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The first Halloween after everyone died was as uneventful as you would expect. I ran naked through the streets eating "stolen" candy, and drunkenly singing "Monster Mash". It's the sort of thing you do when everyone in the world is dead and you've lost everything that matters. Of course there is no you. There's only me. There's only ever me; the one the sickness left behind to suffer.

The second Halloween after everyone died I was planning on killing myself come New Year. I sat in the ruins of a rich person's home. I think he'd been a doctor or lawyer or something. I wore his crimson silk bathrobe. I smoked his cigars. I was living what remained of someone else's good life. Then I heard a knock at the door. But of course I didn't. That would have been impossible. Except it happened again. I made my way to the big carved oak door. I slowly turned the brass knob and pulled. A four foot tall mummy stood before me in the doorway. There was a line of other children in various costumes. They stretched halfway down the block.

"Trick or treat." was all the ghost in the mummy costume said before I slammed the door in his ten year old face.

I watched through the blinds as the dead children walked off disappointed. I half expected them to throw eggs or toilet paper. One by one they faded out of the world until there was nothing but shadow and empty air where they had once been. I guess it's true what they used to say about the veil between this shithole and the next being thinner on Halloween. It's either that or I've gone insane. I'm probably not insane. Reality is a sharp knife which I feel at all times.

Anyway as the old song goes the years kept coming and they did not stop coming. Each Halloween the children would arrive at my door in their costumes. I'd sit in the darkness and wait for them to leave. Eventually the children would head off disappointed. I would be alone in the world again. The dead would be dead. No more uncomfortable reminders of lost hopes and dreams.

This year was different. Maybe it's the loneliness that's gotten to me. Maybe I've come to accept that I will be a ghost in the not too distant future. Maybe I just miss the way things used to be. This year I journeyed into the remains of what was once a grocery store. After much searching I found what I was looking for; and carried it home. The "it" in question was a massive bag of caramel and green apple suckers. They were the sort I used to freaking love as a kid. My aunt would give them to me if I stayed still and didn't cry while she cut my hair.

This year when the kids arrived I was standing in the doorway of that dilapidated mansion holding a big bowl of suckers. I even donned a pair of plastic vampire fangs I had found in a closet. The kids came up to me one by one or in pairs. I would compliment their costumes. They'd thank me for the candy. There wasn't any talk of what had happened to them or the world. It didn't matter anymore. Everything was as it was supposed to be. Then the children went away. They were always going to do that. The ghosts in my mind are now my only company. Still there's always next year. I'll be alright.

"Happy Halloween." I whisper to myself as I stare drunkenly at the ceiling. Maybe next year one of those smiling faces will belong to my son. He always liked those suckers too.

Written by Gomez Capulet
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