Thursday, October 25, 2012


He’d begged them to let him go out on his own this year. He wasn’t a baby any more. He didn’t need
them standing near the curb while he went to each door. He definitely didn’t need their escort through the streets. Eventually they relented.

“No candy until we’ve had a chance to look it all over,” his mother reminded as he set off down the street. “You’ll probably just want the good stuff for yourself,” he mumbled. Did people really do bad things to their treats? His parents were just being paranoid.
He made a beeline for the first house, treat bag in hand. He’d decided against carrying his usual pumpkin bucket. He’d pulled the pillowcase off of his bed instead. He was determined to fill it, even if he could hardly carry it home. He fantasized about all the candy he’d get.

Then he lost it all. Actually, he’d dropped it when a big guy in the werewolf mask came after him. He’d been running toward his next stop, a block beyond the boundary he’d agreed to. Before he reached the walkway, there was a snarl from the bushes and out jumped Teen Wolf.

He might have screamed. All that he knew for certain was that he ran, as fast as he could; feet pounding and arms pumping. When he could run no further, he stopped and looked around. Thankfully his attacker hadn’t come after him, but now he was even further from home. He started heading back, keeping an eye out for the other guy.

He mourned the loss of his loot bag. There’d been some good stuff in it. He’d been keeping track. Whenever there was enough light to see, he’d sneak a peek. He’d been trying to decide what he would eat first. Now it was all gone.

He considered heading home empty handed. But wanted his candy. He wondered whether the bag might still be where he’d dropped it. Maybe the guy only wanted to scare him. Nah, who’s gonna leave a perfectly good bag of candy behind?

He’d decided to continue on without his sack. My jacket pockets were pretty big. And there were two even deeper ones in his baggy trousers. He’d just stash everything in them. He wouldn’t be returning home with the large haul he’d hoped for, but it would be something.

Eventually he returned to his street, and his home. The porch light was on, and all three jack o’ lanterns still burned on the railing. He thought he could even make out the blue glow of the television in the front room.

With pockets bulging and no idea what to tell his parents about what had happened, he decided he needed time to think. So he headed to the place behind the garage where his dad stacked the firewood. He’d have a few treats three and work on an excuse.

The back of the house was dark except for the light over the kitchen sink. He would have no problem hiding away for a while. He sat down on the cut logs, and began digging into his small stash. In the blackness, he could go only by feel, and perhaps smell, to make his choice. The first piece was easy. It had to be a Reese’s cup.

He tore into the wrapper, and was rewarded with a mouthful of chocolate and peanut butter. Next to Snickers, Reese’s were his favorites. When he’d finished it, he stuffed the wrapper into a space between logs. He’d back another time to dispose of them.

He wanted more. A small box yielded crunchy coated licorice candies which he spit back into the container. Yuck, Good ‘n‘ Plenty! He added them to the log pile, and dug into a coat pocket for something to get rid of the licorice taste. He found a full size Tootsie Roll. That’s better.

One more piece and then I’ll head inside.

He found an odd feeling packet. He knew immediately that it was from the weird squatty house in the cul de sac. He’d debated stopping there at all, but the light was on, and he wanted as much candy as he could get. The bowl on the chair on the porch said, “Take Only One.” He taken at least two.

His fingers felt something like a waxed paper packet. The top flap had been folded over and stapled shut. Inside it there seemed to be a selection of gummy candies. Packaged as it was, he knew it was suspect, and destined for the garbage once he got inside. No way Mom would let him eat something not store bought.

He was about to return it to his pocket but changed his mind. He loved gummys, especially ones that looked like worms, roaches and other creepy crawlies. These felt promising.

Just one. If he opened the packet carefully, he thought he could slip one out. He found a long thin tidbit, and pulled it from the package. He held it to his nose. No detectable aroma. Maybe they were really old. It felt fresh though. It was soft and spongy, like good jelly candies. He popped it into his mouth.

At first there was nothing to it. Then his taste buds were hit with intense flavor. It was like no gummy candy he’d ever had. He sucked on it, savoring the peculiar but pleasant sweet and sour quality.

It slid around his mouth and across his tongue, getting more and more slippery. A few times he thought he might accidentally swallow it whole, or spit it out.

With the first bite, his teeth clamped together, but the worm remained intact. He bit down again, and could have sworn the worm moved, like it was trying to avoid being eaten. He was finally able to take off a piece of the tail.

Finally he bit the worm in two. The sour sensation increased. His mouth felt especially juicy, and he had to swallow repeatedly as the candy filling mixed with his own saliva.

It felt like he’d taken too large a drink of something. He wasn’t sure he could hold it all in his mouth. A little dribbled down his chin. He tilted his head back and increased his effort to get it all down. When his lips parted slightly, he felt a piece of the worm try to escape. It flicked his upper lip before slipping back into his open mouth.

He continued chewing, breaking the candy into smaller pieces so it would be easier to get down. This is the weirdest candy I’ve ever eaten. His tongue was feeling a little bit numb. Must be from the sour filling. He squinted at the intensity of the tang. His eyes watering a bit.

Finally he cleared his mouth. Licking his lips, he noticed a tingling sensation in them. The roof of his mouth, and the insides of his cheeks felt like they were coated in something oily and thick. He thought he detected a few bumps or small sores forming there as well. He needed a drink of water.

All thoughts of making excuses to his parents were forgotten. He rushed to the back door. His stomach began to cramp and clench. Something must have been wrong with the gummys. He was glad that he’d eaten only one.

Unsteady on his feet, he tripped going up the steps. He clung to the railing to stay upright. Almost there. As he reached for the door knob, his gut made an unsettling gurgling noise. He wondered if he was going to throw up. He stood at the door, and waited When it seemed he was going to keep everything down, he let himself inside.

His was mouth feeling all wrong. The sores were larger, and had developed hard sharp centers that caught on his tongue. He tried to call out to his parent, but all he could do was make a few pathetic clicking sounds.

His stomach clenched so strongly he was forced to his knees. Down on all fours, he started to crawling toward the front room where he could hear parents.

He managed a few lurches in that direction when a slithering sensation in his belly stopped him cold.

His discomfort was more than just an upset stomach. What he was experiencing wasn’t just a reaction to some bad candy.

There was something moving around inside of him.


  1. OK, now you're freaking me out!!! No more gummy candy for me!!

  2. Tee hee! Kind of craving it myself right now.