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Trick or Treat

By twilightgamenight
Created: 18th December 2020 11:25:33 PM

  1. >Little boy saves up his allowance.
  2. >Does extra chores.
  3. >Collects cans.
  4. >Everything he can for months.
  5. >Practically a whole year.
  6. >Parents keep asking what he's saving for.
  7. >He won't tell them.
  8. >Okay, it's amusing. He's doing extra work and being extra good, so they let it slide.
  9. >Don't say a word about all those costumes they find half-made in his closet.
  10. >All painted cardboard and scraps of cloth.
  11. >One week to Halloween, finally lets it slip.
  12. >Pony Rental place wouldn't rent to a kid.
  13. >Asks his parents to rent him a dozen foals for Halloween.
  14. >Dumps his piggy bank out.
  15. >Won't even cover half the cost.
  16. >Mom asks why.
  17. >"Because I have bags and costumes and everything and I'll get way more candy this way!"
  18. >Mom rolls he eyes.
  19. >Dad doesn't say anything to the kid. Just makes the call and pulls out his credit card.
  20. >Ponies show up around noon.
  21. >Dropped off by surly jackass driver.
  22. >Dad signs the paperwork.
  23. >Winces at the cost, but signs it.
  24. >Driver reminds dad he'll be back at midnight for the ponies.
  25. >Foals mill around.
  26. >Some scared.
  27. >Some trying to act brave by scaring the others.
  28. >Telling stories about what they've heard goes on.
  29. >Why people rent this many foals at once.
  30. >Mom bops those ones on the nose with a rolled up magazine.
  31. >Shushes them and drives them inside.
  32. >Boy starts pulling out the costumes he's worked on for weeks.
  33. >Some don't fit.
  34. >Some are perfect.
  35. >Fillies and colts giggle as they put on their outfits.
  36. >They're literally made of trash.
  37. >Empty cereal boxes painted bright silver turn ponies into robots.
  38. >Worn out bedsheets combine with others to become ghosts.
  39. >One is a pirate, wearing the boy's outfit from last year. Modified, of course.
  40. >Ponies stop laughing as the boy stomps out of his room carrying a whip and pith helmet.
  41. >They're just toys.
  42. >Doesn't matter.
  43. >Not all of the ponies have unblemished hides.
  44. >He attaches it to one filly's belt.
  45. >"You're Daring Do!" he shouts happily, settling the helmet on her head.
  46. >Filly giggles softly.
  47. >The rest follow.
  48. >He disappears again.
  49. >Mom and dad adjust some of the costumes while he dresses.
  50. >Little boys have grand ideas, but no idea how big ponies actually are, or how to make things that fit.
  51. >Doesn't take long.
  52. >Most are simple fixes.
  53. >There's some silver spray paint in the garage and cereal comes in a bag.
  54. >They didn't really need those boxes anyway.
  55. >Fixes are all done by the time the boy emerges.
  56. >Simple costume.
  57. >Black shirt. Black pants. Black pillowcase wrapped around his head.
  58. >He's a ninja!
  59. >Mom tells him to go back and -
  60. >He's got a bag full of flashlights.
  61. >A safe ninja!
  62. >Dad asks where he's got them, but boy just shrugs.
  63. >"Found 'em."
  64. >Makes sure every pony has a flashlight and one for himself.
  65. >A little fiddling later and every flashlight is attached to a costume.
  66. >Tucked into a belt, tied to a leg with a sock, and in one case taped to an overly large shoulder pad.
  67. >Dad laughs and says son should have gone with glow sticks.
  68. >Boy tried, but they all went out a few months ago.
  69. >Starting to get dark.
  70. >Mom has been at the door handing out candy to all the 'little babies' for a while.
  71. >Handing out some to the foals too.
  72. >Sun goes down.
  73. >It's dark.
  74. >Time for the big kids to go trick-or-treating!
  75. >Boy is only 7.
  76. >Still insists he's a big boy.
  77. >Doesn't need anyone to go with him!
  78. >Parents laugh.
  79. >Fine, but only to the end of the street and back.
  80. >If he goes any further, he has to come get them.
  81. >And he has to be back by 9.
  82. >Halloween or not, it's a school night.
  83. >He agrees. Reluctantly.
  84. >It's easy to watch him from the front yard.
  85. >Parents take the candy bowl outside. Sit on the porch.
  86. >Watch this bobbing blob of thirteen lights wobble away down the sidewalk.
  87. >Share a few candies themselves between trick-or-treaters.
  88. >Have a fair share of ponies come by while they wait.
  89. >There's one little girl dressed as a cowgirl riding one.
  90. >Filly doesn't look much older than the ponies the son ran off with, but she's carrying the girl easily.
  91. >Almost easily.
  92. >She walks into the fence.
  93. >"OWWWWWWWW!"
  94. >"Hey! Go around it!"
  95. >"You know I can't see without my glasses!"
  96. >"The Lone Ranger's horse doesn't have glasses!"
  97. >"Yeah, yeah."
  98. >She's not hurt, though.
  99. >Earth ponies are tough.
  100. >But parents give her some candy too.
  101. >Neighbor three houses down has one for a nanny.
  102. >She's walking the kids for them.
