Fancy Dress

A timid knock at the door.

Trick or Treat!

I open the door to find two Triffids standing on the doorstep. Costumes of incredible detail. Textures organic. Flower heads glistening under pumpkin lanterns.

Trick or Treat! they repeat.

Voices garbled. Unnatural sounding. Lucy from next door is in one of the stems. Her face is pale and without emotion. Playing the role to perfection.

I hand out homemade cookies, which they take and place in buckets.

Are Ben and Sarah home? they ask.

No, they are out trick and treating somewhere, I reply.

They leave without saying thank you or goodbye, shuffling away with their buckets swinging.

***

A loud knock at the door.

It is Lucy’s mother. Black dress and smeared mascara. Difficult to tell if she is in fancy dress or not.

Have you seen Sam and Lucy? she asks. They were meant to be home hours ago.

I check my phone. It has been over an hour since the visit of the Triffids.

Triffids? she says. But they went out dressed as skeletons.

***

A timid knock at the door. Threatening.

The Triffids are back on the doorstep. Their costumes have deteriorated. Fraying at the seams. Dripping in moisture. Inside Lucy looks different. Like she has lost weight from her face.

Are Ben and Sarah home yet? they ask.

No I say. No, not yet.

I close the door without any further interaction. My mobile phone shows several missed calls. Through the window I see more Triffids gathering outside, illuminated under a red moon. They move awkwardly, weighed down by the children they wear as costumes.

***

A short story originally written for Zeroflash

 

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