My uncle told my friends and I the legend of the neighborhood: an old woman on Halloween would reveal herself as the witch. She would search all day to find her prey and wait for the darkness of night to steal her victim. The witch would cast a spell on everyone, so they would forget about the child.
My friends didn’t believe the legend, but I did, and the nightmares begun.
Each day of October brought me closer to the thirty-first with the same nightmare tormented me every night, captured by the witch and tossed into her prison. She would chain me to the wall; her hands held a crystal ball. Then the old hag forced me to watch my friends and family to live without me. It haunted my every waking hour.
I dreaded the old woman at the end of my block.
Halloween arrived, and the evening glow turned into a moonless night. I dressed as a silver cat and my best friend, Lisa, was a quarterback from the Indianapolis Colts. Our friends dressed in various costumes from a princess to the Power Rangers standing on the sidewalk. Lisa and I joined them for the evening quest was the same as always, the great candy haul.
After we collected all the candy, and it was time for our game. Lisa was famous for her dares and grand adventures, but this year, I had a feeling I was her pawn.
“So, Lisa, which one of us going to be it?” one girl asked.
Slowly, Lisa pointed at me. “Carrie, I dare you to go to the old woman’s house!”
My friends chanted, “Scaredy Cat! Scaredy Cat!”
Even though, I didn’t want to go and be the next victim of the witch. This was a dare, I couldn’t refuse.
“I’ll show you!” I yelled at them.
The girls whispered and mocked me. The old woman’s light was still on as my heart pounded and sweat rolled down my back. I marched. A dare was a dare.
The sidewalk grew longer and my heart was in my throat. Could a ten year old have a heart attack? Alone and terrified, I climbed the porch’s steps and walked to the door. Her light went out!
The darkness surrounded me, trembling in my tennis shoes, I wanted to scream, but my voice wouldn’t. Chains rattled and people shrieked from inside of the house; evil creatures flew over my head. My bladder ached desire to be release, before it explode with urine into my dress when the creaking door moved.
My worst fear played out before my eyes. Cats hissed, and a strange blue light flashed. Horrified, I stood and waited for my destiny. I longed to run. After all, dare was a dare. The door opened.
A crippled hag slouched over, carrying a steaming silver pot stood in the doorway. An orange glow lit up the horror. Her blood soaked dress was torn. She limped towards me. Tiny teeth decorated her long tattered hair, like the trophies of past Halloweens.
She lifted her head and smiled, revealing her bloodstained teeth, and placed the pot on a table by the door. Her twisted hand touched me; it was cold, like death.
“You’re a pretty kitty…” she cackled.
“Would you like to come in?”
I shook my head. Her cold fingers rubbed my cheek.
“You’re a strong one. I must use stronger magic.” She chomped her teeth.
My body remained trapped by her spell. I wished for my father to save me. Before, I became this witch’s slave forever. The doors slammed shut, clanking of keys as her magic calling me into her prison.
“My magic is working; I taste your fear on my lips. Soon you will be added into my collection!” She bellowed a wicked laugh from her dark soul.
Her fingers played with my hair, her nails dug into my scalp. I attempted to run, but glued to my spot of doom.
“Maybe, I’ll turn you into a kitty, or a poor little girl forced to work in an evil castle.” Her hand squeezed my chin. “I could put you in a dark dungeon and put your limbs in heavy chains. Give you a crystal ball and make you watch your friends grow up without you, and your parents never knew they had you.”
Her long gross nails ripped open my costume revealing my underwear, and she slapped me. Shaking in fear, tears ran down my cheek.
“Is my new slave weeping? You’re going to be fun to scare to death in my Chamber of Horrors.” The witch screamed for delight.
I sounded like a little mouse and spoke, “I just…”
Her evil eyes met mine. “You want what? I know you want to live in a cage to be my cat. I’ll tease you, make you mean, and there are so many games that we can play! Don’t you want to play with me?”
I wondered where my friends were. Why weren’t they trying to save me from this nasty witch?
“I have a collar about your size.” She slapped me again and stared into my eyes. “My husband is a mad scientist; he’s always seeking new subjects for his experiments. We have a table that’s your size.”
I watched her grabbed the pot, her hand reached deep inside. A long chain was dangling from her fist. Her hand seized my wrist, and she tried yanking me inside. Then she stopped. “You’re not a screamer yet, but the Chamber of Horrors a waits!” She released a evil grin showing her bloodstained teeth.
I screamed at the top of my lungs, rattling all the windows of the house. The witch fell on her butt from my powerful wailing. She ripped something off of her face.
“Help me! She’s trying to kidnap me!” I shouted.
The regular lights flashed on and the witch’s face lay by my feet.
“You’re not Jennifer the Short! You’re a ten year old girl! I thought…” The teenager tried to grab me. “I couldn’t see you through the mask. This was a Halloween prank for someone else.” she said, giggling.
My eyes widened, staring at the teenage girl.
“This was a…”
She laughed at me. “I’m sorry, but this is, sure is funny!”
Still standing on the porch, realizing I had been tricked.
“How dare you scare little kids, like that!”
“What’s the cry baby gonna do?” she sounded like the witch. “Take your candy and go home. I have a mess to clean up.” She ordered.
My face turned red, dropping my bucket and charged at her. My stiff legs were sore from standing; I kicked her repeatedly.
“Oh, that hurts!” she mocked me.
I jumped on her, pinning her to the porch. My bladder exploded wetting her blouse and costume. My little fists pounded and punched her face as all my anger, frustration, and horror were release in a single moment. Her arms covered her face from my fists. My fingernails dug deep into the flesh of her arms, causing them to bleed. Swear words gushed out of my mouth, as I called her every name, I overheard my parents used when they were angry at other people.
The sky and the night air filled with the screaming sound of sirens and the brilliance of flashing lights when the cops arrived. Two officers bolted to the porch with their guns drawn. I continued pounding on the fake witch.
“Please don’t shoot! Just get her off me!” she said as her face turned black and blue with blood coming from her nose and mouth.
One officer laughed as I heard them put their guns away.
I recognized the voice. “Daddy?”
I stopped hitting the teenager; his soft hand touched my sore cheek.
“Carrie, you’re safe,” he told me while he picked me up, placing me near the steps.
Tears raced out of my eyes, I said. “She played a terrorizing prank on me.”
He turned to her. “Is this true?”
The teenager nodded. She stood in the light, a nasty odor of urine drifted from her wet clothes, and her batter face swelled turning her into a monster.
I yelled at full force, “I’m not finished with that horrible pretender of a witch, her butt is mine!”
My dad stopped me. It’s alright.” He said and carried me off the porch. He placed me on the ground and smiled. “Carrie, you are a chip off the old block. Someday, you’ll make an excellent officer.”
All my rage vanished,and I beamed with delight. “Really, Daddy?”
He nodded. This was the best Halloween ever.