As Ye Samhain...

by Wanderer


Dropping my book, I leapt from my seat and broke into a run for the
door. As I stopped myself with my right shoulder against the door,
my left hand scooped up the old yellow ceramic bowl that held the
candy. Flipping the doorknob lock to the open position, I yanked
open the stiff door to find ...

"Trick or Treat."

... Raven. My shoulders slumped.

"Now", she continued, "I know why Jack said you never come to
the bar on Halloween." She looked me over. "Going for the cliche,

I almost blushed beneath my fur, and my tail dipped toward my
legs. Standing there in torn jeans and a ripped plaid shirt, I was
the perfect image of a movie werewolf, and I knew it.

And, I decided a moment later, I didn't care. My tail rose back to
its original position. "I wasn't planning on having visitors", I smiled.
"What brings you here?"

"Oh", she replied, "I just thought I'd stop by and see if you were
coming to the bar." She looked again at my torn pants. "I guess
not, huh?"

I laughed. "Come in, come in", I chortled. "Give me a minute, and
I'll get you something to eat."

She stepped inside with a smile. "No food for me, thanks. The
bar's annual Halloween party is going on. That's why I came over."
She looked around. "Where's Lady Death?"

I shrugged. "She's probably at the party. We're not joined at the
hip, after all."

"What, no accent tonight?"

My smirk matched her own. "Not appropriate to the character."

"American Werewolf?"



"Um, Raven", I hesitated, "could you move over by the piano?"

"Sure", she said, stepping down into the semi-sunken living room.
"Why?" Then her ears flicked back. "Oh."

I tensed, aiming myself at the door.


I yanked open the door.

"Trick or Treat!", cried a gaggle of kids on the doorstep.

"Here you go", I almost cooed ... well, as close to a coo as my
growl gets. I scooped at the candy bowl and grabbed two pieces.
"That's two for you ... and you ... and, oops", I flinched as I
separated two stuck-together foil wraps, "for you ... Happy
Halloween!", I called at their retreating shapes.

"Thank you!", floated back the reply. I closed the door and put
down the bowl on the end table I'd retrieved it from.

"You're really into this, aren't you?"

I turned to see Raven smiling curiously at me.

I shrugged. "I always have been. There's just something about
Halloween I've always loved." I began to walk toward the den. "I
mean, it's wonderful. I get to hand out candy, dress up in
costumes, and watch some of the weirdest holiday specials ever
created." I grinned like a madman. "I still remember the first time
they ever showed, 'The Monster's Christmas' on commercial TV."

"I'm surprised you even get trick-or-treaters", Raven smirked behind
me as she followed, "what with all the scare stories about SCABS
out there."

"Oh, those", I snorted. "I consider those a little less believable
than the old poisoned-candy legends."

"You mean those were just stories?"

I turned. She looked serious. "Well, yes", I replied as lightly as I
could. "Oh, there have been a few candy poisonings down through
the years, of course, but it wasn't done by anyone handing out
candy." I turned around, hoping she wouldn't ask ...

"But then, who did it?"

I sighed, my head bowed. "Their family", I rasped. "A father one
time, the mother's boyfriend another ... poison's usually a personal
weapon." I shuddered, my hackles rising. I turned. "I assume the
SCABS stories are the usual?"

She nodded, appreciating the change of subject and its necessity.
"Pretty much. Kid-eating SCABS, candy filled with Martian Flu
Virus, the usual."

I snorted again. "Son of the AIDS club stories, no doubt. Anyway,
I get a pretty good turnout around here ... even if", I added, "a few
of my trick-or-treaters are old enough to be in high school."

"So, no-"


I sprinted for the door, grabbing the candy bowl, and yanked open
the door.

"Trick or Treat!", the kids all piped, except for one nervous one that
hung back until his mother(?) nudged him into a whispered "Trick
or Treat". "Here you go", I grinned, scooping up candy. "Two for
the bride ... two for Batman ... two for the pirate ... " One by one,
they ran back into the shadows before I could say, "Happy
Halloween". Finally, it was the shy one's turn. "And two", I said,
"for the little lion."

