Each year since 2004 I've had a story to share for Halloween, because it's a significant date for me. This year's is another Tawnholme story, for a little Halloween sweetness...

Tricky treats by Alex Draven


"There's no way we're going to get any trick-or-treater's this year, is there?"

Mark seemed resigned to this new reality, but kind of wistful as he gazed at the decorations and bags of treat-sized chocolate on the display at the end of the supermarket aisle.

"I'm guessing maybe not?"

Kieran had been totally OK with their new house being so far set back from the road that he didn't have to hear traffic from his bedroom or deal with door-step evangelists for four whole months, but the way Mark was fondling a string of spider-shaped fairly lights meant that he tried to soften his answer.

"Well, I guess we can still help Digger and Blain decorate for their do." Mark nodded decisively, and gave Kieran a grin that Kieran couldn't help  but return.

"That, my love, is true. You think they'd go for the Zombie door chimes?"

*****

Shortly after Mark left for work on Halloween, Keiran backed out of the drive, and headed for the pair of out-of-town supermarkets on the edge of town. He hadn't been able to think of a good way of doing the shopping part earlier without giving away the surprise, so he was just desperately
hoping that between them, they'd still have enough Halloween tat in stock for him to pull this off.

*****

It was getting dark by the time Mark was coming home: he'd had to switch on his bike lights, as well donning his usual reflective gear. Dark before six, and getting cold - winter was certainly on it's way. When he turned the corner into their road, he notice the glow of pumpkins on the front doorsteps of several of their neighbours up at tthis end of the road, the driveways were only long enough for a single car. The family at Number 6 had gone full out over the weekend, planting
fake-graves and zombie limbs in their front lawn, and Mark smiled to see that they'd also got green and purple spot-lights going, illuminating their display.

A little bit further down, though, where Mark would usually turn off the road into the elongated driveway that led to the cluster of 5 houses that included their home - a developer's last-minute add-on as far as they could tell - he couldn't help but notice the human-sized "ghost" flapping in the wind, tied to a lamppost that also carried a pointing skeleton hand. The hand pointed him towards home.

The ghosts kept him company as he pedalled slowly up the driveway. The street lamps stopped with the road markings - someone had hammered reflector roundels into the ground along the blank wall that separated the drive from the back of the hospital grounds on the other side, but technically this was shared drive, and not a road, per se. There were more ghosts, mounted every few meters along the wall, each with glowsticks flapping at the end of their "arms". They continued all the way up to the turning circle that linked the five houses - a dozen or more in total

Mike braked, and got off his bike there, wanting to take a closer look. Each ghost comprised a balloon inside a white bin liner, gaffer taped around the neck, with glow sticks taped to the open corners. Someone had gotten creative with this.

Mike turned back the way his bike was facing, and noticed that there were glowing white bags with grinning "pumpkin" faces blacked out on them lining the path from the turning circle to his own driveway. As he got closer, past the spiky bush that marked the corner division between their drive and their left-hand neighbours, he could see that the trail led all the way to the front door, where a pair of plastic pumpkins glowed and glowered, and a skeleton graced the door itself.

Mike found himself smiling, even before he wheeled his bike up the drive, and then leant over to ring the doorbell. Letting himself in seemed like it would be anti-climactic with all this build up. His smile broadened into a chuckle as the doorbell gave an exaggerated "Creeeeeeeeek" followed
by demonic laughter, in place of it's usual chime.

When Keiran opened the door, he, too, was smiling. "Happy Halloween!" he said, by way of greeting. "Or should you be saying "trick or treat"?"

"Trick or treat!" Mark replied. "Although, this is one."

"A trick, or a treat?"

"A treat, you lummox. Thank you."

It really was - Keiran had gone flat out with the decorations, and to top it off, his boyfriend had costumed-up his usual bare feet, black jeans, and fitted black t-shirt with a velvet collar with a silver bell, a pair of kitty ears on a headband, and whiskers drawn on with eyeliner, which was both adorable and a ridiculously hot on him.

Keiran beckoned, and leered the cheesy line, "Come here, and I'll give you a treat."

Mark lodged his bike's pedal against the front step to hold it upright, and stepped closer, before being pulled in for a kiss. Keiran's hands were warm against his chilled cheeks.

"Mmmm" Mark sighed, as they broke the kiss."I hope I'm the only trick-or-treater who got this treatment."

"Oh yeah - although the kids round here don't seem to be put off by creepy ghost alley. I was planning on having more chocolate left over than this!"

"Agh!" Mark shoved at Keiran's shoulder. "Don't bring up kids when you're promising me sex-treats. That makes it weird."

Keiran didn't let him pull away, winding him back into his embrace. "No kids. More sex treats. Check." He punctuated each phrase with a brief kiss."Also, more chocolate next time."

"You are insatiable!" Mark chuckled. "And we're standing out in the street where you've laid on a glowing trail of tempting decorations to encourage people to come by and interrupt us.  You wanna maybe move this indoors?"

"I could be persuaded," Keiran replied, archly, and then, suddenly practical, "You put your bike away, I'll take care of your backpack? If I leave the bucket of chocolate sitting out here, any late trick-or-treater's won't be too disappointed."

"Sounds like a plan."

Mark slipped his bag off his back, and deposited it at Keiran's feet. He closed the gap between them, and sealed the deal with another brief kiss, this time letting his hands roam, making Keiran squirm to get away from chilly fingers.

"Hey! Are you wearing a tail?"

Keiran didn't answer, just walked away swinging his hips, making the fake-fur tail pinned to his jeans swing behind him, chuckling.


~ fin ~

No beta readers to thank for this one, as life conspired to have me writing to the wire, but - here we are. Another year, another story, and a promise kept. My apologies for any mistakes.


If you're interested in reading the previous stories I've posted as Halloween gifts they are:

1) Dream Come True (2004)
2) Thirteen Kisses (2005)
3) All Souls (2006)
4) Favour ($0.99) & two free snippets Soar and Raining Cats (2007)
5) Tradition (2008)
6) Everything changes (2009)
7) It’s not the dead that haunt graveyards (2010)
8) Here Comes The Rain (2011)
9) Mellow Mists (2012)
10) Sunset Starts (2013)
11) Unexpected Callers (2014)
12) Energy (2015)
13) According to Plan (2016)

You'll find these and other seasonally appropriate snippets under 'seasonal : autumn' in the tags list

(If I was doing this as a promotional thing, I would have picked a less popular date, because there's an awful lot of fabulous fiction being released for Halloween - more of it every year - but I'm doing this because it's a significant date for me, so, thank you, everyone who reads this, and twice thanks to those of you who let me know that you did.)
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