22 Dec The Thing That Came Trick or Treating – Creepypasta
My wife, Alice, was upstairs in bed dying of cancer, but she insisted we put out candy for Halloween. She hoped to sit by the window and watch the kids in costumes roaming in packs along the street and coming down our walk. It made me nervous, her pushing herself out of bed like that, and I didn’t like the distractions at the door, but anything to take her mind off things was worth it.
After a few clusters of kids had come to the door, I brought tea to Alice, and sure enough found her in the chair by the open window. The IV line running from the stand by her bed into her arm was hopefully buying us more time.
She smiled when I placed the warm mug in her hands, but kept her attention outside. We were only in our late 20s, had been married four years, and the last thing we expected was to have our time together cut so short.
A large group of kids were just turning down our walk and the doorbell would ring in a moment. But it was the direction of my wife’s attention that caught my eyes: a solitary child, or what I assumed was a child, standing across the street watching our house from the shadow of a stately oak tree.
Have you ever seen something mundane and otherwise normal that completely unnerves you for no apparent reason? For example, you might be driving through town, thinking about nothing in particular, when an alley you pass makes your blood run cold. No reason. Just something about it. You might wonder if a terrible thing had once happened there, or perhaps, if you believe in premonitions, you might speculate that something terrible was destined to happen there at some point in the future. There’s just a feeling.
I got that feeling looking at the small silhouette across the street. My instinct was to close the window, coax my wife into bed and turn off the porch light after this group of trick-or-treaters.
But the doorbell pulled me away. Moments later I was letting Darth Vader and Spongebob Squarepants, among others, take candy bars from a plastic bowl. I put on a false smile, waved to the parent standing on the sidewalk with a flashlight…and searched the darkness across the street for the mysterious little figure. At first I couldn’t spot it, but then I did, a tiny thing barely visible. My hair stood up on my arms when I realized it wasn’t watching us at the door. Its gaze went up toward the window where my wife sat.
When the group of kids left, I closed the door and considered turning off the porch light, but Alice would notice, and I didn’t want to upset her. So I went into the kitchen and started cleaning up the dishes in the sink. I had a baby monitor turned all the way up so I could listen in case she needed me. I worried she would fall, or have another seizure, or a coughing attack. The doctors had been bugging us for a couple of weeks to move her to hospice, but I couldn’t even begin to contemplate that. I despise the very word hospice, which implied giving up, and you never give up, there’s always a chance as long as you don’t give up.
Before long the doorbell rang. I grabbed the bowl of candy bars and opened the door expecting another group, but what I saw stole my breath like a punch in the gut. Even now I can only call it the “thing”.
In the yellowish light of the porch it was hard to see it clearly, like its dark flesh absorbed an unusual amount of light. Could this be a costume? Tumorous, reddish skin…a segmented body, like an earthworm…tiny, shriveled hands…a swollen neck like that part of the worm you put the hook into…a triangular head something like that of a leech.
At the end of an outstretched arm, it held a trick-or-treat bag.
“Great costume,” I stuttered. “Ah, what are you?”
The thing said nothing, just held the bag a little higher.
“Well, ok, you can pick your own.”
I held up the bowl, but the thing made no move.
I could feel my heart racing.
Did I hear something from the baby monitor?
The thing peered around me, trying to see inside. All I wanted to do was back up, lock the door, and turn off the light.
I chose a Baby Ruth bar, threw it into the thing’s bag, then slammed the door.
Before I could remember to shut off the porch light, I heard Alice shouting for me from the three speakers I had set up, in the living room, kitchen and bathroom. I ran upstairs.
Sure enough she had fallen and lay beside the bed in pain. The IV needle had ripped out and blood trailed down her arm, drops of it reddening the hardwood floor.
I picked her up…she weighed nothing now…and gently placed her in the bed.
All she could mumble was “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” She always worried about being a burden.
I told her it was ok, of course, while covering her bruised legs quickly with the sheets. I used a red towel…the hospice people recommended red towels…to soak up the blood on her arm. She had been pricked by needles so many times that her arm looked like a battlefield.
