Mishti Jain, Class 9, Don Bosco International School, Mumbai

Children disguised in bewitching costumes embrace the fear of horror as the night draws in. The intermittent knock on the door shattered the entombed silence. Petite hands cupping the edges of their bowls, drawling trick-or-treat. The door squeaked open; the old lady Edna snorted in disgust; her one eye twitched in the direction of the children while the other eye glared at their basket brimming with sweets. Edna’s toothless grin erased the smiles on their faces, pervading children’s eyes with fear. The horror mutated into a threat as the lady stepped closer, and the children flinched to action. Edna rolled her dicey eyeballs cursing under her breath. The alarming reaction warned the notorious, the conversation abrupted at the doorstep as they backpedaled homewards. “Trick-or-treat” A coarse voice reverberating in their ears, arousing lethargic cells to work to explore the next door.
The wooden door adorned with fairy lights grabbed their attention to snap out of their dreamy thoughts. All agreed to reveal the mystery behind those doors. The shoe v left no traces on the mud. The knock was inaudible but made an impact. The ajar door creaked open. The children stood still gripping each other’s arms. A shadow appeared from the door like a phoenix. The costumed children broke into fits of laughter, gawking at the clown’s face. Abruptly they chuckled, trick-o- treat. Clown stepped ahead, but the children continued laughing. Another step, the wince was obvious, and the laughter grew in dread. Two hands popped up in front of them. They huddled to protect themselves. The clown revealed the sweets hidden in his hand. The children scavenged the other hand. A bloodshed knife laid on his hand, screams vociferated trembling the walls of the lobby. children grabbed the treats ambidextrously with swift movements; sprinted off the block. Panics and anxiety lurked in the air.

The costumed children basked in the spooky decoration awakening the street. Fear spread candles displayed, pungent smell lurked, red wine dripping from the glasses, the devilish logo carved in pumpkins. One scarlet pumpkin caught their attention from the redundant orange. The children examined it and shoved one hand inside the pumpkin, the hand was drenched in blood with a key caught in two fingers. The key was signaling to the third door. The dilapidated house lights up the moment they touched the key. One step and the lamps splinted. The clank drew their attention, ghastly whispers filled their ears with regret. They tottered afraid to step on any bone. Eyes stuck with the ossuary, guarded by a headless doll. An arrow triggered their minds urging them to follow the neon strips on the wooden planks. The room was locked and the key was missing. Hello? One child questioned; the door swung open hearing the child’s voice. The pitch-dark room with cobwebs cornering the wall.

The footsteps move inside, and suddenly the fan spins, and the dead body suspended on it drops down. With amazement, the children took a closer glance. The blood dripped from the head and eyes stared wide at them. Trepidation climbed up their body, legs did not stop until they reached the crowd. Two hands flashed in front of their eyes capturing their vision, no squeaks were heard as they disappeared.


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