Tricks and Treats
Kiyha skipped happily toward a large tree in the distance, candy pail dangling in her paw. Her long Werelupe costume dragged by her feet, but she didn’t care to notice. She had made it herself and wore it with dignity as she skipped down the cracked ribbon of sidewalk. A large hood with two cardboard Lupe ears on top covered her small head, forcing her long Aisha ears to rest against her chocolate-powdered cheeks. The plan was to meet her friends at the neighborhood’s old oak when the moon was high and the sky was dark. They had agreed that the best time to go for candy was when the night looked the creepiest. It was Halloween, after all.
When she reached the tall tree, she leaned against its wide trunk. Joyful screams and laughs were heard from around the entire block, maybe farther. She hummed a tune as she waited for her friends to come, and a wave of anticipation overcame her. Finally, after nearly 20 minutes of waiting, her best friends, Tomin and Soyin had arrived.
As she predicted, Tomin wore his Count Von Roo costume. The Nimmo had bragged about it for an entire month, and gladly he only could wear it once a year. Soyin was wearing a Shadow Usul costume he had made, and it actually looked pretty well done. Usul ears made from black cotton balls stood atop his head, and a matching bushy tail was sewed onto the back. Overall, it fit him very well, considering that he was not only a Yurble, but quite well-built for his age.
“Let’s go,” said Tomin, grinning. White moonlight reflected off his yellowed teeth as his lips moved. “The candies are waiting for us!”
The Aisha and the Yurble followed the Nimmo closely around the block until they reached the main street. Lanterns were lit on the porches of most neohomes and small pets dressed as familiar heroes and villains dashed around, candy in hand.
“I smell the candy. It’s very near!” Soyin exclaimed, clearly eager and impatient to devour his first piece of candy for the night.
They stopped at the doorway of the first house and rang the doorbell many times. The scent of sweet candy loomed around their noses, bringing them a feeling of warmth despite the fact that they were in cold weather. When the door opened, a red Draik dressed as the Snow Faerie stepped out, but their eyes were only drawn to the huge orange bowl in the Draik’s arms.
“Trick or treat!” they all screamed in unison.
Without any hesitation, the Draik placed handfuls of candy in their empty buckets. Then, the Draik smiled as two faces lit with glee until she noticed the third.
“I’m sorry to ask this, but can I have extra candy for my sister? She’s very sick, and she couldn’t be here right now. She was waiting all year, too.” Tomin whimpered in sorrow as he gaped up into the Draik’s newly concerned gaze. His friends watched him with bewilderment.
“Poor thing,” the Draik said with sympathy. “Take an extra handful for her. Your friends can have some more, too.”
Instantly, each of the three pets grabbed a hefty handful of candy and dropped it into their pails. The Draik waved them goodbye then walked back into her neohome.
When they were far enough away from the Draik’s yard, Tomin spoke. “That was so easy! At this rate we’ll have rooms full of candy!” the blue Nimmo yelled in happiness.
“More like neohomes full!” exclaimed Soyin. “I can’t wait until we get to the next house and I can’t wait until we get more bubble gum. I used them all up in a day last year!”
“Let’s stop over at that house!” Kiyha pointed at a white painted neohome two houses away. Garden gnomes dressed in spooky attire were scattered in the front yard.
After only ten minutes of trick-or-treating, they had already filled their pumpkin-shaped candy pails to the top because of Tomin’s witty excuses. The friends were now heading to Kiyha’s neohome to drop off their first stash. On the way, they spotted a young Chia, Acara, Bori, and Zafara dressed as faeries playing with their small candies. Their buckets of candy were beyond full. In fact, they had overflowed. Most of it was scattered around them. Kiyha began to feel steam build from inside of her as she noticed the candies they were playing with were either broken in half or squashed flat. Who could possibly waste such valuable candy? Judging by the silence of her friends, they were just as furious.
“What are you doing?” asked Soyin, pulling his slightly drooping costume higher up his yellow fur.
“Playing a game,” the small Chia, dressed as Queen Fyora, said sweetly. “Do you want to play with us?”
The three friends exchanged glances, and then Tomin nodded with a sinister grin across his face.
“Yes, we do,” he smirked as he sat in a circle with the other tiny pets.
“So how do you play this little game?” he asked the green Acara in a calming, but annoyed tone. It was Halloween; he had no time for playing child games.
“There are a lot of rules to learn. This is a hard game. Are you sure?” the Chia smiled at Tomin as he nodded.
“I’m sure,” he replied confidently.
“So what you have to do is throw candy at your players and if you catch candy thrown at you, you get to keep it. If they catch it, you have to give up some candy. Whoever has the most candy at the end wins more candy, but the person with the least candy loses all of their candy. Understand?” the young Bori, who was dressed as a light faerie, squealed in enjoyment.
As soon as the game began, candy flew everywhere. It was hard to see what was going on, but everyone knew too well that something was wrong, very wrong indeed. Tomin tossed mighty handfuls of candy at the young pets. They shrieked as the candy pelted their costumes like heavy snowfall. Some caught the candy in their pumpkin shaped pails, but he did not give up any of his candy when he was hit a few times. Soyin and Kiyha gathered every piece of dazzling candy that was thrown out of the circle and hid it inside the pockets in their costumes and wherever else they had room to conceal the tiny treasures.
After 5 minutes of fury, Tomin stopped. “I win!”
“No you didn’t, you cheated!” the young Acara argued.
