It was a warm, blustery day in the middle of October. All the houses were adorned with purple and orange lights. Halloween was in less than a week. Children eagerly chattered about what ghoulish fiend they would choose to disguise themselves as while they robbed the local houses of delectable treats. Those of more mature age tutted about how the town has changed with the ever-approaching new ways of the future. Mayor McGriffith kindly reminded all the parents of the festivities which would take place pre-Trick-or-Treating while her toddler son Harry clung to her leg; this would be his first Halloween.
The students watched the clock as it’s lackadaisical hands ticked towards 3 o’clock. It was Friday and they couldn’t wait for the weekend to start. The alarm blared and a great deal of commotion took place as the children raced out into the glowing afternoon sun.
May Ditterbloom rushed home to drop off her school things before leaving once more out into the pleasant weather. After all, she had a babysitting job to do for the Mayor and she would not be late.
She was never late.
Within thirty minutes she arrived at the McGriffith household. She knocked on the large black door of the white mansion. A few seconds later the curtains on the window upstairs parted, revealing a round faced boy, Harry. The door opened and Mrs. McGriffith scoffed.
“Good, you’re here.” She said, then opened the door up more to let her inside.
“Now, Harry’s up in his bedroom, and bedtime is at eight. No TV.” Mayor McGriffith explained, as she showed May around the large house.
“Oh, and the mail needs to be fetched. Do I make myself clear?” She asked, putting on her coat.
“Crystal.” May smiled.
“Alright. I’ll be home around midnight.” Mayor McGriffith let herself out of her own house. The night went on as normal, Harry and May played Candy Land, and hide-and-go-seek, and all sorts of other fun activities. Finally, at 8:00, it was time for little Harry to go to bed.
“Goodnight, Harry. Sweet dreams.” May said as she finished tucking him in.
“Night night.” Little Harry replied, cuddling tight under the covers. May smiled and shut the bedroom door behind her. She walked down the elegant glass stairs, and made her way to the living room. She plopped herself down on the gray couch and flipped mindlessly through the TV until she found a movie. It was a horror movie, Scream to be exact, not a particularly scary movie. It was well after the witching hour, the movie was well over, and Mrs. McGriffith had yet to show.
She was over two hours late.
May had long since turned on other movies, It 1 and 2 this time. With a start, she realized she had yet to get the mail like Mrs. McGriffith had instructed. She immediately jumped up from her seat and went to unlock the front door. She was barely a few steps from it, when suddenly there were three, slow, evenly placed knocks. She paused, for who would be knocking at such an hour? Convinced it was just her imagination playing with her, after all she had been watching horror movies, she shrugged and waited a few minutes before opening the door. As she expected, there was no one there.
There had been no knocks on the door.
Leaving the door open, since it automatically locked from the inside, she walked down the steep driveway through the quiet night. She slipped through the security gate and grabbed the mail from the mailbox. She began the steady trek back up to the house again.
Out of the corner of her eye, May could’ve sworn she saw movement like a silhouette, but when she looked again, it was nothing but the steady rustling leaves of Mrs. McGriffifth’s mulberry trees. Chuckling at herself for her own colorful imagination, she continued walking into the house. As she stepped up the front steps, the door opened with a slight squeaking of hinges. The wind, it seemed, was also laughing at her. She sighed and shut the door behind her, locking it once more.
There was a sound of light footsteps on the floor above, Harry must’ve finally needed to wake up. Figuring he would return to bed soon, May made her way back through to the dining room where she set the mail on the table.
She made her way back to the living room to finish her last movie for the night. Her imagination was running too wild, even for her. She started to sit back down on the couch, when there were three more knocks. May bit her lip, surely she was imagining all of this. Just in case, she decided to put distance between herself and the door and carefully made her way upstairs. Figuring it couldn’t hurt to check on Harry, she gently opened the door and peeked inside.
Harry wasn’t in bed.
“Harry?” May asked, opening the door more. The little boy wasn’t in his room. May started to panic, maybe she hadn’t been imagining all those things. May stepped out of the bedroom, when suddenly she found herself being slammed against the wall by two familiar hands.
“Lost my child have you?” Mayor McGriffith growled. She no longer looked serene. Her hair was wild and crazy, her eyes bloodshot and glaring. May tried to explain but could do nothing but gasp as a knife plunged into her stomach.
“I told you no TV.” Mayor McGriffith spat and threw May’s lifeless body down the stairs, the blood dripping off of each glass stair. No one would ever know why Mrs. McGriffith did it, for no one would ever find out. May Ditterbloom’s body would be found over a town away in a gully. But if you asked Harry, there had never been a May Ditterbloom. And there never would be a May Ditterbloom. May Ditterbloom, for all anyone knew, didn’t exist.