Here is my winning story and the potential links to the announcement –
Returning a Favor
by Dick C. Waters
Each year it was the same thing. Thelma made the long horse-drawn wagon trip to buy candy. It was an uncomfortable ride, and she wondered why she did it. Then, she recalled her childhood fun on Halloween, not having to dress up.
It hurt that the children never came to her house. It must have been the wind, and she wiped the moisture on her cheek.
She wondered if it was the overgrown bushes blocking her sidewalk. Years earlier, she was proud of her Victorian style home. It was a job to take care of it, but she did it. However, since her broom-flying accident, the years had taken a toll on the property.
It hurt on Halloween when she heard the young children daring each other to go get some candy. They called her the ‘Evil Witch.’ Would things be different if they knew the truth?
Mr. Pish would come to her front door every evening looking for his treat. There was something different this evening and he was scratching at the front door. She must remember not to wave like that in the future…when the smoke cleared he was wearing a costume. He scampered down the front walk, and she wondered if she had lost her only friend.
Moments later, she heard the screams of the many children running towards the front porch.
Later, she asked one of the Davy Crockett figures why he came this year.
“I just followed the ‘Pup O Lantern.’”