Happee Halloween

by Charles C. Cole


Halloween Night. Suburban front stoop. AIDAN and BRADY (early 30s), possibly drunk, approach the darkened home of MR. and MRS. ROY (late 40s).

BRADY: Ring the doorbell. Let’s get it over with.

AIDAN: I don’t want to be here. Brady, this is a mistake.

BRADY: We ring the bell, meet the owners, and go. What’s the worst that can happen?

AIDAN: There’s gotta be a reason the front light is out, like they don’t want company.

BRADY: Maybe the bulb blew. I’ll ring it myself.

AIDAN: The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck, I’m not kidding.

BRADY: You always were a chicken. (Rings the doorbell.)

MR. ROY (From o.s., teasing.): Go away. We don’t celebrate Wiccan holidays.

BRADY (rings the doorbell again.)

AIDAN/BRADY: Trick or treat!

(The light pops on.)

MR. ROY: Hold on. (Opening the door, with a small bowl of candy.) Let me see the brave adventurers.

BRADY: Happy Halloween!

MR. ROY: Hello, there! This is a surprise. Where are your costumes?

AIDAN: We’re supposed to be dressed as a couple of suburban dads. How did we do?

MR. ROY: Say, you’re pretty old for this, aren’t you?

BRADY: Really, our kids are across the street at your neighbor’s.

AIDAN: Someone told them this place was haunted, so they won’t come near it.

MR. ROY (Embarrassed.): We get that a lot. It keeps the foot traffic down. Even Fedex won’t come down the drive.

BRADY: Our wives dared us to prove our masculinity, so here we are.

AIDAN: Is it really spooky? Are there ghosts and poltergeists and stuff?

MR. ROY: No, of course not. Somebody died here many years ago but, I promise you, it’s not haunted. Never has been. In fact it’s very quiet.

BRADY (Looking beyond him.): It looks like a nice enough place.

MR. ROY: Thanks. We’ve been here fifteen years. It’s been quite cozy, (joking) once we painted over the blood stains.

BRADY: Blood stains?!

MR. ROY: It wasn’t breaking-and-entering or anything. This is a nice neighborhood, always has been. It was, reputedly, a family dispute settled by gunshots, believe it or not.

AIDAN: Let me guess: the kids wanted to borrow Dad’s Lexus and he said, “No.”

MR. ROY: That’s probably not far off. We don’t know. The parents were found shot, execution style, and the kids and the family car were never seen again.

BRADY: Wow! That’s dark.

AIDAN: Sick, real sick.

BRADY: I’m glad our kids are younger and still know who’s the boss.

AIDAN: Ditto.

MR. ROY: I try not to judge. Maybe if we knew the whole story, we’d take the kids’ side. There were chains bolted to the basement wall. Who knows why? I for one can’t think of a good reason.

BRADY: I bet you got the house for a freaking song.

MR. ROY: Excuse me?

BRADY: I mean: hey, somebody else’s nightmare turned out to be your dream house. Pretty amazing!

MR. ROY: That’s true, I suppose, but I think of it more like a karmic balancing act, good coming out of bad.

BRADY: Do you think we could take a look at where it happened? We’ve never seen a crime scene before.

MR. ROY: What? No. That’s out of the question. There will be no tours.

BRADY: Please.

MR. ROY: There’s nothing to see. It was a long, long time ago.

AIDAN: Fifteen years, is that what you said? How old were the brothers?

MR. ROY: Teen-agers. Did I say they were brothers?

AIDAN: I just assumed.

BRADY: I think you should let us in. We’re coming in one way or another.

AIDAN: We just want to pay our respects and see what you’ve done with the place.

MR. ROY: Please go away. I don’t want any problems. You can pay your respects from outside.

BRADY: You don’t understand: we’ve come a long way. We’re just looking for a quick tour. (Laughing, to AIDAN.) Oh my God, he thinks we want to re-enact that night. No way. Nothing could be further from the truth.

MR. ROY: I’ve got home security.

BRADY: In this “nice neighborhood?” I don’t believe you. Now, come on, step aside.

MR. ROY (stiffening): Look at the blinking red light above the hall mirror (o.s.). You see it? You’re being recorded, ever since I opened the door.

BRADY: No kidding. Fancy technology. You’re a stealthy guy.

MR. ROY: I’ve already pressed the Emergency button. The police will be here any minute so, if you don’t want to be handcuffed and taken in, I suggest you move along.

AIDAN: That’s some trick. We didn’t do anything to you. Why the hardball?

MR. ROY: Because it’s the anniversary of the murders. Because the police asked me to be vigilant. I guess people really do visit the scene of a crime.

AIDAN: Maybe we picked a bad time.

MR. ROY: Unless you still want to see the basement, but you probably wouldn’t be leaving without a police escort.

BRADY: We’ll come back on a less hectic night. Keep your stinking candy.

AIDAN: Let’s get out of here. I think he’s serious.

MR. ROY (snidely): What about your kids?

BRADY: What about yours?

AIDAN (apologizing): He’s kidding. You antagonized him. He doesn’t like to be antagonized.

(SIRENS.)

BRADY: We’ll be back.

MR. ROY (bluffing): I’ll burn the house down before I let you inside.

BRADY: Maybe we’ll burn it down for you.

AIDAN: Let’s go! Brady!

(AIDEN and BRADY exit.)

MRS ROY (entering): What was that all about?

MR. ROY: Oh, a couple of guys looking for a thrill. And I gave it to them, all right.

MRS ROY: You didn’t tell them they were on a security camera, did you?

MR. ROY: Yes, I did. And it works every time. What was that siren about?

MRS ROY: Some kids with a bonfire behind the old McCutcheon barn accidentally lit the field on fire. You could see it from the living room. It’s all right now.

MR. ROY: Just another happy, crappy Halloween! Can’t wait till next year.

MRS ROY: Come back inside, dear.


Copyright © 2015 by Charles C. Cole

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