It took me about 15 minutes to get her settled. I took her pulse, pulled the comforter up to her chin, then sat holding her hand. The nurse would be here tomorrow morning and would fix her IV line.
Then the doorbell rang again. Shoot, I should have hit the porch light.
“I’m OK,” Alice insisted. “Go take care of it.”
“They’ll go away,” I said.
“Please. I like knowing kids are coming to the house.”
I would do anything to make her happy, and this was for some reason important to her. I ran down when it rang a second time.
But when I opened the door, once again the thing stood there. I stared open mouthed. It held the plastic Halloween bag out. The only object inside it was the Baby Ruth from me.
I felt my blood rising with anger. I wanted to chase it off, but I didn’t want Alice to hear me. I felt unnerved, afraid even.
Was I going crazy? This had to be just some kid in a really awesome costume.
It tried to peer around me into the house.
“You’ve already been here,” I told it.
But the thing only held the bag more forward.
I reached in for a Snickers and slammed it into the bag.
“Now that’s it,” I raised my voice, “Get out of here, go on to the other houses.”
Not waiting for its reaction, I slammed the door, switched off the light, and stood there hyperventilating.
Had Alice heard any of that? I ran upstairs. She showed me a faint smile.
I walked by the window, stopping to look out for the thing, but I couldn’t see it. I took a chair next to my wife and held her hand.
She said: “I think maybe…”, but then she stopped. However, I knew what she was going to say. Almost since our first date, we were so in tune that we could finish each other’s sentences. Even when I proposed to her, she seemed ready for every word, knowing what I was going to say before I even opened my mouth. Destiny is a great blessing and a great curse, and we had been destined to be together, like a lock that had been made with only one key.
What she had been about to say before cutting herself off was, “I think maybe it’s time.”
I could barely breathe. All these doctors appointments, all these months, all the attempts to reduce or at least delay, even when we knew how long the odds were, even when we knew the doctors were running out of things to try, I always believed…I don’t know. Something. I believed something. Something would always give us more time.
The doorbell rang again.
I felt anger like I had never felt before, anger that had been building up, I guess, ever since we had first heard the scan results. That thing dared to come to our door again? I was gonna grab it by the neck and drag it out to the sidewalk, kid or thing or whatever.
I took the stairs two at a time. I didn’t even remember leaving my wife’s room. My cheeks were on fire.
After storming across the living room, I whipped open the front door…and there was a large group of kids in costumes.
“Trick or treat!” they squealed.
It took me a long moment to wipe the rage off my face. I waved weakly at the parents on the street. What was wrong with me?
I grabbed the bowl of candy, and held it out to what must have been 9 or 10 kids. They came up one by one, and with a trembling hand I dropped a candy bar in their bags, maintaining the biggest, fakest smile ever.
Until the last kid held a bag out.
At first I only saw a Scream mask, which didn’t spook me. But my eyes moved down the black cape until I saw those reddish-black, tumorous arms, those gnarled, half-size hands, one of them holding the bag, a bag which seemed mostly empty.
My heart fluttered. Goosebumps crawled up my flesh, and suddenly I felt cold.
“You little…” I growled, ready to chase it off. Then I remembered the parents on the street, the little kids still giggling their way toward the sidewalk.
I grabbed a candy bar, practically crushing it my hand, and chucked it into the thing’s bag.
“Don’t let me see you again,” I whispered through gritted teeth. “You understand? I don’t want you anywhere near my house.”
Without waiting for its reaction, I turned around and slammed the door.
I hit the lock, then the deadbolt. Jesus Christ, what was that thing?
I ran around every room on the first floor making sure the windows were locked and the lights turned off. Then I ran back upstairs to Alice.
She was awake but a little delirious. It felt like proximity to the thing outside had been sapping her strength. No, that seemed crazy.
I turned the bedside lamp down to the lowest setting. Held a damp washcloth to her forehead.
Alice had wanted kids, and I guess I had too, I just always thought that children would come down the road, when I felt, I don’t know, like I had finally grown up enough. But the cancer had been discovered before that time came.