  103. >Implies walking them like pets, and that's almost the truth.
  104. >One is too young to know better than to run into the street. She's on a leash.
  105. >Another is riding on the pony's back.
  106. >The littlest one.
  107. >Really should have been out earlier, the child is half-asleep, but the teen was fusing with her costume for *hours*.
  108. >"I was not!"
  109. >The adults share an embarassed smile.
  110. >Parents aren't looking forward to dealing with that age.
  111. >Offer the nanny some candy too, but she refuses.
  112. >Offer her a beer.
  113. >She... hesitates before refusing.
  114. >Share another smile.
  115. >A knowing one.
  116. >Maybe on the way back.
  117. >It goes unsaid, but the understanding is there.
  118. >She has little ones to care for.
  119. >Minutes tick past.
  120. >The street isn't long, but it's packed.
  121. >Newish development.
  122. >Houses barely have space to walk between them.
  123. >Lots of families with young children.
  124. >Almost every light is on.
  125. >Not the Hendersons, of course, but they never participate in anything.
  126. >First hour passes.
  127. >Parents aren't worried.
  128. >They can see the blob of lights bobbing along towards them on the other side of the street.
  129. >Plenty of children moving in groups, but none as large as their son's.
  130. >He crosses as he comes even with the house.
  131. >"Need more bags!"
  132. >Yep, they're full.
  133. >Every single one.
  134. >Ponies giggle and play as he runs inside to get more.
  135. >"They can leave those here, right?" he asks, coming back out with shopping bags and anything else that will work.
  136. >"Yeah, sure."
  137. >Ponies open their mouths and drop their bags on the porch.
  138. >Some a little reluctantly.
  139. >"Don't worry, Dad and Mom will take care of them!"
  140. >Yes, he says 'Dad' and 'Mom' with capitals.
  141. >He's still at that age.
  142. >"Of course."
  143. >Dad nods in agreement.
  144. >He's got plenty of candy left in the bowl to hand out - and snack on.
  145. >Asks if anyone is giving him any trouble.
  146. >Boy is confused until parent nods towards the foals.
  147. >"Oh."
  148. >He shrugs.
  149. >"Some."
  150. >He shrugs again.
  151. >Rushes off with his ponies to hit up the rest of the street.
  152. >Kids start to come by that the adults don't recognize as their neighbors.
  153. >Ones from outside the neighborhood.
  154. >A few older ones.
  155. >A few that are a little *too* old.
  156. >Some that aren't even wearing costumes.
  157. >"About time to wrap it up?" one parent asks the other, already knowing the answer.
  158. >"Not yet. He's almost back."
  159. >It's not even 8:30.
  160. >Boy hasn't made it to the other end of the street, but he's coming back.
  161. >"I bet he wants to enjoy some of that candy before he has to go to bed."
  162. >"Probably."
  163. >He does.
  164. >And to play with his new friends.
  165. >Parents stay outside for a bit, fending off another wave of trick-or-treaters.
  166. >Most are in costume.
  167. >Most.
  168. >Some are neighbors making the return trip, just swinging by to say hello or who saved this house for last.
  169. >Laugh quietly at the little child slumbering away on her nanny's back, tiny fists clutching the pony's mane.
  170. >She nods towards the parents.
  171. >Can't quite hide her smile.
  172. >They wave her over.
  173. >The teen groans and - after a brief talk with the pony - walks home alone.
  174. >Inside the house, laughter and merriment as ponies play with the boy.
  175. >Outside, quite talking between adults, trying not to wake the child snoozing away while the other digs into the candy dish.
  176. >"Ready for that beer now?"
  177. >Some time during the night, the dad had slipped inside to get one for himself.
  178. >It's Halloween.
  179. >No one will care.
  180. >She smiles again, but shakes her head.
  181. >Gently, so as not to dislodge the child.
  182. >"Thanks, but I should be getting back. Maybe next time."
  183. >"I'll hold you to that."
  184. >She's not a bad sort.
  185. >Better neighbor than her owners.
  186. >Only reason they get invited over to the cookouts is because of her. And, well, because they're neighbors.
  187. >Street is nearly empty.
  188. >Jack-o-lanterns being snuffed out.
  189. >Porch lights being turned off.
  190. >A few beams of light bounce along the sidewalks as children scurry home - or on to the next street in the hopes that there is any loot left to be looted.
  191. >Thirteen bags of candy lean against the wall.
  192. >Dad calls his son outside.
  193. >Tells him to take those in while he starts cleaning up.
  194. >Waves his hand towards the decorations.
  195. >Mother laughs.
  196. >"You just want to finish my beer."
  197. >Father laughs.
  198. >"I just want to finish my beer."
  199. >Son shakes his head.
  200. >"I told the ponies they could take that back with them."
  201. >"But isn't that why you rented them for the night?"
  202. >"I don't want any of it," he answers with a shrug.
  203. >Father sighs and sets down his beer.
  204. >"You know, with the money you'd saved up, you could have just bought yourself a bunch of candy. Or toys."
  205. >"I know," the son responds, smiling as laughter swells up from inside the house. "This was more fun."
  206. >He looks back over his shoulder.
  207. >"I hope I can save up enough to do this next year too."
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