It’s Halloween night on the Concrete Grove estate, and bored parents guide their painted children through the darkness held between the stifling tower blocks.
Trick or Treat; money or sweets. Bruce hates the fact that, despite branding him the local weirdo, these people still knock on his door and hold out their hands for offerings. For this night only, they cease their endless bullying and tormenting and come begging for whatever they can get.
He answers with a smile, pretending that he aches for their acceptance. “Treat!” he laughs, as he fills their Tesco carrier bags with chocolates, candies and crisps. “Treat!” he yells, waving as they tramp impatiently back along the narrow concrete walkway, heading for the next set of flats.
Then, closing the door on the mocking estate and cooing sweet lullabies to his beloved brood, he goes back to work before the next lot of bed-sheet ghosts and midget witches appear.
He selects only the finest of his internet-bought babies to add to the remaining treats: a lethal rainforest spider heat-sealed into a packet of cheese and onion crisps, a small poisonous centipede coaxed gently into a carefully hollowed-out Snickers bar, snake venom painstakingly injected into penny chews.
Oh how he laughs at what tricks these treats can hide.
(c) Gary McMahon 2011