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Trick or Treat
“I dare you to go in first!” shrieked Gabrielle Goblin.
“No way! I’m not going in there,” grunted Gary Ghost.
“Then who is?” Gabrielle whined. “We can’t stay out here all night!”
“I wanna go home!” wailed Max Mummy.
“Oh stop it, Max. Keep your wrappers on,” Gabby snapped, picking at one of her purple scabs. Obviously her monster moisturizer was not working. She would have to get her mom to buy her a new one. Monstergena maybe
“Hey Gary, why don’t you try out your new moan?” Max suggested. “Maybe it’ll scare ‘em outta the house—then we can scuttle in and steal all the candy.”
“Even if they leave, there’s still the Chomper,” Gabby groaned glumly. “Last time he almost got my tail.”
“What we need is a plan,” Gary announced.
“Oo oo, I know!” Max squealed, bouncing up and down, pieces of ancient wrapper fluttering to the ground, revealing bits of decaying flesh.
“Geez Max, put on some fresh wrappers,” Gabby barked, shielding her eyes. “There’s only so much decaying flesh an innocent girl goblin can take.”
“Guys, let’s get back to the plan. We need a distraction,” Gary said grimly.
“Well, I’ve heard the humans don’t like baths and broccoli…” Max began.
“Oo! Let’s have…a bath of broccoli,” Gabby whispered in her drama queen voice.
“Where are we gonna get all that broccoli?” Gary questioned.
“Ralphs, of course. They have amazingly low prices on everything,” Max exclaimed, jumping up and down some more.
Gabby shielded her eyes and sighed. “Let’s get some toilet paper while we’re at it.”
Twenty minutes later, Gabby, Gary, and Max tiptoed into Ralphs. Gary glided ahead, scouting the aisles for broccoli…and toilet paper.
“Man, this beats dust bunnies and toe nail clippings,” Max said cheerfully, munching on the box of Fruity Pebbles. “Kinda bland on the outside, but got some real flavor once you get past the crust.”
“Gimme a taste,” Gabby demanded, snatching the box and chomping down. “Hmmm…not bad, but it’s making me thirsty.”
“How ‘bout this?” Gary cried, tossing her a bottle of something. “It says it’s hydrating.”
“B-an-ana Sham-poo,” Gabby read slowly. “Maybe it’s French.”
Gabby chugged, then choked, sputtering shampoo all over Gary.
“That is nasty. I’ll take toilet water any day.”
“Maybe we should get back to business,” Gary said, wiping himself off with one of Max’s wrappings. “So handy to have a human paper towel for a friend.”
“Right. Broccoli,” Gabby said, determined.
“And toilet paper!” shouted Max.
“We now interrupt you for a special message,” boomed the loud speaker. “We have a special on broccoli in the produce section, located at the rear of the store.”
“God?” Max breathed.
“Whoever he is, he’s got our backs,” Gary grinned as they rushed to the produce section.
“Is this it?” Max cried, holding up a carrot.
“I think it’s supposed to be green,” Gabby said uncertainly.
“Here we go. I found it!” Gary yelped, holding up a giant zucchini.
“Get a tub-ful,” Gabby ordered, holding out her plastic orange pumpkin.
Gary piled the zucchinis into everyone’s plastic pumpkin until they toppled over the sides.
“Hurry up Max, get a move on it,” grunted Gabby.
“I’m comin’, I’m comin’—you won’t believe the wrappers they have here,” Max huffed as he dashed through the aisles, Cottonelle Extra Soft toilet paper trailing behind.
“Great costumes, kids,” the cashier cheerfully exclaimed.
“Gee thanks, mister,” Gabby said, muffling a laugh.
“That’ll be $5.75.”
“How’re we gonna pay for this stuff, guys?” Gary whispered.
“I know! I know!” Max cried, gleefully rummaging through his bandages. “Here we go, this should do it.” Max extended his scabbed blistered hand toward Gabby, then dropped a pile of quarters, nickels and dimes. “I found these under the bed.”
Gabby gave Max a grateful smile, then slapped the change on the counter.
“That should cover it,” the cashier said, reaching for the receipt.
But the trio had already bolted across the parking lot, back to the wooded area in front of the House.
“Alright guys. Now this is the plan,” Gary began, a delighted smirk spreading across his translucent face. “Max, we need you to create a distraction so that Gabby and I can get past The Chomper.”
“W-what? Me? Why me?” Max moaned, cowering behind a large oak tree.
“You’re gonna do it because you’re the slowest,” Gabby pronounced, sticking out her scaly nose.
“Am not!” Max shouted.
“Monsters, monsters, calm down. Max we need you to do this. You’re the only one who can make The Chomper laugh,” Gary pleaded.
