It was Halloween night, still early yet. Children ran down the streets, glittery fairy wings flapping, Jack-O-Lantern trick-or-treat bags swinging. Little superheroes and cowboys and witches and princesses and vampires with small black capes fluttering in the slight breeze, all scampered down sidewalks and onto porches, parents waiting in their cars by the sidewalk. Grinning teeth were seen and "Happy Halloweens" were heard. The street was filled with merriment and sound.

Then it began to get darker. The children went home with their parents to sort their candies and watch spooky movies. Street lamps flickered. Raucous laughter can be heard. An owl hoots in an unknown tree. Shadows grew dark and had lives of their own. Ghostly footsteps were heard.

Dark figures walked down the streets, swinging bags and smoking cigarettes. Forms passed under the streetlights, showing gaudily painted faces and parody career women, and black-cloaked figures with gruesome details and sharp horns.

A boy was among them. He had been waiting for the young children to go to bed before he went out in his costume. He saw other teenagers out as well, but they didn't seem to be trick-or-treating. Some had rolls of toilet paper, others cigarettes. Some kicked garbage cans over.

But he, he was here for the candy. The Reese's, the Crunch bars, the M&Ms, the Blow Pops with the gum centers, the candy corn, the jellybeans, the mini chocolate bars, the Starbursts, the Skittles, the Sour Punch Kids ; everything was heaven.

He was on his front doorstep, gazing down the street. He stood in a sheet with eye holes, listening. He could hear his mother yelling inside, probably arguing with his father or one of his brothers; they were always arguing, lately.

He sighed and made his way down the street past the cigarettes and toilet paper and garbage cans, and to the houses that still had porch lights on. He waited for a group to go up before he went. He came up behind them, but they took no notice, and grabbed a piece of candy, dropping it in the pillow case he was using to hold the candy.

He went to the next house. A bowl was set out. "Please Take One." He snatched a piece and put it into the bag.

He went to the next one.

And the next one.

And the next one until he had gone out of the street, out of the neighborhood. He didn't know where he was now.

It was dark but there were bright lights. He was surrounded by pointed horns and long nails, by tapered ears and slit eyes. The shadows were reaching out towards him.

The costumes tonight seemed so real.

They seemed so…lifelike. They moved with the people. Those wings on that girl flexed with her movements, moonlight shone through the orange membranes.

That guy had green scales that moved with his face as he talked to the person with the swinging tail.

Red and gold eyes glowed in the dark. Lights floated in the air, flitting around every now and then. There was a festive flair in the atmosphere.

It was dark. It was bright. He followed the crowd. They were in a forest now. There was a big bonfire. People danced. Cloaks swirled off.

He watched the people dance and laugh and revel. He watched them drink blood-red punch. He watched glittering fangs drip in the moonlight. Eyes glowed like a cat's. Claws grew from fingers and toes. The din grew louder and louder.

He put his hands up to his ears. He was cold. He was numb. His head hurt. It was hard to breathe. He needed warmth. The trees were closing in, grabbing, reaching with their branches. He needed to run. He needed to get away. Something was happening.

He sprinted away from the carousing fiends, into the surrounding woods. But the danger was still there. He ran. His lungs burned. Had to get away.

He tripped. No! He had to get up! He was coming!

He screamed and panicked and tried to get up, but he was there. He was there, stabbing, kicking, spitting.

Fire ripped through him, paralyzing him. He couldn't move. He struggled weakly to get his legs to at least twitch. Nothing.

The man grabbed him, legs first, dragging, dragging over to a tree. Thrown into a hole. Dirt being piled on. Breath going. Lungs weak. Heart weak. Body cold. His face looming above. Then nothing. Nothingness.

Where was he? What was happening? Everything was spinning out of control. Colors were blurred. He couldn't see. He couldn't feel.

He gasped and came back to himself. He was in front of a tree. He didn't know what happened.

Candy, candy would make it better. He reached into his bag to get a piece. Nothing was there.

He opened it wide and looked. It was empty. But he had gotten candy! He remembered! He remembered…

A face flashed in his mind, looming over him.

No. No! No, no, no, no! He didn't want to! He didn't want to remember!

He fell to his feet, images assaulting him. He was going to school with his brother. He and his brother were having an argument. He was walking home alone. He was being grabbed from behind. He was running, breath short, lungs burning. The man was stabbing him. He couldn't get away.

The funeral. His mother crying. His brothers stone-faced. Yelling. His mother screaming at Jacob, Why hadn't he walked home with James? Why? He could have been saved if you had been there! Jacob yelling, I'm sorry! I'm sorry! He couldn't understand why everyone was so hurt and angry; he was right there. He tried to tell Jacob that it was okay, that he was forgiven; he didn't mean what he said in the fight.

Reaching out to touch his brother, to comfort him, only to have him move away. Why was everyone ignoring him?

Halloween night. He was getting ready to go trick-or-treating. Getting sheet. Cutting the holes for the eyes. His mother was humming a Halloween song. No, no that was last year, right before-

He had worn his costume to school. He was going to wear it all night. But then- but then-

He was in the forest again. He looked down at the blood-stained sheet he was wearing. He looked at the tree he was standing in front of.

Oh. Now he remembered.

This was where he was killed. This was where he died.

"Mommy, I miss you," he whispered, "Jacob, I forgive you."