by Lee Mandel
(Centereach, NY USA)
"Trick or treat!"
Silhouetted by the light of the tea-stained moon, I hovered like a black crow, circling down through the rooftops for a closer look.
Clusters of children zipped from door to door chanting for candy. Some were monsters, others ghouls, even a sunflower. But the one I had my eye on was the witch.
Wearing a midnight-colored dress, she carried a yellow-bristled broomstick. One orange and black-stripped sock slouched toward her square-toed shoes. The point on her hat tipped to the left, not at all right for a witch. I'll teach her.
They crossed the street. I swooped down and collected my prize. Before she realized what happened, she was on my broom, kicking and trying to break free. I held her close until we reached the castle.
Upon landing, I checked to make sure she wasn't damaged.
"You kidnapped me?"
"I'll teach you how to be a proper witch. You'll be the best."
Her face twisted with confusion.
"You are a witch, aren't you?" I asked.
"I'm not a witch. I'm a kid dressed like a witch for Halloween."
"No matter. You'll still be the best when I'm done with you."
"No!" she yelled. "I only want the candy. Take me home immediately."
"You don't want to be a witch?" I made a terrible mistake.
No, I don't want to be a witch, but I'll be your friend. I'm Amanda. If you visit me tomorrow, I'll share my Halloween candy with you."
I offered a crooked smile. "Alright. I'll take you home."
We hopped back onto my broom and I took her home.
Before re-joining her friends, she hugged me.
The following day, I went back to visit Amanda. As promised, she shared her candy, and I taught her how to cackle, like a real witch should.