Trick or Treat
On a dark and starless night, the gloomy image of a car was shrouded by a dense evening fog as it curved its way down the narrow street. The eerie glow from the headlights could be seen darting between the trees as it passed by them. Through the shadowy mist and stillness of this moonless night the eerie moan of an engine laboring along could be heard through the quiet suburban neighborhood. Then a clanking of metal parts and a knocking sound filled the air. The creaks and groans kept increasing as the ghostly image of the car came closer. The sound shattered the nights silence with its presence growing ever louder as the car traveled toward me. The fog was still shrouding the vehicle, but there was no mistaking … it was coming closer and closer. Slowly it traveled down the street, stopping occasionally, but only for a moment and then gathered up speed again. The creaking and moaning continued at every stop. Stare I did, all alone, standing outside of my house, pondering my fate as the specter came ever closer.
The eerie sounds kept increasing as the headlights broke from the fog filled night. I sensed something was amiss, #3… perhaps #4 cylinder, I couldn't tell. Of course, I'm curious; I've heard these sounds before, but… … … was I prepared for this nocturnal visit? They're coming towards me now; there should be no reason to move. I'm safe under the porch lights glow. I could see an odd looking figure behind the wheel… it was like nothing I've seen before, I couldn't help but stare.
What devilish creatures will spawn forth from this vehicle? Could it be of such horrors that I may not have the courage to stand fast here in the safety of the porch light? The sheer thought of what could be next was almost more than I could bear.
As the car crept up my driveway there was no doubt it was the ghastly apparition that was making those sounds of despair. The car stopped just within reach of the porch light. A sweet but putrid smell emanated from the front of the car while plumes of white fog darted out from under the hood. The car was about to gasp its last breath.
As the driver turned off the engine it gave out a one last horrific death roll sound. The clatter of the engines internal parts finally were subdued and quiet came back over the neighborhood. He opened the creaking door slowly and carefully stepped out onto the pavement. Dressed in his finest, he appeared to be going out for the evening... an evening of what? I didn't want to know. The quietness was short lived, from the back seat of the car came voices, then in a flash, 3 little devils ran past me towards my front door.
The strange driver was dressed in a large black cape, white gloves, and a full tuxedo. His face had a ghoulish gray pasty look to it, which had the appearance of something from the graveyard and the world beyond. He appeared to be a creature of the night... and it would be this night of all nights… the night that all the departed souls of the earth are allowed to roam free, but only on this one special night. It was October, October 31st... "All Hallows Eve" ... the night that small creatures dart from door to door seeking treats from unsuspecting victims who leave their porch light on. My porch light was on; the candy bowl was by the door, just out of reach of their devilish little ghoulish hands. It's what they came for tonight… they want the goodies.
It seems I have fallen under the same spell as the rest of my neighbors. The only way to be rid of these miniature monsters is to feed them candy. Lots and lots of candy… it's the only thing that will keep them away 'til the next October 31st. As I looked down the street I could see more of them darting in and out of the fog filled porch lights. It's started again… they're coming…!
Before the backdoor of the car was completely shut the three small creatures were past me, giggling and carrying small baskets full of candy and treats. There will be more of them tonight, I know there will... it's a long, long cold night, and the candy jar is not empty yet. They know it's not empty. I don't know how they know... but they know. Someone needs to stand watch at the door for these devils and zombies coming out of the gloom, reaching into the candy bowl for their share of the night's booty. That's why I'm on guard by my porch light.
The stranger spoke to me; his voice was distorted by the large blood covered fangs hanging from his upper jaw. "You're a mechanic right?"
Compelled to answer his question (must be a hypnotic trance or something) as I approached the still steaming car. "Yes I am. Anything I can help you with?"
"My evening transportation is crying for attention. I think it's possessed, do you think you could help?"
Showing no fear, I answered, "On a night like this you might need an exorcist."
The still smoldering engine was hot and dark under the hood. I had my flashlight with me (to ward off those pesky small creatures.) I waved away the belching smoke, and peered into the darkened engine cavity. The problem was a simple one... the upper radiator hose clamp was loose.
"There's the problem. I'll get my wooden stake, hammer, and some holy water... we'll remove the demons from this chariot," I told the stranger.
I returned shortly with a screw driver and coolant just as some more of those odd little creatures ran past me giggling and counting their treasure. Soon, the car was ready to go again. The car was fine, no permanent damage; all the clanking and moaning had disappeared. Now he could take his little ghouls with him, and move to another street in the neighborhood and deliver those little candy seekers to someone else's unsuspecting door step.
As I watched the taillights fade into the fog filled night I could see other ghosts and goblins running through the neighborhood. They're coming this way. I need to go refill the candy bowl.
No more cars came by for me to remove the demons from under the hood that night. I think it's safe to say I can go back to the house now. The porch light is still on and the candy bowl isn't empty yet, so I'll stand here under the glow of the porch light a while longer, flashlight in hand, waiting for all those little goblins, ghouls, skeletons and vampires.
I've got to admit the mysterious noises from under the hood of a car are far from spooky to me. I'm no demon exorcist; I'm a mechanic. I'm not frightened by rattles, clanks, and strange noises even on the scariest night of them all.
But those cute little zombies and ghosts that come up to my front door on Halloween hollering
… … … … … "! ! !Trick or Treat! ! !"… … … … … …
They can scare the daylights out of me…………………!