Mason stood at the top of the stairs, his little brother waiting patiently beside him. The stomping of their mother’s echoed throughout the house as she got ready for her Halloween party. He leaned over and craned his neck to look up to the top of the stairs.
“Mom, I think he’s old enough to go by himself this year.”
“Mason he’s nine years old. I do not want Toby to be walking around by himself in the middle of the night on Halloween!”
Mason let out a long sigh and looked down at his brother. His brother decided to be a cowboy for Halloween so his Mom had forced Mason to dress up in an outlaw costume. Toby had his cowboy boots, vest, hat, and toy pistol on. Mason had a similar outfit on, the only difference was that Toby was in white and Mason wore black.
“Mom, I’m 16 years old and too old to be wearing a costume for Halloween.” Mason took the mask and hat off and threw them on the floor.
“Mason if you don’t go with him then he isn’t allowed to go at all.” He looked down at his little brother who had begun his sad puppy dog routine. First he held his hat under his chin, then his eyes grew wide and finally his lip quivered madly.
“Don’t give me that look. What, you want your older brother to babysit you all night?” Toby’s expression changed in an instant.
“No, but it’s better than not going at all. Look, if you go with me I’ll split my candy with you. 70/30 in my favour.” Mason thought about it for a moment, then looked back to his younger brother.
“Make it 60/40 and you got yourself a deal.” His little brother put his hat back on his head and looked up to Mason.
“Well partner, looks like we got a deal. Shake on it?” he spoke in a southern accent.
Toby spat onto his palm and stuck out his right hand. Mason spat into his own hand, gripped his brother’s hand and shook it.
Their mom stood at the top of the long staircase watching them. “I’m glad you two were able to come an arrangement, now Mason I want you to take him around the block and then home. He has to be in bed by 9:00. Understand?”
“Yup I got it.” Mason hesitantly put put his black cowboy hat back on his head and smiled to his younger brother. “Let’s go Toby.” Their mom kissed them on the foreheads and started out the door to her car.
The two of them stood in the driveway waiting for their mom to leave. She rolled down the window of the car and looked them over, “Have fun boys, I’ll be home by 10:30. Mason remember, Toby is going to be in bed by 9:00.”
“Yes mom, we’ll be home as soon as possible.” Their mom, satisfied with his answer rolled up the car window, and pulled out of the driveway. They began to wave goodbye as she drove away. “Ok, she’s gone.” Mason and Toby ran back to the house. “Good job bro, I think that was your best performance yet.”
“Thanks Mason, you weren’t bad yourself.”
“Why thank you. Hey where’s the bag?” Mason started rummaging around the closet for their bag o’tricks as they liked to call it.
“It’s upstairs under my bed. Here I’ll go grab it By the way the water balloons are under the sink, you just have to fill them up.” Toby turned and ran up the stairs to get his bag. Mason checked the time on his phone.
“Alright, grab whatever else we need. We’re outta here in 15 minutes.” Mason went into the kitchen, reached under the sink and began filling up balloons. Mason and Toby had begun their own halloween tradition. You see they prefered tricks over treats, and over the past couple years they became masters of tricks. Mason filed up the last water balloon and carried the bucket into the front hallway. Toby came running downstairs with a large hockey bag slung over his shoulder. Mason checked his watch, “We got 5 minutes, is everything here?” Toby zipped open the bag and threw the flap open.
“I got 12 rolls of toilet paper, 15 stink bombs, 2 lighters, 2 very scary masks, a bottle of fake blood, 8 water balloons, some fake dog poop and fake puke. I believe that’s everything.”
Mason stood over his brother and looked over the bag.
“Actually Toby we are missing something, I saved up and ordered it online. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion.” Mason grinned to his brother and ran up the stairs into his own bedroom. He reached under his bed and pulled out a large cardboard box, still unopened. He lifted the heavy box and ran down the stairs two at a time. Toby’s eyes widened at the site of the box.
“Mason, what is it?” Mason put the box on the floor between them and pulled a Swiss Army knife out of his back pocket. He began to slice the box open with the knife. “Mason, please tell me what is in the box.” Mason cut the last strip of tape and opened the box.
“It’s a potato cannon. It runs on CO2 and shoot potatoes up to 60 feet.” Toby’s jaw dropped and slowly walked up to Mason.
“Can, can I hold it?” Toby began his puppy dog routine again. Mason clutched the cannon in his hands, please?”
“Ok, you can hold it. Just be careful it’s loaded and has a hair trigger. Don’t want mom coming home to a big hole in the wall.” He slowly lowered the cannon to his younger brother, cringing slightly as Toby grabbed it. He could barely lift his arms.
Mason, this is awesome. I can’t believe you bought this.”
“Yeah this Halloween will be awesome. Just make sure you’re careful with that thing.”
“Don’t worry Mason nothing is going to happen.” He lifted the cannon up, pointing it at towards the door. The door handle turned, and the door began to creak open. Their mom had come home early, Mason went to grab the cannon from his brother but it was too late. The door was wide open, but what happened next was even worse. Mason had heard the loud BANG and saw the potato fly out of the cannon, but he couldn’t believe it. The potatoes were rotten so they couldn’t really hurt anyone, but from the look on his mom’s face and the rotten mush dripping from her chin, he thought she would disagree.
Mason dropped to his knees and saw his short life flash through his eyes, “Oh crap.”