Stupid, stupid, stupid! Why had he agreed to do this!? It was so stupid! Tommy always made these stupid dares and he always did it! No, he had to stay calm, there was always away out if need be, there wasn't anything to be afraid of, it's just an old house, right?

"What's a'matter, Johnny, ya scared?" came Tommy's voice, Tommy in his buccaneer's shirt and his tattered black pants and leather boots and his eye patch.

As Johnny looked at him he realized just how stupid Tommy looked, all dressed up like some mean pirate, but with a plastic sword tucked into his belt and a big blue and white striped pillow case full of candy given by the neighbors, he didn't look like a very mean pirate at all now and he certainly didn't have the right tan, he looked white as a sheet in fact. Johnny felt a little better himself knowing the only way Tommy could look that pale was if he was actually the one who was scared.

"I'm not scared! I'm batman!" Johnny replied, patting his chest with his free hand smacking over the big bat on the front of his grey top, it was a home made costume, his big sister made it for him and he really liked it. She was in the drama club, she loved making costumes, and she'd offered to make him a really neat costume for Halloween so he could be the coolest kid on the block.

Batman wouldn't be scared in an old house. The Joker himself could run out cackling like the crazy guys that sometimes wandered the streets and Batman would just stare at him because he knows Joker's just crazy. Tommy gave a skeptical snort, then looking over at Sam and Billy walking next to them. Sam was dressed up as a zombie soldier, his own sister was in the drama club at the high school to, she'd used her make up kit to make him have dark rings under his eyes and turned his skin all creepy green like the dead guys on the old horror movies. Sam didn't look scared at all, nothing scared Sam. Billy looked really scared though, poor Billy, he was always the runt, he was kind of chunky and a little forgetful. He was dressed up as Spider-man but he didn't look very heroic with his round belly underneath the blue and red costume.

"You know they say this place is haunted by Old man Wilmer." Tommy said, dropping his voice to a low whisper. "They say he went crazy when he caught his wife cheating on him with the mail man, and he shot her, then he shot the mail man, then he shot himself too."

"Sh-sh-shut up, Tommy, that's j-j-just a silly story!" Billy stammered his eyes real big behind his Spider-man mask.

"Oh yeah? Then how come you're shiverin' like you're gonna wet yourself?" Tommy countered, grinning smugly.

"Lay off him!" Sam snapped, glaring at Johnny. "Just because you get a rush outta freaking yourself silly doesn't mean you've gotta drag others along with ya."

"All right, all right, sorry Mom." Tommy replied, rolling his eyes.
Johnny didn't say anything else. He wished he hadn't agreed to go into this old house, even if it wasn't haunted it was really old, what if they fell through the floor, or the door wedged shut and they couldn't get out? What if they ran out of candy before help arrived and they starved? Johnny's wild imagination was creating all sorts of grisly scenarios and he got so caught up in them that he kept walking even when his three friends stopped.

"Johnny!" Billy called out to him.

He snapped out of his delusions, looking around for his friends. "Whu?!" he stammered, blinking in confusion as he looked back at the other three boys. "What is it?"

Sam shook his head. "I'm not going any further man! No way, no way! I'm getting' outta here, I saw something!"

"Oh quit being a Baby, Johnny's up there and he's okay!" Tommy said, now starting to walk forward towards Johnny.

"I'm tellin' you, guys, there's something up there! Johnny, come on back, man!" Sam said in a voice filled with urgency.

Johnny had never heard Sam sound scared like this before, and suddenly he felt scared to even if he was dressed up like Batman! He suddenly became away of the strong wind outside and the way old branches were scraping against the windows of the old abandoned house and the way the leaves rustled with each gust of air.

"You guys are just a bunch of sissies!" Tommy said, now walking straight past Johnny and on down the hall toward an open door. "There's nothing in this old house but us and a few spiders!"

Once again Sam shook his head, wide eyed. Johnny now started backing up, looking at Tommy as he moved back toward Sam and Billy, who was cowering behind Sam in the dark hallway.

Tommy snorted with laughter and gave another smug smile. "Babies!" He said. "Look!" He went through the empty door.

Silence fell within the house while outside the wind rattled the windows and the leaves swirled through the air. Moon light filtered in through the dust caked windows and though it was hard to see out of them, the smiling faces of jack-o'-lanterns on people's door steps could be scene all along the street outside. Those glowing orange faces looked mighty inviting to Johnny now and he really wished Tommy would come back out so they could leave this old house behind and go back to trick-or-treating. Suddenly, Tommy screamed from inside the room. Billy shrieked in cowardice. Sam back pedaled and then spun around.

"RUN!" he yelled, and before Johnny even could think about it both he and Billy were racing after Sam, racing towards the door of the house, out of it, across the yard and down the street as fast as their legs could carry them, and as the three terrified kids ran down the street past other trick-or-treaters Tommy came walking out of the old house laughing and shaking his head.

"Oh man, I'm never gonna let those guys live this down! What a bunch of babies." He said, grinning wide as he shifted his sack of candy from his left hand to his right.

"Oh Tommy…" A voice said behind the pirate garbed boy.

Tommy's blood went cold and his eyes went wide as he turned to see who could possibly be talking to him from inside the house.

"Boo!" said the disembodied voice.

As Tommy the pirate ran from the house, screaming at the top of his lungs, his bag of candy dropped on the door step, loud laughter echoed within the walls of the deserted old house as the door slammed shut of its own accord. High above a full moon bathed the house in soft light and a chill autumn wind whistled through the trees on the chilly night of All Hallow's Eve.

Happy Halloween