It’s a darksome, moonless night - the kind of dark that obscures the stars and swallows up light. A fitful wind bestirs the dry leaves and they rustle and whisper as they flit across the lawn until ensnared by the clutching grasp of a hawthorn hedge. A tall and foreboding house stands next to a copse of walnut trees. Their barren limbs cower and sway, scratching with sylvan talons against the house’s cladding.
You pull your cloak tighter around your shoulders as you peer at the dark-windowed house. Its blackness is outlined against the dark sky - shadow on shadow. The lane is long with naught to light the way but a jack-o-lantern who glows with a ghoulish grin from his perch atop a wooden stool set next to the front door.
You slowly make your way toward the door, your footsteps crunching on the gravel drive. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Closer to the front door; closer to the ghoulish grin. Closer and closer. A wicked wind lifts your hair and reaches it's icy fingers down the back of your neck. Suddenly, you hear a spine-chilling scream! Then a long and mournful moan! A wolf howls with anguished longing!
You stop dead in your tracks, frozen with fear. Should you go on? Has your bravery failed you? You take one hesitant step towards the door, testing your courage. Then another. And yet another. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.
Soon you’re at the wooden porch steps. Almost there. You look up at the jack-o-lantern glowing from the triangular slashes in his orange flesh, daring you on with his menacing grin. You climb the wooded steps and walk to the door. Raising your trembling hand, you give three timid knocks. It is enough. A light comes on inside the house. You hear slow heavy footsteps approaching. With a sigh and a creak the door swings open. Filled with fear, you want to flee. You want to run back down the laneway and keep running and running until you’ve run all the way home. But you hold your ground. You look up, hold out your hand, and with newly found courage exclaim,
“Trick or Treat!”