into excitement. William suppressed a snigger.
“What’s so funny, Pops? Gimme your money, or I’ll cut ya.” The youth struggled to sound threatening but his voice squeaked.
“You’re supposed to say, ‘Trick or treat’, you fool.” Mary stepped towards him, suddenly seeming so much taller than her usual 5ft 3ins.
“What? Just give us your money.” A second youth spoke. He stood behind the first, lank black hair curling over the collar of his biker jacket.
Mary growled, a soft rumble rolling around her throat.
“Er, trick or treat?” The first youth took a tiny step backward. The knife trembled in his hand.
“Treat. For us!”
Mary pounced on the blond and knocked his knife to the ground. He hit the tarmac and cried out. She sank her fangs into his neck and his cry became a wet gurgle. His three accomplices fled screaming down the street. William watched them leave.
Mary looked up from the corpse, blood smeared across her face. She smiled at William and her eyes faded from yellow to green.
“Did you enjoy that?” he asked.
“Yes. I’ve had better, but he’ll do for now. Do you think they’ll tell anyone?”
“They’ll try, but who’ll believe them? Come on, let’s get rid of this as quick as we can. We don’t want to be late.”
Mary stood up, straightening her jacket. William bent to grasp the ankles of the body and dragged it behind them. He would dump it in the Pattinsons’ pond.
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