The End of an Error

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Still Friday 31st October

It’s Halloween evening. We’ve already eaten. Mei’s mum is upstairs, still pissed off, and relaxing on the bed. Mei and I are watching a movie with the light off and curtains drawn. We have sweets beside us for the kids if we can be arsed to get up, but I’d rather just eat them myself. Two lots have already been and knocked. They’re not stupid. They know we’re in. The car is outside and there’s probably a glow from her mother’s light upstairs.

I just don’t want to keep getting up and answering the door.

Four lots in total knock at my door and four times I don’t answer. In a way I feel bad. I didn’t go out trick or treating when I was younger as my mum said it was a waste of time. I don’t think I would have liked it anyway. But for those that like it, it’s fun and they get sweets out of it. I feel a bit like Scrooge at Christmas. It’s their childhood and I’m taking part of it away.

Even that thought isn’t enough to make me answer the door.

At ten o’clock it happens. The thuds at the window. Eggs. Three of them altogether. Thud thud thud. All of them hitting the window. Right away I know who it is.

I shoot up to my feet and run to the door. He’s nowhere to be seen. I run to my gate and look both ways. Nothing.

On my front window I see the eggs running down the glass. I’ll give him credit, he’s a good shot. The grouping is excellent. Or Eggcellent..

Harold appears at his door, and the Starkies come out of theirs.

The neighbours beside them also come out. I’ve never really seen them. It’s a couple of men. I think they’re gay but I don’t know for certain.

It looks like a few houses were hit. All the houses had three eggs each. A dozen eggs. A full box. I’m sick of this.

Harold leaves his gate and marches past me. ‘It’s Jason, isn’t it?’ he says as he passes.

I join him. It doesn’t even cross my mind to phone that community police officer.

Mei and her mum are watching from the door.

I tell them, ‘Just stay there.’

The Starkies watch us as we pass. ‘Is it Jason?’ Margaret asks.

‘We think so,’ I tell them/

Then Richard starts. ‘I hope God can forgive.’

I roll my eyes. With a maybe gay couple living beside them, I wonder how they feel about that. I would ask them one day but I don’t want the lecture, and to be honest I don’t care enough. What people do with their lives is up to them as long as I’m not involved.

When Harold bangs on the door, I think that perhaps the dad would answer. It’s Friday night and it’s Halloween. Surely he’ll be home if not out trick or treating. But he’s nowhere to be seen and Worzel Gummidge’s long lost sister answers, and she’s not even in costume.

‘Now what do you want?’ she asks dismissively.

Harold speaks first. ‘Jason in?’

She folds here arms defensively and straightens her back like a gorilla protecting its territory. ‘Yes. Why?’

I speak this time. ’Take a look at the houses along the street. They’re covered in eggs. You checked you fridge tonight?

She doesn’t answer.

Harold says, ‘We know it was him. Just like it was him who killed my dog.’ He swallows hard, not wanting to show her emotion.

‘So you’re just here to blame my son again? Why don’t you ask his mother in law?’

‘No!’ Harold snaps. ‘Your little bastard son is ruining this estate. I’ve been living here for sixty years and it’s never been this bad.’

She sticks her neck out to try and add merit to what she says next: ‘He hasn’t been out all day. Not get off my property.’ She slams the door.

Harold and I head back home seething. What kind of a family is that?

‘I wish they never came here,’ Harold says.

He walks through his gate. ‘I don’t think I can take much more of this.’ He looks at his window. ‘He is a good shot, I must say.’

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