His friends had talked all day about their costumes and which houses gave out the most treats. But Mum and Dad wouldn't let him go. When he tries to sneak out at midnight to catch a glimpse of something, anything from Halloween, he finds that something has come to find him. Something that wants to be let in.
A short story for Halloween by Dan Hunter.
This is right out of my childhood nightmares.
Though I tried to sleep, I couldn’t help imagining the stories my classmates would tell tomorrow. Meanwhile, I hadn’t seen so much as a pumpkin. Then it occurred to me, perhaps it wasn’t too late. I glanced at my alarm clock: almost midnight. Even if I’d missed the trick-or-treaters, I was sure at least one jack-o-lantern would still be lit. If I could creep downstairs, maybe I could catch sight of one through the curtains after all.
I held my breath and slowly edged open my door, careful not to let a creak escape. Out on the landing, the house seemed misshapen in the gloom. I felt my way towards the stairs, surprised how the walls seemed to appear unexpectedly in my path or shrink away from my searching hands. Eventually, the handrail met my grasp. One step at a time, I snuck down until I arrived safely in the hall.
Downstairs, I didn’t have to rely so much on my hands. Moonlight spilled through the frosted glass of the front door. It stretched the cross-cross pattern of the panes dimly across the floor. But, as I stepped over the illuminated squares, I noticed the pattern was incomplete. It was split down the middle by a long, pointed shadow. My eyes traced the unexpected shape back to the door, past the letterbox and up to the glass. There, I found the same shape silhouetted behind the frosted panes. My heart leapt and my feet froze. Someone was outside.