I stood in the window looking for the thing. Thought I spotted it behind a tree…or was that it between the neighbor’s rhododendrons? Maybe it had moved on, didn’t it have to eventually? Not that I wanted to wish it on any of the other families, but man, why us?
My muscles tightened when I saw another large group of kids coming up the street. I stood where I hoped no one could see me in the window, squinting my eyes, trying to spot the thing among them.
I held my breath when they stopped in front of our walk. They seemed to be debating.
At last, seeing that all lights were out except Alice’s second-floor room, they moved on. I watched to see if one figure remained behind, or slipped into the yard, but none did.
I sat in the chair by the bed. She looked at me, a moment of clarity.
“Honey,” she said, “it’s…”
She still couldn’t bring herself to say it, but we both knew. The truth about getting more time is that it’s only worth it if the time is quality. But how do you know the threshold? Some days were good, others horrible. Some days were mostly bad, yet there would be an hour here and there where we laughed together, watched a movie or played cards. Some days she even managed to read a few chapters in a novel.
I took a brush and ran it softly through her hair, which always relaxed her. She drifted off to something close to sleep.
Then the doorbell rang.
Her eyes shot open, and there was fear in them. I felt terrified myself.
But I didn’t get get up. I didn’t look out the window. Instead I turned off the light and sat there brushing her hair, whispering soothing words, telling her everything was alright. My nerves were twisted in knots, waiting for the doorbell to ring again any second, waiting for the insatiable thing that just kept coming back no matter what.
As the minutes went by and it didn’t ring, my tension slowly eased. Minutes became perhaps an hour, and I considered turning on the light so I could read to her from Charles Dickens, which I would do with a Masterpiece Theater kind of voice. But I didn’t want the thing to see the light go on, so I sat there, thinking of all the stuff me and Alice had done together over the years, noting how even the beers tasted fuller and the food richer when I went somewhere with her. I don’t know how long I sat there, but eventually I fell asleep and had been asleep for a long time when I heard it.
A light knocking at the bedroom door.
I sat up straight, immediately alert, my heart pounding into my eardrums.
It had to be a dream, just had to be.
I didn’t move, except my eyes, which went to Alice, and with great relief I saw she was sleeping soundly, still breathing.
Then the knocking at the bedroom door came again. Not heavy knocking, but firm, “tap, tap, tap”.
It was in the house!
I jumped to my feet staring at the door. It was unlocked, nothing could stop the thing from just opening it and coming inside the room. How had it got in the house?!
Panic flooded my mind.
What did it want?
Why was it tormenting us?
I started pacing, terrified it would knock again, knowing it would, knowing it might push open the door at any moment, horrified that Alice would wake and see it.
It couldn’t be a child in a costume, just couldn’t be, why would a child only bother one home?
It had been lurking across the street for who knows how long, then coming to our door over and over, apparently craving sugar, but only from our candy, even coming once in disguise…and had it harmed some child to get that costume?
What the hell did the thing want?!
And then an idea came to me, an ideas so irrational that I shudder to think of it, hesitate to tell you about it. I burst into action. The first thing I collected was the bloody red towel. Then I went to the other side of the bed where a small trash bucket stood. Fishing through it, I found dirty bandages and phlegm-filled tissues. I piled them in my arm.
What else? I ran around the bed again and grabbed the brush, covered with strands of her fragile hair.
“Tap, tap, tap,” the thing knocked again.
I ran to the door, caught my breath for a second, then opened it.
Sure enough, the thing stood there, no longer in the Scream costume, just a tumorous, reddish-black creature with the face of a leech, rows of tiny needle teeth visible within its mouth.
It held out the bag.
I stuffed the bandages and towel and brush into that bag.
The thing looked down at the offering, sniffing.
Then, seemingly satisfied for once, it turned away from the door.
I closed it firmly, not caring where the thing went, and locked it.
Alice stirred behind me. I turned on the lamp. Her eyes were open and slightly clearer.
“What was that?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said. “Nothing to worry about.”
She reached for her water bottle and drank. I sat beside her on the mattress.
“Can you read to me a while?” she asked, leaning her head on me.
“All night if you want,” I replied.