The doorbell rang.

“It’s after eight. They’re supposed to stop trick-or-treating at eight.” Randy grabbed the bowl and lurched off the couch.

“Are we really going to police a kid in a costume who shows up at 8:04?” Luke grabbed the remote. “Want me to pause it?”

“I’ve seen Halloween a million times. No.” Randy headed to the door. “If it’s a kid over 12 -“

“If it’s a kid over 12, you will give them candy. “

The doorbell rang again. This time, two rings. Insistent.

“I mean, that’s just rude-“

Randy turned the door knob and plastered a fake smile over his minor annoyance. The kid was probably cute. Probably a mom and dad that worked late. Luke was always telling him he needed to “temper his temper,” which wasn’t really anger, just easy frustration.

Before he could pull the door open, three more quick rings of the doorbell. Randy’s eyes rolled ferociously. Come the fuck on, kid. You’re not owed, not entitled to —

“Happy Hallowe—“

The porch was empty. Randy scanned you and down the street. There were a few kids some houses down, but no one close enough to have rung and run away.


No answer.

Randy closed the door. Weird. It was ringing. Luke heard it, too. He closed the door and heard it click into place.

The doorbell. Once. Twice. Three times. Four. Urgent. Aggressive.

“Luke what the fuck is —“

Randy turned and the dead thing stood as close to him as his skin. Its breath swam into him like an oil slick, sticking to him in an instant.


The dead thing consumed him like a piece of candy.

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