I'm delighted to post the winning entry from Richard Bunce in my Halloween short story comp.
"Is everything ready?"
"Yes. I've made some eyeballs-on-a-stick, and some chocolate dog-poos. I just need to mix up some spooky potions and blacken my front teeth."
"Well, be nice to them, we don't want eggs thrown at our windows again."
"Keep an eye on the front gate will you, while I get ready."
Mike stood at the window, and watched a small child with a sheet over her head approach the door. The child's mother waved from the road.
"Hurry up Janet! First child coming! It's Ellie's kid from no 7."
"On my way!"
The door bell rang and Mike heard a buzz of witchy conversation and pretend screams as the child collected her haul of scary sweets.
"That went well, but Ellie hadn't taken much trouble over the costume. Honestly, a sheet with eye holes in it isn't very imaginative."
"Well here's another one. Looks like Ben from across the way. I think he's supposed to be a vampire."
"Oh yes, I can see he's made an effort. I like the fangs and the fake blood."
Janet answered the door and handed over another sugar-heavy ransom.
After a few more visits the store of treats was completely gone.
"I hope we don't get any more callers now, or I'll have nothing to give them."
"Better turn the lights out then, and pretend we're not here."
A vehicle drew up outside the house. Flashing lights from its roof gave an eerie strobe effect in the darkened living room.
"What's going on out there, Mike?"
"I don't know. It's an ambulance."
Two paramedics helped a man get out and handed him his crutches. He was swathed in bandages from head to toe. Just a small area of his craggy face was visible.
"I don't know who it is, but they've really made an effort with the costume."
"It's probably the Henderson kids, they're always showing off. I suppose I'd better answer the door."
A moment later there was a piercing scream from the hallway.
"Darling! What is it?" Mike rushed to investigate and found Janet collapsed on the floor, with one of the paramedics examining her.
The other paramedic handed Mike a letter.
"I was just explaining to your wife. This is Mr Krueger. He's been discharged from hospital and he'll be convalescing in your spare bedroom."