Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor
“We never should have gone trick or treating on our own,” Jeffrey said softly.
“I wish we had stayed with Erin,” Jason whispered. “She was only trying to help us.”
“Do you think we’ll ever find her?” Jeffrey asked.
“I hope wherever she is she’s warm enough.”
Sleep descended on the twins, a dream-filled sleep with mummies and witches and feelings of loneliness and regret. Their cheeks were wet with tears when they awoke hours later, dreading the task they faced.
The smell of toast wafted through the air and the boys walked hesitantly toward the kitchen. There, seated at the table was Erin, calmly eating from a bowl filled with cereal.
“Hi guys!” she said, and her brothers swarmed over her, shouting for joy.
“We went looking for you!” said Jeffrey. “We went to the old witch’s house and she said you were on the couch, all wrapped up like a mummy!”
“What witch?” Erin asked. “The older lady who lives in the big house? She was just lonely, so I stopped to talk with her for a few minutes.”
“You said you were going to take care of us,” Jeffrey pouted.
“And you said you didn’t need me!” Erin replied. “And I think you were dreaming about a mummy. That’s silly.
“When I got home you were both asleep. Mom and Dad scolded me for scaring them and then I went to bed. I guess you got up in the middle of the night, thinking I was still missing and went out to look for me. The rest of your tall tale was just a dream.”
“So, you were already at home when we went out to find you?” Jason asked.
“Seems like it. But thanks for caring,” she chuckled.
Finally, the boys decided it had all been their imagination. They often dreamt alike, and Mother said it was because they were twins. They settled down to watch television—it was Sunday and there were lots of Halloween and Thanksgiving specials to choose from.
“Let’s go for a ride,” their father said after supper and the family piled into the car.
“There are plenty of Halloween decorations we haven’t seen yet,” Mother told them. “It will be fun to see them before they’re all taken down.”
The neighborhood was filled with spooky lights and scary sound effects as they drove up and down the streets—the boys could almost forget the terrifying dream they’d had about searching for Erin. But as the car passed the big house at the end of the block Jason cried out, “Wait! Stop!”
Dad pulled to the curb and the boys scrambled out. On the sidewalk was a pile of tattered rags, exactly where the boys thought they had unwrapped their sister.
“What’s this?” Erin asked. She bent down to pick up a shining object and held it out for inspection.
“That’s one of our butter knives,” Mother said. “Whatever is it doing out here?”
The family turned at the sound of a door creaking open. An elderly lady stepped out on the porch, frowning when she saw the boys. “I see you’ve returned,” she snarled. “I suppose you’ve come for this!”
She laid an object on the steps before going back inside the spooky old house.
“It’s another one of our butter knives,” Erin said. “But how did they get here?”
“Let’s go home,” Jason said shakily.
“Yes, let’s go home now!” Jeffrey repeated, following his brother into the car.
“So, was it a dream or did it really happen?” Jason whispered when they were settled into their bunk beds that night.
“I’m not sure,” Jeffrey replied. “I’m really only sure about one thing.”
“Next year we’re going trick or treating as a family!” he said. “And we’re going to stay together the whole time!”
“Sounds good to me!” Jason responded, and soon they fell fast asleep.
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