The laughter coming from outside brings with it great pain. The hard wooden rails of the chair dig into his spine. He rotates a miniature chocolate candy in his hand. The silver wrapper crackles as he looks for evidence of perforations. There are none. It’s impeccable. He drops it into the paper bag laying at his feet. There it joins the untainted. Randomness, pure randomness, just like life.
The tapping at the door brings him to his feet. He strides forward as his shoes make loud knocking noises on the hardwood floor. Once outside, he looks down at the monsters that stare back at him. Their eyes waiting for him to move.
“Trick or treat,” they yell. Among them are the quintessential ghost made with holy sheets, a witch carrying a cobweb filled cauldron, a dinosaur with razor sharp felt teeth, and a jack-o-lantern that waddles up behind them. Counting them, he knows these are the last ghouls of the night.
He lowers himself holding the paper bag by the rolled down brim. He gives it one last shake, one last play with fate. He drops a chocolate in each bag as the children push them to the front. Past them he sees the smiling parents. One father kneels down and snaps photos of the pumpkin toddling towards a red wagon. The squeals of joy pierce his soul. They remind him of times long past, times removed by fortune.
He expects sirens, screaming, and crying. But all that follows is silence, cold dead silence, like the last three months. From his pocket, he pulls out one final chocolate. Slowly he removes the silver wrapper and pushes the bar into his mouth. He lays himself down on the porch. He closes his eyes. Now he waits.
Here are other 300 word stories: