A Short Story by Sarah Campbell

I had just gotten home from school and was sitting on the couch with my dad watching the news. I was about to get up when the news reporter said “A man from prison escaped last night and broke into a costume store. He stole some money and a spiderman costume. So be careful when trick or treating tomorrow night, and watch out for anyone with a spiderman costume.” 

My dad paused the tv and I studied the picture of the man that had escaped prison. He looked old and scary. They had not said what he was in prison for but I did not want to find out. “Can I still go trick or treating?” I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to go. I had made so many fun plans with my friends. 

“I’ll talk to your mom.” Dad said. 

I frowned. That was always the answer. Why couldn’t he just decide? Why did he always have to ask mom?   

I got up to go do some school work. I couldn’t think straight. So I decided to take a break and text my friends. I opened the group chat. “Did you guys hear about the guy that broke out of prison last night? That dude has totally ruined our Halloween plans.” I waited for a response. 

Chleo was quick to respond (as always) “Yeah, that’s so weird that he stole a superhero costume.” 

She had a point, why a superhero costume? I was about to respond to Chleo when my mom called me “Mia! Come downstairs!” 

Hopeful that she would let me go trick or treating, I ran downstairs. “So can I go trick or treating?” I asked gleefully. 

She looked at me like I was crazy. “Of course not! That man out there could be a murderer.” 

I knew I couldn’t change her mind and I didn’t want to get grounded so I went back up stairs. I texted my friends that we couldn’t go trick or treating. I set my phone down and went back to work on my homework. 

After an hour of studying I looked to see if my friends had responded. London, the group troublemaker, responded with “Why don’t we just sneak out? I doubt that guy is of any harm. He probably just wants candy lol.” 

Funny London, the prisoner broke out of prison for candy. But sneaking out… I had never snuck out before and I wasn’t ever planning to either. “We can’t sneak out! We will get in so much trouble!” But maybe.. no I couldn’t. 

Anna, who always agrees with London, said “Sneaking out sounds like a great idea!!” 

I was waiting for angel Chleo to save the day and tell them they are crazy. But what she said surprised me. “Yeah! We should definitely sneak out! I was really wanting to go trick or treating this year!” 

Shocked, I typed. “No no no no no! We can’t sneak out!! Are you guys nuts!?” I was ready to send but I paused. They were kinda right. I had awesome plans that I would have to wait until next year to do. I deleted my message and instead said, “Ok I’m in!” 

The next day was a half day at school because of Halloween. When I got home I went to go prepare my Halloween costume. I was going to be a zombie cheerleader. I never had costumes that were out there. Last year I was a cat. London on the other hand always had the best costumes. Last year she was a ringmaster. She looked awesome! After I had everything for my costume prepared I started to think of how I should sneak out. I decided that I could just go through the front door since my parents would be at a Halloween party. Then I watched YouTube for a bit.

After about an hour later, London asked in the group chat what time we should meet up and where. I responded with “Well what time are our parents going to the party?” 

“At 6:00,” London said. “Why not 6:45? That way we have time to meet up.” 

It was a good but risky plan. “OK but what time will we get back?” I wanted it to last long enough for us to do all of our plans. 

“How about 11:00 p.m? That’s 30 minutes before our parents will get home” Anna replied. 

That would probably be enough time. “Okay! Sounds great! Everybody in?” I waited for everyone to respond. They all said yes. That was it. Our plans had been made and there was no going back now. 

It was 6:00 and my mom had just said goodbye and told me to be in bed by 10:00 p.m. At 6:25 I put on my costume and did my makeup. I quickly added a touch of fake blood to my cheek and accidently got some in my mouth. I grabbed my candy bag and my keys and went downstairs. When I got outside I locked the door and put the key into my pocket. All over you could see people happily trick or treating. I was about to walk down the sidewalk when I realized that at least fifty percent of the people trick or treating were wearing spiderman costumes. Both adults and kids. I felt chills as I remembered that the prisoner that broke out of prison stole a spiderman costume. I ran to the park that me and my friends planned to meet up at. I saw London and Anna on the swings waiting. Chleo wasn’t there yet. “London! Anna!” I shouted as I ran over to them. 

They got off the swings and ran towards me. “Did you see all the people in spiderman costumes?” I asked. 