“I obviously won! Look how much candy I have! Show some sportsmanship!” Tomin picked up his heavy candy pail and trotted away. His three friends followed.
“Let’s go to my neohome now and drop off our candy,” Kiyha suggested to a rather smug Tomin. “We just hit the jackpot!”
“No kidding,” Tomin laughed and then began walking in the opposite direction, holding on to a heavy pile of candy in his hands as he let his pail hang from his arm.
* * * * *
“We’re almost there,” Kiyha panted. She could see the tiny strip of neohomes on the horizon.
“I... never... knew candy could weigh this much,” Tomin said, gasping for air between words. His shoulders burned with the desire to completely relieve himself of the awfully heavy candy pail in his sweaty hand.
“Me either,” said Soyin, panting while he gazed deeply ahead. Why did they have to live so far away?
Suddenly, Kiyha stopped in place. “What’s that over there?”
Tomin squinted and read a small, white sign with blue text and an arrow pointing left. “It says, ‘Win free candy.’”
“We should check it out,” Kiyha suggested. “Free candy is free candy, and more candy for us!”
“Let’s go then! If we drop our stuff off now, all of the candy may be gone!” Tomin said impatiently and instantly began heading to an empty hillside, away the row of neohomes minutes ahead.
After ten minutes of walking, the three friends’ hopes began to diminish like a platter of free cookie samples at a busy marketplace. Kiyha pondered her thoughts as she forced herself to continue treading forward. Were they being tricked? She had heard from her friends about mean, vile tricks done on Halloween, and she had laughed off every tale that made it to her ears. Now, the last thing she wanted was to be one of those tales, to be humiliated for months. How could she fall for such a stupid trick? She shivered, and something in the distance caught her eye.
“Is that a box?” Soyin asked, picking up speed.
“I think so,” Kiyha replied.
In an instant, the friends dashed to the box using all of the energy they had left. Once there, they noticed a sign, also written in blue, which said ‘come inside.’ Without hesitation, they pushed themselves through a cardboard door. Inside, on a thin desk, there was a large bowl of wrapped, red candies with two smaller bowls of candy on each side. In front of the large bowl as a note that said ‘Hungry? Please eat.’
Trapped between his two friends, Tomin managed to grab three pieces of candy. It was round and bright red, and had an unusual smell he couldn’t quite his finger on. Once he tossed the other pieces to his friends, he slid the candy in his dry mouth, and within seconds he wished he never stumbled upon the box. His tongue felt like it was on fire, and it screamed for water. Tomin tried to spit out the candy, until he realized the candy was stuck to his tongue.
“Help me!” Tomin shouted, trying to push himself toward the exit.
“It’s so hot!” Kiyha screamed franticly. “I NEED WATER NOW!”
The Yurble desperately looked around, but there was no water in sight. “THERE’S NO WATER! WHAT DO WE DO?”
“LET’S TRY THE OTHER CANDY!” Kiyha retorted, making her away to the first candy bowl filled with blue candy and tossed some to her friends. Right away, she put the candy in her mouth and hoped for it to rid of the increasing burning sensation. Unfortunately, the burning continued, along with a new feeling.
“IT TASTES LIKE TOFU!” Soyin exclaimed in panic as he fruitlessly tried to pull the candy off of his tongue. He didn’t know anyone who could stand the taste of tofu. In fact, no one in his entire neoschool liked tofu, especially his friends.
“SOMEONE HELP US! PLEASE! IT BURNS!” Tomin bellowed and rushed to the door, only to find that it was stuck.
Suddenly, the top of the box opened up and assorted colors of chewed, sticky bubble gum showered on their heads.
“NO! MY HAIR! MY TONGUE! SOMEONE HELP US!” Kiyha cried. More than anything she wished to be anywhere else but here. She’d rather be taking a test at neoschool in a clown suit than be here with her tongue on fire and covered with tofu.
A small figure, dressed as a ghost, now floated above their heads. “Youuu haveeee dooooneee sooome baddd thiiiingssss latelyyyy. Giiiveeee usss yooour cannnndy or you’ll beee trappppped fooooreverrr!”
“JUST TAKE OUR CANDY! GIVE US WATER NOW!” Tomin shouted at the top of his lungs and threw every piece of candy he was holding onto the floor.
Kiyha and Soyin immediately dropped their candy pails. They then reached into their costumes and hurled every piece they could find away from them.
“Okay!” the ghost said in a delightful tone.
They watched the ghost float downward until it disappeared behind the wall of the large box. Seconds later, the ghost then rose above them and poured water out of a fair-sized bucket onto the friends. In extreme desperation, they drank the water from puddles below them and dashed out of the box as if they were being chased by a very mad, mad scientist.
As the friends ran over the hilltops soaked, exhausted, covered in gum, and screaming in fear, fits of laughter broke out from behind the box. A small Chia pulled off a white sheet that was attached to a long stick and hysterically rolled in the dirt as they watched the three Neopets run for their lives.
“That’ll teach them not to mean!” The Chia laughed menacingly.
“They’ll never forget this Halloween!” a green Acara said cheerfully.
“That’s for sure,” a Bori said. “Did you see their face when they ate the tofu? It was priceless. It was awesome that we used hot sauce, too.”
“What will we do with all of this sweet candy?” a Zafara asked the Chia.
“Let’s give it away,” the Chia suggested with a smile. “We already had enough treats today.”
The Acara exchanged puzzled glances with the Bori. “What do you mean?”
“Candy is sweet.” The Chia chuckled. “But revenge is sweeter.”