Perfect Halloween Weather…
It was the perfect Halloween weather with dry, crispy leaves blowing around in whirls. The day promised to be softly warm like only an October Indian summer can provide. The colors were glorious. Front yards in the neighborhood were all decorated with witches, ghosts, ghouls, tombstones – all the usual spooky things that delighted children and adults alike. The best jack-o-lanterns were, of course, on Miss Perry’s porch.
Miss Perry is a very creative person and photos of her jack-o-lanterns often appear in the local newspapers. This year her artwork was spectacular and kids could hardly wait to go trick-or-treating to see Miss Perry’s jack-o-lantern display.
It was such a perfect Halloween morning, a little chilly but sunny, and Miss Perry decided to go out for a walk. She loved to hear the leaves rustle around and crunch when they were stepped on. She put on a jacket and her Halloween hat which was orange with a black cat on it.
When she looked in the mirror to adjust her hat she could see the rose garden out back reflected in the mirror. Standing in the garden was Mr. Tikkets, her gardener, and he was watching her. He had been showing up early lately and she had seen him a few other times staring into the house. She turned towards the patio door to get a better look at what Mr. Tikkets was doing and he was gone, then she heard a knock on the kitchen door.
It was Mr. Tikkets. He had his face close to the screen door and looking around the room. Miss Perry was getting very irritated. He is getting downright creepy and I am uncomfortable with this.
She opened the door just a few inches, keeping the chain lock fastened. “What is it, Mr. Tikkets?” He held up his long scissor blades pruner, opening and closing it quickly a few times. Miss Perry jumped back.
“Got my scissors pruner today and the blades are really sharp! Worked all night on ’em, so it won’t take me long to finish up my work then I’ll be out of here,” he grinned at her and worked the pruners again.
Miss Perry swallowed the lump of fear in her throat and did some fast thinking. “That’s good, Mr. Tikkets. I’ll write you a check for the month and put it in the note box out here by the door, then I will not be needing your services anymore. My nephew is going to be taking care of the yard from now on. He needs the job to save for college out-of-pocket expenses.”
His grin slowly faded then he turned and walked away.
Miss Perry locked the door and decided not to go out for a walk. She started to put on a pot of coffee to brew when she heard a loud crash at the patio door.
Halloween evening was perfect for trick-or-treating. More leaves had fallen and the breeze was mild yet a little cooler. And there was a full moon in a clear sky lighting the way for all the little ghouls, goblins, ghosts, action figures, princesses, and so many more costumed kids.
There were over 200 kids and a lot of chaperoning fathers out enjoying the evening. In households all around the community, without a doubt, the most talked-about yard and jack-o-lantern display were Miss Perry’s. For instance, in the Carson household, the excitement was overwhelming.
“Mom, you should have seen Miss Perry’s jack-o-lanterns, they were awesome! She wasn’t home, but we walked up to the porch to look at them. There was one that looked just like Miss Perry! It even had her crazy orange hat with the black cat on it and she had some stuff that looked like blood dripping from it. It was so cool!” rattled little Bobby.
“Oh, gross!” said teenager Sally. “I thought it was disgusting! Yuck!”
“Yeah, it was pretty disgusting alright. Almost made me sick to my stomach,” Mr. Carson agreed.
© 2019 Phyllis Doyle Burns
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