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Beggars and Pirates

November 1st, 2010 by the_lifer

Sunday night, Wilhelmina Wellington twitches as the doorbell rings yet again.  A silver-haired Kiwi dame of the old school, she hadn’t thought of Halloween at all until her husband, Walter, appeared, asking “Have we got any lollies, love? There’s the most adorable littlies at the door!”

This is the first year the increasing Halloween nonsense has come to her house in Kelburn and she doesn’t like it one bit. A dreadful combination of begging, hooliganism, and Americanism. Walter has disbursed all the muesli bars, and the mints from her purse, and is now offering the “trick or treaters” digestive biscuits. They turn these down because they have been told at school that any unwrapped “treats” are full of needles, razor blades, and swine flu. Wilhelmina hopes that they believe it, text all their little friends, and leave her house alone.

Thinking of texts, she sends messages to several ladies from her quilt sewing circle. Either they are pretending to not be home or, like Walter, have let the occasional costumed cherub derail them from criticizing the terrifying masked teenagers.

The bell rings more insistently. She can hear Walter fossicking in the kitchen – the greedy spriggans must have decided a chocolate coating was worth the occasional razor blade – and stumps to the door herself. Before she can give them a piece of her mind, two little boys dressed as pirates chorus, “Trick or treat!” Behind them, her daughter, Helena, stands, beaming with maternal pride. “Mummy sewed our costumes! Like you taught her!”

Boarded and sunk, Wilhelmina steps back to let them in.

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