“Fine, I’ll do it, but I get three more Reese’s Pieces than Gabby,” demanded Max.
“Great. Max, once The Chomper is distracted, Gabby and I will go around the House. There has to be a back door. Go, go, Gadget!”
Gabby gave him a weird look. The three monsters set off toward The House.
“Okay Max, here you go. There’s The Chomper,” Gabby squeaked.
“Well, go on then, go!” Gabby cried, shoving Max toward the yard and scrambling behind the tree for safety.
Max stood alone in the front yard. Through the thicket, he could see The Chomper. It lay chained to its dog house, a tiny teacup of a thing. Max trembled, shaking in his wrappers, then tiptoed forward. Suddenly, The Chomper’s eyes snapped open.
Max gasped. It was the sound of Death, rolling over him like a Hittite chariot.
“Max! Our prayers are with you!” Gabby shrieked from behind the tree.
At a loss, Max did what he did best. He danced…to his own rendition of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This.”
“Doo doo doo doo, doo doo, doo doo—can’t touch this!” Max sang, gyrating and convulsing.
The Chomper looked at Max confused, not sure what to make of this peculiar sight. Was that a…break dancing mummy?
And then, the mummy’s tune started to get to him. His tail started to twitch, then his butt, and pretty soon…he was full-on dancing. Gabby and Gary looked on from behind the tree, their rotting mouths agape. They knew this was their one chance. Dashing across the yard, they raced to the back door until they lay against it, panting.
“Thank God we made it,” Gary puffed.
“I know. That was a lot of work,” Gabby exclaimed. “So, now what?”
“Well, now it’s time to put the broccoli in the bath water,” Gary said.
They looked around.
“Where is the broccoli?” Gary squeaked.
Gabby stared at him in horror. “We can’t go back now,” Gabby said miserably.
“I guess we’re just gonna have to wing it.”
“How does this work?” Gary murmured, poking at the lock and staring at the door in confusion. “Hmm…what if I…?”
Gary body slammed himself right through the door. “Gabby! Gabby! Help me! I’m in the house with The Humans!”
“Gary! Gary! I’m out here all alone! What if The Chomper gets me?” Gabby moaned.
Gary took a deep breath, then stared at the shiny round metal thing on the door. He was sure this was the key to everything. He reached for it, half expecting it to zap him with an electrical shock, but instead, it just felt cold…just like him!
Gary tapped it.
He prodded it once more. Nothing.
Finally, he bit down on the metal, gnawing and twisting it until...click!
The door swung open, revealing Gabby rocking on the ground in a weeping ball. She looked up, her eyes white with fear. “Gary?”
Gabby leapt up and embraced her friend, only to fall right through.
“Sorry, I keep forgetting.”
“It’s okay, it just tickles.”
Gabby and Gary clutched hands and slowly entered The Lair.
Meanwhile, Max wasn’t doing too well. His wrappers were drenched in sweat.
“Doo…doo…doo..doo…” he mumbled miserably.
If anyone said the phrase “can’t touch this” to him, he might just have to club them.
The Chomper, on the other hand, was having the time of his life. Usually he was bored out of his mind, chasing balls and gnawing bones, but this was actually something vivifying.
“Hey Max, can you do that part again where you spin on your head and do the helicopter?”
“Anything you want, Chomper,” Max groaned.
Gabby and Gary were speechless with fright.
“I think we’re in the torture room,” Gabby whispered. “Look at all those knives.”
“Shhhh, don’t say anything,” Gary said in a hushed voice. “You wouldn’t want them to get out The Blender.”
Gabby’s eyes widened. “Let’s get outta here, Gary. The candy’s just not worth it.”
“No, we’ve come this far. It’s too late to go back,” Gary said grimly. “We have to ransack The House, ever vigilant not to alert The Humans.”
“Fine,” Gabby muttered. “I’ll take The Nursery with The Baby; you take The Torture Chamber.”
“Fine,” Gary grunted as he carefully creaked open a cabinet with his teeth. Gabby slowly trudged up the stairs, trying to remind herself of the delicious peanut buttery taste of Reese’s Pieces, his favorite Halloween candy.
Gabby and Gary froze as the noise of rumbling feet echoed through The House.
Gabby darted back down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Gary was huddling behind a pot of spaghetti. A monstrous Human lumbered down the creaking steps, a bowl of something in his hands.
Gabby’s purple blood pulsed. What was the Human up to?
“TRICK OR TREAT!” sang three little kids dressed as a goblin, a ghost, and a mummy. The human pulled out the bowl from under his arm and dolloped great handfuls of something into each of the little kids’ plastic orange pumpkins.
What was it? Was that the chocolatey melty peanut buttery scent of Reese’s Pieces?
Gary and Gabby looked at each other in disbelief. After all this, they just had to ring the doorbell for candy?