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The original story can be found here.


This happened on a Halloween when I was in high school. I say that so you can understand why some of the people acted the way they did. You know how Halloween gets. All sorts of pranks are pulled, people cover themselves with fake blood, etc. When you see a body lying in the street on Halloween, sure, you’re shocked at first. But the shock quickly changes to a variety of different emotions depending on the individual. Some people laugh, some people shake their heads and roll their eyes. My friend Cindy got angry, thinking it was a mean trick to pull.

That’s why it was twenty minutes to nine before anybody bothered to take a closer look.

I was handing out candy, too old in my mind to be out in costume, begging for treats like a little kid. Cindy was over because her parents and mine had gone to a party hosted by some mutual friends, and Cindy was too skittish to stay home alone. I’m glad she was with me.

Our town was small, the kind with a single main street that runs straight through it. It was off the highway, not a shortcut to anywhere, and you can walk from one side of the town to the other in less than an hour, so there wasn’t any traffic to speak of.

I still don’t know where the body came from.

I remember I had just given the last Kit Kat to some kid dressed as Batman, and went inside to refill the bowl. When I came back out, there was a body laying in the street. The Batman kid was staring at it from the sidewalk, and I went down and joined him for a moment before shaking my head and going back up to the porch. Cindy came back from the kitchen with sodas and gave a squeal when she saw it. She nearly dropped the glasses. After she recovered, she yelled at the body in the road.

“Hey, Asshole! You’re gonna get run over!”

It just lay there.

Tommy from a block down came by on his bicycle, pedaled a circle around the body, then rode over to us and hopped off. He was wearing a cape and had his hair slicked back. I think he was supposed to be a vampire, but he didn’t have any fake fangs in his mouth.

“Who’s that in the road?” he asked us.

“Some asshole,” Cindy said, loudly, so the person in the road would hear.

“Is he dead?” Tommy asked. I just shrugged and offered him a Kit Kat. He nodded at me, got back on his bike and circled the body once more. He stopped for a moment, but seemed reluctant to get closer. I think he had the same thought we did… whoever got too close would get the scare of their life when the body jumped up and grabbed them. Instead, he looked over at us, shrugged, and rode off.

“If you don’t get up, we’re going to call the cops!” Cindy called out. She stood on the porch for a moment and then started heading inside, saying very loudly, “That’s it, I’m calling the cops!” I sat down on the porch swing and just watched the body. I was starting to feel a little edgy, like what if the person was really hurt and would we get in trouble for not helping? But every time I started to think I should get up and really check, another kid would show up and say “trick ‘r treat!” and then make some silly comment about “the guy in the road” or the “fantastic dummy” we had put out, and my brain would whisper, He’s just waiting for you to go out there and touch him, and then he’s going to jump up and yell BOO! and you’ll scream bloody murder and he’ll laugh and tell everyone at school on Monday.

Cindy came back out on the porch.

“Alright, buddy! The cops are on their way! They’re gonna be pissed that you wasted their time!” I looked at her anxiously, and she scowled at the body, then looked at me, rolled her eyes and shook her head. No, the police were not coming.

At one point, a car actually did come down the street. Cindy and I sat there, huddled on the porch, nervously waiting to see if the body would get up, if the car would even see it and stop or run it over, or if the driver would get out and check. The car slowed as it got near the body, but instead of stopping, they weaved around it and continued on their way.

Nobody believed it.

Even the grownups who brought their kids by looked at it incredulously. I think Cindy and I were partially to blame for their doubting, because if it weren’t a hoax, wouldn’t the two girls on the porch be doing something?

Around 8:38, Billy Mayo and his friend Joe came along. Billy was the type of kid who preferred tricking to treating. If you didn’t watch your Jack-o-Lanterns closely, you’d inevitably find them smashed by Billy’s clodhoppers.

Billy saw the body in the road, looked at us on the porch, all wide-eyed and staring at him to see what he would do, and then gave the body a real hard kick in the mid section. He held his foot there, smirking at us for a second, then looked down and kicked the body again, lighter this time. Then he nudged it.

“What is this full of, leaves?” he yelled over to us. We just sat there like deer in headlights and watched. He tried to roll the body over with one foot.

“Fuck, this is heavy.” he said, then he reached down and grabbed it round the shoulders to flip it over. Joe bent over to help, grabbing the legs. Cindy and I were leaning forward in our seats, trying to get a look. Billy got the body turned over, then dropped it heavily, causing Joe to drop his end. They both lurched back.

“Jesus fuck!” Billy yelled, holding his hands up like he was trying to keep them away from the body. In the street light I could see, his hands and his jacket were all red and slick. Joe was turned away, and it sounded like he was vomiting. I dropped the candy bowl, spilling Kit Kats all over the porch. Cindy dropped her drink, shattering the glass. Both our jaws were dropped too. We had no idea what was going on, but we were riveted watching it all unfold.

“Maybe I should call the police now,” Cindy whispered absently. She got up, moving stiffly, and went into the house. I just sat there. All I could see was red. The front of the body was nothing but dark, wet, red. Billy was standing there, his arms up in front of him, just looking at the blood all over them. Joe kept puking and fell over.

Police arrived minutes later. The ambulance took a while, since the nearest hospital was a good thirty miles away. They covered the body with a sheet. Billy and Joe were escorted gently away where they were talked to quietly until their parents arrived. Needless to say, Cindy and I were thoroughly interrogated. What did we see? When did we notice it? Why didn’t we call the police immediately? The police officer who questioned me was very nice. He told me that we weren’t in trouble, but that in the future we should always err on the side of caution. I asked him who the body was, but he didn’t know.

Nobody knew who it was.

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