Trick Or Treat


It had been a hellish week.  No move I made seemed to have been the right one.  I was mentally and physically bankrupt.  My psychological credit cards were maxed out.  That’s life.  Sometimes you eat the bear…other times the bear eats you.  Tonight, I felt chewed.

I pulled into my driveway about 30 minutes before dusk.  That’s when it hit me.  Tonight was Halloween.  I let out a tired groan.  All I wanted was to have a California night… a bottle of cold white wine and a two hour jacuzzi.  I checked my watch.  If I hurried, I could actually get wet and half toasted before the first of the goblins rang my door whining, “Trick or treat.”

It didn’t take long to make it to the tub.  And since I was on a tight schedule, I skipped right past the wine and went straight for the Jack Daniels.  No need for a pistol when I had a cannon.

I felt the warm, wet bubbles wash over my shoulders and took down the liquid stress reliever in one shot.  That made everything much better.  I ducked my head under the water and decided to double-fortify.  I had another shot.

I leaned my head back and closed my eyes.  Just five minutes of relaxation.  That’s all I needed.

I awoke with a start, the incessant ringing of the doorbell in my ears.  It was dark.  The full moon was rising over the Hollywood Hills, dripping crimson as if decked out especially for Halloween.

“Damn it,” I muttered, “I could have drowned.”

I made it to the front door in time to find two ghoulish  figures decked out in their finest costumes.  The little boy, no older than five or six, was a miniature Darth Vader.  Beside him was a tiny witch.  Brother and sister, I assumed.

“Trick or treat,” they cried in unison.

I reach for the bag of candy I had purchased earlier and put on my happiest face.  “Here’s some treats for you.”

Darth looked askance at my meager offering.  “What’s this bullshit?” he asked.

“What’s the matter with you?”  I was dumbfounded.  “Neither of you can be more than six years old and you’re using that kind of language.”

The little girl gave me a wicked grin.  “You’re wrong, Gerry.  We’re timeless.”

She waved her wand and suddenly everything turned black.  Just as suddenly, I found myself in a dark dungeon, lit only by torches stuck in the rock walls.

A huge, hideous crone, dragging one leg in a slow shuffle, approached me.  A large, crooked beak hung in the middle of her face.  Warts covered her cheeks.  Saliva dripped from a slash that passed for her mouth.  Her eyes flashed fire.

“Happy Halloween,” she muttered.

The stench from her breath washed across my face and I almost puked.

“Who are you?”  I stammered.

She showed me her yellow, pointed teeth.  “The Wicked Witch of the West.”

I was doomed.

“You’re here with your friends to pay for your sins.”

I looked around.  Burt Baumgartner was changing the tires on an 18-wheeler.

“What’s his crime?”  I asked.

“Having too many cars.”

There were more.  Richard Palmese was eating pounds of unleavened bread because he dropped out of the priesthood.  Brenda Romano was being kept apart from Chris Lopes.  John Boulos and Phil Costello were being forced to grow hair.

“They’ve all been bad and now they’re paying for their sins,” The witch cackled.

I saw Andrea Ganis wearing rags.  “Why is she dressed like that?”  I questioned.

“She’s been way too fashionable,” the witch replied.

Garnett March was doing the bat spin, Michael Plen was being forced to work an easy record, Dale Connone was shining shoes and Ron Geslin was only allowed to answer questions with one sentence.

“This is Hell!”  I cried.

“Wait until you see what’s in store for you,” the witch said in a menacing tone.

I shivered with dread.

“Bring her out!” the witch shouted.  Standing before me her head bowed was Cindy Crawford.  She was dressed in a sheer gown that barely concealed her body.

“Take her to the bedroom and do with her as you wish,” the witch said.

I was astounded.  “That’s my punishment?”

“No, fool,”  the witch snarled, “it’s hers.”

I awoke in the jacuzzi, my nose barely above the water.  I took a deep breath.  It had all been a dream.  Then I heard the doorbell.

“No way,” I muttered.  “They can set my house on fire before I open the door.”

Then I thought about the dream and Cindy Crawford.

“Hold on,” I shouted. “I’m coming.”

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