In a village, anywhere in Ontario there is ‘a Freddie’, who always had a sidekick, a Bob or Ray, a Rick or Roy, a Dave or Pete. This Freddie’s side kick was Dave. He was not the brightest of sorts or maybe he had a conscience. Freddie was notorious for pranks or helping himself to neighbour’s gardens, or their fruit trees, or maybe the odd pumpkin. In this village was an elderly woman, all the kids called her Nana Myller. She was a very kind senior, making real good cookies and treats for all, and Halloween was a smorgasbord of treats.
In January, Nana Myller went to be with her Lord, pneumonia, the village rumour mill said. The house was to be maintained by a local property company. As Winter turned to Spring and then to Fall, it was apparent that the company did nothing and was not fulfilling their obligation. Nan Myller’s perfectly kept house and gardens became overgrown with weeds and the lawn looked like a hayfield. Meanwhile Freddie and his side kick Dave were bragging about their Halloween feats.
“Nana’s House,” Freddie said “would be spray painted, egged and soaped, and a brick thru the window.” Dave said nothing. Freddie continued “The old car in the garage would probably be well pranked. It is a 1955 Buick 4 door hard top in pristine condition.”
Dave said nothing.
Don, at the local filling station, was getting ready to close up at the regular 10 p.m. As he looked up from the cash register a Vintage 1953 Chevy Truck, bright red, appeared. Don did not hear the truck or could remember seeing it drive in. As Don approached the pump island a very imposing figure emerged from the vehicle. Tall, he was very tall, well over 6 feet and dressed entirely in black with a heavy lined face and a full moustache. A deep voice spoke to Don.
“Fill it up please.” The voice seemed to rise from his boots. A eerie silence as both men never spoke.
“One suitcase?” Don inquired.
“Yep.” replied the stranger.
“No hotels.” Don responded.
“Don’t need one,” the stranger replied “staying at my Aunts place.”
“Aunts?” Don questioned.
“Yep, known in these parts as Nana Myller.”
“Truck’s filled with gas” Don said.
“How much?” asked the stranger.
“ Forty-four dollars,” Don said.
The stranger handed him a fifty dollar bill. Don surprised replied to the stranger “American Dollars? I will have to figure out the exchange.”
“No bother,” replied the stranger “keep the change.”
Don stood beside the pumps and thought, sudden impact by noon tomorrow. Will the village ever by the same. September moved quickly into October and as Halloween approached Freddie and Dave never missed bragging.
“If that cowboy is in the house we’ll just carry on. No backing down by myself or Dave.” Freddie said.
Finally the hollow night arrived. Freddie and Dave never bothered to dress in costumes.
“Eggs ready Dave?” asked Freddie“Yep” mumbled Dave.
“Bricks, ready Dave?” asked Freddie
“Bricks,” Dave asked Freddie “What do we need bricks for?”
“Big window in the front,” Freddie said.
“No. No. Freddie, please just soap.” Dave pleaded.
“No, just as planned,” Freddie spoke. “We go into the garage first, break the windshield, then drag the board with the nails over the paint.”
“Please Freddie. Lets just soap and eggs,” pleaded Dave.
Too late, Freddie had the door to the garage open.
“The door wasn’t locked,” Dave spoke, “it could be a trap.”
“To late Dave,” Freddie replied in a giggly high pitched squeak, “I’m in!”
Dave nervously looked to his left then his right. Then with one hand on the door, suddenly felt a movement at his feet. Looking down he saw large black tubes, looking like snakes the size of bicycle tire tubes moving over his shoes. Too frightened to speak or move. Then out of the corner of his eye he caught the movement in a large oak tree. A huge figure crouched on a limb. A hat pulled over his ears, and large flowing cape, spread out like wings. As the figure swooped out of the tree Dave was gone. Slamming the door shut as he left freaked out Freddie. Dave headed out the lane way and straight for home right by the trick and treaters walking home chattering to themselves. Dave ran past as fast as he could. “Hey Dave” they yelled, “look at all the treats!” Dave never missed a beat, he was already home.
Back in the garage Freddie had lost his nerve. “Dave,” yelled Freddie “open the door.”
There was no answer. Freddie looked around now scared. Then he spotted movement from the back of the car. Slowly the figure rose upwards, became larger, the arms slowly moved from the face, a monster face. Freddie was hysterical, slamming against the door, when suddenly it swung open, hanging on one hinge. Freddie bolted out, stepping on the squirming tubes, he heard a voice, “Freddie, Freddie,” the voice deep and raspy. Freddie looked up at the figure dark and imposing cape spread out. It left its perch on the tree, and swooped at Freddie. Freddie headed for home, his legs moving as fast as they could. He ran past the same group of Halloweeners as Dave.
“Freddie,” called the group and suddenly one of the closest kids yelled “smell, oh yuck. Did you fall in the outhouse?” The rest of the kids shouted “yuck!”
When Freddie arrived at home the door was locked. Freddie pounded on the door until his mother opened it. She stood aghast “Fred! Go to the garage and I will bring water and clothes. Why did you mess yourself?”
Now cleaned up, Freddie sat in his room looking out the bedroom window, when suddenly he saw two blocks over, high in a oak tree, a very imposing figure. Freddie snapped the curtain shut.
The next day or so a customer asked Don, “have you seen the stranger?”
“He left right after Halloween,” Don replied. “He rented the house to a family. Had Nana Myllar’s Buick on a trailer.”
“What did he do for a living?” asked the customer.
“Special effects artist for the major movie studios.” replied Don.
In every village somewhere in Ontario, Halloween is gone for another year.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO EVERYONE
Written by R. Richard Anderson
Edited ELJ Anderson