Carol could not have been happier. Just a few more days to go for the fateful moment she had envisaged and envisioned innumerable times. She would be a mother soon!
Mike and Carol married 5 years ago. Two simple people, with simple dreams and humble expectations from life, who found solace in little moments of joy and managed well in a decent income.
All was hunky dory until one day, after many futile attempts to conceive, Carol was diagnosed with a uterus that provided an inhospitable environment for the sperms. The news seemed to have left a gaping hole in her chest. There were days when the hollow beneath her blank eyes and the will to eat or sleep were of no importance to her. She could feel her world crashing down upon her. Just when she presumed everything was over, Mike came up with other options. The emotional vacuum eventually began to heal as they made up their minds for adoption.
Looking back, she realized what she had gone through and silently thanked God for Mike and his presence.
Snapping back from her reverie, she realized she had already missed the first doorbell. She quickly rushed towards the door.
“TRICK OR TREAT?”
The high pitched voices of adorable little kids filled the entire house as she looked lovingly at the little angels swarming the place in their nicely made Halloween costumes. They were anything but scary!
In fact, for Carol, they were a respite. Every year, she waited eagerly for such occasions to interact with the little bundles of joy that brought momentary colors in her life. Those were the few moments which invariably nurtured her maternal instincts and filled her with immense satisfaction.
Her face had an unmistakable glow after the children left which increased manifold when Mike told her they would be visiting the orphanage next week.
It was a lovely resplendent morning; Carol knew it would turn out to be a good day. Standing before the orphanage which was just two blocks away from their home, she was surprised she had been unaware of its existence till that day.
She couldn’t help but exude excitement as she entered the premises. Mike introduced himself and Carol to the Sister Melinda, who was in charge of the place. She was more than happy to assist. The building was a vintage and a marvelous one at that. Carol rushed through each portrait’s detail decorating the walls, except one. She stood transfixed gawking at the black and white photograph.
Happy to engage her visitor’s interest, Sister Melinda began detailing about the picture.
“These little kids were the life of this place once. A really long time back. They were brought here under the supervision of my grandmother. Throughout the day they kept the entire staff on their toes yet they were everyone’s favorite. My granny always talked about them.
I still shudder as I remember she told me years ago. It was Halloween. The children had been out for a really long time. They all started worrying only after there was no trace of the kids till after 8pm.
The police spent two complete days before they could locate them.
They were found in a house, just two blocks away from here. It seemingly was occupied by a psychopath, who brutally killed and mutilated the tender body of each child.
When the police reached the scene, they found the sinister man lying in the pool of dried blood listening to a recorder. The entire house was reverberating with the sound of –
“TRICK OR TREAT?”