London nodded. “Yeah! I told you the prisoner wants some candy.” Her and Anna giggled. 

I shook my head and looked around for Chleo. I didn’t see Chleo but what I did see worried me. There was a man in a spiderman costume watching us. Since the costume covered his face I couldn’t see who he was. I turned around hoping that if I didn’t see him he couldn’t hurt me. It didn’t make sense but it made me feel better. I was about to suggest we call Chleo when I saw her running towards us. 

Chleo was wearing a pink poodle skirt. Out of breath, she said, “Hey, nice costume.” 

I smiled. “Thanks I like yours too!” Then we walked towards a house. I glanced back to see if the man in the spiderman costume was still there but he was gone. We started going house to house getting candy. When we were done we went to the local farm. We sat down at a table and traded candy. I traded Anna one snickers bar for a bag of skittles. After we ate some of our candy London pointed out a sign that said “Haunted HayRide.” I like hayrides but I had never gone on a haunted one. 

“Do you guys want to go?” London asked. 

“Why not?” I shrugged my shoulders. “Sounds fun.” 

We collected our candy and ran to the entrance of the hayride. We didn’t have to wait long before a wagon came up. We got on and sat together on the hay inside. A group of older kids got on and then we set off. We went into the woods and waited to see the scary things that they set up. We went into a clearing and there was a wedding but the people were zombies. The zombies started to walk towards the wagon. 

Chleo gasped. ‘Look! Over there there’s a guy in a spiderman costume just like the prisoner that escaped!” We all looked where she was pointing. And there he was. It was hard to tell but he looked like the guy that was watching us at the park. I got up, grabbed Chleo’s arm, and ran off the moving wagon. We ran back to the entrance leaving London and Anna behind. I realized it was a kinda dumb plan but I didn’t care. 

“Are you alright?” Chleo asked me once she caught her breath. 

“Yeah, it’s just that guy dressed in the spiderman costume looked like another dude I saw before. He was watching us at the park while we were waiting for you.” I looked back to see if London and Anna were coming back for us. They weren’t. Now they would call us wimps. We walked to the petting area to pet some goats while we waited for London and Anna. I was about to say they should be back by now when I saw London and Anna running towards us. They didn’t stop running though when they got to us. They kept on running. “Guys wait up!” I yelled after them. 

Chleo tapped my shoulder. “Mia… look.” She pointed towards the man in the spiderman costume. He was running towards us. “Run!!” I pulled her arm and her candy bag fell out of her hand. We sprinted to the park and hid in a play structure. 

“Do you see him?” Chleo asked as she looked around. 

“No, I think it’s safe to go out.” I said. We stepped out and looked around just in case. “We should probably go home.” I said sadly. 

“I don’t want to walk home alone! Not with that man out there!” Chleo said as tears formed in her eyes. 

“You can come to my house.” 

She looked at me and opened her mouth to say something but I stopped her. “Behind you. The spiderman dude again.” I whispered. 

She looked behind her in horror. We both ran. We ran as fast as we could to my house. We stopped at the front door and I tried to unlock it as fast as possible. Then we ran inside and I locked it behind us. “I hope London and Anna are okay.” All of a sudden there was a bang on the door. We both screamed and ran upstairs. I ushered Chleo into the bathroom and shut the door. My bedroom didn’t have a lock so we couldn’t go in there. We listened to see if the man would walk away.

He didn’t. Somehow he managed to open the door without breaking it down. Chleo was crying. I held my breath as I heard his footsteps coming up the steps. He stopped in front of the bathroom door. He tried to open the door but couldn’t. I heard him trying to unlock the door. I quietly pulled back the shower curtain and ushered Chleo inside. Then I stepped in and closed the curtain right as the door opened. He very slowly walked over to the shower. I could see his shadow through the curtain. He reached towards the curtain. Slowly, as if to scare us even more, he pulled open the shower curtain. Me and Chleo were both crying now.  

“Please don’t hurt us.” I said, frightened. 

As he slowly peeled off his mask he said, “Why would I hurt you?”

Me and Chleo both gasped. Under the mask was my dad. “What? Why? When? Huh?” I said, confused. 

Dad raised his eyebrows. “Well someone has to look after you when you sneak out of the house.” He grinned. “Why not a superhero?” 

                                                                   THE END

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