The sound of children’s excited laughter grew louder. Edward Morris raised the television volume and sat back in his armchair grumbling.

Tap. Tap. Edward frowned. Was that a knock? Who would dare? He’d made his feelings on this ridiculous spectacle abundantly clear. Children, mostly the offspring of a previous generation of forewarned neighbours, all knew not to go near Number 13 on Halloween night.

Tap. Tap. He hadn’t imagined it. Face like the darkest thunder cloud, he stood, marched to the door and flung it open.

A small pale-cheeked girl, dressed in white, stood before him, undeterred by his indecipherable growl. An older woman, equally pale, waited at the bottom of the steps.

‘Hello, Mr Edward Morris. Trick or treat?’ The child’s delicate features lit up when she smiled and for a moment Edward thought he detected a golden aura around her. There was something familiar…

He shook himself and muttered another unintelligible response.

Undeterred, the child’s smile grew wider. ‘Oh, Edward, I don’t want anything. I want to give you a treat. Or a trick,’ she grinned.

‘Me?’ Edward clutched the door frame, suddenly unsteady on his feet. ‘Me?’ he repeated, ‘but I…’

‘Yes, you, Edward. Everyone deserves Halloween treats.’ She handed him a beautifully decorated cupcake and her lips brushed his cheek. ‘Goodnight, Edward.’

The child skipped lightly down the steps, joining the older woman who nodded before they disappeared amongst the other revellers.

Edward stared at the cupcake. No one had ever given him a treat before. His father, bitter after the death of Edward’s twin sister, forbade it, no matter how many times his mother pleaded.

Edward ran inside and filled his late mother’s old shopping basket with all the treats he could find in the pantry, before running into the street and giving them to the passing children.

‘Did you see a little girl dressed in white?’ He asked a young mother.

She shook her head.

Edward looked beyond the colourfully costumed children and saw the little girl standing beneath a lamp post.

She smiled, waved and disappeared into the foggy night.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
5 months ago

Such a bittersweet tale, Sandra. Beautifully paced throughout and heartwarming at the end. Nicely done 🙂

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
5 months ago

What a nice read, Sandra. My sadness and fear while reading was replaced by a smile at the end. Well done. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Sandra James
5 months ago

You’re welcome.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
5 months ago

Somehow it reminded me of a Christmas Carol, where Edward is a Scrooge who lost his way to magic and wonder. The two ghosts (as I presume they are) help him reconnect with his childhood and the wonder of it. Loved it!

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
5 months ago

Oh! This is so beautiful Sandra. It surely deserves a 5-star rating. A lovely Halloween-themed story.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

It was when I read the paragraph beginning ‘Edward stared at the cupcake’, I thought the young girl was his sister with her mother. A story that blends sadness with happiness, Sandra, and one that left me with a warm, comforting feeling. Really well written.

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
5 months ago

This is a really sweet story Sandra, so heartwarming and just what I needed on this gloomy day!

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
4 months ago

Sandra, you well deserve a Five Star Rating, for writing such a unique and poignant story.
Like other readers have said your flash fiction has elements of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Well Done!

Preston Randall
Preston Randall(@preston-randall)
4 months ago

Like others, I think this is a wonderful story! My favourite lines are in the descriptive narrative, including: “Face like the darkest thunder cloud…” and “her lips brushed his cheek.” These small details really bring the story to life.

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