The Boy in the Devil Costume

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📅 Published on October 4, 2019

"The Boy in the Devil Costume"

Written by Blair Daniels

Estimated reading time — 8 minutes

I hate Halloween for many reasons.

I have to answer the door every ten minutes. I have to pretend like I’m excited to give bratty kids free candy. I have to stay inside, because driving on a road filled with crazy, running children gives me panic attacks.

I plopped down in the chair by the window. Hordes of children in garish costumes ran down the sidewalks, shepherded by tired mothers.

I sighed as a group of children crossed the street and started towards my house.

Ding.

The doorbell chimed, echoing inside the house. I heaved myself up, grabbed the bag of Milky Ways, and walked towards the door.

“Trick or treat!”

Five kids stood on the doorstep. A few princesses, a batman, and a devil. I unceremoniously grabbed handfuls of candy and plopped them in each kid’s bag. One murmured ‘thank you’; the rest were ungrateful little brats.

“Can I have more?”

I looked up.

The Devil kid was staring at me, holding out his bag. His blonde hair shone in the porchlight; his eyes were a piercing, ice blue.

There was something oddly familiar about him, but I couldn’t place it.

“Uh, sure,” I replied. I dropped a few more Milky Ways in the bag.

He didn’t thank me. He just silently turned around and walked off my porch, following the other children.

I shut the door and returned to my perch by the window.

I watched as the four children walked off my lawn, joining a mother at the end of the driveway. Then the group disappeared into the shadows of dusk.

Scarcely two minutes later, the doorbell rang again.

Ding.

I grabbed the bag of Milky Ways and tromped to the door. I straightened my blouse, plastered a smile on my face, and swung the door open.

“Trick or treat!”

A similar mix of kids. Two Elsas, Marshall from Paw Patrol, and a ninja. “How scary you all look!” I said. They giggled and swarmed around for the candy – all except for the ninja.

He stood back from the rest, silently watching. His entire face was covered with black cloth… save for his chilling, blue eyes.

“Thank you!” the kids cheered, stepping off the porch. As they did, the Ninja kid stepped forward. His eyes glinted under the porchlight, and even though his mouth was covered, I could tell he wasn’t smiling.

“Can I have more?” he said.

My blood ran cold.

It was the same voice.

I stood there, in the doorway, frozen. The Milky Way bag hung limply from my hands. There’s no way he could’ve changed costumes that fast. How… how can it be him? This must be some kind of joke.

“Can I have more?” he asked again.

I snapped out of my thoughts. “Sure, of course,” I said. I threw a large handful of Milky Ways in his plastic jack-o-lantern candy bowl.

That’s when I noticed it was empty.

If he’d been trick-or-treating all evening, how could it be empty?

“Hey!” I said. “Are you okay?”

But he had already turned away, running back across my lawn. In seconds, he was gone – camouflaged in the dusky shadows, among the fellow trick-or-treaters.

I sat back down on the chair and stared at the floor. I didn’t want to look out at the swarms of kids anymore.

I just wanted to be alone.

Those blue eyes… I know I’ve seen them before.

And not under good circumstances.

Whenever I’d seen them before, something bad or embarrassing must’ve happened at the same time. Seeing them again filled me with an inexplicable dread.

I ran my fingers through my hair. Maybe he came to my house last year. But that didn’t make sense, either. Last year, I’d been over at my ex-boyfriend Drew’s house. We’d gotten into a terrible fight that lasted for hours, and I’d left late.

I hadn’t handed out a single piece of candy.

Tap.

My head jolted up.

Tap-tap.

Through my own reflection in the glass, in the dark shadows of dusk, I could make out something.

A pair of blue eyes.

I jumped back with a terrified shriek. Then I grabbed the cord and pulled. The blinds dropped with a clatter. Thump, thump. His footsteps raced over the damp grass, fading into the night.

Who the hell is he?

I didn’t have time to think about it.

Ding.

I didn’t move. I didn’t want to answer the door and see that kid again.

Ding. Ding.

But I also couldn’t listen to the doorbell ring for ten minutes. I heaved myself out of the chair, forced a smile, and swung it open.

“Trick or treat!”

My eyes glanced over the trick-or-treaters nervously. A fairy with curly hair, an Incredibles boy with brown eyes, a little girl in a tutu. None of them were him.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Here you go!” I said with a grin. I was so relieved, I gave each of them about ten Milky Ways. They squealed in delight and scampered back towards their parents. I slowly pushed the door closed. It squeaked against the hinges, and then slammed shut.

I returned to my chair. I glanced at my phone: 8:19 PM. The din of children outside was finally fading. When I peeled back the blinds, the flow of little costumed figures was heading towards the main road.

Within twenty minutes, the noises faded to silence. I flipped through a book, checked my texts, and got comfortable.

Ding.

I picked up the candy bag, which was now nearly empty. Only four fun-size bars floated in the bottom. I hope it’s not more than four kids.

It wasn’t.

It was just one child.

He was wearing some sort of werewolf costume. The outfit was black, tufts of fur haphazardly taped to his body. On his head was a hideous mask. The plastic snout was contorted into a snarl, revealing yellow teeth. Fake blood dripped from its mouth, caking the fur on his shoulders.

“Do you want some candy?” I asked, my voice starting to waver. I glanced at the road; it was empty. All the kids were gone.

A terrible dread sunk in my heart. My hand quivered on the doorknob.

“Can I have more?”

I slammed the door shut in his face. I clicked the locks. I ran to the back door and locked it. I closed the windows.

Then I threw myself into the chair and sobbed.

