What I am about to tell you I have never told anyone before, because I know that no one would believe it. The story begins on Halloween night when I was eleven years old. A few of my friends and I were trick-or-treating in the neighborhood where we lived, ringing doorbells and holding out our paper bags waiting for the treats to be deposited. Lollypops, caramels, bubble gum, and minature chocolate bars were filling our sacks. We were having a good time when we decided to go to the other side of our small town and try our luck over there. We had heard that one residence over there was giving out large popcorn balls as treats. We wanted some of that action.

     We did not know that part of town very well, but we did recognize most of the streets. Main, Oak, and Second Streets, Jefferson Alley, we walked them all begging for treats. One street seemed darker than the others that October night, looked a little spooky too. It even had a spooky name, Snakeskin Hollow Road. Our imiginations ran wild when we saw the street sign. Snakeskin Hollow Road, none of us little goblins had ever heard of the road before. Visions of witches, headless horsemen, and other horrors entered our heads.  All of the houses on that road were dark, I should say all but one. The house at the end of the road had a porch light on and a jack-o-lantern smiling from the tree stump in the front yard. We walked straight toward that house, hopeing that it was the one with the popcorn ball treats. As we approached the house we became aware of its poor condition. It was old, very old. One of the shutters on an upstairs window was dangling, ready to fall off. The house had almost no paint left on it, and what was left would flake off when you touched it. A spooky house on a spooky road, it was indeed. We were all a little afraid, but of course would not admit it.

     There was no doorbell, we knocked on the door. Immediately the door began to open. It made a creaking sound, just like spooky houses in the movies make. An old, stooped over lady appeared, looked right at us and whispered  "I've been waiting for you boys."  Waiting for us?  Did she know we were comming?  My heart was pounding. "Trick-or-treat" we said in unison, barely able to get the words out. Those words  "I've been waiting for you boys"  stuck in my head. I had one foot planted, waiting for the treat, and the other foot ready to take off running.

     The old lady took something out of the worn apron she was wearing and put it in the bottom of my sack. Then, without saying anything, she nodded in our direction, closed the door, and turned out the porch light.I believe that we were her first, and only, visiters that night. She did not put anything into the other boys sacks, just mine. I was scared to death.

     We all took off running, ran all the way back to Jefferson Alley, where we huddled under the safety of a street light.  "See what she put in your bag" the other boys were saying. "What did she give you?"  Well, I was willing to bet right then and there that it wasn't a popcorn ball.

     I set the bag down trying to get up the courage to look inside.  Then the bag started to move. Just a little at first. Then it started to move like there was something inside, something trying to get out. A bird, a large black crow. It came out of the bag, flew up, and landed on the street sign. The crow looked right at us, seemed to nod its head, then flew away.  But here is the strangest part of the whole story. Each one of us boys swore that we heard the crow say something as it flew away. I honestly believe that I heard it say  "I've been waiting for you boys."   That was the last year I ever went trick-or-treating.






"I've been waiting for you boys." 



 This is the house on Snakeskin Hollow Road.


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