Terry was a bit nervous as he walked past the neighbor’s black cat. Some of the kids at school said they were bad luck.
Normally he was fine with the neighbor’s cat, but there was something about Halloween that was spooky and mysterious.
“Did you know that black cats are good luck?” asked his friend Elsa.
“Are you sure you heard that right?” asked Terry.
“Yep. People have been getting it wrong for centuries. Can you believe that black cats are chosen the least at the animal shelters?”
“I didn’t know that,” he said. “I’m beginning to wish black cats had a better rep on Halloween. Say, what’s your costume for Halloween?”
Elsa patted her book bag. “I’m going as a cat, of course. I already have my costume ready.”
Terry heard a hiss from behind him. Something had spooked the black cat.
The kids arrived at school, and while it was a day to exchange sweets and treats and have a party in the afternoon, the big event would happen in the evening.
LATER that evening! – – –
“Wow, Elsa, that’s a great costume!” said Terry admiring her cat ears.
“And I love your wizard costume, Terry,” replied Elsa.
Together they walked down the street. The night had just fallen, and it was almost pitch black, except for the small flashlights they carried.
“It’s so dark tonight,” said Terry.
“Yes, it’s cloudy. Not even a full moon out,” replied Elsa.
The kids went up to the first door and cried, “Trick or Treat!”
The door slowly opened, squeaking on its hinges. The kids waited patiently. This was the first year they had been allowed to go trick or treating on their own.
A vampire loomed in the doorway. “Who do we have here? A little wizard and a black cat. Too cute!” The adult dumped a handful of candy into each of their plastic pumpkin containers.
“Thank you!” they cried in unison, then raced down the steps and back to the street.
“Wow, look at the haul we got, and that was only the first house!” said Elsa, scooping through her pumpkin.
“Told ya that this was a quiet street. That big spooky mansion over on the next street might get all the kids, but all they’re handing out is lollipops.”
“Super, Terry, I’m glad I listened to you,” replied Elsa.
Behind them, a rustling sound was heard in the bushes.
“What was that?” asked Terry.
“Umm, not certain,” said Elsa.
“Maybe we should go to the next house?” he suggested.
“Good idea,” said Elsa. “There might be little creatures out at night.”
Terry gulped. “Little creatures?”
Elsa followed behind him as they walked to the next house. “Yep. Like squirrels and rats.”
“Oh,” he replied, looking relieved.
The kids did the next few houses. Their containers were rapidly filling up. It was a friendly and generous neighborhood, but each time they headed back to the street they felt nervous.
“I feel like something is following us,” said Elsa.
“Maybe it’s that black cat,” said Terry. “One time he followed me to school.”
“But, it’s an instinct,” said Elsa. “This doesn’t feel right.”
“What’s instinct?” asked Terry.
“It’s a natural response inside your head that tells when something is wrong.”
As the kids stood in the street, a crackling sound was heard by the bushes beside the next house. They watched as a small dark shape slipped out of the leaves.
“What is that?” Elsa whispered.
“I don’t know,” whispered Terry. “It has a human shape but is small, like a racoon.
Whatever it was, it started emitting a strange cackle, like it was laughing at them. Its eyes glowed red.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” said Elsa. Terry grabbed her arm and pulled her away from the creature.
“Mrrowwwwrrrr!” cried the black cat, pouncing up just as the dark creature was rubbing its hands together. It turned and looked at the cat, then looked in the direction of the kids.
The black cat pounced at the dark creature, but a large swirling mass in the ground opened up, swallowing it in. Then, the mass closed with the cat standing on the other side, safe.
Not quite satisfied, the cat stomped around the street, checking in the bushes and all the nooks and crannies. Finally, the black cat came back to the children.
They hunched down on the ground and petted him.
“Thank you kitty for saving us from our fright at night,” said Elsa. “I have no idea what that thing was, but it’s a good thing that cat was here.”
“Yes,” replied Terry. “I shall never doubt black cats ever again.”
The kids finished petting the black cat before deciding to call it a night. They headed back home, deciding to keep what happened that night a secret.
After all, the black cat was on guard for the entire neighborhood every night.