By Rebecca Todd
— There are scary things out there in this world; things we should protect our children from. However, they are not the things children often hear scary Halloween stories about. Children are told stories about ghosts and vampires. Warnings are given that the stories might be too scary for young children. But the real scary things, the things that children should really be warned about, are not usually in these stories. If they were, the stories might go something like this:
The Halloween night was dark and stormy. The wind howled as Kevin headed toward the old house. "Just one more house and then I will be done trick or treating," he thought to himself.
Kevin was no longer thinking straight. He had already consumed three Milky Ways, two Kit Kats, several bags of M&Ms both plain and peanut, and even a bag of those nasty peanut butter M&Ms. He was so high on sugar he had even eaten several of those generic jaw breakers and multi-flavored taffy-type things that come in bulk at Walmart. You know, the kind that even dieting, middle-aged women wouldn't bother to sneak out of their child's trick or treat bag.
So Kevin skipped ahead up the broken steps of the old house and cheerfully, if not a little too emphatically, pounded on the crooked door like a (note: graphic, scary image coming up! Parental discretion advised) zombie smelling fresh brains. He was on such a sugar rush, it never even occurred to him to panic as the door flung itself open and crashed against an interior wall, splitting into pieces and (note: children, do not read!) pooling several large, scuttling creatures onto the floor.
"Trick or treat! Trick or treat! Trick or treat!" Kevin screamed like a screeching (note: horrific imagery ahead! Parental discretion advised) bat out of hell.
Kevin burst into the cobweb-filled, ghost-infested house with a happy, sugar anticipation. "Trick or treat!" he was still screaming. "Trick or treat! Trick or ..."
Kevin's excited cries died in his throat as he suddenly noticed a strange blue glow coming from underneath a door to his right. The glow was intoxicating. Kevin could not resist it. He moved slowly toward the door and pushed it forward. The blue glow filled his vision. He was instantly entranced.
Kevin moved toward the glowing screen slowly. (Note: There are no warnings for the things that are coming ... but there should be). "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was splayed across the screen. Wicked laughter came from the corner or the room, but Kevin barely noticed the wicked old witch. "Come child," she purred. "Come sit and watch television with me."
His candy all but forgotten, Kevin sat. And Kevin watched. He watched Honey Boo Boo cavort. Then he watched "My Big Redneck Wedding." Then he watched "Maury Povich." Then that wicked old witch - she was truly evil - turned on "Jersey Shore"; dear Lord, it was a double episode. The old crone clapped her hands with glee, as Kevin's brain slowly turned to jelly.
When it was over, the witch walked Kevin to the door, gave him a deep-fried Twinkie and sent him on his way. "Gym tan laundry," Kevin muttered as he crossed the rickety porch and staggered up the lane.
"Gym tan laundry," the witch agreed as she closed the door. "Gym tan laundry, indeed."
- Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book "What's the Point?" available at booklocker.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.