The costume was familiar. Horribly familiar. The yellow, sightless eyes… the pointed, plastic teeth… familiar and alien, all at once. I wrapped my arms around my knees and sat there, motionless on the couch, listening to the silence.

Thump.

I jolted up.

Thump.

My heart throbbed in my chest. I whipped around, looking for the source of the noise. “Hello?” I called.

Thump.

It was coming from the living room. I squinted in the shadows, trying to make sense of the shapes. I could see the silhouette of the floor lamp, near the window. The bulky outline of the couch.

Something stood between them.

Something short with a horrible, contorted face.

“Can I have more?” the voice quietly called out of the darkness.

“How – how did you get in here?” I scrambled back into the family room. The golden light enveloped me, and I felt slightly better. He’s probably just some lost kid, I told myself. I’ll call the police. They’ll find his parents. It’s all just some misunderstanding…

“We’ll find your parents, okay?” I said, choking back the fear. “Let me just make a call. We’ll get you home safely, okay, buddy?”

He didn’t reply.

Instead, he took a slow step forward. As he came towards the light, I saw there was something terribly off about him. His head tilted strangely to one side. His left arm was twisted and mangled. With each step, his body lurched forward unnaturally.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

Silence.

The fake blood that dripped from the werewolf’s snout now soaked him. His pale little hands were covered in the red, shiny liquid. The black outfit glistened in the light. The fur was caked and matted.

“Can I have more?”

I backed into the family room. I fumbled for my phone; it was gone. I grabbed at anything I could find, and my hands latched onto the nearly-empty candy bag. “This?” I asked. “Is this what you want?”

The child didn’t reply. He took a step forward.

“Here, you can have it!” In my terrified state, I threw it at him. The bag bounced off his chest and landed at his feet.

He didn’t pick it up.

“Can I have more?”

“I gave you more!”

He looked at me with those horribly familiar yellow eyes.

Then he stopped. He stood just a few feet from me, bloody hands hanging stiffly at his sides. I took a step back and hit the wall.

I was cornered.

“Who are you?” I yelled. My plan to stay calm and call the police was long gone; I descended into panic. “Why won’t you leave me alone?!”

The tiny black pupils fixed on me, and he spoke. For the first time, he didn’t ask for more.

“Do you remember me?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Do you remember what you did to me?” His high-pitched, lisping voice was muffled through the mask. “Do you remember what you did, one year ago?”

One year ago…

One year ago, on Halloween night.

How could I forget?

I was storming out of my Drew’s house, fuming. Swearing I’d never see him again. Slam – the sound of my car door cut sharply through the night. The engine revved underneath me. The headlights blinked on in the darkness.

I wasn’t paying attention. I was thinking about the fight.

I didn’t even glance behind me before I backed out of the driveway.

Thump.

I never even saw him. The black werewolf costume against the night rendered him nearly invisible.

It was over before I knew what was happening.

When I ran out of the car and saw the broken, mangled body of a little boy in a werewolf costume… and ripped the mask off, to see his lifeless eyes staring back up at me… I didn’t call the police. I didn’t call for help.

I panicked. I got back into the car, drove over the grass, and peeled out of the neighborhood before anyone could see what I’d done.

“Do you remember, Eliza?” The child cocked his head at an even greater angle, as he stared at me through the mask. “Do you remember now?”

“I do,” I choked through sobs. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to… I was upset, I wasn’t paying attention –”

“Can I have more?”

I looked up.

He’d taken off his mask.

The left side of his head was crushed. Blood dripped down his face, staining his pale skin, caking his blonde hair. One ice-blue eye was squashed deep into its socket; the other was perfectly intact. His neck was bent at a horribly unnatural angle.

“Can I have more?” he asked. His lips parted to reveal shattered teeth, a scarred tongue.

“Can you have more what?” I asked.

“Can I have more time?”

“More time?”

“More time alive.”

“I wish… I wish I could give that to you.” My breath shuddered in my throat. “I wish I could give you life.”

“You can,” he replied. His voice suddenly became raspier, darker. “Just give me yours.”

I stared at him. Numb. Weak. My heart ached for the poor, pathetic, mangled child in front of me. It was all my fault. I ran him over. I did this to him.

“I can’t give you mine,” I said. I backed away, further into the room. He advanced quickly, walking towards me in swift, lithe strides.

“You don’t have a choice,” he said.

“What are you talking about?”

His mouth widened into a crooked grin.

“Trick-or-treat!”

I bolted for the door. I yanked the door open, ran out across the yard, screamed out into the night. I didn’t stop until one of the neighbors found me, standing in the middle of the road, absolutely incoherent.

That was one year ago.

In 2 days, it will be Halloween again.

I’ve already seen him. A small figure across the street, dressed in all black. Watching me. Waiting.

Wearing a hideous werewolf mask.


Credit: Blair Daniels (Official WebsiteAmazonFacebookTwitterReddit)

Publisher’s Note: The author requests that anyone who desires to narrate, perform, or adapt this story to any other format, or feature it on a YouTube channel, podcast, or other platform, contact them for permission before doing so. Use of the author’s work without this permission is strictly prohibited. You may reach the author here. Thank you!

Check out Blair Daniels’ newest collection of short scary stories, Don’t Scream 2: 30 More Tales to Terrify, now available on Amazon.com.

Every night, I hear a woman crying in my backyard. Now I hear her in my closet.

Have you ever played “The Flashlight Game”?

I finally know why my patient wears a tinfoil hat.

DON’T SCREAM 2 brings you 30 more terrifying tales for your darkest nights. A sequel to the bestselling Don’t Scream, featuring hideous doppelgangers, terrifying apps, lurking monsters, and more. Read… if you dare.

🔔 More stories from author: Blair Daniels


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