"Are you a SCAB?"

I chuckled, even as his mother looked horrified. "Yep, I am."

"My daddy says ... " But what his daddy said, I shall never know,
for his mother, absolutely aghast, grabbed him by the arm and
began half-dragging him down the walk.

I shook my head. "Happy Halloween!", I called after them, though I
got no reply. I shut the door ...

... and broke down laughing. After a moment, I was laughing so
hard, tears rolling down my face, I had to lean against the wall, the
candy bowl cradled in my arms as I shook with each guffaw. As I
slowed and quieted, I noticed Raven looking at me from the den.

"I'm surprised you took that so well", she smiled.

"Oh, Lawsey", I panted, "that was priceless. That poor kid's gonna
hear from her for the next three blocks, at least. 'We don't say
things like that' ", I gasped in the precise diction of every correcting
mother I'd ever known, and burst out laughing again. After a
moment, I heard Raven giggle a little as well.

"Oh, Raven", I sighed happily. "Have you ever had a moment when
the whole world seems funny, and you're in on the joke?"

"Can't say that I have", she grinned back at me. "But I'm glad you
do sometimes."

I smiled toothily and began to sing:

"Ghosts and goblins ev-e-ry-where,
Life's no fun with-out a good scare.
That's our job, but we're no-ot mean,
In this tow-own of Hal-lo-we-en ..."

I sighed contentedly as I leaned back against the wall.

"What's that from?", Raven asked. "It sounds familiar."

"Old movie", I sighed again, smiling in a way that the bar's
herbivores would've found troubling. "I just always think of it when
I'm in Halloween." I closed my eyes and leaned back against the
wall as I sat down on the tile. "It's just so beautiful, Raven", I
breathed. "Handing out candy to all those wonderful people, all
those boys and girls ... " I fell silent as my heart overflowed, at a
loss for words.

For a long moment, all was silent.

"Well", said Raven at last, "I guess I'd better be getting back to the

"Oh", I blinked as I opened my eyes, "give my regards to everyone,
won't you?"

"Oh, I will", she replied, an odd grin on her face, "I will."


I vaulted to my feet, only to fall back against the foyer wall.
Sometimes I miss my heels being able to touch the floor ... I
pushed off with my right hand and swung the candy bowl into
position with my left as I yanked open the door.


I almost dropped the candy. There in the doorway stood the
Lupine Boys, accompanied by Jack and ... of all people ... Phil! I
stood flabbergasted in the doorway until the rabbit piped up:

"Trick or Treat!"

As the others laughed, I could feel my mouth smiling so hard that it
hurt. I reached for Phil ...

"Oops", I chuckled as he ducked behind Jack. "Sorry, Phil. Lost
my head for a minute there. What are you all doing here?", I asked
of the group at large.

"We came to say Happy Halloween", answered Wolfshead with a
grin that made a small part of my mind suspicious. "We know how
much you like it, after all."

"We even brought a present", brayed Jack, and stepped aside to
reveal ...

Lady Death. In a torn pantsuit, her face shifted to almost a mirror-
image of my own, she stepped forward and hugged me. "Happy
Halloween, Eddie."

I flushed at the murmurs among those gathered. "Old nickname", I
explained, and turned back to her. "You came up with all this?"

"Well", drawled Raven, "I helped a little. Aren't you going to invite
them in?"

I blinked as my mind struggled to its metaphorical feet, having
been not-so-metaphorically blown off them. "Uffer ... al ... bleah!
Of course! Come in, come in!" I shooed them all inside, closing
the door behind them. Then, as an afterthought, I turned off the
porch light. It promised to be a long night, and I didn't want any

Besides, I was almost out of candy.


Copyright 2000 by Wanderer. If you want to post this anywhere else, please ask the author for permission first. Thank You.

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