Charlie - A Halloween Tale

Billy ran to the door at the sound of the bell, anxious to see who arrived first. He opened the door quickly and saw a small child with a sheet over his head, dark, black holes cut into eye holes. At one of the bottom corners, the letter “C” written in permanent marker. Billy remembered last Halloween, this is the same costume Charlie wore. Billy was glad to see Charlie; it had been weeks that Charlie has been in the hospital.

“Charlie! You remembered! Awesome!” Billy went outside with Charlie to sit on the steps in front of the Brownstone where he lived. Before completely shutting the door, Billy leaned in and yelled, “Gonna be on the stoop, waiting for everyone else to show up.”

The reply came quickly from Billy’s mother, “Okay honey! Come get me when they’re here, I’m finishing up your candy bag.”

The other friends Billy invited to go trick or treating with him arrived. Johnny was a vampire, Willy was a hobo and Freddy dressed up as a mobster complete with pinstripe suit and candy cigar. Billy, of course, went as Optimus Prime, his favorite movie character.

Billy and Charlie stood up and greeted their friends with pats and handshakes. Billy went to the door, opened it slightly and yelled, “Mom! We’re ready!”

“Okay, coming!” She came out with Billy’s candy bag and said, “Alright you boys, you have fun and be back in an hour. I mean it… One hour.”

The group went door to door, up and down the small residential street in Brooklyn. They crossed and did it all again. When they approached Billy’s house, once they were done, Billy saw his Mother on the porch. She looked worried.

“You boys go straight home now,” She was crying, eyes red with tear marks on her cheeks. “Billy, come inside.”

Billy looked back to say goodbye to Charlie, but he must have already gone home.

“Honey, I have some bad news for you and I don’t know how to tell you this….” She led Billy down on the couch and sat next to him, closely. “Charlie died last night. He had Leukemia and just couldn't hold on any more. I am so very sorry sweetie.” She held his head close to her, stroking his hair. 

Billy sat up quickly, ducking under his Mother's arm, “Then who was that we went trick or treating with?”