Too Much of a Good Thing

by:  Donnieg

Halloween was Daniel’s favorite holiday because it was the one time of the year that he got candy. Being
from a poor family, he never had the luxury of being able to buy unnecessary items like candy, or other
types of treats.

He and his friend Stevie were out trick-or-treating; they had pretty well covered all the houses in the
area, all except one, the Kraymore mansion. When he had first moved into the area everyone had told
him the ghost stories about the place. They told him that it was haunted and no one ever went there if
they could help it, especially on Halloween.

Though he was only eight years old, Daniel had always considered himself to be brave just like all those
heroes he’d seen in the movies. So he didn’t know if it was bravery or greed that made him decide to go
to the mansion. It was most likely greed because all that he could think of was how a big house was
likely to have lots of treats'. He turned to Stevie. “I’m going to the Kraymore mansion to trick or treat,"
he said.

“WHAT, ARE YOU CRAZY?” Stevie was so shocked that he turned as pale as a ghost and dropped his
bag of treats. “You can go if you like, but I’m not getting any closer than I am right now.” He
stammered, while trying to retrieve his treats from the shadow-ridden sidewalk.

“Fine, you big chicken, I’m going up there!” Daniel left Stevie standing on the sidewalk staring like a deer
caught in the headlights of a car.

Daniel reached the bottom of the long, stone stairs that led to the monstrous house and looked up.
Framed by the full moon and sitting at the top of the hill it reminded him so much of the haunted
houses that he had seen in all those horror movies that he loved to watch so much. He felt his bravado
start to shrink.

'I will do this, I can’t turn back,' he thought, as visions of treats filled his head. He took a deep breath
and started up the dark stairs. As he reached the first landing he felt eyes watching from the shadows.
'It’s just my imagination. There’s nothing there.' he reassured himself and looked back down at the
street. Stevie was sitting there on the curb eating his treats as Daniel began climbing again.

Suddenly he heard a noise and a streak flew by nearly hitting him in the head. "What the…” he yelped as
he ducked. He lost his balance and started to fall backwards down the stairs. After what seemed a
lifetime of windmilling his arms, he finally regained his balance. He followed the sound of a high-pitched
squeak with his eyes. After a few moments of staring into the darkness, he saw the outline of an owl
carrying a field mouse through the sky. Needless to say his bravado was now near zero would be an
understatement. He thought of turning back, after all, the owl had nearly killed him, but since it was just
an owl there wasn’t anything supernatural about it. So maybe the place wasn’t haunted after all. He
took a few more quick steps and reached the second landing.

He looked up at the remaining flight of stairs. Since his encounter with the owl everything seemed a little
different somehow. He took a deep breath and shrugged off the feeling. 'Just one more flight of stairs
and I’m there. I can do it,' he thought to himself as he started to move again. The shadows mocked him
as they moved on and off the stairs in front of him. The wind moaned and cried, “lleeevvvveee
nnnnooowww,” as it blew through the tree branches that reached out for him. He could sense the little
demons and monsters as they squeaked and screamed at him from the hedges as he climbed. He began
to take the steps in leaps and bounds. He knew if he didn’t he would turn back.

Finally, he made it to the porch. “See, I’m still here and I’m still alive.” He reached out with one clammy
shaky finger and rang the doorbell. Diiinnnggg Dooonnnggg went the doorbell. The chime created an
endless echo through the massive house. He heard the floorboards creaking and popping, chains
rattling, then a raspy, crackling, witch’s voice called out from behind the door.

‘A witch, nobody had ever said anything about a witch. That’s it, there’s not enough candy in the world
worth this,’ he thought. As he turned and started to leave, the door slowly creaked open.

“Yes, may I help you?” said the raspy, crackling voice of the white-haired granny that stood in the

“I…er…trick-or-treat,” he struggled to say as he shakily held out his bag. He didn’t know what else to
do. He was totally confused. He was expecting a witch, a ghost, or anything except the elderly lady in
the red velvet robe who stood before him.

“Oh, my. You look like you were expecting a ghost or something,” said the elderly lady.

“Ah, well, everyone told me that this place was haunted. So I really didn’t know what to expect,” Daniel
said trying to hide his embarrassment.

“Well, as you can tell I’m not a ghost, at least not yet and this house…” The elderly lady paused a
moment then took a step forward and looked past Daniel, then continued, “Well this house wasn’t
haunted, but I think that may have changed.”

“What do you mean?” Dumbfounded, Daniel followed the direction of the woman's gaze. He slowly
turned around and looked down the stairs toward the street.

His heart sank when he saw the body that lay sprawling in a pool of dark crimson and scattered pieces
of candy. “Stevie, oh my god, Stevie!” Daniel screamed as he rushed down the stairs, taking them in
leaps and bounds. As he got nearer the bottom of the stairs he remembered that Steve had been
wearing a light-colored outfit and the body was wearing a dark one similar, to his own. 'If it’s not Stevie
then who could it be?' he thought and for the first time he noticed the shrill scream and the light-
colored outfit that was disappearing down the street. 'That must be Stevie screaming. Well as least, he’
s safe.'

Daniel realized that there was something very familiar about the dark shape but he just could not put
his finger on what it was.

He jumped the last few steps and gently landed on the sidewalk. He looked at the broken and twisted
body. Where had he seen that outfit before? It was so familiar. He tried to see the face but it was
turned away from him. He slowly walked around the body. The face started to come into view. Inch by
inch he could see, …the forehead, the eyes, the nose, and finally the mouth. “That face! I know that
face!” Daniel dropped to his knees and sat there. His eyes never left the face on the body.

His face.