BROWN AND ORANGE WRAPPERS
The orange haze from the strings of lights wrapped around the porch of the white house made Till’s lips swing upward. He tapped Nillie on the shoulder. “Let’s start with that one,” he said.
Nillie grinned at him and made a slight cooing noise. Till took that as a yes.
It was Till’s favorite time of the year, and this was the best neighborhood. They had to travel quite a ways, but it was worth it. The people on this street knew how to shop for candy.
Till loved the feel of the paint on his skin. The clumpy, gummy feeling was unusual to him, but he liked it. Nillie let the silky fabric of her dress run through her digits, and she smiled.
“Pretty,” she said.
Nillie’s toe of her boot caught on the bone of the plastic skeleton decorating the yard. Till reached out his hand, and helped his sister to steady herself. She laughed, but it didn’t sound sincere.
“It’s all right, Nillie. You’ll get the hang of it, and just wait until you taste the chocolate. Nothing in this universe is as good as chocolate,” he said with a smile that showed all of his teeth.
Till reached his finger out and pressed the illuminated white button. He heard the doorbell chime inside and waited. He spread his bag wide, his leg bouncing.
“They’re coming,” he said, hearing the shuffle of shoes on wooden floors.
The tall man leaned against the door with the silver bowl resting on his hip. Nillie seemed to find her shoes more interesting than anything else.
“Open your bag,” Till said, tugging on the white plastic.
She just looked up at him, lost. The tall man dropped a few pieces of candy into Till’s bag. He sat it down and helped Nillie. She smiled when she saw the brown and orange wrappers inside of her bag.
“Thank you,” she said.
Till felt proud. She would get it.
They continued down the street, and admired the pumpkins' flickering faces, the white gauze ghosts flapping in the wind, and the eerie sounds of the cackling animated witches. House by house, the bags filled until finally Nillie was dragging hers. The plastic sliding along the asphalt let Till know the night was nearly over. Mom would be looking for them soon.
Till slid his fingers between Nillie’s. “It’s time to go.”
“Want candy,” Nillie pouted.
Till laughed. His poor sister didn’t realize the bag she was lugging was full of the stuff. He reached into his bag and grabbed a shiny brown treat. He unwrapped the tiny bar and held it towards her mouth. She opened wide, and he dropped it inside.
The smacking noises, followed by hums of approval, flowed from Nillie. She smiled wide, and her teeth were an oozy brown. Till laughed. She continued to smack until the chocolate was all gone.
“We have to go, Nillie. Mom will be mad if we are late.”
They began their trek though the moonlit woods, pine straw crunching beneath their feet. The green lights ahead let them know they were close. He clinched Nillie’s hand a little tighter.
“Have fun?" asked Mom.
“Got candy,” said Nillie, trying to lift the heavily weighted bag in the air.
Mom and Till laughed at the cute bouncy thing that was so excited about her stash.
“How about you, Till?” asked Mom.
“Lots of fun. Can we bring two bags next year?’
“I worry more about your arms falling off,” laughed Mom. She tapped him on the shoulder. “Climb aboard.”
The three pairs of shoes belonging to Mom, Nillie, and Till shuffled up the silver ramp. Once inside, the airy hydraulic sound began, lifting if from Earth’s floor to the closed position. They all took their seats as the roaring ignition process started. Their bodies jolted as the ship lifted into the air.
Once among the stars, Till turns to his mom, “Next year, Mom, I want to be a cowboy.”
“That sounds like a lovely idea, honey.”